By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Non-traditional students earn degrees through 2+2 program
Placeholder Image

Kim Young is what you’d call a non-traditional student. It has been 29 years since she graduated high school in 1984.
But this coming Saturday, May 11, Young will walk across the stage at Tennessee Tech to receive her hard-earned diploma as part of the 2+2 Elementary Education Program.
“I went to Motlow back when they first started having classes in McMinnville. I lacked one class from having my associate’s degree, but I quit. When I returned, I had more classes to make up. I always promised my husband I would get my degree.”
Thanks to a partnership between Motlow College and Tennessee Tech, area students of all ages can earn a four-year teaching degree from Tennessee Tech without having to travel to Cookeville.
In the 2+2 program, students complete an associate of science degree at Motlow College and are able to transition easily into the Tennessee Tech program. Students then complete their junior and senior years through Tennessee Tech without leaving Motlow in McMinnville.
The program is designed to mirror the quality of on-campus classes while increasing accessibility to more non-traditional students. Successful students earn a bachelor’s degree and licensure in elementary education from kindergarten through sixth grade.
Students say they like the program for a number of reasons, but largely because it helps them stay close to home. This is particularly appealing to young mothers and other non-traditional students.
Young and her two sons all graduated from Motlow with a two-year degree on the same day. Both sons started the 2+2 program, but dropped out. One son is still taking classes and Young says he will finish and receive his teaching degree. The other son is now married, has one child and another on the way.
Babies were also part of Jessica Page’s college years. Her daughter will turn 1 on May 15 and baby No. 2 is due in June.
“I had a family here and I wanted to stay close to home. I also worked here at a bank and I didn’t want to relocate. I liked the community you have with 2+2. We could all talk to each other about teaching stuff.”
The McMinnville classes are taught by Tennessee Tech professors Dr. Nancy Kolodziej and Jennifer Meadows.
Janie Robbins, associate director for Tennessee Tech’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education said, “I want to emphasize the partnership between Motlow, Tennessee Tech and Warren County Schools. Without all three working together, this would not be possible.”
 Melody Edmonds, director of Motlow’s McMinnville Center agreed, saying she is proud Motlow partners with Tennessee Tech in offering this opportunity to students.
The 2+2 graduating class for 2013 has 21 graduating seniors. They are Tammy Barrett, Whitney Brelje, Matthew Bryant, Brent Campbell, Karen Coffelt, Felicia Fults, Jessica Gillespie, Kristin Hankal, Melita Holland, Tiffany Judkins, Misty Mainord, Holly Mangrum, Rebekah Mooneyham, Jessica Page, Alesha Pegg, Catherine Stubblefield, Brittney Watts, Lorie Whitman, Kim Young, Sarah Young and Ario Zadeh.