White FHU Logo
White FHU Logo

Henderson, Tennessee — (May 3, 2024) — In just 10 years, a cohort that began as 14 students has grown to more than 80 who are thriving in challenging college-level courses with the dual enrollment partnership between Freed-Hardeman University and Chester County Schools. This week, school leaders, university officials and community dignitaries convened to celebrate the program’s decade of impactful education and growth at a special luncheon.

“It’s very impressive – this growth,” Dr. C.J. Vires, provost and vice president for academics, said. “Success doesn’t occur on its own; it has taken principals, counselors, teachers, parents and the students.”

Not only has student participation increased through the years, but their performance is strong. For example the Fall 2023 cohort saw 89 percent of students earning an A or B in their courses with an average 3.208 grade point average. Additionally, the level of satisfaction with courses and instructors has been ranked high by students. 

Gourmet cookies designed with the mascots of Chester County Schools (Eagles) and Freed-Hardeman University (Lions) were served at the luncheon.Great strides have been made to ensure the program remains financially possible for eligible and interested students. “Dr. Vires wanted us to make sure there were no financial barriers for students to participate,” Dr. Jared Gott, assistant dean of emerging and innovative programs, said. 

FHU President David R. Shannon and Dr. Sharen Cypress, dean of the FHU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, presented Chester County Director of Schools Troy Kilzer II with two awards during the luncheon. 

Cypress praised the exceptional work and collaboration between FHU and Chester County Schools. “We couldn’t do it without them,” she said. “It takes the whole community – a network.”  

Shannon called Kilzer “a strong leader and reliable partner.” 

Dr. Sharen Cypress, dean of the FHU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, presents Chester County Director of Schools Troy Kilzer II with an award during the luncheon.

“We’re together in our mission to make college accessible to the community. This is a mutually beneficial partnership. We have shared alumni, with 120 faculty and staff in Chester County holding degrees from FHU,” Shannon said. 

In his message to attendees, Kilzer shared the school system’s commitment to providing high school students with college-level rigor. “We hope success seeds success,” said Kilzer, who highlighted Chester County’s Portrait of an Eagle motto, which reminds everyone to focus on adaptability, critical thinking, empathy, communication and integrity. 

Individuals may learn more about FHU’s dual enrollment programs at fhu.edu/dualenrollment.

The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees