Looking to Make a Difference? Consider Going Back to School

An Economic Policy Institute study reports that several notable social differences exist among various ethnic groups in the United States. For instance, Caucasians are more likely to secure employment compared to Native Americans. Also, Asian-Americans are more likely to view clinical depression as a threat to the livelihood and quality of life for their children, while viewing children who perform well in class work as the product of good parenting and most likely to succeed in life.


The report goes on to reveal that more than 16-percent of African-American males were diagnosed during the study, with 17-percent of that population between the ages of 12 and 20 years old reported as consuming alcohol. The Hispanic population also reports a significant number of behavioral health diagnoses, with 15.6-percent of this group revealing a history of mental health issues during the year prior to the study. Another study reveals that discrimination and racism directly contribute to increased levels of unhealthy personal habits, such as alcohol and drug use among the affected population that causes trauma and related behavioral health problems.


Concerned individuals may ask themselves what these populations can do to prevent such bleak outcomes. Education is one solution. Adults who earn degrees enjoy increased job satisfaction and experience fewer difficulties compared to those who bypass educational advancement. Fortunately, research shows an increasing number of adults returning to school. Studying and traveling abroad can even be educational and informative. People are advancing their education with the fast evolution of technology, which is leaving many workers feeling underqualified for substantial employment or any real career advancement in a high tech job market.


Stepping Back Into the Classroom the Right Way


Working adults may find it difficult to pay for an advanced education while maintaining their current household responsibilities. Coming up with a solution for this dilemma may temporarily elude some academic hopefuls. These individuals must figure out how to maintain their jobs, earn a degree and uphold their responsibilities to their families. However, they know that working through this challenge can improve the quality of life for their entire household. Fortunately, today’s students have access to resources that can help with these issues.


Many colleges and universities offer part-time classes and executive learning tracks designed exclusively for working adults. As an example, the institutions may offer learners online classes as well as hybrid courses that combine online and in class sessions. Academic institutions have made significant effort to provide varying learning solutions for adults who wish to return to school. For example, adults who wish to change careers may take on full-time classes, while workers who want to advance at their current firms might take part-time online classes.


Helping Children Advance Their Education


On another educational front, kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers spend an average of $1,000 on school supplies for their students. Despite this, annual teacher stipends are the first budget cuts that school boards turn to when attempting to make up for yearly cash flow shortages. This presents an opportunity for concerned citizens and individuals that advocate for the education of children to make a difference.


An easy way that charitable citizens can help is to buy the same school supplies that they buy for their own children and donate them to a local teacher. The teacher will make sure that the supplies find their way to a child in need of school supplies. Concerned parents and citizens can also make a difference by donating to the Office Depot National Backpack Program. Another organization that helps disadvantaged children is The International Rescue Committee, which helps refugee children just entering the United States educational system. The organization also performs other charitable acts.


Parents and child education advocates who wish to help can also contact their local school board to find out how to donate or volunteer time. Even the smallest gestures make a big difference in helping children who are in need make their way through the school system successfully.


As for adults who are thinking about returning to school, pursing an advanced degree is a brave and wise decision. Non-traditional students, or adult learners over the age of 25, may worry about attending classes with younger students or how to manage their personal lives.


For many, attending a college or university may represent their first time pursuing higher learning or thinking about changing careers. Many adults who return to school share these kinds of sentiments. Despite these concerns, 8.1 million courageous non-traditional students enrolled in United States universities in the year 2015 alone. For these students, enrolling in class was not about earning a title or a diploma. Earning a degree meant the possibility of career advancement, a higher income and a better quality of life.



Bradley University Online Master of Arts in Counseling

Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Economic Policy Institute

Fast Company

Study Abroad Resources

Huffington Post

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