Category Archives: News and Information

Sandra Kidd: An Unexpected Journey


On Sept. 11, 2015, Bethel University student Sandra Meshelle “Meesh” Kidd was set to celebrate.  Having just left a 15-year career at Life Care Centers of America, she was headed to a weekend retreat in Panama City Beach before the start of a new job in just four days’ time.  She was accompanied by some of her favorite people: her mother, her best friend, and her cousin. The four stopped for lunch in Tallahassee, and left the restaurant giggling like schoolgirls. They were headed to the beach — and Meesh was ready to start a new chapter in her life.

She couldn’t have foreseen that the “new chapter” would involve a journey through pain and loss.

Just hours after leaving the restaurant, Meesh’s car was T-boned by a vehicle going 60 miles an hour. After rolling three times, their car hit a fence post, before finally shuddering to a stop in a cotton field. Her mom, along with her best friend Karen, were killed on impact. Her cousin sustained serious injuries.  Meesh herself has no recollection of the crash. “In fact, I have 12 days of memory loss that starts after we ate lunch that day,” she says.

Meesh was unresponsive at the accident scene, and might have died were it not for a bystander who stopped and held her head as she gasped for breath.  When medical help arrived, she was quickly air-lifted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where she was placed on a ventilator for the next 30 hours. Continue reading

How to Really “Reach the Stars”


Radio personality Casey Kasem used to sign off the air with the phrase “Keep your feet on the ground, but keep reaching for the stars.” I think of that quote often – especially when a student tells me that her dream is to become “CEO of my own Fortune 500 company.” Sadly, it is often said by someone who seems to have no idea of how to get there.

Reaching for the stars is wonderful. But staying rooted in reality may be even more helpful when pursuing those lofty goals.

Let’s face it: Many of us dream of a future that’s very different from our present, but we do a poor job of working toward our desires. We’re often overly optimistic about the outcome, and unrealistic about how much work it will take to achieve it. For instance, when we think about the executive position we plan to land, we don’t foresee the unrelenting stress, the months of graduate school, or the years of climbing the corporate ladder. Instead, we dream of victory celebrations.

In addition, most of us have a tendency towards what’s called “illusory superiority” Continue reading

Happily Reading a Book


My husband and I were walking along the sand during a Florida vacation recently, when something unusual caught my eye:  an elderly couple, shaded by a colorful beach umbrella, each holding something odd in their hands.

“Look, Honey!” I said, pointing in astonishment. “They’re reading books!”

Yes, books.

You remember books, don’t you – those rectangular things filled with pages of words?  If it seems like fewer and fewer people are holding them nowadays, you’re right – a recent Pew Research Center report indicated that more than a quarter of American adults did not read a single book last year. And that includes Kindles, paperbacks, and even audiobooks. In fact, the number of people declaring themselves “non-readers” has nearly tripled since 1978.

You can blame TV, smart phones, and the internet for giving Americans something else to do, apparently. But, while all can be highly entertaining, nothing adds value to your life like reading for pleasure. Nothing else says that you’re well-educated either: Folks with a college degree read more, on average, than those who only finished high school.

But there’s much more to reading than showing people you’re smart. According to The Reading Agency, there’s a strong link between reading for pleasure and “educational outcomes”.  In other words, reading makes you smarter. But wait – there’s more! Continue reading

Thoughts on Success


“As I drove to Nashville for Bethel University’s orientation last Saturday, I passed every type of car I’ve ever dreamed of, older couples in their luxury motor homes, and businessmen and women dressed for success on their phones at 6:30 am. As I see all of this, I start thinking about my own future. Where will I be when I’m old? Will I be able to wear “dress clothes” every day? Will I be able to afford exotic cars? What will I be doing in five years? Then I realize that I’m headed to a place that can make all of these things come true. After today, my focus is to obtain the highest level of education through Bethel and be able to provide a comfortable lifestyle to my family. It’s going to be very challenging, but it will be more than worth it in the end. Never being satisfied isn’t a bad thing! If you want change or get more out of life, then make it happen. If I can do it, anyone can.”


