‘It’s Never Too Late:’ Dalton State Helps Adults Return To College

Friday, August 15, 2014
College has already made a positive impact on Ms. Nunez.  “It has helped me personally,” she said. “It has made me a stronger person. It has helped me professionally. I can see my areas of strengths. And I enjoy it. When I get good grades, it feels so good. It’s all worth it.”
College has already made a positive impact on Ms. Nunez. “It has helped me personally,” she said. “It has made me a stronger person. It has helped me professionally. I can see my areas of strengths. And I enjoy it. When I get good grades, it feels so good. It’s all worth it.”

The University System of Georgia, which includes Dalton State, begins a campaign to help adult learners return to school.  There are an estimated 1.1 million adults in Georgia who started college and never received a degree. That doesn’t include people like Flor Nunez, who never had the chance to start college, but wanted to.

Ms. Nunez wanted something better for herself and her two children. She knew it would take hard work and sacrifice, but she is determined to earn her college degree from Dalton State while working full time, caring for her children as a single mom, and volunteering.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I was up for it,” said the 29-year-old who is on track to receive her associate’s in supervision at the end of the semester and a bachelor’s in business technology management in a couple of years.

Ms. Nunez’s now ex-husband wouldn’t allow her to return to school. So as soon as they divorced, she started looking into college opportunities. She enrolled at Dalton State. “I went through so many personal things,” she said. “The rough moments have not stopped me. All those obstacles made me stronger. They made me want to keep going. … I started standing up for myself and started focusing on making a better future for my children and myself. There was a drastic change in our lives for the good. I started setting goals.”

Her top three goals were to get a job, buy a home, and get her college degree. She works at Shaw, where workers are encouraged to finish a degree and provided with flexible schedules when possible. She bought a home. And now, she’s focusing on her degree.

Ms. Nunez hopes her story encourages others to go back to school and finish their degree. “It’s never too late,” she said. “It’s never too late to go back to school. Never give up. There might be a change in your plans, but never give up. I haven’t.”

Ms. Nunez’s message that it’s never too late is being echoed statewide.

“Research tells us that the top two concerns for adult learners considering coming back is whether or not they can fit classes into their busy lives and if they can afford to come back,” said Dalton State President Dr. John O. Schwenn. “We believe both are possible at Dalton State.

“We make access to college education simple and convenient for them,” he said. “At Dalton State, we offer classes and even an entire degree program online so students can ‘go to class’ at times that are convenient for them. We offer majors that have direct application to their workplace needs; programs such as organizational leadership, and bachelor degree programs for working registered nurses and respiratory therapists. We even offer a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies for students who have amassed many credit hours in several different areas of interest.”

Also, Dalton State remains one of the most affordable public, four-year institutions in the country. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Affordable and Transparency Record, Dalton State is number 26 on the list public four-year colleges with the lowest net price. 

Grant Roberson, 28, recently earned his bachelor’s in organizational leadership, a completely online degree through Dalton State that he did while working full-time. He had been attending Dalton State part-time for several years, but wanted to complete his degree more quickly. The eMajor course seemed perfect for him, plus he found a degree in organizational leadership is in high demand in the workplace.

“I wanted to finish so I could advance in my career and make the most out of my life,” Mr. Roberson said. “I am motivated and ready to graduate. I did take a lot of classes and there were a few times that I felt like I didn’t have enough time. I work over 40 hours a week… I did it because I knew I could. My dad taught me at a young age that something is only as hard as you make it.”

Dr. Schwenn hopes others see the benefits of returning to college as Ms. Nunez and Mr. Roberson have.   “We know it’s not easy to go back, especially when you’ve been out of the classroom for many years,” he said. “At Dalton State, we’re here to help make the transition easier. The jobs of tomorrow and many of the jobs of today — are going to require it.”

Adults interested in returning to college can call 706-712-8202 or email adultlearner@daltonstate.edu.


Joint Limited Residential Contractor Licensing Class Planned By Chattanooga State And CSCC

Chattanooga State’s Economic and Community Education Department is partnering with Cleveland State Community College to offer a 30-hour Limited Residential Contractor Licensing class. The class will meet two consecutive Fridays and Saturdays, March 18-19 and March 25-26 at Cleveland State’s campus located at 3535 Adkisson Dr. in Cleveland. Class cost is $449 and limited to 20 ... (click for more)

Dalton State School of Business Maintains Elite Accreditation

Maintaining Dalton State’s Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business Accreditation keeps the College in an elite group that can offer business students a higher quality education.  Dalton State’s School of Business was recently re-accredited by the AACSB International, a global nonprofit organization of educational institutions and businesses devoted to the advancement ... (click for more)

Couple In Small Plane Make Emergency Landing On Highway 27 North Of Dayton

Tom Webb and his fiancée were traveling from Pigeon Forge to Winchester when, at 5,500 feet, they experienced engine trouble. They lost their engine and had to make an emergency landing on Highway 27 north of Dayton. They landed safely and were able to push the plane off the road with help from the Rhea County Sheriff's Department. The incident happened around 7 p.m. on ... (click for more)

Man At Homeless Camp On Chestnut Street Charged With Trying To Set Fire To Another Man

A man at a homeless camp on Chestnut Street has been charged with trying to set fire to another man at the camp. Richard Warren "Trey" Erwin, 40, is charged with aggravated arson. Police were called to the 2200 block of Chestnut at 12:40 a.m. Earlier, Michael Nye and Alisa Buckels had called for an ambulance. They were checked out at Erlanger Hospital for inhalation injuries. ... (click for more)

Alexander And Corker Need To Talk Sense To Their Leadership

Alexander and Corker really need to talk some sense to their leadership  So a Supreme Court Justice dies and before the POTUS can even come up with a list of replacements, Mitch McConnell states the Republican Senate will not seat Obama's replacement. Why? Because they want to throw a hissy fit.  For 240 years the Senate has done their constitutional duty and has ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Evaluators Earn $11.70

A number of curious job notices, under the heading of ‘General Labor,’ have appeared on various Craigslists, that free Internet portal where you can find everything from a used lawn tractor, guitar lessons or even a saucy Saturday night date. This week on the Charlotte, N.C., Craigslist, for example, there appeared an offer to become a “reader/evaluator” for a company known as Measurement ... (click for more)