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ERIC Number: ED398779
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Commuter Students in Colleges and Universities.
Ortman, Joan
This paper explores the myths surrounding the higher education of commuter students and investigates their needs and concerns. Today's college students include increasing numbers of adult, female, minority, and part-time students. Commuter students, i.e., those living off-campus, make up the largest and most diverse group. Many of these students attend college to improve their employment potential. Their common concerns relate to transportation, safety, work, managing households, caring for family members, the side effects of medication, and establishing college roots. Their support systems consist of family and friends, some of whom may feel threatened by, and unsupportive of, the student's commitment to attend college. College personnel entertain several myths about these students regarding their commitment to academic achievement, their abilities and aspirations, and the costs required to educate them. Psychological and other theories may illuminate these students' difficulties. Measures which institutions should adopt to help commuter students include committing to the equality of all students and ensuring that college programs address these needs equitably. Measures that the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign provide for commuter students include off-campus courses and programs. Measures that Chicago State University has initiated include a streamlined, shortened registration process and a "welcome week." Other methods to help community students with the college experience include providing weekend and evening courses, and child care services, and keeping the library open until 2 a.m. during final exams. Hopefully, increased awareness of college administrators of the special needs of commuter students will lead to improved services for them. (Contains 20 references.) (CK)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A