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Trinity College’s Individualized Degree Program (IDP), founded in 1973 for students over the age of 23, attracts nontraditional-age students to Trinity. We examined the application process and early retention efforts carried out by IDP and made recommendations to strengthen those activities. Recent studies suggest that colleges that encourage adult students to enroll must reduce obstacles in the application process and structure the initial phase of transition to college, because older students face unique challenges. Using a qualitative research approach, we interviewed thirteen IDP students. Our findings will help shape the IDP program’s outreach to the targeted population. More broadly, because IDP students come from and stay in the greater Hartford region, they help to support Trinity College’s goals to “integrate Hartford across the curriculum,” and have “positive impacts on the local community.”


Community Partner: Individualized Degree Program, Trinity College