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Adult Learners

So, I am a student again after all these years

Many adult students initially feel unsure of their academic abilities or are not familiar with various academic options and campus services that are available. The following describes various campus resources and suggestions that may be helpful:

  • Have confidence in your abilities. Studies have shown that learning ability does not decline with age. In fact, verbal ability typically increases.
  • Take a light load the first term. You may need time to adjust to your new routine and the demands of coursework.
  • Try to balance your course load. Balancing your course load means avoiding taking too many demanding courses in any one semester; it also means spreading your courses out so that you are not taking all night classes, or all MWF classes, or all TR classes.
  • Consult your academic advisor if you have questions about the requirements for your major or a particular class.
  • Audit a class if the subject is unfamiliar or particularly difficult for you. Auditing a class before you take it for credit allows you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the information and facilitate future learning.
  • Develop peer support. At the beginning of the term, get the phone numbers of one or two classmates. You can help each other with difficult concepts. Also, if you miss a class you will want to know what was covered and what assignments were made.
  • Learn to use the Moodle system and other new technologies. Some professors will post important announcements and notes on the Moodle system. It will also assist you in managing your grades and assignments. To access a Moodle Reference Guide follow the links from the "Current Students" tab on the LSU Shreveport home page. Learning other new technologies, such as word processing, computerized searches, and e-mail, will prove valuable in later employment.
  • Remain current in your reading and assignments. Professors expect you to check the syllabus for information and may not make announcements in class.
  • Seek help when you need it. If classes are not going well, meet with your professor during their office hours or visit a campus lab for extra assistance.
  • Visit your professors during their office hours to get acquainted and to get further assistance with the course material. Professors set aside time for students for clarification or questions, and will usually make appointments if their office hours are inconvenient for some individuals.
  • Become familiar with the library system. Knowing how to use the library can save time and reduce anxiety.
  • Establish good study habits. Establish a set time and place for studying. Tutors in the University Writing Center are available to help students improve their writing skills. The UWC is located in Bronson Hall, room 114.