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For adults wondering if it’s too late to go back to college, the answer is no

A statue of Utah Valley University's Wolverine mascot wears a mask on the campus in Orem on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. The school announced Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 it would require students to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The pandemic blew up jobs and careers as workers were laid off and businesses shuttered. For those of us who are a little older, is it too late to go back to college?

Kyle Reyes, vice president of Student Affairs at Utah Valley University, said it’s never too late to go back to school or to start. He joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to discuss opportunities for adult learners at UVU.

Reyes said during the pandemic students were coming back to campus, not to earn a bachelor’s degree, but rather a certificate or to upgrade their skills in a particular area, perhaps as it relates to their current job.

He added some students consider coming back to campus to finish a degree begun years before. 

Young or old, everyone is a learner

UVU is not just a campus packed full of 19-year-old students, he said. 

“Last year, our oldest graduate was 69 years old,” Reyes said, adding that 30% of the student body is older than age 25. “We no longer call our adult learners non-traditional students because there’s just so many that are taking advantage of the opportunities here.”

UVU offers classes in the evenings and weekends, Reyes said. And there’s also daycare on campus.

Reyes, who is also a professor, said a number of adult learners attended his classes last year.

There is just a different level of seriousness and maturity that they bring to the class. They seem a little bit more streamlined in their focus.”

Reyes added that adult learners enrich the classroom experience. They bringing real-world experiences and life lessons to the subject being taught. 

Tuition assistance

Reyes highlighted the state-funded Learn & Work Initiative that provides Utahns with tuition assistance for short-term education and training. 

Reyes said the program is designed for workers who like their jobs but wish to earn a promotion or learn a new skill for the 21st century.

“We have some funding for folks to be able to come back, almost like a scholarship, to return to get some quick almost boot camp-style classes for them to get their certificate, for them to get certain credentials so that they can be ready for that next job,” Reyes said. 

For more information, adult learners can visit uvu.edu/success.

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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