Northeast State Community College - We're here to get you there

Tennessee Reconnect


TNReconnect was created to assist adults entering higher education, so that they may gain new skills, advance in the workplace, and fulfill lifelong dreams of completing a degree or credential. TNReconnect is part of the statewide "Drive to 55" initiative that seeks to increase the number of Tennesseans obtaining post-secondary degrees or credentials. If you qualify, TNReconnect can help pay your tuition and mandatory fees. 


Complete the TN Reconnect scholarship application at Click here for step-by-step instructions for completing the application.

Upcoming Tennessee Reconnect Information Sessions

Register now to learn more information about how the Tennessee Reconnect program can help you reach your goals.



Between providing for your family, working a job, and paying bills, returning to college can often seem like an unrealistic option. To make college a reality, Tennessee Reconnect programs are designed to help busy adults achieve dreams of attaining a college degree. We understand that many barriers can arise for adult students during the process of enrolling in college, and it is our goal to remove as many of those barriers as possible. Many Northeast State employees returned to school as working adults, so we can identify barriers they faced, and try to eliminate them for our students.  

  • The first step is  to apply for admission. The application is free and will only take 20 minutes to complete.  
  • We also have an Open Admission policy which allows us some flexibility with our enrollment deadlines. Normally the deadline to have your admissions file complete and be accepted is several days before classes begin. 
  • We offer a variety of options for our students to take classes. This allows students to work classes into their already busy lives! You can take classes on one of our four campuses (Blountville, Elizabethton, Gray or Kingsport) and in a variety of formats (Online, Hybrid, and Evening). About 1/3 of our student population are adults. 

We also understand that our students may have concerns about returning to college after a period of time. We try to tackle those head on to make our students feel as comfortable as possible. 

  • Our highly trained Financial Aid staff can answer any questions you have about paying for school. We have a number of institutional scholarships, and we'll honor any outside scholarships you may receive. 
  • Our library and learning centers are staffed with people who can help you with securing tutoring services as well as help you understand the online resources that are available to you. 
  • Our classes are full of students from all walks of life. We have students who are new high school graduates, working professionals, and veterans. It is not uncommon for the majority of your class to be adult students just like you.  

Adult Learners Webpage

Between providing for your family, working a job, and paying bills, returning to college can often seem overwhelming. We want you to know that achieving your dreams of earning a college degree at Northeast State is possible. Visit Northeast State's Adult Learners webpage for more information.

Adult Success Coach

Northeast State’s Adult Success Coach oversees a program called Beyond Reconnect. The Adult Success Coach is charged with serving as a point person for adult students who are enrolled in at least 6 credits. The purpose of Beyond Reconnect is to increase graduation and retention rates of our adult students by addressing barriers to educational success and providing services to help overcome those barriers. Services are limited to 370 students each semester, and Tennessee Reconnect eligible students are given preference. 

Class Formats

Programs/courses are offered in both traditional and alternative delivery systems as well as flexibility to take courses on multiple campuses during the day or in the evening. We have a variety of ways to offer classes that include in-person, online, hybrid, and Zoom.

Receive Credit for Things You Already Know

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), newly renamed Timewise TN, is a method of evaluating what you have learned outside school for college credit. Your past experiences and knowledge (from work, hobbies, volunteering, and other sources) may already account for skills that you would have learned in the classroom. If you can demonstrate this knowledge at the college level, many institutions in Tennessee will award college credit for what you already know. Of course, your knowledge must be relevant to your proposed degree, so you may not be able to earn credit for your knowledge of computers for a degree in music; however, there are many options for demonstrating prior learning. By demonstrating your skills and skipping the class, you save time and money. Here are a few examples of options to earn credits through PLA at Northeast State: Military Service Credit, Credit by Examination, Credit for Evaluation of Professional Credentials, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and Professional Portfolio. Advanced Placement (AP) and High School Dual Credit/Articulated Credit are also options, but they are more applicable to high school students.  


Northeast State awards assistance to students to meet their college expenses through scholarships administered by the Northeast State Foundation or other sponsoring agencies that establish programs for Northeast State students. Northeast State scholarship awards are based on the availability of funds and the criteria set forth by the appropriate program sponsor and are subject to change.

Veteran & Military Student Success Center

The Veterans and Military Student Success Center serves the educational needs of prospective and enrolled service persons, veterans, their dependents/survivors, and other persons eligible to receive education benefits under various Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) programs. We strive to administer these programs in an exemplary manner by providing program information and advising, certifying eligible students, and serving as a liaison between the student and the DVA. Northeast State was recently named to the Military Friendly Schools list for 2016, and also opened a Veteran's Center on our Blountville Campus.

