As Arkansasâ€™s premier metropolitan university, we are committed to responding to the needs of students by integrating campus, community and commerce. UALR serves a different kind of student â€“the non-traditional student- about half of our students are balancing families, careers, community and school. Because of its location in Arkansasâ€™s capital city, the university is also able to put its students in close contact with the stateâ€™s most influential leaders in government, business, industry, medicine and information technology. We are very honored that you chose the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to achieve your educational goals.
Itâ€™s Time For UALR
Welcome to UALR! As Arkansasâ€™s premier metropolitan university, we are committed to responding to the needs of students by integrating campus, community and commerce. UALR serves a different kind of student â€“the non-traditional student- about half of our students are balancing families, careers, community and school. Because of its location in Arkansasâ€™s capital city, the university is also able to put its students in close contact with the stateâ€™s most influential leaders in government, business, industry, medicine and information technology. We are very honored that you chose the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to achieve your educational goals.
So, WHO is a non-traditional student?
If only ONE of these characteristics applies to you, then you are considered by UALR to be a non-traditional student:
â€˘ You delayed enrollment after high school
â€˘ You attend school part time
â€˘ You work full time (25+ hours)
â€˘ You are financially independent for purposes of determining eligibility for financial aid
â€˘ You have dependents other than a spouse
â€˘ You are a single parent
â€˘ You have or still are serving in the military
â€˘ You are a first generation student
Your new UALR family of faculty, staff, and fellow students realize that returning to school as a non-traditional student can be an exciting, daunting and stressful experience-all at once! Families and employers may not always be supportive. Relating to fellow students can be difficult. Confidence, as it relates to schoolwork, may be slow in coming, and focusing on academics amongst family, community, work and financial constraints sometimes may seem impossible.
Sometimes, as a non-traditional student on campus, you may beâ€¦
â€˘ Straining your brain trying to remember all the information you need;
â€˘ feeling stressed about classes;
â€˘ feeling guilty because family responsibilities are going unmet;
â€˘ feeling all alone in the struggle to get a degree;
â€˘ constantly in a state of panic trying to keep it all together;
â€˘ struggling to find enough time to get it all done;
â€˘ wondering if itâ€™s all worth it; and/or
â€˘ needing someone to tell you that your decision to enter college was the right one.
Did you know that at UALR, you canâ€¦
â€˘ Participate in a non-traditional student peer mentoring program to assist you in making the transition to college life?
â€˘ Take a math prep course to brush up on basic math skills before tackling algebra?
â€˘ Receive assistance with writing papers?
â€˘ Test out of an unlimited number of college credit hours?
â€˘ Get help in numerous labs across campus?
The Office of Campus Life Non-Traditional Student Programs created this publication as a supplement to the Student Guide to focus on non-traditional student issues. We understand if your life happened but your education didnâ€™t. Now itâ€™s time for UALR and we are here to help you be successful in reaching your educational goals.
Resources for Non-Traditional Students
Non-Traditional Student Programs
The Non-Traditional Student Programs staff has â€śbeen there, done thatâ€ť and is available to assist you from registration through graduation. We can:
â€˘ Help you with the admission and registration process
â€˘ Provide information regarding campus resources, services and opportunities
â€˘ Offer an ongoing system of support and encouragement
â€˘ Refer you to the appropriate staff or faculty
NTSP Peer Tutoring
Itâ€™s common to feel overwhelmed by a new learning environment. You have made a big commitment of both your time and finances to enhance your future. It makes sense to protect that investment and ensure your success by seeking academic support. If you find yourself struggling, get help from a peer tutor.
A peer tutor will:
â€˘ review and clarify classroom instruction
â€˘ provide a student perspective on learning and classroom success
â€˘ personalize the learning process for you
â€˘ increase your self-confidence and motivation
â€˘ promote independence in learning
NTSP Peer Mentoring
The NTSP Peer Mentoring Program pairs a current non-traditional student with a new or returning non-traditional student for the purpose of providing one-on-one assistance during their transition to the academic environment. Peer mentors draw from their own experience to offer encouragement and support to their mentees and provide a connection to our university. Mentors offer insight, knowledge, perspective and encouragement to their mentees. A mentor can impact the menteeâ€™s level of self-confidence, chances for academic success, and perhaps even whether he or she stays in school. Being a mentor is easy â€“ sometimes it only requires a few brief contacts to help make a huge impact on another studentâ€™s life.
