Going back to school isn’t always easy. It takes courage, ambition and dedication to make the decision and stick with it. However, choosing an online bachelor’s in accounting degree program that caters to adult learners can help you learn in a way that’s more effective. Fortunately, there are highly-regarded online bachelor’s in accounting degree programs that are tailored to the educational needs of nontraditional students.
Top Programs for Adult Students
Some of the top online bachelor’s in accounting degree programs in the United States focus on educating adult students specifically. In fact, some programs only accept nontraditional students. At Upper Iowa University, for example, applicants to the online bachelor’s degree in accounting program must have graduated high school prior to 2004 and have completed some college credits.
Then there are schools like Western Governors University, where progress toward your degree is based on competence assessments rather than credit completion. Programs with this format allow adult students to cover course material more quickly and essentially get credit for the professional experience they already have.
Educating the Adult Student
The reason some colleges focus – perhaps exclusively – on educating adult students is because there are significant differences in the way people learn at different ages and stages of life. There are even different terms to express the concepts, with pedagogy meaning helping children learn and andragogy referring to the teaching of adults, the Teaching Excellence in Adult Literacy (TEAL) Center reported.
Adults don’t learn by memorizing scraps of information without having the context of what that information means for them. Instead, they “learn by doing,” according to the TEAL Center. Adult students learn most effectively when they understand the purpose of the information and skills they are learning and when they have the opportunity to learn through immediate problem-solving experiences.
Around 70 percent of adult learning experiences are considered “self-directed,” the TEAL Center reported. In other words, for the bulk of their education, adult students take responsibility for their own learning, setting their own goals and developing their own plans to achieve those education goals. They choose how to interact with course content outside the classroom and what resources and learning methods they need to use to get to understand the topic on a level that allows them to put their knowledge into practice in real-world situations.
An adult student can certainly enroll in – and succeed in – an online bachelor’s in accounting degree program that isn’t tailored to teaching nontraditional students. However, if you’re an adult student, you should ask yourself what kind of education you’re looking for before you make your college choice. If you can see yourself getting bored with lectures and notes to memorize and would learn better through active problem-solving, you may find it worthwhile to seek out an online bachelor’s in accounting degree program that focuses on nontraditional students and implements methods of teaching adults.