Walters State Community College:  Celebrating 50 years of educating the Lakeway Area

Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series in partnership with the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce showcasing local businesses. The Chamber Business Showcase is an annual event that is being taken online this year due to the pandemic. For more, go online to and search for the keyword #chambershowcase.

Walters State Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary during 2020-2021. The college began with less than 500 students meeting in downtown churches. Now, around 6,000 students attend campuses in Morristown, Greeneville, Sevierville and Tazewell.

The college is known for its use of technology, small class sizes and excellent faculty. The State of Tennessee has named it a VETS Campus for its service to military veterans. The eRepublic Center for Digital Education has named it the most tech-savvy community college of its size in the country and the college has been named an Apple Distinguished School.

Many students attend Walters State tuition-free through Tennessee Promise, a last-dollar scholarship for high school graduates, and Tennessee Reconnect, a last-dollar scholarship for adult learners. Eligibility requirements are available on the college’s website.

The Walters State Foundation awards need-based and merit-based scholarships each year. In honoring the donor’s wishes, scholarships may be for certain majors or for students living certain counties. Qualified students also receive federal aid such as the Pell Grant and the Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship.

The college offers over 150 academic programs. All programs that offer

accreditation are accredited and the college is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Its most popular majors include nursing, elementary education, computer and information sciences, engineering technology, psychology, music education and music theatre, law enforcement, paramedic, pre-engineering, natural science and pre-professional healthcare majors.

The Associate of Applied Science Degree and technical certificates prepare graduates to enter the workforce immediately following graduation. The Associate of Art, Associate of Fine Art, Associate of Science in Teaching and Associate of Science degrees are designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year college and complete a bachelor’s degree. Many Walters State alumni have continued their education and now work as pharmacists, doctors, dentists, attorneys and in other professional fields.

Walters State’s Division of Workforce Training serves over 4,000 students and about 75 companies each year with on-ground and online courses. Customized training can be created to meet the specific needs of a company expanding or locatingin this area, ranging from welding training to supervisory skills. The college officers many courses required by TOSHA and OSHA.

Individuals may choose to pursue careers as welders, certified nursing aides, medical assistants, phlebotomists and auctioneers through noncredit programs.

The Workforce Training Division also offers youth enrichment programs including the area’s oldest Talented and Gifted Program and a Summer Kids College.

The college has a very vibrant cultural calendar, with theatre and musical events open to the public each semester. The Mildred Haun Literary Conference is held in February. Global Connections, an initiative to prepare students to compete in a global marketplace, also offers international music, performances and presenations on all campuses.

Walters State fields cross country, men’s and womens’ basketball, golf, volleyball, baseball and softball teams. The college is among the most competitive in the National Junior College Athletic Association. The college has won national championships in baseball and golf.

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