SCC Helps Non-traditional Student Graduate and Transfer
Community colleges transfer students make up 49 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in the U.S.. They are also one of the only accessible pathways to education for a non-traditional student to earn a degree or transfer to a four-year university.
A report by the Pell Institute found that more than 70% of nontraditional students with dependents attend community colleges. This is because community colleges offer low-cost tuition, flexible scheduling, and more hybrid and online course options.
These benefits offered by Somerset Community College allowed Lakyn Collins to advance her education as a non-traditional student and a full-time mom.
The faculty and staff at her community college helped Collins find her passions and excel in her academics. SCC also allowed Collins to transfer to the University of Kentucky on a full-tuition Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarship.
Collins began by taking one class at a time to help her manage her course work and family responsibilities. In the beginning, she was unsure where SCC would take her. However, as time went on, she realized how well she fit at SCC despite being a non-traditional student.
“I tried to fully immerse myself in the college experience and found that, like myself, many people struggle to find their place when returning to school after children,” Collins said.
However, SCC faculty and staff were there to help Collins as she balanced her education and her family.
While enrolled at Somerset, Collins received guidance from her professors and career coaches who helped her gain career exposure and experience through volunteer programs. These programs helped her realize her passion for social work.
“After working with my teachers and career coaches at SCC, who helped me find volunteer programs and experience in different fields,” Collins said. “I quickly became infatuated with Kentucky’s welfare system and programs offered to help people like me who want better for themselves.”
Her first-generation club advisor at SCC also helped Collins connect with a University of Kentucky recruiters at a transfer fair. Her recruiter helped her navigate the online social work program at the university. She was also connected with the scholarships and financial aid offices.
“I had never dreamed I could attend a college like the University of Kentucky,” Collins said. “But there I was: sold.”
Collins credits the support she received at SCC for her success in her transfer journey.
“My advice to other students: Trust your journey,” Collins said. “Community college will give you a family [and] support system.”
Collins time at SCC changed her the way she viewed her educational journey and motivated her to continue her schooling.
Without attending community college first, Collins may have found herself, like many non-traditional students, unable to enroll in a four-year university.