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Breaking Tradition and Finding Success

Jan 30, 12:42 pm
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UNLV Graduation

The college journey of a “typical” UNLV Rebel is ever-evolving and more complex. The average age of UNLV students is creeping upward; 25% of undergraduates are 25 or older, and 48% of graduate students are 30 or older. Nearly one-third of UNLV students are enrolled part time. When you examine these statistics together, it is clear that many UNLV Rebels do not fit the stereotype of a traditional college student.

Community2Campus, a unit of the Division of Educational Outreach, serves as a key campus resource for students who do not fit the conventional mold—in particular those students who have experienced a gap in their educational timeline and are returning as adult learners to complete their degrees.

Not surprisingly, money is often a barrier for adult learners returning to college. Community2Campus scholarships will bring the goal of completing a degree closer for 23 spring 2013 scholarship recipients. Over $20,000 will support adult learners who had an interruption in their education before returning to UNLV. 

The newest scholarship, the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees Reentry Scholarship, provides funds to students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree and had an interruption of five or more years in their educational studies.

One student who received this scholarship had always desired to obtain a civil engineering degree. While attending community college she discovered a passion for designing and building on a grand scale—buildings, bridges, and roads all intrigued her. Financial obstacles blocked her path to an engineering degree, however, and she found employment in construction. After working as a field engineer and loving it, the recession hit.

College still beckoned. She relocated to Nevada and, while establishing the one-year residency requirement for in-state tuition, she joined the United State Army National Guard. She shared, “within a year of joining the Army and completing basic training, I was deployed to Iraq as a geospatial analyst specializing in mapping, route analysis, and intelligence. In fact, I was still in Iraq when I received my acceptance letter to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.”

This recipient of the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees Reentry Scholarship is now a full time civil engineering student at UNLV. She reflected, “I’m working harder than ever to do well in class because I’ve struggled so much to become a university student. I don’t just want to graduate, I want to graduate with honors, join clubs, participate in college life, and make contacts that I’ll have for life.”

This is just one example of the high-caliber students who receive financial assistance through Community2Campus scholarships. Adult learners are tremendous assets in the academic setting. They bring real world experience, drive, and focus to their work. Community2Campus is proud to support these non-traditional Rebels on their road to success.

To learn more about the Community2Campus scholarships, contact Liz Baldizan, Executive Director, at elizabeth.baldizan@unlv.edu. Applications for 2013-2014 academic year scholarships are due April 12. For eligibility guidelines and application forms, visit http://edoutreach.unlv.edu/community2campus.

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