The Academy has a wonderfully diverse student body, and that diversity makes for an exciting and dynamic classroom. Within a single class, you may have recent high-school graduates, older adults seeking a career change, veterans, students with disabilities, and students from around the globe—some of whom are not yet fluent in English. Add to this mix the many different learning styles they bring to the classroom, and suddenly, you have a wonderfully interesting group to manage and work with.
Get to know your students and the strategies you can use to help them succeed.
Working with our diverse student population
About one-third of our student population comes from abroad. These students generally return to their countries upon graduation and completion of a one-year internship. International students are not required to know English when they enroll at the Academy, but they are tested and placed into English for Art Program (EAP) classes to prepare them for courses in their chosen field. If you have students who need extra help with English, you can request an English Support instructor to join your class.
Learn more: Working with International Students
Non-traditional or re-entry students are older than the average student—generally over 25 when entering college for the first time or when continuing a previously started degree. They may include second-career seekers, parents, veterans returning from service, or even older students seeking enrichment.
military veteran students
At the Academy and across the country, there has been an increase in the enrollment of military veterans. Colleges and universities play a vital role in helping veterans make the transition from military life to civilian life. AAU is proud to assist veterans with that transition.
students with disabilities
Students with physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities may require accommodations in the classroom. An accommodation is an adjustment to the learning environment that allows the student access to the same learning as students without disabilities. The types of accommodations a student requests (note-takers, sign language interpreters, special technology, and more time for tests) can be as varied as the students themselves.
Generation Why, Millennials, Echo Boomers, Gen-Y: whatever name you want to give them, many—perhaps most—of your AAU students belong to this group. They are the generation born 1977-1997. Very tech-savvy, these students have never known a world without computers, the Internet, or 500-channel television. Their parents have hovered over them: protecting, praising, fighting their battles and sheltering them from failure. The Gen-Y student is coming to you with a strong sense of self, demanding respect from you, while insisting that you earn their respect. These students are also known for their tremendous sense of community and altruism, their acceptance of diversity, and their loyalty.
Learn more: Motivating Gen-Y Students
Students new to the Academy quickly find out that, although it is relatively easy to enroll in the Academy, they have to work hard to stay here. Most students are thrilled to be challenged in new ways, but the open enrollment freshman classroom also contains students who may struggle in a variety of ways.
Learn more: Teaching First Year Students
high school students
The Academy offers a great opportunity for high school students called the Arts Experience. These young students bring a unique set of characteristics to the classroom. They are young, eager, and ready to experience the college environment.
Online Video Services made two short videos about an online Animation student named Zaldy Dingle, in which he describes what it's like to take online classes at the Academy.