Angela Scionti

Equinox Staff


Rushing out of the door for an 8 a.m. class might be a struggle for some, but imagine waking up an extra hour early, then driving 30 minutes just to get to class and repeat that process every weekday. It may not be typical for most students at Keene State College, but it certainly is a reality for some here at school.

On March 6, Director of Institutional Research Dr. Cathy Turrentine presented the results of the Campus Climate Survey conducted in the fall of 2011 in the L.P. Young Student Center’s Mountain View Room.

On this day, the discussion focused on commuter and non-traditional students in the KSC community.

emma contic / graphics editor

emma contic / graphics editor

The majority of the attendees consisted  of KSC staff and non-traditional students.

Once the audience settled, Turrentine presented a slideshow on her findings.  In the Campus Climate Survey Summary it stated, “Each of these detailed findings offers an opportunity for members of the Keene State [College] community to take personal steps to improve the campus climate.”

To create a more up-to-date understanding of the growing non-traditional student college community, the 2012 Fall Enrollment Summary depicted that 656 students over the age of 35 were enrolled last semester.

Of the amount of transfer students who were admitted last semester, 62 percent of them were over the age of 20.

When it came to the satisfaction of non-traditional students some of the statistics were negative.

Only  48 percent of commuter students felt “that KSC provides a supportive environment.”

Dottie Morris, KSC professor and event facilitator, explained what she has heard from commuter students as the two most frustrating problems that they face.

“One of things that Cathy Turrentine reported in her findings was the whole idea of parking. That was the number one thing that students felt that they weren’t welcome here. All of us, including me, sometimes not realizing around the timing thing, around when we have events and that there are times when it can be inconvenient for the non-traditional students, which makes it hard for them to be active, like organizations. Two big things of frustration for commuting students,” Morris stated.

Some of the anonymous quotes that were written into the presentation, expressing the frustration that commuter students have to deal with as a non-traditional student were these:

“A friend of mine [a commuter] told me today that he doesn’t feel like he’s part of the student body. He feels like he doesn’t belong.”

“As a commuter student I feel alienated and I wish there was a program for other commuter students to get to know each other.”

The statistics and information presented to the audience showed that the types of students who documented negative comments felt they were not being valued the same as regular students.

Morris voiced her opinion on whether or not these types of students were getting the equal education as everyone else.

“I think they get the same educational value as a traditional student , they just don’t get the same kind of connection that they would want to have. Like peers, they want to feel more close to the institution because they can’t be as actively engaged because of the way that things are structured,”  Morris said.

While the college maintains to try to have commuters receive the same opportunities as resident students, some students aren’t feeling connected, according to the 2011 Campus Climate survey results.

Sophomores and freshmen are required to live on campus.

The majority of students here at Keene State College do choose to live either on the different dorms the college offers or in a nearby apartment so the numbers say it all. When students are closer to campus they feel part of the whole community.


Angela Scionti can be contacted at

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