Five Lessons to Consider When Supporting Returning Students
Over the past 20 years, an estimated 30 to 35 million Americans have left college with some academic credit but no postsecondary credential. Such students are more likely to be students of color, have dependents, face unmet financial needs, or experience other hardships that cause them to struggle in degree programs.
A study team drawn from across the College Completion Network conducted a policy and practice scan to better understand how colleges support returning students. The team conducted focus groups with administrators at 59 2-year and broad-access 4-year colleges across the United States. The focus groups centered on strategies colleges use to identify, recruit, and support students who left college without a degree. Based on the information learned, this brief shares five lessons for practitioners interested in supporting returning college students.