UNO festivities celebrate Nontraditional Student Week

Photo by Charlotte Reilly

Alexandria Wilson

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Division of Continuing Studies hosted a variety of events, from a family movie night to an etiquette dinner, Nov. 6 through 10 to celebrate Nontraditional Student Week.

A large portion of UNO’s students are considered “nontraditional,” and to help them acclimate to the student body, the Division of Continuing Studies provides a variety of resources. The Division of Continuing Studies can be found in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) building in Room 207.

“We wanted to recognize and celebrate these students,” said Chandra Gustafson, the coordinator of Student Services for Division of Continuing Studies.

Along with hosting events that bring students together, the Division of Continuing Studies helps students with many different aspects of the university experience: the application process, choosing the best major for them, mapping out a course schedule and a plethora of other needs.

One of the only requirements for students to be considered “nontraditional” is to be over the age of 21. Some of the other factors that can make a student nontraditional is taking off more than a year between high school and college, being marriage or serving in the military.

UNO has been hosting events for Nontraditional Student Week for over five years and is hoping to bring awareness to nontraditional students. They also want to help put out the message that the student in class next to you may be nontraditional and you might not know it by looking at them.

“As a veteran, I’ve had a very positive experience at UNO,” said Jesse Schutz, a communication studies major who’s focusing on public relations and advertising.

Schutz served as a Marine before deciding to come to UNO and met with an advisor from the Division of Continuing Studies during his admission process. They helped him get enrolled and on the right track. Since those first meetings, he has relied on the programs made specifically for veterans.

While Schutz is a nontraditional student, he was unaware of National Nontraditional Student Week or any of the events UNO was putting on.

Schutz believes that UNO is a great school for nontraditional students. He said the professors are flexible and understand many students have obligations outside of school.

A U.S. News article by Briana Boyington states that while it can be hard for nontraditional students to find time to be on campus outside of class, it is vital to their success that they get plugged in.

Schutz agrees with this and said his biggest piece of advice to a new nontraditional student at UNO is to “open up, branch out and dig into what UNO has to offer.”