Alex Sanders

Program: Organizational Leadership

Winchester, TN


First Generation College Students

Being the first college student in your family can be thrilling.  In fact, many of our students state that the main reason they attend Bethel University is the chance to be the first to break though family barriers to earn a college degree. It’s a source of pride, a way to bring honor to their families, and a chance to improve their lives and the lives of those who follow.

But being a so-called “first-gen student” – someone whose parents did not attend college — can also be intimidating and confusing. It’s a little like being a pioneer heading through the wilderness without a map:  Everything is new and untested.  Many first-gen students receive mixed messages from family and friends who fear that they’ll evolve into someone …  different. The lack of support and understanding can cause even adult students to struggle:  One student admitted that she studied in the car because her family accused her of being “uppity” when she opened her textbooks in front of them.  Maybe this is why national studies indicate that more than half of all first-generation students who drop out do so in their first year. Continue reading

Eyes Wide Open


I had a pleasant surprise this morning: One of my former undergraduate students dropped by my office for a visit.  The timing was perfect. I had written him a glowing recommendation for Bethel’s MBA program, and was eager to catch up on his progress since starting the graduate program three months ago.

His first words? “Ms. Chambers, I almost dropped out of school last month.”

Needless to say, I was surprised. He’d been an outstanding student in my undergraduate marketing class. When I asked what happened, he said it had been a culmination of things – a busy work schedule, a family emergency, and a statistics class that was tougher than he expected. The crazy combination caused him to earn a “D” on two assignments in a row, he told me, and nearly led to him give up on his academic dreams.

“I didn’t realize grad school would be this hard,” he admitted.

I was about to launch into my favorite “rah-rah” speech – the one where I stress that if it were easy to earn a graduate degree, everybody would have one. But he was on a roll. Continue reading

APA Made Simple

           Starting college can initially be an uphill battle. A new schedule, an additional responsibility, and even unfamiliar technology can all pose unexpected challenges in the first weeks or months. Add to these the unique requirements of a writing-based program like Bethel’s, and it’s easy to see why some students become a bit overwhelmed – especially when it comes to APA.

What can I say about the academic writing format devised by the American Psychological Association nearly 100 years ago that hasn’t already been muttered by every Bethel student hunched over a computer at some point? “Unreasonably complicated,” “ridiculously rigid” and “totally time-consuming” all spring to mind. But how about this? “It’s not as hard as I thought.”

It’s true. Thanks, in a part, to technology, meeting those pesky APA requirements has become easier than ever. The trick is to know when and how to use the resources that can make APA easy. If you neglect to use the help available, those late nights spent muttering about APA are sure to continue.

Let me break it down for you. Basically, online students need to worry about only two APA requirements: References and in-text citations. References are the lengthy bits of information placed at the end of an academic essay. If you’ve used ANY outside resource to write an essay (including your ebook), and even if you are simply paraphrasing throughout, you still need to credit the source of that information with a reference at the bottom of your essay. Continue reading

Your academic advisor – the most important guide on your academic journey.


Who is the most important guide on your academic journey? Many Bethel University graduates say “My academic advisor” – and with good reason.

At the start of the journey, an academic advisor is there to explain the program, including credit requirements, transfer credit information, and testing options that can make the trip to graduation even quicker. He or she can answer questions about financial aid and billing, guide students through the registration process, and even trouble-shoot computer or V-Camp issues.

But along the way, an academic advisor often becomes something even more:  A friend, a confidante, a coach, and a cheerleader. Continue reading

Why Entrepreneurs Choose Bethel


Everyone has heard of an entrepreneur who hit it big without a college degree – folks like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, who struck it rich through a combination of hard work, sheer genius, and pure luck.

But such stories are told and retold because of their rarity. The truth is, successful business-owners without a degree are in the minority. Recent statistics from show that 64% of business owners had at least some college when they started their business, while 23% boast a bachelor’s degree and 17% a graduate degree.

There are plenty of reasons why entrepreneurs should seek a business-management degree before launching a business. Here are just a few: Continue reading

The College of Professional Studies is hiring!

Here at Bethel, we are dedicated to creating the educational opportunities adult learners need to achieve success for themselves, their families, and their careers. Are you a life-long learner?  Are you passionate about helping others achieve their educational goals? If so, we would love to hear from you!  Log in to our Career Center or submit your resume to to apply today.

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