Tennessee Is Investing In a Program That Helps Adults Finish Their College Degree. Will It Boost the Economy?
Photo: Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Laura Santhanam, PBS NewsHour
A decade ago, Lara Mechling dropped out of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville midway through her freshman year. It's a decision that would haunt her for years.
In August, the 29-year-old mother got a second chance. Thanks to a program called Tennessee Reconnect, adults who either didn’t finish their postsecondary education or never enrolled in the first place can earn a college degree, tuition-free.
Tennessee Reconnect could ultimately help roughly 900,000 adults across the state finish their college degrees — and, advocates say, potentially attract more employers to Tennessee while boosting the state’s economy.