WSCC to offer first classes in Newport Center

The Walters State Newport Center will offer classes for the first time fall semester in the Tanner Building. Matthew Hunter, left, dean of distance education, and Brian O’Dell, high school program specialist, check final improvements.  

Walters State Community College will soon offer its first classes in the Walters State Newport Center, located inside the historic Tanner School in Newport.

The Tanner School served as Newport’s only school for Black students from the 1920s until integration happened in the 1960s. It served as a community center and hosted special events until damaged by a tornado in 2011.

“This site will make college much more convenient and affordable to Cocke County residents,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State. “The site will also give us the opportunity to work closely with employers in the area and teach the technical skills needed in the county.”

Classes offered will be general enrollment courses required by most programs. These include speech communications, psychology, history, English composition and music appreciation. This fall, some classes will be offered at Cocke County High School but those will be moved to the Newport Center for spring semester.

The center will also offer student services, including counseling, advising and remote tutoring. Noncredit classes will also be offered at the Center. Noncredit classes train students for in-demand careers in a variety of fields.

“We have many students from Cocke County who have had to commute to a campus for all classes. Now, students will not have that commute for every class,” said Matthew Hunter, dean of distance education.

“The Tanner School has been completely remodeled. We have new windows going in and some final modifications.”

Fall semester begins Aug. 24. Walters State is planning to offer traditional classroom classes with social distancing precautions, online classes, virtual classes and hybrid classes, which combine both classroom and online learning.

For more information about classes at the Newport Center, please contact Brian O’Dell at or 423-585-6989.