The Sunflower

Adult learners have a new homegroup on campus

Enrique+Rodriguez%2C+President+of+Adult+Scholars+at+Wichita+State%2C+responds+to+a+question+from+The+Sunflower.+Wichita+State%27s+Adult+Scholars+is+a+student-run+organization+that+hopes+to+help+adult+scholars+attending+WSU+network+with+others.
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Adult learners have a new homegroup on campus

Enrique Rodriguez, President of Adult Scholars at Wichita State, responds to a question from The Sunflower. Wichita State's Adult Scholars is a student-run organization that hopes to help adult scholars attending WSU network with others.

Enrique Rodriguez, President of Adult Scholars at Wichita State, responds to a question from The Sunflower. Wichita State's Adult Scholars is a student-run organization that hopes to help adult scholars attending WSU network with others.

Easton Thompson

Enrique Rodriguez, President of Adult Scholars at Wichita State, responds to a question from The Sunflower. Wichita State's Adult Scholars is a student-run organization that hopes to help adult scholars attending WSU network with others.

Easton Thompson

Easton Thompson

Enrique Rodriguez, President of Adult Scholars at Wichita State, responds to a question from The Sunflower. Wichita State's Adult Scholars is a student-run organization that hopes to help adult scholars attending WSU network with others.

Wichita State has a new student group on campus that is just for adult learners. Adult Scholars is now an officially recognized student organization. They hope to connect adult students for both career and social networking, as well as providing a much-needed support system for older students.

“In terms of what we want to provide for our members, I think the most important thing is a social group on campus for adult students,” said Enrique Rodriguez, the organization’s president. “Our group wants to focus on connecting adult students on campus to each other so they can provide support to each other and provide them with information that they may not have.”

Adult students may not have the same concerns as students who are fresh out of high school. Some feel like they can fall through the cracks.

“I would have loved to have had the traditional college experience, but I didn’t,” Rodriguez said.

Adult Scholars Vice President Marsha Norton said having a non-traditional college experience sets adult learners apart from most WSU students.

“We have families and careers and adult lives and lots of things going on,” Norton said. “But education is a serious goal and we’ll pretty much trudge through whatever we have to to get there.”

Rodriguez said adult learners oftentimes think they’re alone.

“Too often an adult student is an island,” Rodriguez said.

“You think . . . I’m the only one going through this.”

Rodriguez has been working for a year alongside a handful of other adult students to launch the Adult Scholars group.

“There’s about 3,000 working adults on and off campus,” Norton said. “That’s a big, underrepresented part of the WSU population.”

Rodriguez said one of the group’s goals is to make their presence felt on campus. As long as they remain a forgotten group, their needs will not be met.

“If the Adult Scholars organization can raise the profile of adult students on campus to the point where the campus is forced to act to serve us, then that’s ultimately what I want to see,” Rodriguez said. “Raising our profile in the community eventually forces the hand of the university to serve us better and in a more appropriate way.”

Rodriquez said the group’s current goal is to attract new members and organize their first event. He said there are a lot of things they need to consider in order to keep their status and funding.

“They’re going to go there to look at our member count. So I need everyone to go to [the group’s Shocker Sync] site and join up officially through there. That is challenging,” Rodriguez said.

In addition to looking for new members, the group is actively seeking adults to take on some supervisory role, Rodriguez said.

 

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