Non-traditional students celebrated at Gannon

Non-traditional students celebrated at Gannon

Gannon University has been celebrating National Non-traditional Student Week with a variety of events taking place in the REAP lounge on the third floor of the Palumbo Academic Center.

National Non-traditional Student Week is a nationally recognized celebration that was created by the Association for Non-traditional Students in Higher Education and is held during the first week of November each year.

The week provides a chance for schools to recognize the support many campus departments provide and to celebrate non-traditional student success.

Gannon’s REAP is the Returning to Education Adult Program and benefits adult students who have decided to return to school.

Non-traditional students are classified as any student who is over 25, but also includes students who are parents or veterans.

In 2014-2015, 10.2 percent of Gannon’s undergraduate students were 25 and older, which is a significant portion.

Heidi Brieger Noyes, director of Commuter Life and REAP, planned out events for the week in conjunction with Commuter Adviser Cain Sonney.

This year, National Non-traditional Student Week runs through Friday.

On Tuesday, lunch from Tickles Deli was provided in the REAP lounge for students. On Wednesday there was a nacho bar scheduled for the lounge, where students could enjoy nachos with a variety of toppings.

Sonney said that there will be an ice cream bar in the lounge starting at 10:30 a.m. Thursday where students can come to create their own sweet concoctions.

To round out the week on Friday, doughnuts will be provided in the morning and a REAP outing at Jekyll and Hyde’s will take place at 4 p.m.

Students are encouraged to stop by the REAP lounge and check out all the non-traditional students have to offer. Throughout the week there will also be drawings for free gifts.

In addition to the events taking place in the REAP lounge, there will also be a reception  in Old Main for the Charlotte Newcomb Foundation, which provides a grant for adult females.

Brieger Noyes said that Gannon invites past and present recipients and foundation members to hear students speak about how the scholarship has helped them.

Brieger Noyes also said this week aims to highlight the adult students and gain some recognition for them.

“A lot of the non-traditional students have families and children so they really have a lot to juggle on top of school,” Brieger Noyes said.

“We really want them to know that there is support for them.”

Brieger Noyes also said that National Non-traditional Student Week is important to bring recognition to REAP, itself.

“I think it’s important that students know that we have a support system to acknowledge them and make them feel special,” Brieger Noyes said.

Joseph Nowakowski, 25, said that the REAP program has helped him fit in at Gannon.

“I feel a little out of place at times,” Nowakowski said. “It’s nice that Gannon is trying to make it more comfortable for folks like us.”

Dale Snyder, 43, is in the freshwater and marine biology program and says that he loves going to school at Gannon.

“I think it’s important to recognize the sacrifice that non-traditional students have to make for their families for the sake of trying to better themselves,” Snyder said.

Noyes said that she thinks that it’s important that we celebrate non-traditional students.

“[Adult students] need to know that we appreciate them and what they can bring to campus because they can bring so many unique perspectives,” Noyes said.



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