Starting, Completing Degree Is Top Annual Resolution for Many
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 3, 2019) – As we enter the season of New Year’s resolutions, sticking to goals can be tough, especially as job, family, and other commitments start to take priority. WGU Tennessee, an online nonprofit university designed for working adults, shares a few tips for staying on the right path and reaching your own education goals in 2019.
Define your goals: Some adults return to school because they wish to further their careers, while others return to higher education because they are thinking about changing careers. Before jumping back into a degree program, take some time to speak with your employer – or employers in the field in which you want to work – and find out which credentials they value and what skills they look for in employees.
Consider past experiences: Many students who return to school after working for some time have prior college credits that may be transferable to a new program of study. You should review your academic and employment history so that you know how to hone your educational goals, playing to your strengths and the experience you have already acquired.
Take advantage of grants: Adults without postsecondary degrees or certificates should consider using the Tennessee Reconnect Grant, which offers tuition-free associate degrees or technical certificates from any of the state’s community colleges or Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT). More information is available at www.tnreconnect.gov.
Calculate the costs: Higher education is a big financial commitment, and it is important to consider how you are going to pay for school. Remember, tuition is usually not the only cost that needs consideration. Be sure to account for expenses associated with applying to and attending school: application fees, books, transportation/parking, and other costs. Use Tennessee Reconnect’s cost calculator to get a good idea of what you’ll need to spend to earn a degree.
Consider online programs: Online universities allow adults to balance work and family responsibilities with their pursuit of higher education. Online programs are often lower in cost, and are usually more convenient for busy learners. Just be sure to vet online colleges to ensure they are reputable, accredited, and transparent in their tuition structure. Regional accreditation is preferable over national accreditation.
Apply for scholarships: There are numerous scholarship opportunities available for traditional students and adult learners alike. Research opportunities early in the college application process and invest the time required to apply, as it could be well worth it. For instance, WGU Tennessee’s Tenn-K Scholarship is open until March 15. At up to $10,000 each, the scholarship covers approximately 70 percent of total tuition costs toward a degree. Learn more and apply at www.wgu.edu/tennk.
Find a social support network: Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed, offer you guidance, and help you develop new skills. Colleagues, mentors, family members, and fellow classmates are all ideal resources; but many online support groups are also available and often focus on specific subjects that are challenging for adult learners, such as math and science.
WGU Tennessee is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university established to expand Tennesseans’ access to higher education throughout the state. Formed through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Tennessee is open to all qualified Tennessee residents. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K–12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.
Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).*
In addition to WGU Tennessee, there are seven other WGU state-based, state-endorsed universities: WGU Indiana, established in June 2010; WGU Washington, established in April 2011; WGU Texas, established in August 2011; WGU Missouri, established in February 2013; WGU Nevada, established in June 2015; WGU North Carolina, established in October 2017; and WGU Ohio, established in February 2018.
For more information, visit the WGU Tennessee website, tennessee.wgu.edu, or call 855-948-8495.