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Project Search at Welch College

Local special needs students experience job skills training at Welch through a new program, which has also provided an opportunity for Welch students to reach out with the love of Christ.

According to Dr. Greg Ketteman, Vice-president of Student Initiatives and Graduate Dean of Education, the Department of Human Services and partnered with Welch in a program being implemented at only one other college in Tennessee. Special needs students from Sumner County come to Welch during the week for one class taught by the program teacher followed by on-the-job mentoring in janitorial duties, clerical assistance, maintenance, and food service assistance.

“Welch College is being used as a model for other organizations nationally,” said Dr. Ketteman. “Students who have aged out of special needs high school programs are able to participate in this workforce learning program.”

The leaders of Project SEARCH have commented that they have been amazed at the acceptance their students have received from the Welch College family. “We have felt the love of Christ on this campus,” stated one of their instructors. Welch students have used this opportunity to invite Project SEARCH students to campus Bible studies and have been excited to see some of the young people attend.

It Happened this Semester

  • This school year started with the highest enrollment of students since 1983!
  • First computer science course offered as an evening class by Dr. David Sayre. The Introduction to Computer Science began in August and will lead into a follow-up course, Computer Science I, which will cover structured problem solving, program design, 4th generation languages, debugging, and technological testing.
  • Special Education licensure has been approved for Pre-K – 5th grade education degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The new Masters of Arts in Teaching online program began in January 2019 and is rapidly growing. The first graduates in this degree field which has tracks for licensure, higher education, instructional leadership, special education, or English as a Second Language are expected to walk across the stage in May 2020!
  • On October 8, Governor Mike Huckabee addressed Welch College Students for Constitution Day. Later that evening, over 90 faculty and students attended the taping of the Huckabee Show in nearby Hendersonville.

  • Our Teacher Education program expanded to include a degree with licensure in Math. This adds to the current degrees in Early Childhood, Elementary Education, Secondary Education – Bible, Biology, English, History, Music, Physical Education, and Special Education
  • Students participate in Christian Service opportunities each week as part of the educational program at Welch. But students often go beyond these required events to serve others in a variety of activities. Several of our students worked with Layman Lessons.org on a weekend to help at a homeless camp. Students also gathered supplies and held a packing party to prepare shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse.

Thank You from Welch College Students

As we prepare to finish this fall semester, several of our students have taken a moment to share how your gifts are blessing their lives.

My parents are in the ministry and have three children going through college, so the financial aid we receive from donors at Welch is truly a reason to celebrate! Because of financial aid, some of the stress of finances has been relieved, and I was able to play soccer this semester. Because of playing soccer, the door has opened for me to go with the team on a mission trip during spring break to serve in Taiwan. Support of the Torchbearers has allowed me to have the opportunity to grow academically, spiritually, and athletically. Thank you!

Naomi Alonso – Freshman from North Carolina

The gifts from donors have significantly aided me this semester.  I am paying for college on my own because my parents are unable to help. I had to leave my former college due to a change in my financial situation, so the donations made to Welch College by Torchbearers are providing me the opportunity to continue my Christian education as I study Exercise Science. What a tremendous blessing you are to me!

Bryson Foulks-
Junior from Tennessee

 As I began this year at Welch college with my freshman sister, I faced the daunting question: “How are we ever going to pay for this?” The truth is, that as this semester continued, my family and I have not been able to afford Welch College for me and my sister. BUT GOD IS supplying the need. He has provided through my parent’s jobs, my job, and the financial help of Torchbearers. God has been so incredibly good to me this semester, and I hope that someday I will be able to bless a future student who attends Welch College just as YOU have blessed me!

Kendal Ryan-
Junior from Illinois

As a first-year student, I was very concerned about my financial situation. I can confidently say that the generous support of Torchbearers has made college a reality for me. I cannot stress the peace of mind that your assistance has provided me and my family. There was a very strong chance that I could not have attended school had it not been for donor contributions to the school. Without the generosity of Torchbearers, I would not be able to use this opportunity to prepare myself to go out into the world to be a light for the kingdom of Christ in the business world.

Tanner Carson-
Freshman from Tennessee