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Tennessee Reconnect Student Making Career Change
June 23, 2021

For many Walters State students, Tennessee Reconnect is the chance they never had. The last-dollar scholarship provides two years tuition-free at Tennessee community colleges. 
Treva Wilhoit, a business management major, admits she was nervous that first semester. She hasn’t looked back since then.  
“When I was younger, it was hard to find money for college. I always felt I wasn’t smart enough for college. Now, I think everyone can succeed here,” she said.
“You’re never too old to learn.”
Wilhoit qualified for Tennessee Reconnect and took two classes during her first semester. Then, her employer of 23 years closed and she was able to enroll as a full-time student.
To determine Tennessee Reconnect eligibility, students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Pell Grant is one of many awards determined by the FAFSA. Students must be a Tennessee resident for one year, participate in a college success program, and enroll in at least six hours leading to a certificate or associate degree. Students are ineligible if they have already earned a degree.
Wilhoit’s classes have all been online during the pandemic. 
“I couldn’t even send an email when I started Walters State. The thought of an online class would have terrified me. I enjoyed the classes but I am looking forward to being back in a classroom soon.”
 
“The best part about going to college is the professors and the staff members I’ve met. Everyone is so encouraging and that motivates me.”
In addition to her student responsibilities, Treva cares for her mother and her daughter.  Her dream job would be working in human resources. 
For more information about Tennessee Reconnect, contact Dr. Erin Dean, coordinator of adult learners and professional advisor, public safety, at 423-585-2654 or Erin.Dean@ws.edu. More information is also available at