By Allyson Oakley
Adult students from Volunteer State Community College have the opportunity to fill out an application for Pioneer Connections. This program will connect adult learners, who are willing to mentor, with other adults, that are needing guidance. The selected mentors will receive a $1,100.00 scholarship that can go towards books, tuition, fees, and other things
“Connection is a motivator. Mentors are going to be trained to be a resource. They are going to make a connection with experiential guidance to help other students who are walking in the same path that they have,” said Amy Hoffman, relational completion advisor in the Office of Adult Learners and Veterans Affairs.
Sarah Davis took the day off from work to apply for the fall 2019 semester. “I haven’t been to school in ten years. It’s nice to know that I won’t be alone when I’m trying to navigate work, family and now school. I don’t want to feel like I’m the only adult student in the classroom. The online aspect is probably second nature to other students but going back to school at 30, online learning is something that I may need some help with,” said Davis.
“There are actually a lot of adult learners. We just don’t see many of them because of their work schedule. Many times, not always, they are here at night. Or they are taking classes online” said Hoffman.
Elijah Buras is an adult student at Volunteer State. “I think adult learners can benefit from any and all avenues that are open to them. Anything that is a scholarship or any help that a person can receive is beneficial,” Buras.
Buras also said, “I feel like being a mentor to someone else is beneficial. You know the adage where you don’t really learn something until you can teach it to someone else? I say yes to mentors for adult learners.”
According to an email from Hoffman, “We believe that a mentor-mentee connection that includes related adult student experiences will provide an added layer of support and assist overall student success.”
For students to qualify, they must have two references from Vol State faculty or staff. The application is online at https://nextgensso.com.
Hoffman’s email also explains, “We are seeking a select number of peer mentors who are ready to be a support to other adult learners and also grow in leadership skills. The responsibilities and requirements are set so as to attract adult learners as mentors.”