Author Archive for Jason

When I was your age…

Jason SchiltzJason Schiltz, 38, is a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies Organizational Administration student from Appleton, Wis. Schiltz was inspired to go back to college in 2009 by his wife, who also completed a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies in Organizational Administration from UW Oshkosh. Schiltz said he also hopes to motivate his three young children to continue their education.

Humans have a basic need to be accepted. For you psychology majors and buffs, you know this quite well. Many of us nontrads might try to dismiss this need, but the fact remains; deep down, we all want to fit in. It can be argued that fitting in as a non-trad may be easier the younger you are, but I would like to point out just three rules you must abide, to fit in no matter what your age.
First and foremost, you have to accept that you are NOT an 18-year-old freshman. No matter how you dress, how you talk, or how you walk; you are…different. Your classmates have noticed, your professor has noticed, and you know it; accept it. Once you have accepted that you are not the same, you begin to develop the ability to fit in…better. You will surely be better accepted.

My second point ties very closely with my first, in that you recognize that you are different. This recognition means that you have to make a conscious effort to leave your VAAAAST experience at the door. You are, most likely, in this class to learn. Your thoughts are not any more valuable to the student body of this course than the 19-year-old sophomore that you sit next to, and the professor does not need you to expound on his or her every analogy with your own words and personal experience. Now you have to realize, I am not trying to tell you that nontrads are to be seen and not heard; but take care in what you say and how much you say it. If you are in a classroom of traditional students, allow the professor to teach and allow yourself (and your classmates) to learn.

Finally, you have to recognize when to forget rule number one. You aren’t an 18-year-old student; you might have children as old as the students sitting next to; but you are in college. You are here to learn and to have a bit of fun (more so if you think learning is fun). Go with it. Forget you’re older. Realize your classmates are adults and can handle a conversation with another adult…maybe even lunch. In the end, to fit in and be accepted, the nontraditional student needs to accept the traditional student and forget his or her differences.

Where does the time go?

Jason SchiltzJason Schiltz, 38, is a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies Organizational Administration student from Appleton, Wis. Schiltz was inspired to go back to college in 2009 by his wife, who also completed a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies in Organizational Administration from UW Oshkosh. Schiltz said he also hopes to motivate his three young children to continue their education.

Last semester I enrolled in Psychology 101. I absolutely loved the class, and I highly recommend it, whether it is required for your degree or not.

There is one nuance that I was not entirely prepared for, though; I was required to participate in four credits worth of studies—psych studies. Now these studies could vary from memory studies to eating habits, but each study had specific requirements students had to meet to participate.

Requirements could be as simple as being a student or as specific as being a certain gender between the ages of 18 and 25. My professor announced the study requirement at the beginning of the course, making it abundantly clear that if you did not participate in four credits worth of studies you would fail. If you had a perfect 100 percent on all four exams and only three study credits, you failed…cut and dry.

I reviewed the available studies, on occasion, never really finding anything that interested my discerning palette. About four weeks from the end of semester, I began paying a little more attention to what studies were available, but nothing appealed to me. The following week I began to panic, I couldn’t find a study that I qualified for. It didn’t matter what the studies were about, I just wanted to get my four credits in.

Two weeks out and one popped up that I would get three credits for; I signed up immediately. For the fourth and final credit, I would have volunteered for just about anything, and there was nothing I could find. By the end of that week, one study appeared for two credits; one study – two credits – one timeslot, and it was mine! I assure you, there are very few times in my life that I felt such relief.

There are a plethora of details and even more excuses I could provide in this little story, but the point of this semi-coherent blathering is don’t wait. Plan ahead, get your work done and put the stress behind you.

Nontrads have enough stressors already, don’t add to them. If you have difficulty planning and you need help, PLEASE, ask someone…ask me (I can tell you what not to do, most assuredly), ask one of the beautiful people we call academic advisers, or ask your professor/instructor. Just ask somebody. As nontrads, our time is not always OUR time and little things can become big problems for your academic career.

Best Laid Plans

Jason SchiltzJason Schiltz, 38, is a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies Organizational Administration student from Appleton, Wis. Schiltz was inspired to go back to college in 2009 by his wife, who also completed a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies in Organizational Administration from UW Oshkosh. Schiltz said he also hopes to motivate his three young children to continue their education.

Things do not always go as we plan. Things change. Life happens. One day we are at the top and the next at the bottom. One day we have the perfect plan, the next day we are back at the drawing board. We have to adapt to life, bend, go with the flow, and move out of the way of things, entirely.

Perhaps Robert Burns said it best in his 1785 poem, “To a Mouse,” on turning her up in her nest with the plough, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” Even the best plans change or fall apart.

It was 2009 when I began attending UW Oshkosh through the CNL program. I began working on my Organizational Administration degree as a half-time student.

My first class, Managing People in the Workplace, was a hybrid course, so I attended class at UW Fox Valley once a week. It was a fateful first class…I began attending school to ‘move up’ in the company which I had been loyal to for over ten years.

I left the aforementioned company about two years after returning to school. I received a rather lucrative offer from another firm, and I could not refuse the opportunity. The company hired me for my experience, expertise, and my continuing education, but things do not always go the way we plan, hope or think.

It was Friday morning (11:58 to be exact), and I was preparing to go to lunch when my phone rang. The call came from Human Resources. After three months and a brief discussion with HR, I found I was not a good fit for the company I left a 13-year career for.

I spent a few months looking for a new job…trying to avoid similar lines of work that led to my unemployment. With the help of a friend and mentor, I was able to narrow down what I enjoyed, and was truly passionate about in my previous careers: helping, training and teaching.

I then thought back to all the help and guidance I received from the LLCE adult student resources team, my academic adviser and career services, and decided, “This is what I want to do.”

I want to help people that find themselves in situations similar to mine. I want to help people find their passion, find what they want to do, and teach them how to do it. With the support of my wife (and financial aid), I decided to go back to school full-time on-campus, further accelerate my education and begin the pursuit of a career in adult education.  This was my plan…

Jason Schiltz


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