Adult Learners

Adult Learners

Who is an adult learner?

  • Students who are 24 years of age or older
  • Veterans of the armed services
  • Active-duty service members
  • Those who are returning to school after four or more years of employment, homemaking, or other activity
  • Those who assume multiple adult roles, such as parent, spouse/partner, student, employee

Returning to the classroom

Adult students often enter the college environment feeling anxious and uncertain about their ability to succeed and compete successfully with more traditional students. However, current research says that adult students are typically more successful than younger students becaue of the maturity and experience they bring to the classroom.

Adults are most likely to exhibit high levels of motivation, more specific career goals, and an uncompromising desire to get the best, most effective education possible. Penn State provides a variety of services for adult learners, including a career and personal counselor and the resources offered through the Center for Academic Achievement. There are also clubs and organizations designed to help adult students succeed in college and beyond.

Why become an adult learner?

As an adult learner at Penn State Beaver, you'll have unlimited potential. You can:

  • Seek professional guidance and support along the way.
  • Select from degree, certificate, and non-credit programs.
  • Receive special admissions consideration regarding standardized test scores and high school grade point average (GPA).
  • Interact with a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff from all areas of the country and the world.
  • Accumulate college credits that will transfer to other learning institutions.
  • Earn a Penn State certificate or degree that's known and respected around the world.


Is it OK to take just a few courses?

Yes. You can work towards completing a degree by attending Penn State as a full-time (12 or more credits) student or part-time (6 to 11 credits) student. In addition, you can also enroll in two classes at a time.

Can I complete a degree by taking only night classes?

Penn State Beaver does not guarantee that all courses are available in the evening, but during each semester, a variety of classes are offered at night.