New Options program targets non-traditional college students

Published 7:04 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jefferson State Community College now provides information, guidance and referrals to adults who are thinking about attending college, going to work or changing jobs.

The New Options Program is designed to support non-traditional adults (25 and older); single parents; married, no age requirement or GED recipients, or those who are beginning school for the first time or who are returning to school after an interruption in their education.

The program began 25 years ago as a federal Displaced Homemaker grant. It was designed for women who stayed at home and cared for their families or who were working dead-end jobs with no chance of a promotion or to make a better salary. The grant eventually ended, but the program was kept alive and is offered to men and women of any age.

“The program is for an adult who has never been to college or is coming back after a very long time,” said Ann Fulner, New Options Program director. “We give them special guidance and help them with the application process, registration and choosing classes, for example.”

At the New Options Center, the program offers free seminars and workshops on numerous topics including: beginning college, study skills, choosing a college major, financial aid, parenting skills, stress management, money management and job search skills.

The center also serves as a place where individuals can find information regarding services offered by Jefferson State.

“We’re kind of the starting point by helping them learn where to go from here and give them guidance,” said Fulner. “As long as they’re in school, they are always a New Option participant.”

The program also has a loaning library where textbooks are loaned for one semester.

“If you will be considered a non-traditional student and are interested in beginning college for the first time or returning to school after many years, please call us,” said Fulner. “Plans are being made to have a meeting for adults who are interested in beginning college at Jeff State in Clanton.”

For more information regarding seminars or to pre-register, call the New Options Center at 1-800-239-5900 ext. 7718.