Traditional Vs Non-Traditional

Traditional Education.

Traditional ‘On-Campus’, classroom instruction and full-time university study may block the path to higher education for these people. Thanks to the ‘Educational Revolution’ in the mid 1970’s in the United States; ‘non-traditional’ education has created a chance for a chance for these people, regardless of age, to acquire higher education.


There are thousands of people who are hard working, intelligent and have gained invaluable knowledge as skills through various sources other than university education. They contributed a great deal to society; even through they do not have a university degree. And yet, the social and economic advancement of these people has been thwarted in part by the emphasis that is put on the possession of credentials, namely those obtained through a traditional university education.

Traditional Education Non-Traditional Education
Study on-campus Study off-campus
Classroom instruction Various methods of study
Entrance Exams No entrance exams
Standard formula in assessing credit Various methods of assessing credit
Degree based on academic achievement Degree based on Performance skills
Seldom considers credit for life experience and/ or prior learning Usually considers credits for life experience and/or prior learning
Recruitment based on age, previous grades, entrance results etc Recruitment open to any, no limitation.
May have fixed time-table for learning and graduation Flexible time for learning and graduation
Full time study, generally great expense Part-time study, little expense
Courses and programs are fixed Courses and programs are selective
large opportunity costs by giving up full-time jobs Less opportunity costs without giving up full-time job
Large opportunity costs by giving up full-time jobs Less opportunity costs without giving up full time job
Curricula are oriented towards traditional disciplines Curricula reflect individuals needs and goals
Textbooks are most often the learning resource Learning resource are varied and can include tape, cassette TV, newspapers or computers
The learning approach is traditional Many approaches are suitable such as experimental learning action learning and managerial action earning.
Non-traditional education provides an alternative for adults who are seeking further education and degrees without traditional campus requirements. Correspondence study programs with credit applicable toward degrees, and independent study Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral programs are available with little or no residency. It is no longer necessary for the mature adult to leave home, family or employment to further his or her education, or even a degree.

The alternative approach in most instances, allows the individual to exercise more positive control over his or her study program. Many institutions encourage students to participate in the development of their own curriculum or study plan, or invite them to suggest courses, which may best serve their needs.