The SUCCESS program, available at the Metropolitan Campus, is an academic support program at FDU designed to assist undergraduate adult learners who are beginning college or returning to complete their education. The SUCCESS Program is located in Dickinson Hall, Room 1134. Hours are by appointment Monday through Friday.

Definitions: Adult Learner, Non-traditional Student

Adult students are loosely identified with a larger group characterized as “non-traditional.” While definitions vary, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has come up with seven characteristics that typically define non-traditional students. according to the NCES, adult students often:

  • Have delayed enrollment into postsecondary education
  • Attend part-time
  • Are financially independent of parents
  • Work full-time while enrolled
  • Have dependents other than a spouse
  • Are a single parent
  • Lack a standard high school diploma

By using one or a combination of these criteria, NCES estimates that over 60 percent of students in higher education can be characterized as non-traditional. Using simpler and more common criteria of age to define “adult learner,” we know that some 43 percent (or 14 million) of students in U.S. higher education are 25 or older. And, astonishingly, an estimated 65 percent increase enrollments of students 35 years of age and older, from 1.7 million to 2.9 million, occurred between 1985 and 1996, (NCES, 1996).

Portfolio Assessment

Students may avail themselves of the opportunity to utilize the unique Portfolio Assessment process at FDU. A maximum of 30 credits may be awarded if appropriate learning is demonstrated and fits the student’s curriculum.

Actively registered FDU students may apply for portfolio assessment of current knowledge, skills, and competencies equivalent to college courses taught at FDU after completion of six (6) FDU credits at a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Credits may apply to the college core, your “major”, and/or free electives depending upon your program of study.

All FDU eligible students receive information regarding  policies and procedures during workshops offered throughout the academic year. For information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at 201-692-6500, email:

See Links of Interest websites to determine if you are a  good candidate for portfolio assessment.

Other Options for Gaining College Credit

Opportunities to utilize ACE College Credit Recommendation Service evaluations of credit gained in the work environment and military.

Options for using CLEP, TECEP, Excelsior College Exams, NYU Proficiency Testing in Foreign Language and other standardized tests which carry college credit awards appropriate to the student’s degree program.

Students may also use FDU Challenge Exams where available.

Enrollees may have certain college courses waived e.g., Freshman Seminar, Physical Education, at the option of the student in consultation with the advisor. Based on the major, the total number of credits must be satisfied for the baccalaureate degree.

In addition, to meet foreign language requirements, Success students may take “Literature in Translation” courses (noted as LANG) and/or utilize elementary languages to satisfy requirements if required in the major.

Courses dedicated to Adult Learners

Sections of courses required for all majors including University Core are established for the adult learner  every semester at the Metropolitan Campus. See the current “Undergraduate Course Booklet” for courses delineated as “Recommended or Restricted for Success Students”.

Varied Course Formats

Several courses throughout the academic year are offered in weekend or modular formats, i.e. 3-weekend, 5, 7, or 8 week segments. see the Course Booklet and Success Stories for current course listings.

Success Stories newsletter

Request the latest Success Stories newsletter, with articles about individuals and suggestions which are helpful for your Success in college. Contact 201-692-6500 for your copy of or

Success Program Advising

Success students can benefit from multiple advisement resources. As an FDU student, you may utilize the Advisement Center on your home campus (Robison Hall at Teaneck; the Mansion at Madison), the faculty in your “major” department, and the Success Program office. Day and/or evening appointments.

Other advisement professionals including Career Management staff are also available.

Links of Interest

Contact Information

Access an Adult Learner Application


20th Anniversary Celebration

Dr. Denise Hart, Director of Adult Education and the SUCCESS Program, presided over the Wine & Cheese Party which featured FDU's faculty vintner, Professor Richard Panicucci, explaining the art of wine making.
Michaela Andrei, Andrew Amboya, Robert Magnone, Charmaine Magnone, and Joanna Gazda enjoy reminiscing as well as catching up with all that's new in their lives.
Current SUCCESS students smile for the camera. Front row: Tami Flanagan, Lisetty Nigrinis, John Stefano, and Marilyn Stefano. Back row: Lula Lekay, Denise Rizzo, and Craig Cannon.