Library Director Renita Barksdale said the liberary has partnered with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to meet Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to have 55 percent of Tennessee adults have college degrees or certificates by 2025. Locally, there are over 6,000 adults in Carter County with some college credits but no degree. Only 37.5 percent of adults have a college degree in the county.
The library is doing its part by placing an information booth at the front entrance with information and points of contact for adults who would like to reconnect by either completing their college requirements or helping get adults enrolled in a college program for the first time.
Even more information and assistance is being provided at 4:30 p.m. Thursdays, when the library plays host to McKenzie Todd, lead college success adviser serving Carter, Johnson and Unicoi counties for the Alliance for Business and Training. The comprehensive college success advisory services are free.
The Northeast Tennessee Reconnect Community is a one-stop starting point to get adults their end goal of earning a degree. The adults will receive personalized attention and support that fits their life and needs so they can finish college.
That advice and personalized attention includes choosing a path to college, finding out how to finish faster by using work experience, creating a plan to pay for college, applying to a college and preparing to start classes.
The information is available at the library booth in the foyer during hours the library is open. Todd will be at the library on Thursdays. For more information, call the library at 547-6360.
Barksdale said the library’s participation in the program fits with its overall mission. “The library is about community growth,” Barksdale said.