CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – For many adults – especially those over 26 – going to college can be a lonely and daunting experience. Their younger classmates don’t always get their pop culture credentials or understand their musical tastes, not to mention struggles to balance parenting and classroom work.
Ashley N. Kautz, ANTS Coordinator
“Research shows that these students have a lot of different needs, there are more hoops they have to jump through,” said Ashley N. Kautz. “Having a space where we can connect them to resources and let them know they are not alone on the journey is necessary.”
Kautz is the coordinator of one such place – the Adult, Non-Traditional, and Transfer Student (ANTS) Center at Austin Peay State University. For the past five years or so, the center has served these students in a small windowless room in the basement of the Morgan University Center. But with 23% of APSU undergraduates classified as adult learners, as well as 25% as transfer students, the ANTS center quickly ran out of space.
This fall, the center will open in a larger office suite on the first floor of the University Center, the newly renovated space offering a computer lab, quiet study area, lactation room, kitchenette with refrigerator, relaxation for socializing and free coffee.
“We have this bigger space, so it’s easier for students to bring their kids,” Kautz said. “We have games, they can use the computers. We can now organize events in our space. We have an Adult Café lunch program where they have lunch with adult students only. We can host that here and make it a community experience. Students can recognize and feel part of the space.
The center also has a Transfer Student Leadership Office, where current transfer students will engage with new transfer students to help them feel comfortable and succeed at Austin Peay.
“Leaders are assigned an incoming transfer student — we try to do this by major — and they will also introduce themselves as a transfer student,” Kautz said. “They will try to connect the new student and help them create a group of friends. Leaders will host programs, have office hours. When the student is blocked, he can contact his transfer managers. »
For more information about the ANTS Center, visit https://www.apsu.edu/student-life/ants/.