US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

There are a number of reasons adults return to school. Some are planning a career transition, others need new skills or certifications to advance, and still others enroll in courses for enrichment, development and to study subjects of personal interest. Whether it has been one year, ten years or even forty years since you were enrolled in college or other educational programs, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure you’ll be successful in your new endeavor.

  1. Sign-up for a non-credit course: If you’re nervous about sitting in a classroom or dealing with homework and assignments again after all of these years, you may want to consider signing up for a non-credit course. Taking a non-credit course will help you become familiar with homework and assignments, especially if you haven’t been to school in a while.
  2. Think about your learning style: As students, we all have our own style of learning. Our learning style defines how we take in, understand and process information, and it impacts our ability to problem solve.
  3. Find the best program for you: As you are making the decision on which program you are interested in, take the time to research what resources are available to non-traditional students. Are the programs offered in-class or online? Are you interested in an accelerated or shorter program? Which program will best meet both your career and personal goals?
  4. Network with other non-traditional students: Going back into any learning environment can be overwhelming for anyone at any age. Seek out other students in similar situations as yours; whether on campus or in your course’s online discussion boards or chat rooms.
  5. Seek out resources: Online searches, MOOCs, the library or even school websites often offer refreshers and programs to help you update your skills. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek assistance. Take advantage of every opportunity to grow, learn and develop.
  6. Approach assignments as if they are work assignments: Those who have been in the workforce are familiar with deadlines, and developing plans of action to reach them. Schedule enough time to research and complete your assignments so that you allow yourself ample time to edit and rework if necessary.
  7. Make your education a priority: Taking courses as an adult can be difficult. We often have jobs, families and other obligations all vying for our time. It’s important that you make coursework a priority and schedule time to study and complete assignments. Remind yourself why you are enrolled in courses; whether it’s for personal enrichment or to create new or better job opportunities – take the time necessary to apply yourself to your coursework!

The UVICELL Center can serve as a valuable resource. If you are undecided about which program to take or where to start, give us a call at 340-693-1100 or visit us online at