Zaynah Burch wanted to continue her education so that she could one day achieve her dream of opening a coffeeshop, but she realized attending school while working is easier said than done.
That’s why she signed up to take classes through SNHU Powered by JEVS, a new partnership that provides students with career-enhancing skills and personal coaching that allows them to work according to their own schedule.
The course is the result of a partnership between Southern New Hampshire University and JEVS, based at Orleans Technical College and other JEVS locations. The hybrid model has students attending online courses and meeting weekly with their coaches while mastering a number of projects throughout the 16-week trimester.
“This particular model makes it so you can fit in your lifestyle, your work and your family,” said Karen Clarke, who acts as both a student and a coach through the program. Clarke has two kids and a bachelor’s degree in film and the arts, but has a three-year goal to be in a management position so she can start changing lives.
“Unless I wait until my son gets older, I’d be putting off my goal. This put me in a position where I didn’t have to put off what I had to do,” she said.
Burch has similar career goals. The George Washington High School graduate wants to open up a coffeeshop catered to college students. She works up to 12-hour days as a car saleswoman, so the flexibility of the program was something she needed.
Students are assigned 12 projects relating to areas in their concentration that they can complete at their own pace across the 16 weeks. Once a project is submitted, SNHU faculty members will review the material and give it a “mastered” or “not yet” designation, with the opportunity to revise their work for mastery if it does not pass.
Students will receive personal guidance from their JEVS coaches as they work on the projects and have support from other students and 24-hour access to online resources.
“The personal relationship [between student and coach] is everything, because you’d be surprised at how many barriers to success might be in place,” Clarke said.
The program allows students to obtain associate degrees in fields related to general studies, business and healthcare management, and bachelor degrees in fields related to management, healthcare management and communications.
Burch earlier applied to other colleges but couldn’t qualify for loans. She was able to join this program via a scholarship from TD Bank, which is available through June 2020 on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To learn more or request more information about upcoming trimesters starting Oct. 28 and Jan. 6, text or call JEVS at 267-209-3185 or visit CollegeForPhilly.org.