Pellissippi State increases adult enrollment, sets new records

posted in: Adult Education, President, TBR | 0
L. Anthony Wise Jr.

“Finding out about the free tuition program at Pellissippi State — a year before everyone else had it — was the reason I came back to college,” said Lara Mechling, a newly enrolled adult student at Pellissippi State Community College. “I started college after high school, but the timing wasn’t right. Because of Reconnect Now, I can begin again.”

Mechling, a 29-year-old recent mother, and around 2,500 fellow adult students qualified for Pellissippi State’s Reconnect Now scholarship initiative this semester. Reconnect Now is a last-dollar scholarship, funded by the college, for qualified adults. It allows adult students to attend the college tuition-free.

Of the approximately 2,567 students who qualified for Reconnect Now funding, 1,598 students have received funding so far. Of those, 1,100 students are new to the college and 498 are students who were previously enrolled. In short, nearly 23 percent of Pellissippi State’s current student population are new adults who qualified for Reconnect Now, and students who received Reconnect Now funding make up nearly one-seventh of the college’s total enrollment.

Total enrollment of adult students is 3,464 this year, reflecting the highest adult enrollment at the college since 2013 and a reversal of a seven-year downward trend in adult enrollment.

This increase in adult students contributed greatly to Pellissippi State’s overall jump in enrollment. The official headcount enrollment for fall is 11,168 students — an increase of nine percent over last year and the highest headcount since 2011. The college remains the largest community college in the state.

Pellissippi State did realize a number of enrollment firsts this semester. The college saw its highest-ever population of first-time freshmen — those who have never before attended college. Online student enrollment was up nearly 45 percent, making Pellissippi State’s online “campus” second in popularity only to the college’s Hardin Valley Campus.

“We’re excited to welcome the largest freshman class in the history of the college,” said President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “We are committed to providing the support necessary to give each and every one of our students the best possible chance of success at Pellissippi State and beyond.”

Other record highs were seen among Dual Enrollment students, who can earn college credits while still in high school, and for enrollment at the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.

Pellissippi State has record enrollment in fall 2017

Students in Courtyard

Pellissippi State Community College will see record enrollment this fall.

When classes begin August 28, approximately 11,571 students will walk onto Pellissippi State’s five campuses — which reflects an increase in enrollment of about 10.4 percent over the same day last year.

This fall, the college launched Reconnect Now, a last-dollar scholarship for qualified adult students that covers tuition and mandatory fees. About 2,706 students are eligible for Reconnect Now funding.

The college’s previous record high enrollment was 11,260 in 2011. Pellissippi State has been the largest community college in Tennessee since 2015.

“Our pilot of Reconnect Now has proven that adults in Tennessee have waited for an opportunity like this,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “Pellissippi State is proud to open the doors of education to everyone.”

Headcount enrollment is up at all five of Pellissippi State’s campuses in Knox and Blount counties, and is up almost 50 percent online.

“Covering the cost of tuition and fees does not meet all of the needs of adults with jobs, families and lives outside of school,” Wise said. “We have expanded the classes and programs we offer online, in the evenings and on weekends to fit adults’ schedules, and we’re pairing adult learners with support services like free child care for qualified single parents, credit for prior learning and even an academic fresh start if they’ve tried college before unsuccessfully.”

Pellissippi State’s Reconnect Now program will last through summer 2018. Next fall, qualified Reconnect Now students at Pellissippi State will transfer into the state’s Tennessee Reconnect scholarship program.

The official enrollment numbers for the semester will be determined and released on September 11.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.

Pellissippi State offers last-dollar scholarship for adult students

posted in: President, Students, TBR | 0

2016 fall graduation ceremony

Anthony Wise
L. Anthony Wise Jr.

Pellissippi State Community College announced today that it would offer a last-dollar scholarship for adult students beginning in fall 2017.

The scholarship program, Reconnect Now, will cover tuition and mandatory fees, allowing qualified students to attend Pellissippi State for free.

Interested students can visit www.pstcc.edu/reconnect to find out more. Registration for the fall semester opens April 3. Pellissippi State will hold a special open house for adult students from 9:30 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 1, at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The open house is free, but interested students should RSVP at www.pstcc.edu/reconnect.

“This spring, Governor Haslam introduced his plan to expand the Tennessee Reconnect grant to give more adults the opportunity to attend college in the 2018-2019 academic year,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “We applaud that idea, but wanted to find a way for adult learners to get started right away.

“Through Reconnect Now, Pellissippi State will cover the costs of tuition and mandatory fees for qualified adult students in order to open the doors of higher education to everyone,” he added.

To qualify for the scholarship, students must qualify as an independent on the FAFSA and can’t have previously earned a college degree. Students must enroll at least part-time (at least six credit hours) in an associate degree program and keep a 2.0 grade point average. Visit www.pstcc.edu/reconnect for a full list of scholarship criteria.

In conjunction with the launch of Reconnect Now, Pellissippi State will offer expanded evening and weekend classes, as well as online pathways to a degree, to accommodate all types of student schedules. As always, the college offers support services like mentoring, tutoring and academic and career advising to all students.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. For a full list of Reconnect Now requirements, visit www.pstcc.edu/reconnect.