The Non Traditional Experience at Ohio State Mansfield

Written by Jason Spoon with Megan Bailey and Mindy McKenzie

The Ohio State University at Mansfield has always embraced its non-traditional students. Rochelle Jones and Heather Miller are testaments to that endeavor.

One of 15 children, Rochelle grew up poor and had little reason to hope for a college education.  Still, she refused to give up. A year ago, she enrolled at Ohio State Mansfield. Now 25, her life as a nontraditional student isn’t easy, but she is determined to make it work.  Working 24 hours a week along with a nearly full-time class load, Rochelle admits that the experience has been “beyond difficult,” but she credits the help she’s received from the regional campus for her success.

Rochelle is appreciative of the support she’s received. Whether it was a History Professor granting her extra time for an exam or an advisor keeping her grounded amid chaos, Rochelle has learned first-hand what it means to be embraced by a caring campus.  “You can talk to professors like they’re people,” she says.  And she’s not alone in her praise.

Heather Miller is 32, has four children, works 30 hours per week, and is taking six classes this semester at Ohio State Mansfield.  For Heather, the timing of her classes has proven particularly accommodating, and she says she was “truly surprised” to learn how many evening classes were offered.   As the mother of young children, she appreciates attending a flexible university and realizes that such flexibility makes pursuing her Social Work degree possible.  Still, she finds there’s more to support than simplified scheduling of classes.

While attending the Mansfield campus, Heather has benefited from caring faculty and staff.  Whenever her children are sick, the choice between caring for them and attending class is easy; fortunately for Heather, she is part of a campus community that wants nothing more than to see its students succeed.  Rochelle Jones can relate.

For both Heather and Rochelle, Ohio State Mansfield serves as a supportive partner in their future successes.  And while neither would be where she is without a strong work ethic, they would also not be here without the help of The Ohio State University at Mansfield.