Benefits of Being a Peer Mentor
â€˘ The satisfaction of passing along a legacy of knowledge, insight and experience.
â€˘ Enhancing oneâ€™s own leadership skills.
â€˘ Improved understanding about how others view the world.
â€˘ Enhanced self-esteem and respect that comes from working with and helping a fellow classmate.
â€˘ The satisfaction of making a difference in someoneâ€™s life.
Do you have what it takes to be a successful mentor?
â€˘ Do you enjoy being with and interacting with others?
â€˘ Would others describe you as good at talking and listening to them?
â€˘ Do you have a in-depth knowledge of your college/program?
â€˘ Are you willing to help others be successful in reaching their educational goals?
â€˘ Can you encourage and be patient?
â€˘ Are you willing to share your experiences as a non-traditional student?
Non-Traditional Student Organization (NTSO)
Mission: The mission of the NTSO is to provide a campus-based community dedicated to the academic and professional development of non-traditional students while fostering academic, social and emotional support.
The organization will:
â€˘ Encourage returning non-traditional students to become an effective integral part of the UALR community.
â€˘ Provide a welcoming environment for non-traditional students with various educational goals and to ensure that our collective voices are heard as non-traditional students.
â€˘ Participate, collaborate and host a variety of social events that are family friendly.
â€˘ Serve as an educational resource for the non-traditional student who may need assistance navigating academia.
Academic Enhancement â€˘ Personal/Professional Growth
Leadership Skills â€˘ Communication Skills
Career Development â€˘ Self-Confidence
Scholarship Incentives â€˘ Community Service
Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society
Alpha Sigma Lambda recognizes the special achievements of non-traditional students who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work. The society was established at Northwestern University in Illinois in 1945-46, and presently has over 200 institutional chapters within the United States. Since receiving its charter in the spring of 1995, the Kappa Nu Chapter at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has inducted over 700 non-traditional students into Alpha Sigma Lambda.
A student must satisfy the following criteria for election to membership:
â€˘ A student must be enrolled in an undergraduate program at UALR and have a minimum of 24 graded semester hours earned here.
â€˘ At least 12 of a studentâ€™s total credits should be earned in the Liberal Arts/Sciences.
â€˘ Members shall be selected from the highest twenty percent of her/his represented classes (with a minimum GPA of 3.2).
â€˘ A student must be 25 years old or older.
Students who meet the criteria will receive a letter inviting them to apply for membership in March.
If you are interested in either being a peer tutor, hiring a peer tutor, or other services please contact the Non-Traditional Student Programs Coordinator in the Office of Campus Life at 501.569.3308 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Itâ€™s Time for Self-Discovery
Exercise is one of the best stress relievers. And walking can be like meditation in motion. Itâ€™s also free and easily accessible on the UALR campus. Plan ahead to park in a distant lot and use the walk to improve your circulation and your attitude. Do not concentrate on problems or your studies; walk and enjoy it. If you prefer an indoor walking track, visit the DSC Fitness Center. Organized exercise classes are also offered in the DSC each semester. Listen for warnings of stress-build-up and keep moving.
Face Your Fears & Live Your Dreams
Naming something, anything, takes some of the power out of it. What exactly are you worried about? What is the worst thing that might happen? And what would happen after that? Most of the time, it is something you can live with. Write down your worries, make a list. Putting them down on paper and getting them out of your head will help you to see that they are not as bad as you feared. Listen to your dreams and donâ€™t give in to fear.
People Are Not Watching You, Really
Do not obsess over what people might think about you. Chances are that they are not thinking about you at all. Studies have proven that people are only concerned with themselves. This egocentrism means that they probably donâ€™t take time to notice your age, your hair, your book bag, or you as much as you think. Listen to the psychologist and trust that you are not the focus of everyone on campus.
Listen to Your Intuition
When you just know something, without evidence or reason, it might be considered intuition. When you make a decision based on rationalization but it just feels wrong, it might be intuition warning you that the decision was not the best for you. As you begin your educational journey, try to tune into those hunches and that little voice in your head trying to guide you. Follow your gut and trust your instincts. Listen carefully for hints in the form of confidence, assurance, and relaxation that you are following your intuition.
