Chattanooga State Begins 2nd Year of “Tennessee Promise”

Tennessee’s innovative programs to help students get started in college were celebrated at Chattanooga State Tuesday morning.

Tennessee Promise is in its second year, and the Tennessee Reconnect program for older students is getting underway.

There was a carnival atmosphere at the campus

Not every state has a program to pay for the first 2 years of college or advanced trade school.

Tennessee promise began a year ago..and the question is..how many students stayed with it.

FLORA TYDINGS, PRESIDENT, CHATTANOOGA STATE  “We’ve had a good return rate. We’ve had just about 55% of the students who were in Tennessee Promise last year …its a really high percentage of return rate. The factor that we don’t know right now..is how many of them went on to university setting. “

Governor Bill Haslam and state legislators came up with the idea to help fill the thousands of high tech jobs that’ll be created in the near future.

Many students could not afford it otherwise.

SEN. BO WATSON, (R) HIXSON  “We’ve had a lot of conversation across this country and in this state about student debt, and this certainly helps address that. It provides a way for students to get started in their higher education program and they can transfer over to a four year school after they’ve completed their entry level courses here.”

The Chatt state event was titled “my future’s so bright”.

And students posed for photos to demonstrate their determination to succeed.

AUSTIN HARKLEROAD, SECOND YEAR STUDENT  “It was great, I had great teachers..the teachers really help you here, they have all kinds of programs that really help you in your major.”

SEN. BO WATSON   “This is not funded with taxpayer dollars. This is funded out of a trust that was set up by the state of Tennessee ..using our lottery reserve money.”

And the state Reconnect Program can launch new careers.

Carol Blatchly wants to become a registered nurse.

CAROL BLATCHLY, PART OF TENNESSEE RECONNECT  “They need to look at this…and go for it. I’m 65 and if I can do it, anybody can do it”.

All together, there are 5000 new students on campus this year.

Welcome week at Chattanooga State goes on until Friday.

 

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