How To Help Nontraditional College Students Get To Graduation


My college success coaching helps struggling, unmotivated, unprepared students as well as thriving students GET TO GRADUATION with more than a degree. My clients GET TO GRADUATION with assistance in course and activity selection, utilization of campus resources, building a professional network, and developing a solid career plan.


Why am I so passionate about college students and emerging professionals?


I was a first-generation college student. I never enrolled in college prep classes, only took the SAT once, never took the ACT, never attended a college tour, received one $2,000 scholarship that I don’t remember applying for, and had no idea that I could ask for a higher financial aid package. I didn’t have a mentor who could explain college culture. I worked part-time so I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to campus involvement and extra-curricular activities. Adding a little more complication to my college experience was motherhood during my sophomore year. I earned my bachelor’s degree in six years by attending two institutions but not before quitting my federal government job.  I also have years of experience working directly with highly motivated, low-income and first generation college students as well as years of supervision of interns and of recent graduates.


First-generation college students are more likely to:
• Be older than the traditional student
• Have more financial responsibilities
• Be employed while they attend school
• Make important decisions on their own
• Leave college without a degree

As you can see from my story, I have been there and done a lot of that!


My consulting services supports colleges and universities in increasing retention and graduation rates by establishing or strengthening academic and career programs. No longer is the average college student between the ages of 18-22 year-old who lives on campus, attends day classes, and has an active campus life. Nontraditional college students include students who are:

  • Older/Adults
  • Parents (young and old)
  • First generation
  • Former foster youth
  • Active military
  • Undocumented immigrants


The “new” college students bring entirely new issues to campus such as:

  • Financial constraints
  • Lower academic ability
  • Weak advocacy skills
  • Child care needs
  • Need for evening or weekend classes
  • Inability to meet with professors or department heads during traditional work hours
  • Professors who do not fully understand their personal experiences


Naturally, one of my specialty areas includes the development and improvement of programs and services to support nontraditional college students. Although the barriers to graduation may be high, nontraditional students can succeed with assistance from their academic institution. The ultimate goal is college students who become college graduates who become active alumni.


Quality College Education










Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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