Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced funding for the creation of a higher education center in Lawrence County to increase opportunities for students throughout the region and to support the Drive to 55’s educational attainment goals.
The Lawrence County Higher Education Center is a collaboration between multiple public and private higher education institutions. It will be initially supported through $4.6 million in state funds and $4.5 million in local funds. The county’s goal is to raise another $1.5 million in private funding.
The Lawrence County Higher Education Center is one of several recent expansions to public higher education in rural areas of Tennessee. Last month, Haslam announced the expansion of programs at Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology in Covington, Jacksboro, Livingston, Ripley and Winchester.
“Every Tennessean needs access to a quality higher education institution, which creates new opportunities for communities and local economies,” Haslam said.
“Creating new pathways to a degree or credential will directly benefit southern Middle Tennessee by training a skilled workforce and attracting jobs to the area.”
The center will be centrally located in Lawrenceburg and easily accessible to students in Lawrence County, an area with limited higher education options. Tennessee adults without a degree or certificate will be able to attend the Lawrence County Higher Education Center tuition-free through the recent Tennessee Reconnect Act to work toward a technical certificate or associate degree.
Courses to complete degree or certificate programs will also be offered to Tennessee Promise students. Both scholarship programs are part of the Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.