Courtesy of WGU Tennessee
Miranda Goolsby was passed over for a job because she lacked the required educational qualifications. She wanted to change that, so she decided to return to school to pursue a master's degree in management and leadership from WGU Tennessee. Thanks to a scholarship program launched last year in conjunction with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, she’s on her way.
Goolsby was named a 2015 recipient of the Complete College Scholarship, a WGU Tennessee scholarship program launched in conjunction with the Nashville Area Chamber to boost workforce development in Middle Tennessee. The program’s goal is to provide up $300,000 in scholarships to 100 new students who work for any of the 2,200 member businesses of the Nashville Chamber. She and the other recipients will each receive up to $3,000 in tuition funding for up to five six-month terms. (WGU Tennessee has just reopened this scholarship for 2016, and new or prospective students interested in applying can do so here.)
After receiving an associate degree from Nashville State Community College in social services and social work, Goolsby started working as a roving cashier for Metro Nashville Public Schools. The Nashville native then earned a bachelor of science in marketing management from WGU Tennessee in 2012, which led to a promotion and a management role.
Goolsby says there were many factors that drew her to WGU Tennessee.
“I love the competency-based courses and the freedom I have to move at my own pace,” she said. “I appreciate being able to spend my time focusing on the material I’m not as comfortable with instead of sitting through the material I already knew.”
She says that WGU Tennessee’s curriculum has allowed her to be independent while also taking full advantage of her access to a faculty mentor. She has enjoyed the guidance of two faculty mentors while earning both of her degrees, and she says their support has been integral to her success.
“Every week I schedule a time to speak to my mentor and set goals for the week,” she said. “My mentor keeps me focused and on task, which is absolutely essential when you’re a working adult with all of the responsibilities that entails.”
Goolsby is excited to continue putting her education to use after she finishes her master’s degree. She hopes to make a career out of writing and developing marketing and business plans for companies and organizations.
“Thanks to WGU Tennessee and the Nashville Area Chamber, I’m confident that I can accomplish what I need to do to reach my goals,” she says. “And that’s a good feeling.”