Where Academic Dreams Come to Life: Salem College’s Martha H. Fleer Center for Adult Education



BY SUSAN SCHABACKER

Are you a busy mom taking care of your family and working, but you’ve always wanted a degree to pursue a career that you’re truly passionate about? Anyone over the age of 23 who wants to finish up a degree, start a new major, or earn a certificate will be empowered by Salem College’s Martha H. Fleer Center, the ideal adult education program for academic advancement. Flexible scheduling on a full or part-time basis, plus a staff dedicated to your success, enable adult students to thrive.

Salem College’s Martha H. Fleer Center for Adult Education offers an appealing program for a wide variety of interests. Would you like a certificate in Not For Profit Management? How about a Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing or Accounting? Or does a concentration in Interior Design interest you more? With so much to choose from, including degrees in over 30 majors, four certificates, and educational licensures, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Adult students are exceptionally focused and motivated, and with the Martha H. Fleer Center’s dedicated faculty and support staff, they are able to balance work, family, and academics. The flexible program allows adult students to create a customized schedule and combine evening and day classes that work around their schedules.

“We want adult students to be comfortable using our resources. We offer a series of student achievement seminars, such as a series on time management and how to prep for exams,” says Betty Telford, Interim Dean of the Fleer Center at Salem College. Students can take advantage of tutoring at the Academic Support Center which is open to all and services are free.

The program allows for close connections with other students, professors, and deans in a supportive community setting. Telford is passionate about helping adult students pursue continuing education, seek guidance, work hard and thrive in their careers and in the community. The Fleer Center offers resources to develop a new career. “Not only do they take home a degree, but they cultivate lifelong relationships,” says Telford. These relationships continue far beyond their years at the Fleer Center. Often students remain in the community after graduation. “When I see them, they update me on how they’re doing. They’re everywhere, in businesses, schools, banks, and offices, doing remarkably well since completing their program at the Fleer Center,” says Telford.

Leadership and internship opportunities are plentiful and vary according students’ interests. These enriching and rewarding experiences spark creativity and curiosity as students explore roles, make lasting connections and gain valuable work skills. Few schools offer the variety of academic coursework that Salem College’s Fleer Center offers, says Telford. “It’s really an adult student-centered hub that’s a one-stop-shop.”

And yes, you can afford a Salem College Adult Student education! Options for financial assistance are many. Numerous scholarships, both merit, and needs-based, are awarded each semester. These scholarships, along with grants and loans, make the Fleer Center an affordable program of study. The Financial Aid Office is on the 2nd floor of the Lehman Building and is open Monday-Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They can be reached by phone at 336-721-2808 and through email at financialaid@salem.edu.

The Martha H. Fleer Center for Adult Education was founded in the early 1980s and is named for Dr. Martha H. Fleer, a community resident who often attends orientation so she can meet with students. She is known as the “founding mother,” says Telford of Martha Fleer. “By the time students graduate, they definitely know who Dr. Fleer is. She is a visionary and is credited for changing many lives throughout the community.”

Prospective students can call the Martha H. Fleer Center at Salem College for more information at 336-721-2669 or can visit the college website at Salem.edu. The Fleer Center is open Monday-Thursday until 6 p.m., and until 5 p.m. on Fridays so busy prospective students can visit the center at their convenience.  With its historic small Moravian village charm, the campus is beautiful year-round with stunning outdoor gardens, stately trees, and exquisite water fountains.

At a recent visit to a local public school, Telford ran into a recent graduate wearing a Salem College shirt. “She knows she’s making a positive difference,” Telford said with a smile, “and the Martha H. Fleer Center for Adult Education made it all possible!”

The Martha H. Fleer Center at Salem College is located at 601 S. Church Street, Winston-Salem. For more information call 721-2669, or visit online at www.salem.edu/fleer-center/.


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