CU to offer reduced tuition

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Discount offered to those who enroll in ACCEL.

By Calen McKinney

Those who have recently become unemployed can attend college level classes at Campbellsville University at a discounted rate.

"The university will discount tuition and related fees, not covered by state and federal financial [aid], or other publicly funded programs, for up to two classes for any dislocated, or recently unemployed, adult who enrolls in the ACCEL Program," Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, stated in a CU press release.

The ACCEL Program is geared toward making attending college classes a bit easier for adults - and a bit cheaper.

Dave Walters, vice president for admissions and student services at Campbellsville University, stated that the program is designed to be more affordable than regular college tuition, offer an accelerated program and be more overall convenient.

The ACCEL - Adult College Choice for Evening Learners - program's discounted rate of $265 per credit hour will be offered to all eligible adult students.

"We want to provide those who have lost their jobs with renewed hope and opportunity," Carter said.

Tuition will be discounted for those who have become unemployed since Sept. 1.

"Campbellsville University is committed to ongoing efforts to provide affordable and quality higher education to the citizens of south central Kentucky as well as the entire commonwealth," Carter said.

According to the Campbellsville University Web site, ACCEL classes are offered during the evening in 8-week sessions.

Pat Mattingly, a Campbellsville resident and current ACCEL student, says the program has been a great opportunity for him to finish college.

"This was an excellent opportunity to pursue my degree in business," he said.

Mattingly, operating supervisor at Atmos Energy, said he learned about the program by listening to an advertisement on the radio. He began taking classes in May 2006, he said, shortly after the ACCEL program was started.

"I had not had the opportunity to finish [college], which I started years ago."

Some benefits of the ACCEL program, he said, are small classroom sizes, night classes to work around his family and work schedules and professors who will go out of their way to help.

One professor, he said, met with him outside his scheduled class so he could make up an exam he missed for work.

"Small classrooms are a plus," he said. "They really work well with you."

Mattingly said he usually takes two classes each eight-week session, typically on two nights a week, which means he can complete six credit hours in a short time.

Throughout his classes, Mattingly says he has seen a variety of students taking the ACCEL classes, such as those who have families and work during the day.

"It works really well for them," he said.

He said he has also seen some students who are retirement age and just want to go back to school to learn.

Mattingly says he has 49 credit hours left to complete before receiving his bachelor's degree in organizational business management. 

"I'm trying to get through college before my son does," he said.

His son is a freshman at CU.

Carter said he is pleased that CU is able to offer the discounted rate for those wanting to head back to school.

"We are very much committed to responding to the current economic crisis in every manner possible and reaching out to those who have lost their jobs during this very serious recessionary period."

Walters agreed.

"This is another example of Campbellsville University's desire to invest in the lives of people from this area," Walters said.

"While we extend our services across the state, nation and around the world, we also deeply value the people in this region. This is an investment into the future of our community."

Mattingly said he fully supports higher education and has encouraged several of his co-workers to go back to school and complete their degrees.

"It is a high-paced accelerated program," he said. "It works for people who have jobs and families.

"It's something that they need to take advantage of."

Campbellsville University also provided a college education to those who became unemployed when the local Fruit of the Loom factory and Batesville Casket Co. closed several years ago, which culminated into a loss of about 3,500 jobs.

Shortly after the closings, Campbellsville University formed its Technology Training Center to provide affordable short-term workforce development training for non-traditional learners. Since opening, the center has trained more than 8,500 people in the region.

The press release states that the Tech Center's programs are currently available at a low-cost and ongoing basis and include training focusing on employable skills and certifications.

Since the opening of the center, Carter said, CU has provided similar educational opportunities to numerous dislocated and unemployed workers, including a number of workers in Clinton County following the closing of some textile plants.

CU's commitment to providing an affordable education is further illustrated, Carter said, by the more than $10.2 in institutional financial aid being provided to about 2,600 students during the 2008-2009 academic year. On top of that, the press release states, CU students are securing an additional $19 million in state, federal and private financial aid dollars.

Campbellsville University's spring 2009 semester begins Wednesday, Jan. 14.

For more information about the ACCEL discount, contact the Office of Admissions staff at 789-5220 or by e-mail at admissions@campbellsville.edu.

For financial aid questions, call the Office of Financial Aid staff at 789-5013 or e-mail finaid@campbellsville.edu.

-Joan C. McKinney, Campbellsville University's news and publications coordinator, contributed to this story. Contact her at 789-5214 or by e-mail at jcmckinney@campbellsville.edu.

-Staff Writer Calen McKinney can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 235 or by e-mail at reporter@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.