SIU honored for its commitment to non-traditional students - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU honored for its commitment to non-traditional students

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

30 percent of the students attending Southern Illinois University are considered non-traditional.

They may be returning to college after time out of the classroom, working full-time, raising a family or returning from military service.

And Southern's longstanding commitment to these students is earning the college national recognition.

NASPA-Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education is honoring SIU's Non-Traditional Student Services as the 2016 Annual Outstanding Undergraduate Adult Learner Program.

“This recognition honors all of those who have advocated for and supported SIU’s adult learners since the inception of the Non-Traditional Student Services office in 1986,” Deborah Barnett, assistant dean of students, said. “The office has a rich history of work that has been built upon and continued by many over the past three decades. I am happy and honored to accept the award on behalf of so many.”

The NTSS office provides a variety of services to the adult student population, including guidance, support and resource referrals. The goal is fostering a sense of belonging and a culture of success in this diverse group of students, according to Barnett.

It has also put a number of initiatives in place in recent years for non-traditional students include a Family Study Room at Morris Library, stocked with toys and games children can play with as their parents study.  Nearby, construction is wrapping up on a student-designed lactation space for nursing parents. SIU also offers a Family ID Card that enables family members of students to access campus programs and resources. In addition, special programs and activities allow non-traditional students to socialize, network, and learn more about resources and programming available to them.

SIU and its NTSS office will receive a plaque and certificate in conjunction with the award and be recognized at the NASPA-Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education annual conference, set for March 11-15 in San Antonio, Texas.

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