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Mother and Daughter Attend Drexel Nursing Programs Simultaneously

December 1, 2012

Tara Cooke is a student in the on-campus Bachelor’s in Nursing Program at the College and her mother, Susan Cooke, 51, is currently enrolled in Drexel Online’s MSN in Nursing Leadership Program. The Cooke family exemplifies an interesting trend in higher education: multigenerational learning among family members.

Next Avenue, an online news portal catering to America’s “50+ population,” published an article called “Multigenerational Learning: All Together Now, Doing Homework,” that discussed both the challenges and rewards of being an adult that attends the same college or university as their son or daughter. The College of Nursing and Health Professions’ mother-daughter duo, the Cookes, were interviewed for the article. “I have a demanding work schedule and she has challenging coursework. We take turns giving pep talks,” Susan said.

Stephen Gambescia, PhD, Assistant Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at the College, was also interviewed for Next Avenue’s exploration of the multigenerational learning trend. He provided tips about how children and parents can study together successfully. Of all things, he stressed the importance of keeping expectations realistic, not throwing pity parties, and “being cool” about the major age difference between parent and child. “Everyone knows the parent is older- don’t bring unnecessary attention to it. And acting like you know more is definitely inappropriate (even if it’s true!)” Gambescia contributed.