Over the past twenty years, colleges have seen the extended growth of what we call the Non-Traditional college student on their campuses. By tradition, we think of a college student as someone between the ages of 18 and 23. The traditional college student starts their college education after graduating high school. Our society tells us that this is what is expected of us and what is considered normal. Non-Traditional college students are sometimes considered someone that is old, or someone that has been out of school for a extended period of time. They could be a single mom returning to school, a displaced worker who may have lost their job. In some ways you could say that a Non-Traditional college student could be viewed as a minority in our colleges.
In the following paragraphs of this paper you will see how I have used similar characteristics that you will find in a book called â€œClaiming Disabilityâ€ by Simi Linton. Simi Linton is a disability rights scholar, a professor of psychology in the Division of Education at Hunter College, and a consultant on disability issues to arts organizations, museums, and film, theater, and television producers. In this paper you will find how I used a section of Lintonâ€™s book as a reference on how language is used toward Non-Traditional students and how we see them in our society. .
When we see the word non in Non-Traditional, we think of it as a negative or abnormal. Non-Traditional students can sometimes be looked upon as different or strange because of the classes to be taken to earn a degree. For example you may not ever see a Non-Traditional student taking a course in gymnastics (a course that is needed to complete a physical education degree) because of the physical ability to do certain things in the class. A much younger student or what we would consider the Traditional student would be perceived as ok for taking this class even if their physical ability would not let them do it.