Bulletin News

Non-traditional Students Tell Their Stories


Although their backgrounds often are wildly different, SUNY Cortland’s approximately 300 non-traditional students all have interesting stories to tell.

Take Corrine Edick, for example. The College’s third recipient since 2010 of an Alpha Sigma Lambda scholarship from the national honor society for non-traditional students decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school in 2009. That eventually brought 18-hour work days for months at a time and an eye-opening tour in South Korea in 2012. Today, at 26, she’s a SUNY Cortland biology major with a 4.03 grade point average, an aspiring physician assistant and the first person in her family to attend college. 

The College defines its non-traditional undergraduate students as those who are at least 24 years old or have had an interruption or delay in their education since high school. They also might have dependent children, regardless of their ages.

Most delayed college for a year or more after high school graduation. Many squeeze in undergraduate classes after full workdays. Usually, they are older — sometimes by decades — than their fellow students on campus.

The College celebrated them Nov. 13 to 17 with Non-Traditional Students Week. In addition to an array of activities, offered through Advisement and Transition, one inspiring non-traditional student was introduced daily to the SUNY Cortland community.

Read their stories:

Nov. 13 - Julia West

Nov. 14 - Thomas Benedict

Nov. 15 - Andrew Siciliano

Nov. 16 - Melissa Garrett

Nov. 17 - Kelly McKenna