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Today, students entering higher education are diverse and include many students who in previous generations did not attend higher education. Research shows that these non-traditional students (e.g., first generation students, students with disabilities, older students) often feel less prepared for higher education (Reed et al., 2006; Stebleton & Soria, 2012; Zafft, 2008). An option for non-traditional students seeking entry to university or professional programmes is to upgrade their academic skill through college pathway programmes. Regardless of how one might come to higher education, being prepared in higher education involves resourcefulness and resilience. Highly resourceful students use a number of self-management strategies when faced with challenges (Rosenbaum, 1990; Kennett & Keefer, 2006). Akgun and Ciarrochi (2003) showed that while high resourceful and low resourceful students face similar academic stresses, there is a greater impact of that stress on the performance of low resourceful students. Indeed, resourcefulness is predictive of student belief in their academic abilities, university adaptation, and higher grades (Kennett & Keefer 2006; Kennett & Reed 2009). Yet, non-traditional students are frequently less resourceful, less adapted and less able to balance their multiple academic and non-academic roles (Reed & Kennett, 2016; Reed, Kennett, & Emond, 2015). Here, we examine the concept of resourcefulness and resilience in today’s higher education classroom. We argue that, given the diversity of the student population, strategies should be implemented within programs, such as pathways programs, to increase student resourcefulness and resilience as both will have far reaching benefits in higher education and beyond.
Collis, R., & Reed, M. (2016, November 2-6). Non-traditional Students, Non-traditional Teaching: Pathways to Academic Success Include Resourcefulness and Adaptation Skills. Paper presented at the Higher Education in Transition Symposium, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.