November 03, 2010

SIUC to celebrate ‘Non-Trad Week’ Nov. 7-13

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is home to thousands of non-traditional students and a week of special activities Nov. 7-13 celebrates and recognizes them.

At SIUC, non-traditional students include parents, whether single or married, those who have delayed entrance to college or are returning to college, those working full-time, veterans, those with a GED, and many others. In fact, more than 4,000 current SIUC students characterize themselves as non-traditional students, according to Natasha L. Aldrich, program coordinator for the Saluki Single Parent Program. That group includes more than 200 single parents, she said.

“National Non-Traditional Student Recognition Week is a series of events meant to inform the University community about the challenges non-traditional students face while celebrating the accomplishments of these students at the same time. Often called Non-Trad Week, for short, the event used to be celebrated in February but has now moved to November. The Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education advocated for national recognition of this event in order to draw greater attention to non-traditional student issues. I am honored to be participating in the first such celebration at SIUC in approximately 10 years,” said Kristian Alton, graduate assistant for Non-Traditional Student Services.

During Non-Traditional Student Recognition Week, you can find out more about the programs and services SIUC offers and have a chance to meet and get to know other non-traditional students. A free dinner and fun night kicks things off Saturday and it all wraps up with a tailgate prior to the Saluki football game on Nov. 13. In between, there will be a trivia contest, a family dessert potluck, a reception and more.

Among the highlights will be a panel discussion focusing on “What is a Non-Traditional Student?” on Nov. 8. Everyone is welcome at the talk.

“I’m really excited about this event. The panel discussion will provide a lot of insight for faculty, staff and other students about the issues non-traditional students face on a daily basis,” Aldrich said.

The schedule for Student Development’s National Non-Traditional Student Recognition Week celebration at SIUC includes:

Sunday, Nov. 7

• Kick-off celebration, 5-7 p.m., Evergreen Terrace. The Saluki Single Parent Program is hosting this dinner and “Cornucopia of Fun Event.” The family style event offers craft making, a free dinner and the chance to socialize with other.

Monday, Nov. 8

• Panel discussion -- “What is a Non-Traditional Student?” 1-3 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom C. All students, faculty and staff are welcome. Saluki Single Parent Program and Non-Traditional Student Services are the event sponsors and they’ll be serving cookies and milk. Seating is limited.

Tuesday, Nov. 9

• Special display table and membership drive, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Student Center. The Students with Children and Not Your Typical Students registered student organizations will provide information about their groups and sign up new members.

Wednesday, Nov. 10

• Non-Trad Trivia Contest, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Student Center. This is a good chance to learn more about the University’s Non-Traditional Student Services by participating in a trivia competition. Participants with the most correct answers will win bookstore gift certificates.

Thursday, Nov. 11

• Favorite Family Dessert Potluck, 6-7:30 p.m., Evergreen Terrace, activity room. Open to all student families, this Family Housing and Non-Traditional Student Services event is a chance to get acquainted with others. Bring a favorite family dessert to share.

Friday, Nov. 12

• “Non-Trads Rock!” reception 6-8 p.m., Student Center, Old Main Lounge. Non-Traditional Student Services invites all students, faculty and staff to the event. The Pinnacle Honor Society induction is at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 13

• Celebrating Student Veterans Tailgate, 9 a.m. until Saluki football game kick-off. Stop by the student tailgate area in Lot 56 and join in celebrating and honoring student heroes.

For more information abut the Saluki Single Parent Program or Non-Traditional Student Services, contact Aldrich at 618/453-1380 or by e-mail at Or, visit the websites at or