You Need Goals
Take a minute to think about yourself. This insight will help you to see how you resemble other non-traditional students. Research by Susan Imel has uncovered the following traits:
â€˘ Non-traditional students have lots of life-experience that will serve as a resource for formal education and critical thinking skills.
â€˘ A need to know or do something affects the actions of non-traditional students and helps them excel.
â€˘ Successful non-traditional students are self-directed and able to stay focused.
â€˘ Non-traditional students are self-motivated to learn, to persist, and to stay the course to degree completion.
â€˘ Non-Traditional students realize that learning will serve a purpose and will lead to success. They set goals.
Learn to Manage Your Time
You life is full and managing your time will be critical to your success at UALR. Here are some helpful tips on staying organized while you juggle life and school as a non-traditional student:
â€˘ Pick up and keep a copy of the Pocket Registration Guide each term for a list of important dates.
â€˘ Develop a personal calendar that you can carry with you, like the UALR Life Planner. Mark important dates from the Guide and from each syllabus for your classes. Include not only test dates, but dates when papers are due, project due dates, scheduled readings, mid-term and/or final exams, study days, holidays and scheduled breaks.
â€˘ Next, be sure to enter dates important for your personal well being, social life, and family time. Include birthdays and celebrations, holiday events, and entertainment, as well as exercise and relaxation time.
â€˘ Each week develop a daily schedule that includes routines and important dates.
â€˘ Post this weekly schedule in your study area for referral and review.
â€˘ Mark your progress for a sense of accomplishment by checking or striking through the written entry.
â€˘ Each evening make a list or schedule to help you get ready for the next day. Include regular routines, errands and important appointments.
â€˘ Review your daily schedule first thing in the morning.
â€˘ Be prepared to exercise your flexibility. Plan to stay calm when things donâ€™t go as scheduled.
You Need to Understand Yourself
People can be smart in many different ways. Non-traditional students are no exception. Some will relate to music or arts, while others will relate to business ethics and still others write with ease. This is a time to think about what youâ€™re good at and to figure out the best way to study. While there are many tests today to help with your self-discovery the following list is based on Howard Gardnerâ€™s theory of intelligence. These study tips can help you decide what intelligence type you are and how you will learn best. Other helpful self-analysis tools are available in the UALR Office of Counseling and Career Services, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Word Smart(Linguistic intelligence) Word smart people are good with words, letters, and phrases. They enjoy activities such as reading, playing scrabble or other word games, and having discussions. If youâ€™re word smart, these study strategies can help:
â€˘ make flashcards
â€˘ take extensive notes
â€˘ keep a journal of what you learn.
Number Smart (logical-mathematical intelligence)
Number smart people are good with numbers, equations, and logic. They enjoy coming up with solutions to logical problems and figuring things out. If youâ€™re number smart, give these strategies a try:
â€˘ make your notes into numeric charts and graphs
â€˘ use the Roman numeral style of outlining
â€˘ put information you receive into categories and classifications that you create.
Picture Smart (spatial intelligence) Picture smart people are good with art and design. They enjoy being creative, watching movies, and visiting art museums. Picture smart people can benefit from these study tips:
â€˘ sketch pictures that go along with your notes or in the margins of your textbooks
â€˘ draw a picture on a flashcard for each concept or vocabulary word you study
â€˘ use charts and graphic organizers to keep track of what you learn.
Body Smart (Kinesthetic intelligence) Body smart people work well with their hands. They enjoy physical activity such as exercise, sports, and outdoor work. These study strategies can help body smart people be successful:
â€˘ act out or imagine the concepts you need to remember
â€˘ look for real-life examples that demonstrate what you are learning about
â€˘ search for tools, such as computer programs, that can help you master material.
Music Smart (Musical intelligence) Music smart people are good with rhythms and beats. They enjoy listening to CDs, attending concerts, and creating songs. If youâ€™re music smart, these activities can help you study:
â€˘ create a song or rhyme that will help you remember a concept
â€˘ listen to classical music while you study
â€˘ remember vocabulary words by linking them to similar-sounding words in your mind.
People Smart (Interpersonal intelligence)
Those who are people smart are good with relating to people. They enjoy going to parties, visiting with friends, and sharing what they learn. People smart students should give these strategies a try:
â€˘ discuss what you learn with a friend or family member
â€˘ have someone quiz you before an exam
â€˘ create or join a study group.
