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Edwards to speak at Farragut West Knox Chamber Speaker Series breakfast

Pellissippi State Technical Community College president Dr. Allen Edwards will update area residents to the changes happening at the college during the 7:30 a.m. Nov. 14 Speaker Series breakfast at Fox Den Country Club sponsored by the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce.

“There are a lot of changes going on that I plan to tell people about,” Edwards said.

He said the college is seeing an increased number of students attending school through the Hope scholarships provided by the state lottery.

“Last year we had something like eight hundred five lottery scholarships,” Edwards said. “This year we have about eleven hundred enrolled in the college. That’s a significant increase. We’re glad of that. It’s just an indication our student population begins to change. We’re getting more eighteen-year-olds in is what we deduce from that. We’re getting very capable, bright students and these are students that could have gone anywhere really.”

Edwards said there has been improvement in the bachelor degree program.

“You can get a bachelor’s degree now at Pellissippi State,” he said. “As a matter of fact, you can get them at one of two universities. You can get them from East Tennessee State University or from Tennessee Tech University. If, for instance, you want to become a teacher in K-through-sixth-grade levels, you can take the first two years of the education program from Pellissippi State and get your associate’s degree. Then, Tennessee Tech has four or six faculty members on our campus who offer the junior and senior year right here. You don’t have to go to Cookeville.”

This isn’t a new program, he said.

“That’s been in place only a couple of years, but now we already have like a hundred students in the upper division,” Edwards said. “It is extremely popular and has just filled a tremendous niche in the


The program offers advantages for the students.

“It’s a different program than the one at U-T. At U-T, you go and major in something, get a bachelor’s degree and then you go back for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education. Then you go and try to become certified as a teacher,” he said. “That’s like a five-year program. This is a four-year program for those that want to teach kindergarten through sixth grade. The advantage is you are very focused on K-through-sixth and you don’t have to go a fifth year. The program attracts a lot of eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds, but it also attracts a lot of thirty-somethings who have college hours and don’t feel they can go to, say, Johnson City to complete their courses.”

“We are looking forward to having Dr. Edwards as our speaker,” said Bettye Sisco, president and CEO of the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce. “Each of our speakers is of the finest caliber.”


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