Every journey starts with a beginning and the same can be said for Reconnect!
As I attended a launch for Southwest TN Reconnect at the Chamber of Commerce, the experience caused me to reflect upon my own educational journey. I realize the tremendous potential that Reconnect would have upon those that had put their education pursuits on hold or given up altogether.
My first experience with Community College was in the seventies and the tuition was $7.00 per credit hour. I wanted to go and since I was working and single I paid my tuition out-of-pocket; $105 for 15 credit hours plus books and fees. I could not even begin to calculate my return on that investment over the years.
I was a first generation college student, an only child and had attended 9 schools K-12. I did manage to attend the same high school for four years and since I was not a local product and my parents were not “pillars of the community;” I received lukewarm encouragement from my guidance counselor.
It was during the dedication of the new buildings at Southeastern Illinois College that I had the opportunity to shake a governor’s hand for the first time. At the launch of SWTN Reconnect was the second time I had the opportunity to shake a governor’s hand and ironically both of them played a vital role in education in their respective states.
I am strongly encouraged by the impact that will be made by TN Reconnect as I recall the struggles and challenges I overcame while reconnecting in my twenties graduating from John A. Logan College in 1983.
I had the opportunity to reconnect again during a layoff from my place of business and finished the program I had started so many years ago at SIC!
Perhaps the biggest challenge I faced was learning how to interact with the advances in technology as my first computer class was in 1981. Initially I did not have a pc at home but the resources and staff at Dyersburg State Community College helped me to be able to succeed in my online classes.
Had I not successfully overcome my previous two opportunities with reconnect, I doubt I would have had the courage and confidence to reconnect once again and obtain a Bachelor of Science from Union University in 2013.
Post secondary certification is more affordable and more attainable than it has ever been across the State of Tennessee. It’s your move!