TENNESSEE GOV. SEEKS TO OFFER ADULTS FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE EDUCATION

[1/31/17]  Tennessee could become the first state in the US to provide free community college for adults if state lawmakers sign off on Governor Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Reconnect Act, which was announced Monday during his State of the State address.

“We need to reach the working mother that went to college but didn’t complete, or the son with sons of his own who like his dad never went to college but knows that he needs to upgrade his skills,” Haslam said in his prepared remarks, according to The Tennessean. “Tonight, I’m introducing the next step in making certain that everyone in Tennessee has the opportunity to earn their degree.”

Under the program, any Tennessee adult without a undergraduate degree or certificate could qualify.

“No caps. No first come, first served,” the Republican governor said. “Just as we did with Tennessee Promise we’re making a clear statement to families with Reconnect: Wherever you might fall on life’s path, education beyond high school is critical to the Tennessee we can be.”

The state already has a tuition free program for high school graduates and since its introduction in 2014, more than 33,000 high school students have entered community and technical colleges. Adults are next, Governor Haslam said.