Adults Look At Going Back To School

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) -- 4,500 hundred East Tennessee workers were still unsure of their futures Wednesday night.

The workers at Y-12 are keeping a close eye on congress as it continues putting together the budget for next year.

On Tuesday they learned about a workforce restructuring plan that was put in place just in case there are budget cuts and workers are laid off.

If that happens some workers may turn to places like Pellissippi State to re-train and re-tool for a new career.

Jane Rahnema is one of them.

If resting is rusting, then there's not a speck of rust on Mrs. Rahnema.

"I'm a full time mother, wife, student and employee," she said.

Jane's enrolled in the new AHEAD program and it calls for a quick pace.

"It's not just coming to class one night a week,” said Cynthia Dempster from the program. “There's a lot of work outside class done either through the web or through video tape."

"Very intense,” Jane said about the program. “It’s very intense and very challenging."

But she is up to the task and the adjustments that come with the speed.

"The house is not as clean as it used to be, and the clothes are not washed,” she said with a laugh. “My 17-year old son did the grocery shopping for the first time in his life the other day, and he did a pretty good job."

Denise Reed is one of Jane's instructors and says all the students in this program are on a mission.

"The students are, a lot of them, non-traditional students,” Reed said. “They're coming back to better their lives trying to get a promotion or maybe even move into a new job field."

Jane's no exception.

"Well, I'm hoping that with this concentrated management degree, that I will move into management,” She said. “I've always been interested in that."

Jane says she has seen some immediate results.

"I think it sharpened my thought process a lot,” she said. “I think my memory and everything is better."

Jane offered the following advice to people like her who have debated for nearly two decades about going back to school.

"Do it now, go for it, it's wonderful, she said. “Go and enroll tomorrow, it's great!"

If you're considering going back to school, we have everything you need to know including information about local colleges and technical schools.

You can find information about grants and student loan opportunities by clicking on the links above.

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