Self Smart (Intrapersonal intelligence)
Self smart people are comfortable with themselves. They enjoy being alone to think and reflect. If youâ€™re self smart, try these tips:
â€˘ keep a personal journal about what youâ€™re learning
â€˘ find a place to study where you will not be interrupted
â€˘ keep yourself involved in assignments by individualizing each project.
Itâ€™s Time for Help
The internet delivers a vast resource of not only study guides, but subject specific study guides. These are only a few of the websites that can help you improve your study skills:
â€˘ studygs.net/writing â€˘ academictips.org
â€˘ studytips.org â€˘ careeronestop.org
Online Courses, Discussion and Posts
Taking a web-based or online course is a practical part of being a college student in the 21st century. UALR online courses are designated within the comprehensive online course schedule each term. They will carry the same tuition and fees as on-site classes plus an additional Distance Education Fee. When you register for an online class, the instructor is responsible for opening the BlackBoard course on the first day of class. You are responsible for logging in to the system using your netID and password. Then, you will read posted announcements and email messages from your instructor to guide you through the coursework.
Just as faculty conduct classrooms differently, so too will you experience a wide variety of online styles. Communicate with your instructor in order to make the most of the technology, the flexible use of your time, and your quest for a degree. Be aware that discussion and interaction are a part of the learning process, so most online course instructors at UALR will require that a specific number of discussion messages be posted. Here are some hints (not rules) to help you respond and communicate effectively.
â€˘ Focus on the instructions. Be sure to follow the directions in the instructorâ€™s prompt or syllabus closely.
â€˘ Work to respond with something that adds value to the discussion. Online does not mean easy, and you need to let your instructor know that you take the class seriously.
â€˘ Use emoticons to clarify any use of humor so that your readers understand the spirit of the communication.
â€˘ Treat others with respect even when you disagree.
â€˘ Acknowledge those who respond to you just as you would in a face-to-face conversation.
â€˘ Donâ€™t send â€śMe tooâ€ť or â€śI agreeâ€ť posts; they waste everyoneâ€™s time and donâ€™t contribute to the discussion. Make your posts substantial and communicative.
â€˘ Include the name of the text and page number when using direct quotations from the text.
â€˘ Expand on the original topic.
â€˘ Ask a specific question, but avoid those with yes/no answers.
â€˘ Ask an open-ended question that relates to the current topic.
â€˘ Provide a story that helps to illustrate the main idea.
â€˘ Offer a different perspective to increase discussion from your classmates.
â€˘ Find an online resource relevant to the topic and include a hyperlink .
â€˘ Post early. Youâ€™ll get more response and become more engaged in conversation.
â€˘ Offer a learning method youâ€™ve used or experienced in a different course.
â€˘ Avoid doing all of your posting at the end of the week, term, or topic deadline. You miss out on interaction and cause yourself more work.
â€˘ Provide a summary of the ideas others have posted so far. This kind of recap is good if you have joined the discussion late.
â€˘ Visit ualr.edu/support/blackboard. The Blackboard Student Support website was designed to assist students with information about the Blackboard system including tutorials, helpful resources, downloads, and answers to their frequently asked questions.
Plan ahead and follow the tips found in this Guide to avoid stressing out over your test. Know that a first test with any instructor is always considered the worst, because students arenâ€™t sure what to expect. It will get better. Non-Traditional students are encouraged to visit the Office of Counseling and Career Planning, SSC 119, for assistance with test anxiety. If you attend classes, stay caught up with your assignments, listen to the instructor, take part in discussion, and do the required readings, trust that you will learn and make progress through the course.
Assistance in personal counseling is available to all registered students through the Office of Counseling and Career Planning Services, SSC 119 or call 501.569.3185
Areas of personal counseling include:
â€˘ Short-term therapy dealing with depression, adjustment to college, relationship and stress issues
â€˘ Confidential referrals
A list of community resources for a variety of family related issues and off-campus programs are found online at arkansas.gov/dhs.
If you have young children and need daycare service, visit arkansas.gov/dhs and search for childcare. The University is not affiliated with any childcare centers.
Testing Out of Coursework
Stop by Testing Services in SSC 315 to learn about the Credit by Examination program. The Credit by Examination Program was established so students who have done college-level work outside of the classroom setting can demonstrate their achievement and receive college credit. Any prospective, currently enrolled, or continuing students may take the tests. Credit obtained through examination is recorded as approved hours on the official permanent record.
