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Recruiting the 73%: Nontraditional Students Must be Part of Your Plan
Posted By Christine Goodwin On June 13, 2012 @ 5:37 am In Advice and How-Tos | 5 Comments
Recent statistics say as many as two thirds of current college students are considered nontraditional students. Yet, most career development and rotational programs are tailored for the traditional student, and even screen out nontraditionals.
The National Center for Education Statistics loosely defines “non-traditional” students  as meeting one or more of the following criteria:
Statistics from that same agency claim that 73% of all college students meet one or more of these criteria, which means most campus recruitment efforts only target the remaining 27%.
Nontraditionals offer employers many benefits:
Demands on their time means nontraditionals spend less time on campus, and their classes are often after “normal” business hours. While more than 80% of students attending two-year colleges are defined as non-traditional, many attend online classes at traditional schools (like Harvard or Northeastern), or any of the various virtual-only institutions (like Regis University in Boulder, Colorado).
While membership may not be as active, a few organized student groups can be located:
Nontraditional students face a few challenges to completing a degree: financial hardship caused by student loans, working while attending classes, or familial support obligations, dependent care concerns, and competing work and academic commitments. Identify ways that you can meet these students’ unique needs and set yourself apart as an employer:
You might be surprised at the number of hiring officers who say they want college graduates, but stumble when pushed to define reasons.
If you have a college hire career program, view it with fresh eyes. Open the conversation with your hiring managers and sponsors and ask questions.
Be careful of simply re-wording your existing program to sound attractive to a nontraditional. This is a futile effort, and a sure way to lose credibility with both your client and your applicant. Other things to consider:
Create an immediate low cost/high return strategy by considering nontraditional students to complement your traditional recruitment methods. Considering the relatively high number of nontraditional students, developing a plan to reach the “73 percent” makes good business sense.
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URL to article: http://www.ere.net/2012/06/13/recruiting-the-73-nontraditional-students-must-be-part-of-your-plan/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.ere.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Univ-of-Wyoming1.jpg
 defines “non-traditional” students: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/web/97578e.asp
 Student Veterans of America: http://www.studentveterans.org
 Students in Free Enterprise: http://www.sife.org
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