At Morgan State University (MD), they’re focusing on helping those who’ve taken some college classes but never finished get across the graduation finish line. Some students may not have initially seen the value in a degree while others ran into financial, family or health challenges along the way. Morgan State’s College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies was launched this spring as an independent sector of the institution to help adult student learners who dropped out persist to graduation. It’s open to students from throughout the U.S. who can attend at in-state tuition prices and designed for adults who have other responsibilities, offering flexible online classes, credit for work experience and more.

Adult student learners aren’t unsuccessful, according to Nicholas Vaught, the interim assistant dean for academics and student success in the College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies. “They’re successful because they’ve already earned academic credit,” he said. “That’s already putting them ahead. And so, we just want to provide the flexibility and the support to help them get over the finish line.”

“It’s not enough to have low tuition,” he told The Hechinger Report. “It’s not enough to have courses online. There’s also a support mechanism that a lot of adult learners need.” Part of that support includes students being paired with close advisors who help with academic concerns as well as personal ones, lending moral support. “Sometimes as an adult learner, you just need to get a kind email,” Vaught said. “Especially when you are juggling so many things.” 

Read more about Morgan State’s initiative here.