hawkeye_returning_adult_studentsAs daunting as it may sometimes seem, going back to college is easier than many people believe. We understand that the transition into college isn’t the same for everyone and that for some people there might be obstacles to address first. That’s why with the help of Hawkeye Community College, students can begin to see how to combat financial, social, and educational issues that may exist while re-entering college or the workforce.

“Everyone’s nervous about going back to school – that’s natural!” said Jason Streed, Hawkeye admissions coordinator for adult students. “We’ll take the time to connect you with all the resources Hawkeye offers. Everything from the tutoring center to the student health clinic can help you stay on course to graduate.”

Here are 10 tips that get you ready to return to the classroom:

Connect with the Admissions office. Set up an appointment with Jason to review your goals, challenges, and education plans at 319-296-4206 or jason.streed@hawkeyecollege.edu.

“There’s no substitute for sharing your goals, so talk to us,” Streed said. “We want to meet you, hear your story, and help you explore your options.”

Apply online and become a Hawkeye student. The sooner you become a student, the faster we can help you reach your goals. Apply today at: www.hawkeyecollege.edu/cf/admissions

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early in your process. Hawkeye’s FAFSA code is 004595. Make sure you also look at other funding sources, including grants, scholarships, and military/veteran benefits. Visit
www.hawkeyecollege.edu/cf/financial-aid to explore your options.

Don’t be shy. Ask for help. The Hawkeye community is here to help answer your questions. Our faculty, staff, and students are great resources who know the college best.  Going back to school while balancing at-home responsibilities is not an uncommon feat for students. But it’s easier when you communicate the importance of assistance, encouragement, and understanding to family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Build your community. It’s easy to isolate yourself from others when you’re balancing a busy school, work, and family schedule – but don’t. Instead, relish the opportunity to be in social environments with others inside and outside the classroom and enrich your college experience. Remember, you’re not alone in considering college after working for several months or years. Make connections.

Do something you love, it’s important. Look into classes or a career choice that truly fit your interests and needs. Consider not only, “Is this something I enjoy?” but also “Is there a demand for skilled workers in this career right now?” Hawkeye can help you find the answer to both.

Embrace the change. Any significant change, whether it’s returning to the workforce, going back to school, or having a baby, means reassessing your priorities. Recognize that while you’re in school you’ll have to make short-term tradeoffs with your time.

Keep an open mind about new learning methods. Today, there are many new ways to learn inside and outside of the traditional classroom. You may want to take your classes or even an entire program online. You decide what fits you best.

Realize how much you know. Many adult students overlook their influence on the learning environments in which they participate. Often, they bring motivation and maturity to the classroom, and they aren’t afraid to ask questions or seek an instructor’s help. In fact, instructors say that adult students are often the stars of the classroom because of their unique perspective. The prior experience and knowledge you bring as a returning adult student will benefit your college experience and your classmates.

Congratulate yourself. Coming back to school is a big decision to make. And at Hawkeye, it’s worth it.   

hawkeye_courtney_foulkCourtney Foulk had worked in healthcare for years, but when a company restructure left her without a job, she decided to reevaluate her career path. Her first stop was Hawkeye Community College.

“I sat down with the Admissions office and tried to figure out what was a good fit for me,” she said. Their conversations guided Foulk to the Executive Assistant and Legal Office Assistant programs. The programs had some overlap in course requirements, and the flexibility of taking summer classes helped Foulk stay on track to finish both programs in two years.

“I really liked the structure of the programs,” she said. “They set you up to succeed.”

Foulk is now optimistic about her new career path, thanks to the education she received at Hawkeye.

“Hawkeye gives you a foundation to build a career,” she said.