OUS offers adult students ‘New Direction’

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

College can be a frightening prospect for those returning to schooling after a long absence, but Ohio University Southern is offering a new program to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

"New Direction" is a program that allows adult students who may have been away from education for a while to take their first semester classes with people whose age might be closer to their own, allowing them to be acclimated to college at their own pace.

"I don't know what I would have done without it. Where I've been out of school so long, they help you step-by-step," said Joann Massie, a Franklin Furnace resident who has been in the program for two years. "They teach you as you go along. I can do almost everything by myself now."

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Massie has two years left before she can begin her career in primary education.

The program also offers practical advice on preparing schedules, tutoring and financial aid. It offers a regimen of classes in math, public speaking, computer basics and even the base information needed to be a college freshman.

"That really deals with returning to school, redeveloping study habits, time management and those kinds of things," program overseer Mary Ann Wymer said.

The classes were chosen to apply to as many different majors as possible. Adult students who receive financial aid will have to enroll in more hours of education to be able to qualify as a "full-time student."

Irontonian Gina Hankins was 37 when she entered the office of Career Services, not knowing if she wanted to enroll and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Hankins said that Lisa Cantrell, one of the program overseers, convinced her of her potential and had her enrolled that day.

"I don't think I would have done it had I not been through the New Direction program because it lead me every step of the way," Hankins said. "Any problem I had, they helped me right through it.

"I felt very overwhelmed, going in there being as old as I was, but they're very encouraging."

Hankins has one more year of schooling and hopes to begin her student teaching in the coming months.

Adults interested in enrolling in the program can contact Cantrell at (740) 533-4543 or Wymer at (740) 533-4596.