Southwest Reconnect Community Launches To Help Adults Return To College

Southwest Reconnect Community Launches To Help Adults Return To College

Jackson, February 8, 2016:

March 1 will mark the launch of the Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community, a regionally-based effort focused on increasing the number of adults in the area with a postsecondary credential. The Southwest Tennessee Reconnect community is a program of The Southwest Tennessee Development District and will partner with the CO and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce to provide adults with free advising, career counseling, support, a personalized path to and through college, and connect community partners in larger statewide degree attainment initiatives.

The Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community is part of a larger statewide effort, Tennessee Reconnect, to encourage adults to return to college to earn a degree or certificate. Tennessee Reconnect is part of Governor Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative, a statewide effort to increase Tennessee’s educational attainment rate from 37 percent to 55 percent by the year 2025. Tennessee Reconnect Communities were established in 2016 by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in partnership with The Graduate Network and through technical assistance and funding from Lumina Foundation and the State of Tennessee. Currently, over 900,000 adults in Tennessee have at least some college credits but have not yet earned a degree.

“Our goal is to provide high-impact services to adults between the ages of 25-64 in our 13 county service area. There has never been a better time for adults in Tennessee to complete a certificate or degree. Going back to college can be a very worthwhile experience and Southwest Reconnect will be there for an adult looking to ‘reconnect’ every step of the way,” said Cedric Deadmon, Southwest Reconnect Community Director. The Southwest Reconnect Community was awarded a $225,000 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission last year to fund the adult learner outreach and resources.

A regional launch event for the Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community will be held March 7th-March 11th in Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, McNairy, Carroll, Crockett, Gibson, Tipton, and Wayne counties. The launch will include what is being called the first “mobile college access” bus in Tennessee. The bus, owned and operated by grant partner, theCO, will be equipped with the latest in technology and wireless connectivity to make serving students in rural areas of Southwest, Northwest, and South Central Tennessee easier. The bus will stop at designated locations in each county for an hour and a half so prospective adult students can speak with college access advisors and engage our higher education partners from across the region.

For more information about the bus tour, location and services offered to adults considering going back to college, contact, Cedric Deadmon, Director of the Southwest Reconnect Community, at 731-668-6448, or visit www.swreconnect.org when our website launches March 1.

Tennessee Reconnect Communities (TRCs) are locally-based collaboratives focused on empowering adults to complete a postsecondary degree or credential. Each TRC is comprised of local leaders from the community, employers, and higher education institutions, each focused on a localized plan to engage adults in the area. The TRCs provide adults with free advising, career counseling, support, and a personalized path to and through college. TRCs were established in 2016 by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in partnership with the Graduate! Network and through technical assistance and funding from Lumina Foundation and the State of Tennessee.

The Mobile Reconnect Bus is tentatively scheduled to stop in Haywood County on Wednesday, March 9 from 10:30 – 12:00 p.m. on Court Square by Flex Fitness. Visit the website listed above for updates.