New Opportunity School for Women established at MC

Oct. 7, 2013
Contact: Linda Ueland, Director for NOSW at Maryville College
865.981.8123; linda.ueland@maryvillecollege.edu

The New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) is being established at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn.

The school is designed to improve the educational, financial and personal circumstances of low-income, under-educated, middle-aged women in the Appalachian region. The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee, a fund of the East Tennessee Foundation, is providing financial support for the program.

Out of an urgent need to help women in Appalachia become better educated and employed, the program was founded in 1987 by Jane Stephenson at Berea College in Kentucky. Building on its success, two additional programs were established at Lees-McRae College in North Carolina and Bluefield College in Virginia. Maryville College is pleased to add the fourth NOSW program to serve East Tennessee. Linda Ueland is the director for NOSW at Maryville College.

Through a 21-day residential program and continuing support, women develop essential tools for advancing their education, gaining sustainable employment and rebuilding self-esteem.

“These three weeks will have a lifelong impact in their lives, and many women will later receive college degrees,” Ueland said. “Through an intensive curriculum, hard work, community internships and career counseling, participants will tap into sources of new knowledge and skills while realizing the value of their own wisdom, experiences and abilities. In three weeks, these women will begin to rediscover personal strengths, courage and life goals often hidden by overwhelmingly difficult circumstances.”

The program is open to residents of the following East Tennessee counties: Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Knox, Jefferson, Johnson, Loudon, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Polk, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union and Washington.

Maryville College’s first three-week NOSW program will be held on campus July 13 through August 2, 2014.

To formally introduce the new initiative at Maryville College, a NOSW Town Hall will be held Tues., Oct. 15 from 3:30 until 4:45 p.m. in the Maryville College Alumni Gym. A “meet and greet” will be held from 3 until 3:30 p.m. for staff, faculty, community guests and speakers. The program begins at 3:30 p.m.

Visiting guests include: NOSW founder Jane Stephenson, graduates of the NOSW program and guests from The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee and local businesses.

The event is free and open to the public.

As the director of the East Tennessee NOSW, Ueland will work with Billy Newton, NOSW’s foundation president and East Tennessee coordinator, to establish NOSW at Maryville College.

Since 2011, Ueland has worked in Maryville College’s Academic Support Center, managing the responsibilities of the academic support assistant. She has also served on committees to help support non-profit organizations within Monroe County.

To learn more about the NOSW program or attending the three-week program at Maryville College, please contact Ueland at 865.981.8123.

Applications are now being accepted.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2014 semester is 1,213.