The Goddard School of Hendersonville Sponsors Special Luncheon for Families in Need

The Goddard School of Hendersonville sponsored the Nashville Rescue Mission’s fourth annual Hearts of Hope Luncheon on February 10 at Trevecca Nazarene University. In support of the event, the school’s teachers helped in providing child care for all attendees.

“I am dedicated to supporting the work that the Nashville Rescue Mission continues to do for our community,” Leisa Byars, on-site owner of the Goddard School of Hendersonville and board chairperson for the nonprofit, says.

During the event, Byars was also a guest speaker, along with Tia, a graduate of the Nashville Rescue Mission. Along with the speakers, local musical artist Jenna Paulette performed before the enthusiastic crowd.

“The children and teachers recognize the significance of giving back and being a part of their community through aiding those less fortunate,” Byars says. “At the Goddard School, laying the foundation to good citizenship is fostered through the development of four essential skills: friendship, compassion, cooperation and kindness.”

Adults Get Ready for Tuition-Free College at Vol State

The new Tennessee Reconnect program offers a unique opportunity for adults who don’t have a college degree to earn one, tuition-free. The program will formally commence in August 2018 during the fall semester. Although the starting date is several months off, Volunteer State Community College is encouraging Tennesseans to apply now.

“We expect quite a number of folks to take advantage of this opportunity,” President Jerry Faulkner says. “Starting now helps to make sure you have a cushion of time in the process.”

While free-tuition college classes might solve money issues for adult students, it doesn’t address all of the challenges they may face. Faulkner knows from experience. He returned to college in East Tennessee in his 30s, after a poor start in higher education earlier in life.

“I was afraid I couldn’t perform academically,” he says. “There was fear about fitting into a classroom of 18- and 19 year-olds. You have to be brave enough to take that first step.”

George Shifflett, of Portland, knows those feelings well. He, too, came back to college in his 30s, attending Vol State. 

“I wanted to take care of my family,” he says. “That was my motivator. I was working all of these jobs and not making much money. I had a wife and two daughters. I told people at Vol State that I wanted to go to law school. It may have seemed like a pipe dream.”

It wasn’t. He now has his own general practice law firm in Portland, specializing in family law and trial litigation.

“It’s not easy going to college,” he says. “But it’s absolutely doable. I’m not the only one—there are many more like me. You just have to keep at it. I’m able to do things now for my family that I could never have done back then.”

There are three primary steps to take part in TN Reconnect at Vol State: apply to the college, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for TN Reconnect. There are eligibility requirements for TN Reconnect, with the most important being that a student cannot already have an associate or bachelor’s degree. The other requirements are listed on the Vol State website.

In support of TN Reconnect, Vol State has established academic support programs to get students up to speed in math and English skills. Faculty and staff members are also experienced in working with adult students. The college offers day, evening, Saturday and online classes.

The college is hoping that people will talk to their friends and family about TN Reconnect. Employers are also encouraged to discuss it with workers. The outreach campaign is underway statewide. Tennessee is the first state in the nation to offer free community and technical college tuition for adult students and for graduating high school students.

“It’s never too late to make a change,” Faulkner says. “It’s never too late to fulfill that dream you may have had for years.”

To apply for TN Reconnect at Vol State, and to view the complete eligibility requirements, visit Call 615.230.3447 with questions.

Union University launches Associate Degree Option for Adult Students

Union University has added a new associate degree to its programs for adult students. The Associate of Science in professional studies program allows adult learners to choose from a variety of career-related paths. The new program is offered through the School of Adult and Professional Studies, and adults may enroll at any one of Union’s three campus locations in Jackson, Germantown and Hendersonville.

“This new associate degree affirms Union University’s commitment to adult students,” Beverly Absher-Bone, dean of the School of Adult and Professional Studies, says. “Our mission is to prepare adults to advance in their careers and in service to their communities. An associate degree can provide the first step towards a pay increase or new career opportunity.”

Three majors are offered for the associate degree in professional studies: Christian leadership, human services and organizational leadership. The degree requires 60 semester hours of credit, and courses are scheduled to be compatible with adults’ busy schedules. Courses are offered in both full-semester or accelerated eight-week terms, and students may elect to attend on-campus classes one evening a week, complete classes online or choose a combination of these options.

Adults enrolled in the associate degree program at Union may qualify for a substantial reduction in tuition with funding through the Tennessee Reconnect grant. 

“Adult students with less than 60 hours of college credit already receive a tuition discount at Union,” Absher-Bone says. “However, with the Reconnect grant, eligible students will see additional reductions in their tuition costs.”

For more information about the Tennessee Reconnect grant, visit