Non-traditional student finds, gives support through NTSO | ECTC

Non-traditional student finds, gives support through NTSO

September 12, 2023

For non-traditional student Pam Richardson, ECTC has become a place for her to grow both personally and professionally, and to see that maybe she isn’t as introverted as she thought.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself in the classes I’ve taken,” she said. “I thought I was reserved and shy, but I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone to talk to people.”

After previously earning an Associate in Arts from ECTC in 2003 Richardson, a first-generation college student, will graduate in December with three associate degrees in accounting, management and human resource management. She will transfer to Western Kentucky University in the spring for a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, with the goal of being a CPA by 2025. She recently was selected as ECTC student ambassador for Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Richardson had been a stay-at-home mom for several years, raising and homeschooling her five boys ages 7-23, so returning to school brought with it many challenges. As she learned how to navigate the new environment, she discovered ECTC’s Non-Traditional Student Organization (NTSO). She first joined the organization to connect with students in similar situations, but it soon became a way to offer assistance to others.

“I saw the need,” she said. “I’ve been successful here so far so I can use what I’ve learned as a non-traditional student to help other students to be successful.”

NTSO provides support, resources and representation for adult learners at ECTC and allows them to unify and share ideas about obstacles they may face. Richardson is president of the group, which meets the first Friday of the month at 1 p.m. in the Academic Technical Building, room 202.

“For some non-traditional students, it’s a hard transition to make,” Richardson said. “Maybe they have no experience in a college setting, or maybe no computer skills. It’s a big adjustment, but I can share what has worked for me and help people find their way.”

For more information on NTSO, contact Richardson at or contact the NTSO faculty advisor, Richard Cosper, at  

Pam Richardson