Education Specialist (EdS)
Semester of Degree Completion
Paul D. Overton
The woman who wishes to re-enter the worlds of work and education can be effectively assisted by the community college. The open admissions policies and the availability of counseling for community members make the two year college systems unique. They provide access to in-house opportunities in both academic and job oriented areas. Women appear to view them as being less threatening than a four year institution, while retaining the prestige of college.
Women who wish to alter their life-style are often apprehensive about beginning. They may be realistic and effective in making decisions within a familiar milieu, but unsure and in need of reassurance and support as they venture into new territory. Indeed, decision making itself seems to be one of the most common stumbling blocks. The woman who cannot decide what she wants is hardly in a position to select among possible alternatives. For this reason many women begin the process of re-entry by selecting a course or workshop in some intra-personal area. Many times they are disappointed and disheartened to find the content not as they imagined.
Many community colleges provide special opportunities for women in both the affective and cognitive domain. Some women have selected specific goals and directions before they return. This woman is less in need of special attention than the one who knows only that she has unmet needs. The primary focus of this study is therefore within the affective area. It includes a ten week workshop as well as a method for evaluating an existing program.
The workshop provides thirty contact hours over a ten week period, with four possible options during the last four weeks. In an effort to minimize the possibility of losing the participant by failing to meet her needs, the scope has been widened. During the first five weeks the group will remain together and share common experiences such as testing, value identification, strength assessment, and the like. During the sixth week an individual interview will determine the participants’ special needs and concerns; and she will select one or more of four available tracks for the remaining four weeks.
The multiple track approach will offer several advantages. It will allow the woman to change her direction without losing rapport and socialization opportunities developed during the initial weeks; it will consolidate testing and evaluation often covered in more than one classroom experience; and it will not leave the woman who inadvertently enrolled “wrong” affective class or workshop with additional indecision and damaged self-concept.
Benefits will accrue to the community college as well as to the re-entry woman . Re-entry persons of either sex will be increasingly welcomed as the numbers of college age students and veterans diminish. The carefully counseled re-entry woman may remain in the system as a student; she may become an effective role model as a paraprofessional in subsequent workshops; or she might continue her education to professional status. The satisfied participant may indeed be the most effective public relations agent available to the community college systems.
Nettnin, Shirley Jean, "Assisting the Re-Entry Woman: The Role of the Community College" (1978). Masters Theses. 3212.