Monday, July 10, 2017

Vol State Offers College Degrees Entirely Online


Thousands of students take online classes at Volunteer State Community College each semester. However, many people may not realize they can earn an entire degree without ever setting foot on campus. That’s an attractive option for adults. Online classes provide flexibility for students juggling family, work and their education.

“I’m a single parent holding down a job,” said Delovely Nunley of Lebanon. “I need college to fit into my schedule.”

Online students have assignments and deadlines, but they can do that work whenever and wherever they want, for the most part. Parents often do reading and assignments after the kids are put to bed or on a break at work.

Online classes are every bit as challenging as traditional classes, with the benefit that students are encouraged to utilize the Internet to go further with their thinking. “It made me think out of the box. It made me challenge myself. It made me go deeper, kind of like investigating each subject,” said Nunley.

Online courses are not for everyone. Students need regular access to high speed Internet. While that may seem to limit people, some students set aside time to work at their public library each week to submit work and take exams. Research and general work can often be accomplished with slower Internet speeds. The most important factor is the student themselves.

“The students who do well with online classes are self-motivated, organized and good time managers,” said Rhonda Gregory, director of Distributed Education for Vol State. “To support students we have online tutoring, online advising and online library services.”

Students may worry that they will be isolated taking an online class. But that isn’t necessarily the case. “Good students are constantly communicating with the professor and other students in each course. It’s highly interactive,” Gregory said.

Vol State has more than 25 online degree and certificate programs available, many of which can also transfer to a university for an online bachelor’s degree program. Subjects at Vol State range from teaching and sociology to math and science. University Studies is the most popular degree at the college. It is designed specifically for transfer to a university. Several programs at Vol State have been online for several years, including Fire Science. For a complete list of online programs visit www.volstate.edu/online.

Adult students have many exciting opportunities coming. TN Reconnect is a state scholarship program that will provide tuition-free community college education for most adults in Tennessee. It starts in the fall of 2018. Students may be eligible for other types of Financial Aid now, if they want to start classes this coming school year. The first step is to apply to the college. That can be done online at www.volstate.edu/apply. The fall semester at Vol State starts on August 28.

Pictured: Delovely Nunley, shown here with her son King Destin, graduated from Vol State last May. She is continuing work on her bachelor’s degree at MTSU this fall.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Get Ready for TN Reconnect Free Tuition for Adults

The upcoming TN Reconnect program will provide free community college and TCAT tuition for most adult students (see the link below). It starts in the Fall of 2018.

Vol State faculty and staff are excited about the program. We already have many adult students on our campuses every semester. We know that it's not just money that holds back adult students. It's also the time commitment; fitting school in with family and work; and even concerns about math. Yes, math. Many adult students are scared to death about taking math again...after 5 or 10 or 25 years. All these concerns are understandable.


Vol State has staff who have been helping adult students with these hurdles for many years. We offer flexible class schedules and tutoring help. Most importantly- adult students feel at home on the Vol State campus. Not just because they see many other adult students here, but also because our students and faculty respect the experience adult students bring to the classroom.


Here are the details on the expanded TN Reconnect Program, including who is eligible. And remember- you don't have to wait until 2018 to start college. That's when the scholarship will start, but we have other ways you can pay tuition if you would like to start classes now. Visit our Admissions web page to get started.
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