Pictured, from left: Chris Cooke, Hixson Chamber chair; Rosemary Dworak, executive director, YMCA Healthy Living Center at North River; and Marsha Barker, Chattanooga State and Anthony Weaver, TN Reconnect student
The Hixson Chamber of Commerce welcomed Marsha Barker as guest speaker at their December meeting held at the North River YMCA. Ms. Barker is the director of Adult Services and Tennessee Reconnect coordinator at Chattanooga State Community College.
Tennessee Reconnect is an initiative designed to help more adults begin or return to higher education to gain new skills, advance in the workplace, and fulfill lifelong dreams of completing a degree or credential. Ms. Barker was accompanied by Anthony Weaver, a Reconnect student pursuing his Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Management at Chattanooga State.
The cost of college is a concern for potential students and Mr. Weaver was just as concerned until he began to hear about the Tennessee Reconnect program and did some internet research. “My wife and I were very excited about this opportunity,” said Mr. Weaver. “When the staff at Chattanooga State explained the program in detail, it looked as if this 44-year-old with a full-time job could go back to school.” Mr. Weaver has completed his freshman year and thanks to Reconnect, began his sophomore year with no student loan debt.
Since its inception in 2018, thousands of Tennessee Reconnect students have completed their degrees or credentials debt-free. Ms. Barker is always available to speak to businesses and organizations about Tennessee Reconnect at Chattanooga State Community College. Email Ms. Barker at [email protected] or call 423-697-4753.