What We Can Learn From One Family That Took Tennessee's Free College Offer
Emily Siner, Nashville Public Radio
Jim Bare never used to spend his Friday nights working on math. Now, he does it willingly—often with the rest of his family. In September, Bare, 65, signed up for his first semester of Volunteer State Community College under the Tennessee Reconnect program. His daughter also enrolled there. So did her husband. And her mom.
For them, college this fall has been a family affair.
Although their decision to sign up as a family may be uncommon, their individual stories—why they're going back, what their difficulties are—represent many of the nearly 15,000 adult students who enrolled this fall as part of Tennessee Reconnect, which guarantees free tuition at community college. And they reveal the challenges for the program that's trying to make a major change in the state's workforce.