Yesterday, I happened to look in the office of two of my colleagues and found them helping students. In both cases, the students were clearly older than the average community college student. This caused me to think about it. The majority of the time I spend helping students in my office is with students who are at least thirty. In one case, the student does all the homework, and comes to me with a single problem he can’t get right. Usually he takes less than five minutes of my time, but he comes two or three times a week. This is the ideal use of my time.
I have another student who is somewhat lost, but at least he is coming to me in the beginning of the semester, when he has a chance of keeping up. Will all the older students pass? No. I have one who has missed two classes out of seven. It is unlikely she will be able to pass with that kind of attendance. But she is getting her homework to me even when she misses class, which means she has a chance of passing.
I think the older students actually want to get their money’s worth out of a class. They want to learn something, or at least learn enough to pass.