Here is an interview with Mike Rose about his latest book, Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education (New Press). This book is focused on the experiences of nontraditional students and their attempt to reenter the academic world.
Q. You give readers some good ideas for making institutions more user friendly—signage, consolidated offices, etc. With minimal funds, what is the most important thing we can do to make campuses more accessible to students?
A. The most important first step in making a campus more accessible is trying to perceive the campus as different types of students might see it. This is one of the least-expensive things to do but one of the most difficult. What is it like to find your way around if you’re new to the campus, or haven’t been in school for decades, or don’t speak English all that well? What is the experience of applying for financial aid like? Of using the tutoring center? What’s it feel like to be in the first math class you’ve taken in 20 years?