By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Troy offers adult education program
Placeholder Image

For a majority of today’s high school students a college degree is becoming expected, but for many from prior generations, a higher education degree remains an elusive pinnacle.

Even successful married couples, who have jobs, own a home and have a family, often feel incomplete without a college degree, said Dionne Rosser-Mims, a professor at Troy University.

"These are lower-income families, primarily black, who have succeeded in their own right," Mims said. "But they want more."

Troy recently started a pilot Parent Degree Program in DeKalb County to help these people overcome the barrier of returning to school. Whether the adults feel like they need a degree for career advancement, want to be the first one in their family to receive a degree or want to set an example for their children, the parent program seeks to help them reach their goal, by bringing the classroom to them.

The pilot program takes place at Atherton Elementary School in DeKalb County, and draws parents from the neighborhood around it.

"We want to help parents be comfortable in their own environment. These are the same schools their children attend and the same school some of them attended," said Mims, who has a doctorate in adult education from the University of Georgia.

By putting parents in a learning environment they know, Troy professors aim to reduce the apprehension the adults feel about reentering a world they haven’t experience for decades. In addition, the parent degree program provides a strong support system, anchored by professors who are specially trained in adult education and who understand the needs and concerns of adult students.

"At first, there is this overwhelming fear. ‘Am I good enough? Can I do this?’," Mims said. "Yes, there is a certain level of rigor, but it comes though an empathetic lens. We know they have baggage."

The school also works to remove any barriers to education, including providing childcare options and offering additional tutoring and flexible class schedules

While there is no program currently available in Newton or Rockdale County, Bob Bertram, Troy’s director for North Georgia, said that the university would start one if there was a demand for it. He said the university would only need about 15 students to get started.

The graduation ceremony is at 6 p.m., Dec. 17 at Eastridge Community Church, Covington.

For more information call Bertram, Mims or Jymmyca Wyatt, with Troy’s business development office, at (770) 385-8315 or visit