Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community Helps Adults Return to College
By: on Feb 24, 2016
Adults wanting to achieve their postsecondary degree or certificate have a new resource for help beginning March 1. It’s the Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community. This regionally based program was developed to help increase the number of adults in this area with a postsecondary degree. The Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community is a program of the Southwest Tennessee Development District (SWTDD) that is partnering with theCO and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce to provide adults with free advising, career counseling, support, a personalized path to and through college, and connect community partners in larger statewide degree attainment initiatives.
The Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community was created as a part of a larger statewide effort, Tennessee Reconnect that encourages adults to return to college to earn a degree or certificate. Tennessee Reconnect is a piece of Governor Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative, which is a statewide effort to increase Tennessee’s educational attainment rate from 37 percent to 55 percent by the year 2025. Tennessee Reconnect Communities have been established in 2016 by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in partnership with The Graduate Network and through technical assistance and funding from Lumina Foundation and the State of Tennessee. Currently, over 900,000 adults in Tennessee have at least some college credits but have not yet earned a degree.
“Our goal is to provide high-impact services to adults between the ages of 25-64 in our 13 county service area. There has never been a better time for adults in Tennessee to complete a certificate or degree. Going back to college can be a very worthwhile experience and Southwest Reconnect will be there for an adult looking to ‘reconnect’ every step of the way,” said Cedric Deadmon, Southwest Reconnect Community Director. The Southwest Reconnect Community was awarded a $225,000 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission last year to fund the adult learner outreach and resources.
March 7 -March 11 marks the regional launch event for the Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community in Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, McNairy, Carroll, Crockett, Gibson, Tipton, and Wayne counties. This launch includes what is being called the first “mobile college access” bus in Tennessee. The bus, owned and operated by grant partner, theCO, will be equipped with the latest in technology and wireless connectivity which will make serving students in rural areas of Southwest, Northwest, and South Central Tennessee easier. The bus will stop at designated locations in each county for an hour and a half so prospective adult students can speak with college access advisors and engage higher education partners from across the region.
For more information about the bus tour, location and services offered to adults considering going back to college, contact, Cedric Deadmon, Director of the Southwest Reconnect Community, at 731-668-6448, or visit www.swreconnect.org when its website launches March 1.
For more information about the grant: http://www.nashvillechamber.com/docs/default-source/pdfs/reconnect-community-grant_press-release_final.pdf?sfvrsn=2