Tennessee Reconnect Helps Adults Realize College Dream

Hundreds of students from Middle Tennessee State University are taking the first steps into the real world after graduating college Saturday.

“It can be done. There’s no dream too small, too big. Just pursue what you want, you will get your dreams.”

Four days ago, Mark Eischeid got the news he would graduate; a task he’s been working on since the 1980s.

“I earned 31 credits for my life history, everything I’ve done prior to leaving college in 1984.”

While working full time as a plant manager in LaVergne, Eischeid has been taking classes at MTSU on and off for years.

“Since 2008, I’ve been taking one class a semester.”

With the help of a program called Tennessee Reconnect, he will not only get his diploma but he will walk amongst the graduates too.

“There’s several people I know that would actually benefit from this program so I think it’s a wonderful thing we are doing here in the state of Tennessee.”

Tennessee Reconnect is a program designed to find students who left college after earning more than 60 hours but didn’t graduate and help them make it to today.

The program looks at the courses you took and finds out how many hours short you may be of a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies

“We started this a little over a year ago and we already graduated, I’m thinking, counting today, a little over 200.”

At MTSU, there is a list of 4,000 potential students for the program. The interim Dean of the University College, David Gotcher, says that is similar in other public universities in Tennessee.

“Our University college is built to reach out to these types of students.”

Gotcher believes the program is a great tool to help people better their career.

“For many, its a matter of can I even keep my job. For many, its a matter of advancing in their career,” Gotcher told News 2.”We may pursue a higher degree, we may do something else. I kind of really haven’t thought about it.”

For more details on the program, click here.


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