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Nontraditional Students Association

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Meeting Minutes - January 26, 2009

11AM Room 120, Memorial Union


Kathleen O’Connell, President
Barbara Denaro, Vice President
Lisa Chapman, Secretary/Treasurer
Barbara Smith, Advisor
Jeffrey Weinberger
Kate O’Neil

Old Business
1. Update on Family Movie & Pizza Night
We received the $250 funding for the pizza from the Student Government. This event will be held Feb. 5 beginning at 5PM. The movie will be Madagascar II.
2. Update on NSA Web Site
This Web site now contains our list of accomplishments and the minutes of our meetings. I forgot to mention this at the meeting, but we also have a counter on the page, so we can know how many times these pages are accessed.
New Business
3. Yearly Request for Funding Form
This was tabled until the next meeting.
4. Information Flyer for NSA
Kat passed around a proposed flyer for the NSA. This would be put on the tables during the weekly brown bag meeting. It needs more editing, but includes a tear off on the bottom so people can sign up to be on our membership list, mailing list, or subscribed to our FirstClass folder. Though we represent 10% of the undergraduate population, we still need a list of members to include on our yearly club update form to retain our UMaine club status, and this is one strategy for acquiring those names.
5. Recognition of UMaine faculty or staff with regard to non-traditional students
This is an idea we have discussed in the past. This semester, we are going to get it started. Barbara Smith has drafted an announcement to post on FirstClass in which we will inform non-traditional students of the opportunity to nominate a faculty or staff person for this recognition. We are looking for faculty or staff who have shown an understanding of non-traditional student issues or perhaps have redesigned their course to be more appropriate to students of varying ages, responsibilities, and life experiences. We discussed how to select a nominee for recognition and decided to keep it simple for now, perhaps utilizing anyone in the NSA who did not nominate someone, Barbara Smith, and Dean Dana. We plan to ask the recognized person to speak at the breakfast for non-traditional graduates in May and give them a framed certificate. One of our hopes is this venue will foster communication, understanding, and a sharing of ideas between staff, faculty, and the growing segment of non-traditional students.
6. Letter to the Chancellor offering assistance with recruitment
Barbara Denaro and I have spoken over the past two years of ways to encourage other adults who are looking for a change in their lives to realize that college is still an option for them. We’ve spoken of giving talks at area career centers. In light of the recent letters from Chancellor Pattenaude regarding the financial situation and his mention of declining high school graduates and reaching out to working age adults and others, we thought it would be a good time to offer our assistance in that recruitment effort. I and Barbara Denaro will work on drafting that letter.
7. Mentor Program for Non-Traditional Students
Barbara Smith is going to try to set this up as a branch of UMaine’s mentor program, which is geared toward traditional students, so we can fine-tune it toward commuter or non-traditional students. She hopes to have six mentors with a couple of training sessions this semester, and then be able to match them with an incoming student in the fall. These mentors might also be available to give more personalized tours of the campus to inquiring persons who want to know what’s here for someone who isn’t traditional-aged.
8. Informational Flyer for UMaine faculty and staff with regard to non-traditional students
Commuter and Non-Traditional Student Programs (CNTSP) has a partnering with faculty flyer that brings up some issues that faculty might come across with non-traditional students. We would like to do something like this, maybe partnering with CNTSP on an updated flyer, with the idea of promoting understanding and with a focus on how non-traditional students can enrich the classroom and how faculty can tap into that richness.
9. Partnering with the Center on Aging, Continuing Education, and Onward Program
Tabled until next meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 11:45AM. Minutes submitted by Kat O’Connell

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Contact Information

Nontraditional Students Association
A Student Organization of the University of Maine
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469