Five reasons why adult learners succeed at Rider University

Rider’s College of Continuing Studies tailors its services to adult students

As a mother of four, Adrienne Green had to make tough choices when it came to her own education. After earning an associate’s degree, she chose to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Nursing through Rider’s College of Continuing Studies (CCS). The University’s generous credit transfer policy has allowed Green to work toward her bachelor’s, saving her time and money in her pursuit of a new career that promised to fundamentally change her life.

"I was able to earn credits from prior experience related to my degree by utilizing my role as a caregiver, advocate and mother to a daughter with rare undiagnosed diseases,” Green says. “Being able to complete a unique and personally tailored assignment to earn credits toward advancing my degree is one of the amazing ways Rider University offers its students paths to make it to graduation.”

Green, a registered nurse at Matheny Medical and Educational Center, a facility for special needs children who are medically fragile and have complex health issues, is one of hundreds of adult students Rider supports and nurtures through their unique life situations to achieve their dreams. Green intends to pursue her master’s and doctorate with aspirations of working in a neonatal or pediatric intensive care unit or pediatric oncology.

Of the many reasons Rider helps support adult students, these are five of the most important:

1) Special tuition rates and scholarships are available exclusively to adult students. Rider offers adult students special per-credit rates that make continuing their education affordable. Adult students are also eligible to take advantage of exclusive scholarships offers. Many adult students receive tuition benefits from their employer to achieve their academic pursuits.

“It’s been because of scholarships and support like the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation put into place here that I’ve been able to continue to seek empowerment through my education.”

-Asia Panzino ’17, who earned a bachelor’s in psychology from Rider and is now pursuing a master’s in clinical mental health counseling at Rider

2) Rider’s programs fit the needs and situations of adult students, with flexible and convenient class options that accommodate busy schedules and provide an ideal way to balance work, family, friends and academics. Classes are offered day or night, both on campus or online and throughout the year, including a January term and summer sessions. Some students earn their degree without ever stepping foot on campus.

“I elected to take some summer classes online to maintain a full schedule during the entire calendar year. This allowed me to complete my degree a year faster. The online summer classes were not as intimidating as I thought they would be. I believe the participation in the online class was higher and they actually gave me lots of insight into other people’s way of thinking. I would definitely take another online class in the future.”

-Shawn McBride ’18, a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps who earned her bachelor’s in business administration in human resource management

3) Rider offers a generous credit transfer policy with a no-obligation credit evaluation. The University may accept up to 72 credits from two-year institutions and 90 credits from four-year institutions. Students may also leverage their work experience to receive college credit through Prior Learning Experience (PLA), CLEP® and language tests.

“I met with an adviser to evaluate my community college transcripts and all of my credits were accepted. This allowed me to accelerate earning my business degree.”

-Corey Hartpence ‘16, financial analyst at Johnson & Johnson, who earned his bachelor’s in business administration in finance and international management

“Because of my experience on the road touring, I was able to complete most of the credits in my major through the PLA and CLEP exams. I was able to pick up where I left off and earn my degree in a short amount of time.”

-Rich Scannella '18, rock 'n' roll drummer, who earned his bachelor’s in popular music studies

4) Student support services are available to help adult learners succeed and academic advisers stay with them every step of the way, from the day they begin classes to the day they walk in Commencement. Strong relationships with faculty and staff also make it easy to ask for help whether learning on campus or online.

“Dr. Harris is definitely one of those 'great' teachers. I feel I have grown exponentially under her influence and she had made my experience here at Rider even more fulfilling that it already was.”

- Rebecca Foulks ‘17, content writer at The Odyssey and master's candidate in library science, who earned a bachelor's in liberal studies in humanities with a double minor in English and sociology

“They have helped me with coursework and registering for classes and have overall welcomed me to Rider with open arms. As a transfer student, I have been really impressed with the College of Continuing Studies."

-Patrick Schultz, who is earning a bachelor’s in liberal studies

5. Rider supports students from all walks of life and understands each unique circumstance. Advisers and professors are helpful and accommodating of every student’s situation, whether they are a transfer student, international student, single parent or full-time employee. Rider is also a proud Yellow Ribbon School, supporting former members of the Armed Forces and their dependents as they advance their education.

“As an English as a Second Language student, it is important to me to have a small class sizes and approachable professors. Rider University has an intimate environment that makes me feel comfortable. The professors do anything to help and motivate the students to work to their best potential and achieve academic success.”

-Dilek Bond ‘18, military spouse and mother of special needs children, who earned a bachelor's in psychology

"Rider University has a prestigious business program that any student would love to be a part of. It's also on a great campus with a wonderful veteran program."

-Jonathan Jones, student veteran, who is earning a bachelor’s in business administration in computer information systems

"As an international student, I feel like Rider was a place where my diversity wasn't just accepted but appreciated. I had a great experience with CCS! I was welcomed by happy people, all eager to help and my issues were solved promptly."

-Laura Fernandez, international student, who is earning her bachelor's in psychology