Community college students react to proposed expansion of Tennessee Reconnect
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Students at Chattanooga State Community College who are in Tennessee Reconnect say the program has been instrumental in helping them finish their degree.
Governor Haslam’s proposed expansion will help even more people.
Lisa Gordon is a Chattanooga State student and she is almost finished her degree, thanks to Tennessee Reconnect.
“To me it has been very helpful. I have been wanting to complete my education and all I needed was six classes to complete that. I didn’t know that at the time,” Gordon said.
The program helps adult students finish their college degree. In his state of the state, Governor Haslam proposed to expand it, offering all Tennessee adults without a degree, access to community college, tuition free and at no cost to the tax payers.
“When I saw that I thought that was great. I thought that will give so many students and so many people hope to finish something that they perhaps longed to do but couldn’t see the way to do it and get started. the Tennessee Reconnect program will not only help with the financial resources, but also they have advisors and information sessions to help understand the program better,” Gordon said.
Chattanooga State officials say this is a win for everybody.
“I am grateful to Governor Haslam for his consitent leadership and investing in higher education and workforce development. so when we heard last night during his state of the state that he was expanding Reconnect to all Tennessee adults it was pure joy because it is great for the students, it is great for business and industry,” said Nancy Patterson, vice president of college advancement and public relations at Chattanooga State Community College.
It helps people who might not have had the opportunity to pursue a post secondary-degree.
“I definitely thinks this removes a potential barrier for Tennesseans who may think they need to finish that college degree or come back and start and finish that college degree, this takes a way that cost barrier,” Patterson said.
As for Gordon, she wants to pursue a career in biology. And she says this program is a can’t miss opportunity.
“If you are an adult student and you are thinking about going back to school just all I can say is you have an opportunity, this is an option and one of the best options and I say do it. Just do it,” Gordon said.
There are 900,000 adults in Tennessee that have some college, but no degree.