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Students Gathered with Devices

Students These Days

by Meris Stansbury

eCampus News

Article excerpt

New data gives pause on defining today’s typical student

New data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on students applying for financial aid highlight the ever-increasing need for colleges and universities to diversify their programs and make more available online education.

Our take

In Higher Ed, an Increasing Number of Students are “Non-traditional”

Students aren’t who they used to be; NCES data suggests that the vast majority of undergraduate students can be classified as “nontraditional” and, therefore, may be more amenable to online instruction than their predecessors. What might this data mean for your instructional delivery?

In 1996-96, 70 percent of undergraduates exhibited at least one of a list of characteristics considered to exemplify a “non-traditional” student—in 2011-12 that number is 74 percent and may be even higher. It’s data that suggests that there could potentially be more demand, and more need, for alternative forms of instruction that is typically considered. A hybrid approach that offers some combination of in-class and online instruction may serve to meet the needs of a broader number of students—and may even attract more students.

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