UTC students Allen and Zennia Nesmith and their daughter, Chyna. Zennia and Allen are adult learners at UTC; Zennia is a psychology major, while Allen will graduate in May with a degree in mechatronics
photo by Angela Foster
For University of Tennessee at Chattanooga adult learner Zennia Nesmith, a junior majoring in psychology, having severe attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is tantamount to tracking one snowflake during a blizzard.
“Your memory suffers,” said Ms. Nesmith, 48, a Chattanooga native. “I can’t pay attention and can’t remember things. I have so many Post-it Notes scattered around the house.”
Ms. Nesmith, who hopes to pursue a master’s degree in psychology after graduating in 2024, said UTC has been a godsend in several ways.
She has taken advantage of UTC’s Disability Resource Center and uses two software programs to keep pace in the classroom: Kurzweil 3000, an assistive technology tool that helps students with learning disabilities, and Glean, which lets students record, play back and add notes at their own speed.
“UTC has pushed me,” Ms. Nesmith said. “The accommodations there are second to none. They’ve helped me to concentrate, and I can thrive in the Disability Resource Center.”
She isn’t the only adult learner in her household attending UTC. Husband, Allen Nesmith, 54, will graduate in May with a degree in mechatronics. He also works as an automation technician at Sanofi and is about to start his third internship at TVA—where he hopes to land after graduating with his UTC degree.
UTC’s adult learner program “has opened a lot of doors and opportunities,” Mr. Nesmith said. “It’s exposed me to theory—the reasoning as to why you do it this or that way.”