Teacher-Scholar: The Journal of the State Comprehensive University


This paper investigates the topic of non-traditional students enrolled at four-year public regional universities and addresses questions about who they are, what makes them non-traditional and how they experience college life. The analysis is based on survey data collected from 187 undergraduates at one regional public college in the southeastern United States. The study found a higher portion of non-traditional students than expected and that the non-traditional students tended to break down into two types, a younger worker-student and an older adult student, rather than conforming to a single profile. While the findings highlight other similarities with the broader population of non-traditional students, the study also challenges assumptions about how they compare to traditional students and how they relate to the larger campus community. The article concludes that regional public universities likely play an especially important role in educating non-traditional undergraduates but that those universities also need to do more to understand the demographics, experiences, and needs of those students.