Maybe you need new options

Published 11:22 am Tuesday, December 3, 2013

By DAVID BOBO/Guest columnist

Fear, doubt and anxiety are feelings many adults experience when they consider beginning or returning to college. These feelings often intensify with the added responsibilities of families and financial strain. Although they know education is the path to a better standard of living and opportunities for the future, many adults don’t know where to begin.

A free program at Jefferson State Community College called New Options helps adults face these obstacles.

“I was very unsure of myself,” said New Options Participant Martha Ahern. “They encouraged me and gave me the confidence I needed to go forward with my dream of becoming a college graduate.”

The New Options program offers free seminars about beginning college, vocational assessment and career counseling, personal development seminars, and academic support services.

Martha needed financial assistance to continue college. Once again, the New Options program was there to provide guidance and support.

There are many students like Martha in our communities. She represents many adults who do not qualify for academic scholarships designed for traditional college students who are just out of high school.

Often, returning students graduated from high school many years ago or did not complete high school and never considered college an option. New Options helps these students realize that earning a degree is an attainable goal and walks them through every step of the way.

“The free New Options program helps with study skills and time management, helps students choose the right course of study and helps them find career opportunities,” said New Options Administrator Ann Fulmer.

New Options has helped change the lives of countless Jefferson State students by giving additional support needed for returning to college.

“I am leaving Jefferson State a new woman,” Ahern said. “I will soon be a nurse and am now confident I can care for and make a difference in the lives of my patients and their families. My job skills empower me to fully support myself financially for the first time in my life. My head is held high and my heart is lighter.”

Jefferson State will hold free New Options seminars on the following dates at the Shelby-Hoover Campus on Valleydale Road: Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 10 – 1 p.m.; Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 6-8 p.m.; Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 6-8 p.m.

For more information, call (205) 856-8571 or visit