Program helping non-traditional students

The Mosley’s have a busy schedule. Waking up at around 5:30 a.m. on most mornings, Michael and his wife Amy attend NKU as full-time students and raise their 5-year-old son Mason, all while both working full-time jobs as underwriting assistants outside of the university.

Fortunately, Amy and Michael Mosley have both enrolled in the PACE program at NKU, an evening adult accelerated program which aims to help non traditional full-time students complete their bachelor’s degree without prior college work, said Debbie Poweleit, associate director of Educational Outreach.

The students in the PACE program have a lot more responsibilities to worry about, said Michael Mosley, organizational leadership major, compared to more traditional students.

“Your days are a lot longer,” Michael said.

“I don’t want to be where I’m at,” Michael said. There are other jobs in insurance other than being an underwriting assistant, like a claims adjuster, that he would like to pursue after getting a college education, Michael said.

The Mosley’s go to work, then head home and prepare for their classes in the evening. Their classes are all located in Campbell Hall and each class lasts until 9 or 9:30 p.m, after which they spend time working on their homework, according to Amy, a business management major at NKU.

“When one of us is awake, one will do school work, while the other takes care of Mason,” Amy said. “We know there are late nights and we are committed to that.”

The PACE professors understand that the students have busy lives in addition to the expected academic challenges of college.

“If you miss an assignment, they are more lenient,” Michael said.  “Whereas if you were a traditional student, they’re going to assume you blew it off, like if you were partying.”

According to Michael, the PACE program professors are aware of the multiple obligations that the students might be juggling and they know that the adults are not there to waste time; they are there to better their lives.

“It’s a very sequential program, but it does have flexibility,” Poweleit said.

“If you’re serious about doing it, this is it. They put your calendar down and this is when you’re going to graduate,” Michael said. “If you follow that schedule, you will do that.”

According to Amy, there are other universities that don’t have an adult program that is structured like the one at Northern Kentucky University.

“The focus is more on the student, they want you to graduate,” Michael said. “They want you to get your degree and do what you want to do.”

The Mosley’s aren’t all work and school.

Every Friday night they have a “family fun night.”

During these attempts to find a balance between work, school and family life, the Mosley’s make an effort to spend quality time together on nights they do not have class. The family goes bowling, goes to arcades or watches movies both at home and at the theater.

“Friday is family night where we can all sit down together and not worry about what we have going on,” Amy said.

They key to juggling everything alongside school, is to be organized and have a schedule, according to Amy.

Check out the NKU website for information about the PACE program.