Category Archives: News and Information

And all the Stars Aligned

I had been a Paramedic and in a middle-management role for several years and wanted to move up, but the requirements for promotion always seemed to be just out of reach.  They increased from an associate degree (which I had) to a bachelor’s, which I did not have. Despite continuing to take college classes here and there, it seemed I wouldn’t reach my goal in my timeline.  I couldn’t see the end.

During all this jumping around from one school to another, I also found that I needed more structure and face-to-face instruction to really grasp my education and where I wanted to go.  I began looking at schools that could help me reach my goals, and Bethel was right there. It was convenient, I didn’t need to miss work, and if class fell on a work night, I could schedule the time off in advance.  We met one evening a week in a small class setting, which really appealed to me.  Continue reading

The Benefits of a Bethel Degree

Kevin Carroll - Blog

I was in the first Nashville cohort class Bethel (then College) had in Nashville.  Before Palmer Plaza, we met weekly at a hotel on Music Row.  I graduated May 2, 2004, with a BS degree in Organizational Management.

I’ve worked for the Nashville Sheriff’s Office for over 25 years and I am currently the Director of the Security Services Division.  For the past 15 years, I’ve been assigned to the FBI’s Violent Crime/Gang Task Force out of the Nashville Resident Agency.  In December 2012, I graduated with the 251st Session of the FBI National Academy.  In 2014, my partner and I were peer-nominated and selected as Tennessee’s Top Cops by the National Association of Police Organizations.  We were recognized Nationally as two of America’s Top Cops, and presented that award in Washington DC.  In 2015, I was twice given the United States Attorney’s Office Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement.

My Bethel degree helped me move up through the ranks at the Nashville Sheriff’s Office and was instrumental in obtaining a command level position.  Additionally, the friendships I made during my time at Bethel have carried through to this day.  I have convinced several of my coworkers of the importance of completing their degree at Bethel University and many have done just that.

Kevin Carroll

Bachelor of Science – Organizational Management, Class of 2004

If you have a Bethel Success Story to share, or want to comment on a current story, please contact Cindy Chambers at We’d love to hear how your educational journey — or those of others — have impacted your life!

Recruiter Support

Jamie - Blog ImageNew Organizational Leadership student Jamie McDonald recently shared some words of praise with his recruiter, Patrick Adams.

“Hey Patrick,

I just submitted my final assignment for the Accelerated Prep Course (two days early). This is going to be fun, man. I just wanted to let you know that the fact that you took time to meet me and sit down and talk with me face-to-face had a lot to do with my decision to go with Bethel. The insight that you were able to give me from the real-life, honest, homegrown-student perspective gave me the confidence to make a go at the online program.

With my career requiring me to travel quite a bit and sometimes keep odd hours, I really don’t think that I could commit to physically attending classes with no interruption. I spent over two full months’ time traveling for a week at a time, spread throughout last year. I have been on the road about a month so far this year. I just spent the week before Orientation in Atlanta at a best- practices sharing conference.

Having this much control and flexibility built into an online learning program is ingeniously tailored for the student/professional. I can log on, pop in my ear buds, and attend my lecture from Dulles airport in D.C. if I want (and I know that I will, without doubt, be in that very situation at some point). Thanks, brother. I hope this feedback is useful to you. I thought that you deserved it.”

Jamie McDonald

Bethel University, Trezevant, TN

If you have a Bethel Success Story to share, or want to comment on a current story, please contact Cindy Chambers at We’d love to hear how your educational journey — or those of others — have impacted your life!

The ‘Myth’ of Work-Life Balance

#9 Balance - Blog

I often hear people express their dream of achieving “perfect work-life balance.” While a wonderful goal, it is nearly impossible to achieve while tackling the multiple responsibilities of home, work, and school that are part of our busy lives. In fact, without focus, assistance, and a clear understanding of what “work-life balance” is, it may actually be beyond our reach most of the time. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to achieve … but we have to know what it is to embrace it.

So what is work-life balance? In my opinion, it is a very rare period during which everything falls into place. You have abundant energy, money, and time to achieve every responsibility and every goal you have in front of you. Put that way, it’s easy to see that work-life balance can be fleeting, elusive, and frustrating – and nearly impossible to maintain.

As a general rule, the life of a busy, high-achieving Bethel student represents more of a “juggling act” than a “balancing act.” During a typical week, something will be left undone, someone will be left unappreciated, and new tasks will crop up faster than old ones disappear. Oh, and then there’s the guilt that comes from not being able to achieve the balance we all hear of. Continue reading

Broken English


Using correct grammar has helped me in many ways. It is important to know the meaning of words and how to use them correctly. There are certain words that sound the same, but have different meanings. It’s important to learn the difference in order to speak and write intelligently.

Being a person that was raised in a neighborhood where most of the people spoke broken English, helped me to make the decision to be different. My parents invested in my education by sending my siblings and me to a private school. With hardly any money left over, we lived in a low income area where people communicated with slang and incomplete sentences. Continue reading

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