The Cooperative Education Internship and Placement Office provides qualified students the opportunity to participate in work-integrated learning by gaining relevant work experience and academic credit in paid co-ops or internships. After successfully completing a co-op or internship, upon graduation, a student will be placed in a database for consideration of full time employment. 92% of Co-op graduates indicated that their Co-op experience gave them an advantage in the job market. 100% of Co-op graduates indicated they would advise degree-seeking students to participate in Co-op.
For more information, please contact the Cooperative Education Internship and Placement Office, Ross Hall 417 or call 501.569.3584 or visit ualr.edu/co-op.
The UALR Department of International and Second Languages offers a Language Resource Center for all students currently enrolled in a second language course. Call 501.569. 3272 or visit ualr.edu/languagestudies for more information.
The Communication Skill Center (CSC) in Speech 201 helps take the panic out of public speaking! The CSC is a free campus resource devoted to helping students, faculty and staff with all stages of the speech creation process. Our services include, but are not limited to: managing anxiety, brainstorming topics, conducting research, organizing content, outlining, designing and integrating effective presentational aids, and rehearsing traditionally, as well as via video, with personalized feedback. Visit ualr.edu/speechcomm for more information.
There are two Mathematics Assistance Centers (MAC I & II) that offer help and tutoring in developmental, college level, and online mathematics courses. These services are offered at no charge to all UALR students. Many computers for assignments and homework are available as well as live tutors. Computer software, videotaped tutorials, and other materials keyed to current textbooks are available for most math courses. MAC 1 is located in Dickinson Hall 600 and MAC II is in Earth Sciences 104. MAC I also rents TI-84 graphing calculators for $40 per semester. For more information, call 501.371.7667 or 501.682.8312, or click on Resources at ualr.edu/mathematics.
The University Writing Center (UWC) offers assistance to writers of all skill levels working on any stage of the writing process. Though students are responsible for the creation and content of their papers, staff members can assist with organization, development, clarity, or with revision. In addition to one-to-one assistance with the writing process, electronic programs are available on all computers to assist with outlining, clustering, typing skills, and designated computers are accessible through adaptive technology programs. Two 1-hour academic credit courses are offered for students seeking additional help in a workshop environment.
Appointments are not necessary. The UWC is located in the Student Union B 116. For more information, call 501.569.8343 or visit the University Writing Center online at ualr.edu/writingcenter.
Stress and Your Health
Health Services is an ambulatory clinic providing quality, cost-effective health care for any UALR student who is currently enrolled. A nominal health fee, included in the tuition, covers the cost of clinic visits and most services. Health Services is staffed by RNs, APNs (Advanced Practical Nurses), and a consulting physician. Services provided include:
â€˘ Evaluation and treatment of illnesses with access to prescription medications
â€˘ Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Prevention, Screening & Treatment
â€˘ Womenâ€™s Health Services, including birth control and annual exams
â€˘ Health screenings, including cholesterol, blood pressure, TB testing, & other lab tests
â€˘ Smoking Cessation Programs & Individual Support
â€˘ Classroom presentations on health- related topics
â€˘ Peer Education Program
â€˘ Alcohol/drug information,referrals, and risk reduction programs
Call 501.569.3188 to make an appointment. Appointments are preferred if possible. Health Services is located in the Donaghey Student Center 102.
A lot of departments/organizations/ societies have a newsletter that will keep you informed of events, opportunities, jobs and news related to your field. Check their website or ask your professor/department.
Be sure to check with your college/department or Google your major for professional organizations that you can join as a student member. The benefits of belonging to a professional organization include:
â€˘Your membership shows college professors (whom will be writing your reference letter) and potential employers that you are committed to your career goals.
â€˘It looks great on your resume.
â€˘The organizations professional staff is there to help you.
â€˘Most organizations have a newsletter that you can sign up for to keep informed of the latest news in that field.
â€˘You can get involved and serve on a committee-this is an excellent way to network with people already working in your field.
â€˘Most organizations have partnerships with businesses so you can get discounts on workshops, travel, continuing education classes, business marketing, etcâ€¦
The Academic Calendar contains key dates important to every student, including the registration deadlines, start and end dates of classes, holidays, and exam days. It is approved by the Faculty Senate, subject to change, and published by the Provostâ€™s Office.
View the calendar online.