The Daily Bulletin



Thursday March 23, 2023

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Niswonger Campus to Host TN Reconnect Info Session
March 16, 2023


3:30-6:30 p.m., March 23, Niswonger Campus
3-6:30 p.m., April 25, Sevier County Campus

A Tennessee Reconnect/Adult Learner information session will be held from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, at the Walters State Niswonger Campus in Greeneville. 

Over $1 million dollars in Tennessee Reconnect grants were given to Walters State students in the past fiscal year. The grants are reserved for students who are beginning or returning to college several years after completing high school. Parents and veterans also qualify.

Jessie Barber of Greeneville is using Tennessee Reconnect to complete her lifelong dream of going from a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse.
“I had heard about Tennessee Reconnect but never really considered applying for it,” Barber said. “I decided to get serious about going back to college. I talked to coworkers and they encouraged me to apply for the grant.”
The grant has paid for all of Barber’s tuition while she has been taking the required prerequisites. She will begin the LPN-to-RN program this summer and be on track to graduate in May 2024.  

Dr. Erin Dean, coordinator of adult learners and advisor at Walters State, said the program pays for tuition for qualified students seeking a certificate or degree. 

“This is a great time to be a college student in Tennessee, especially for adult learners,” Dean said. “For many, Tennessee Reconnect has made it possible to return to college or attend college for the first time. Adult learners do very well academically at Walters State. We know that it’s sometimes challenging to balance work, family and school obligations. We listen and guide students through academic planning to ease that challenge.” 

Tennessee Reconnect is a last-dollar scholarship for adult students. To receive this grant, students must be classified as an “independent student” by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Recipients must also be Tennessee residents for a year, enroll for at least six hours (usually two classes) per semester. Those receiving Tennessee Reconnect cannot have previously earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Students applying for Tennessee Reconnect are also required to complete the FAFSA. 

“My advice to other students thinking about going to college is to just do it,” Barber said. “Don’t doubt yourself. Everyone at Walters State is so positive and want to help you succeed.”
RSVPs are not required for the information session. For more information, contact Dean at 423-585-2654 or

In the photo: Jessie Barber