Twice a year, advisory board members of the community gather to break bread with Chattanooga State personnel during an informal breakfast. During the spring event, attendees also had the chance to learn how Chattanooga State has made a difference in the lives of two Dayton residents Amy Smith and Cherri Attle.
Before the Chattanooga State Dayton Site opened in the 1993, students wanting to enroll in community college classes had to travel to the main campus in Chattanooga. Luckily for Amy Smith, who enrolled during the spring of 2000, the Dayton Site allowed her to take many of her classes locally in her hometown before transferring to Lee University in 2001. “I enrolled at Chattanooga State because I could afford to pay for each class as I took them. Also, it was convenient to be able to take classes in Dayton, while I cared for my 6-month old,” she said.
“I'm not sure if I would have been able to complete my degree without the help and easy access of Chattanooga State. Scheduling would have been too difficult and I feel as though I would have given up,” said Ms. Smith. After earning her bachelor’s at Lee, she obtained her master’s and educational specialist degrees in administration from Tennessee Tech. Having just completed her 17th year at Frazier Elementary in Rhea County, she still remembers inspiring stories told by the late Dr. Malcolm Fary, Bryan College Department Chair of Education and adjunct at the Dayton Site. “I enjoyed hearing about his experiences from his teaching career."
"No matter your age, your schedule, or choosing a second career... with Chattanooga State, you can do it!" said Ms. Smith.
Like many adult students beginning or returning to college after raising a family, Cherri Attle began her journey in 2013. She refers to herself as a “stay-at-home-mom” who home-schooled her children, but as someone who always longed to go to college herself.
Ms. Attle chose Chattanooga State because it was close to home, and she could do most of her classes online. “Without the education and experience I gained from ChattState, I never would have been able to gain the knowledge and confidence I needed to re-enter the workforce after 20 years at home with my children,” she said.
Graduating with a degree in Health Information Management in 2017, Ms. Attle continues to live and work in Dayton. She holds two part-time positions at Rhea Medical Center as a Release of Information Specialist and Utilization Review.
She said that Chattanooga State is a great choice for an education close to home. “Reach out to the faculty and the advisor for the program of your choice. They will guide you every step of the way. Step out in faith and change your life!”
The Chattanooga State Dayton Site has helped area residents further their education locally enabling them to continue to live and work in the town they love. For more information about class availability, visit https://www.chattanoogastate.edu/academics/schedules, stop by the site located at 200 N. 4th or call (423) 365-5010.