Attending college is a challenge. Attending college while raising children, married, older than the traditional college student, or all of the above, has added challenges. Challenges that can sometimes make a student feel isolated from their fellow students and prevent them from fully engaging in the college’s support programs.
However, they are far from alone at Fullerton College. More than 25 percent of Fullerton College students fall into this group, and a new program will launch this fall in order to build community and a support system for them. The Re-entry Connect Program, which will be facilitated by Dr. Carol Mattson, provides a unique opportunity for students to meet others with similar interests and challenges, stay motivated to achieve their educational and career goals, and provide opportunities for students to connect with additional campus resources.
“Many years ago when I was a student, married with children and returning to college, I remember feeling old at the age of thirty-something. I had child care issues and responsibilities at home, different than those of most traditional-aged students,” Mattson said. “My counselor at the time facilitated a class for this student population, and I attended. Her encouragement provided a smoother transition to college and motivated me and many others to stay in school. I hope to do the same for students presently enrolled at Fullerton College.”
The program will meet every Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and every Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Building 200, Room 227 from Sept.12 to Dec.5. Students have the option to attend either the morning or evening meetings. The weekly meetings provide a space for networking, dialogue, academic motivational support, and a chance to learn about scholarships and additional Fullerton College programs.
According to Mattson, more than 25 percent of students enrolled at Fullerton College are over the age of 24. Providing this group of students with these supportive resources will hopefully keep them motivated to stay in school, she added. The program’s mantra is Connect, Act, Transform (CAT).