Category Archives: News and Information

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.

Memphis – Recruiter
Nashville – Recruiter
Nashville – Enrollment Counselor
Knoxville – CJ Recruiter
Chattanooga – CJ Recruiter

Press Release: Police Chief Rausch Supports Education for Criminal Justice Professionals; Cites Benefits to Police Department, Community

Chief David RauschKnoxville, TN – Bethel University received recognition this week for the role its criminal justice programs have played in recent improvements in the Knoxville Police Department. Police Chief David Rausch, head of the KPD, wrote that there has been a significant decrease in officer response to resistance, also known as “use of force,” and remarked on its link to education.

“The importance of education in the law enforcement setting could not be more significant than during these very trying times in our profession,” Rausch stated. “As we have studied the cause of these declines, we have noted one factor that cannot be overlooked  — the impact of education on decision-making.” Continue reading

Healthier Tennessee, Healthier Bethel

Tennesseans have many things to be proud of. Being healthy is not one of them.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, we are one of the least healthy states, and have been for the last 20 years. As a result, we’re now facing an epidemic of preventable chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even some forms of cancer.

That’s where “Healthier Tennessee” comes in, and where the College of Professional Studies can get involved. The movement, spearheaded by Gov. Bill Haslam and managed by local communities, encourages all Tennesseans — including schools and workplaces — to make some simple choices that can create some big differences.

In conjunction with Mayor McMillian's "Clarkswell" initiative, PR Director Cindy Chambers was invited to represent Bethel University on Public Square. 

In conjunction with Mayor McMillian’s “Clarkswell” initiative, PR Director Cindy Chambers was invited to represent Bethel University on Public Square.

PR Director Cindy Chambers is among those determined to “Start Small” to grow stronger. She went to the Small Starts online toolbox and found an easy-to-use website that includes activities to help workplaces develop better habits while tracking progress toward certification. There are more than 60 small starts choices that employees can choose from, and the Clarksville campus is now just two checkmarks away from success.

Megan Carroll, a state healthcare specialist, showed participating employees Sylvana Matthews, Cindy Chambers, Terry Morris, and Lisa Davidson easy ways to reduce stress and make healthier lifestyle choices.

Megan Carroll, a state healthcare specialist, showed participating employees Sylvana Matthews, Cindy Chambers, Terry Morris, and Lisa Davidson easy ways to reduce stress and make healthier lifestyle choices.

“Our campus has made some positive changes, and we hope that our efforts will motivate others to give it a try,” she says. “Just hosting an office potluck with healthful food options increases awareness of our workplace choices – without sacrificing the quality of our workdays. Setting fitness goals, encouraging smoking cessation, and monitoring progress are all small steps toward a brighter and healthier future.”

To get started as an individual or a group, go to:

Trisha Farmer: Electing New Challenges Despite a Busy Life

It’s not uncommon for a Bethel Success student to juggle multiple roles as employee, parent, and student.  It is, however, unusual for a Bethel student to do all of those things – and run for a seat as a State Representative on top of everything else.

Meet Trisha Farmer of Mt. Juliet: wife, mother, business-owner, volunteer birthing advocate, Bethel Success student, and now, hard-working candidate for the office of State House District 57.

“It wasn’t something I had planned on,” Trisha admits. “Our lives are far too complicated and busy to think about politics.” But when Trisha, who is deeply involved in the non-profit advocacy group Nashville Birth Network, learned there were bills coming up that the group was advocating for, she decided to meet with her State Representative to discuss them.

“And I quickly I realized we had nothing in common,” she says. Trisha did her due diligence, and discovered that “there were bills she had supported that were unconstitutional, and her positions are not representative of the people in our district. Her campaign contributions and her finances were a mess, flooded with donors from special interests. I was really frustrated. And when I learned she was running for reelection unopposed, I knew I had a responsibility to run against her.”

“It was very organic, and maybe – just maybe —  a little impulsive” she says with a smile. “But we’re going to win.”

A winning attitude is what led Trisha and husband David to go back to college to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Trisha and David Farmer

Trisha and her husband, David

“I wanted to return to a corporate role, and my lack of a degree was holding me back,” she says. “David has worked for local government for over 10 years, and the completion of his degree will provide opportunities for enhanced  leadership roles.”  The couple needed the assurance and knowledge that comes with a bachelor’s degree. After researching a competing college, and learning about its unreasonable time commitment, the couple knew they had to find a program that worked for their busy lifestyles. In November of 2014, David and Trisha discovered Bethel.

Believing “it’s easier for us to suffer together,” the couple has spent long nights doing homework after sons Tyler, 6, and Grayson, 2, are finally put to bed.  David, who brought in more credits, lacks only six hours to graduate, and has earned straight A’s so far.  As for Trisha, with four months to go until the November 8 election, grades have become a little less important, while the learning she gains has increased exponentially.

“I wish I had taken the Systems class a little earlier,” she says with a laugh. “It would have helped a lot as we began to plan our strategy.” Now, with 47,000 registered voters in the District to reach, and an estimated 20,000 doors in need of knocking, Trisha is firm about the possibilities of having it all.

“If anyone thinks they don’t have time to go to college, I say look at us. We both have fulltime jobs, stay involved in our community, are raising our sons, and running a campaign – all while finishing up our degrees. If we can do it, anybody can.”

For more information, or to donate to Trisha’s campaign, go to

Trisha Farmer campaign photo


Tennessee Highway Patrol To Begin Accepting Applications For New Trooper Cadet Class

NASHVILLE –- The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is announcing it will soon begin accepting applications for the next Trooper Cadet Academy.  Men and women interested in a career as a state trooper can begin the application process online only, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, August 16.

The THP anticipates the agility test and interview appointments to begin mid-September, at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Training Center.  Individuals interested in applying for the position of state trooper must be at least 21 years old, a U.S. Citizen and have a high school diploma or equivalent.  No applicants with felony convictions will be considered.

Legislation enacted in October 2012, called the Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management Act (TEAM Act), revised the hiring method to incorporate an interview process that tests an applicant’s knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies.   As a result, selected applicants will be required to successfully pass the physical agility test prior to being admitted for an interview.  There is no longer an examination portion to qualify for the state trooper position.

If hired, individuals must obtain a valid Tennessee driver’s license prior to class start date January 28, 2017, and are required to successfully complete a Level II background investigation, which includes a credit check and polygraph test.  Recruits must also pass a psychological and medical examination, including a drug screening.

Those interested in and qualified for the position of state trooper should submit an employment application to the Tennessee Department of Human Resources.  All applicants must apply online at beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3.  Applications will not be accepted after August 16.  Once approved by the Department of Human Resources, applicants will be notified of their qualification status via email.

There are currently 621 authorized commissioned trooper positions within the THP.  Trooper cadets will be assigned to vacant positions across the state upon graduation.  The starting salary for a trooper cadet during the training academy is $2,859 per month.

Upon graduation and commissioning as a Tennessee state trooper, the salary will increase to $3,163 per month and include a pension plan, health insurance and paid holidays.  Troopers are also provided a uniform, equipment and patrol vehicles.  With regular pay increases, a state trooper can earn $56,412 per year after 10 years of service under the current pay structure.

For additional information on becoming a state trooper, visit

For more information about applications, interested individuals are encouraged to contact the Tennessee Department of Human Resources Applicant Services Division at (615) 741-4841.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.

CONTACT: Megan Buell,

Lt. Bill Miller,

OFFICE: 615-251-5131