When Tyler Gentile of Dunlap was making a decision about what college to attend, Chattanooga State was not initially his first choice; in fact, it wasn’t even on his radar. That all changed as deadlines to other colleges in which he was interested passed. He learned more about the school and heard encouraging words of praise about Chattanooga State from his Sequatchie County High School guidance counselor.
Tyler used his TN Promise scholarship at Chattanooga State and now he cannot imagine why he didn’t give the college more consideration at the beginning.
“I came to the think so highly of the college purely through my personal experience within its community, says Tyler.
He said, “The school makes education feel like a home away from home in a way that universities cannot. Chattanooga State deserves to be a first choice by virtue of how it helps the students, not only because of its great educational staff, but also how they prepare you for the next step after your enrollment comes to an end … whether that means into the workforce or entering a university.”
To fulfill the eight-hour community service portion of TN Promise, Tyler worked as a Humane Education Society volunteer. He says there is more to the volunteer job than most people realize. He also believes that TN Promise makes students feel more included and adds that, “students who have the scholarship appreciate it more and that makes the connections more real.”
Where universities are often too large and intimidating for new freshmen, making it easy to get lost, Tyler said he finds Chattanooga State “just right” and conducive to making new friends as he enjoys campus life. He is an active member of the Psychology Club, made the Fall 2017 Dean’s List and plans to join the Global Scholars honors program this semester. Now in his second semester, Tyler decided to major in Theatre Arts. He also will be helping other students see Chattanooga State through his eyes while working as a tour guide for Recruiting and Orientation this spring.
He said, “So many people think that community colleges are their last chance, but in reality it builds everything up in your life.”
Now in its fourth year, 62,860 of the state’s more than 74,000 graduating high school seniors in public and private schools statewide have applied as TN Promise students.
Chattanooga State Community College has an 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio, 97 percent job placement rate, and 98 percent licensure pass rate, officials said. For more information, visit www.chattanoogastate.edu.