ERIC Number: ED361055
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-May
At Risk Non-Traditional Community College Students.
Tyler, Deidre A.
For educators to effectively meet the needs of at-risk nontraditional college students, they must quickly identify such students, utilize the best available teaching techniques, and work to guarantee student retention. Swift identification of potential at-risk students depends on educators' awareness of common indicators, such as the student having been out of school for more than five years; having five or more conflicting social roles (i.e., student, breadwinner, homemaker, parent of young children, and care giver for an elderly family member); returning to school because of a recent layoff, not because of a desire to be educated; and having a first language other than English which might affect understanding and communication. An effective instructional strategy for students identified as at-risk is cooperative learning, or the use of small groups of students working together to maximize learning. Cooperative learning groups may be informal and focus on the material of a particular class, or long-term, meeting daily throughout a term to provide support to members. Advantages for at-risk students include increased opportunities to participate in the smaller groups, development of positive social skills, positive effects on students' self-esteem, experience with teamwork, and a sense of positive interdependence with other group members. Finally, the use of small groups allows for more personal interaction between teachers and students which can increase the academic integration of at-risk students and reduce the probability of withdrawal. (MAB)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Classroom Techniques, Community Colleges, Cooperative Learning, Dropout Prevention, Group Activities, High Risk Students, Nontraditional Students, Reentry Students, School Holding Power, Student Characteristics, Student Needs, Student Participation, Teaching Methods, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development on Teaching Excellence and Conference of Administrators (15th, Austin, TX, May 23-29, 1993).