Honor Society for Adult Students

Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society is a nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of scholarship and to the recognition of adult students continuing their higher education. Membership is extended by invitation in the spring of the academic year. The Nu Sigma Chi Chapter at Northeast State is one of over 300 institutional chapters throughout the United States.  

Programs Offered

Northeast State offers nearly 130 degree programs and nearly all of them qualify for TN Reconnect.  Some will prepare you for immediate work after one or two years of study. Others prepare you to transfer to a four-year institution to finish your degree.

Tennessee Reconnect

Through Tennessee Reconnect, Tennessee adults can earn an associate degree or technical certificate tuition-free at eligible institutions.

cathy-phillips.jpg"The first thing I realized when I started classes was that I wasn’t the only “older” student here. I also realized that the faculty was just as friendly and helpful as the staff had been. I was not able to attend full time but really wanted to finish as quickly as possible. I worked with an advisor that helped me schedule my classes every semester. With her help, I was able to graduate in the fall of 2012. I now tell people that other than having and raising my children, coming to school at Northeast State has been one of the best experiences in my life."-Cathy Phillips, Class of 2012.  

j-mike-northeast-state.jpg"Northeast State offered practical training that the university did not. What I needed was an array of practical skills to equip me for better job opportunities."-J. Mike Ramey, Class of 2001 


Kelley Hatch"After my husband and I split up, I moved to Tennessee to be near my son, daughter-in-law and grandsons. Despite having had a great career (news anchor for nine years, marketing executive for a major league sports team in Denver, CO), I could not get a job in Tennessee. Every employer I applied to asked, “Do you have a college degree?” My son was a student here and said it was an amazing school, which is why I chose Northeast State."-Kelley Hatch, Class of 2007 

Jennifer Kendrick"The decision to come back to college was not an easy one.  I had many concerns about the time commitment to study, maintaining family responsibilities, and meeting the financial obligations.  While I have been fortunate to find a career that I truly enjoy, I have always had the desire to achieve more.  In order to advance in the direction I wanted to go, I needed more education.  With the obstacle of not having enough education in front of my dreams, I knew the time was right to pursue my Associates Degree while working toward a Bachelor’s Degree."-Jennifer Kendrick, Class of 2017  

How do I begin the process of enrolling in college?

Regardless of whether you’ve already been to college or not, your first step is to complete an online Application for Admission. It’s free and should only take about 20 minutes of your time.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. Financial assistance is available through federal and state programs such as the Federal Pell Grant Program, Tennessee Reconnect, and institutional scholarships through the Northeast State Foundation. Please contact the Northeast State Financial Aid Help Center for assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA), and for information on additional sources on financial assistance.

Is there an application for the TN Reconnect Grant?

Yes. Go to and select the link to apply for the TN Reconnect grant located at the top of the page. There is no deadline but it’s in your best interest to complete it at your earliest convenience.

How will I fit classes into my work/family schedule?

Fitting classes into busy schedules is a common concern; however, Northeast State offers classes at several convenient locations across the Tri-Cities. In addition, there are various options for taking online courses with Northeast State. Although you may experience a small sacrifice of time with family and friends, we will work with you to find a schedule and location that best fits your circumstances.

How long will it take to finish my degree?

The amount of time it will take you to finish your degree will vary based on your personal circumstances, i.e., how many credit hours you may have earned from previous college work and how many courses you are able to take during a semester.

Where will I take my classes?

You will choose where you are going to take your classes when you create your schedule each semester. You may take all of your classes at the same campus or at various campus locations, depending on availability.

Will I receive help writing papers? Also, are there tutors to help me in my classes?

Yes. Students may receive assistance in writing papers and can also request tutoring services through our on-site Learning Centers. All of Northeast State's campuses are home to Learning Centers at which staff members are available to help you during regular operating hours. For those campus locations that do not have a full-time staff member, assistance with papers and tutoring sessions can be arranged by appointment.

Is childcare available on campus?

At this time, we do not have childcare available on any of our campuses. However, we have a new program called CCAMPIS that can help students provide some financial assistance for day care costs.

Is there a place on campus where I can meet other adult students?

Yes. One of the best ways to meet other adult students is in your classes. In addition to the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, which is designed specifically for adult students, Northeast State offers numerous campus organizations consisting of a combination of traditional and adult students.

Where can I receive career advising and get help with resume writing?

Northeast State’s Career and Workforce Development Center serves the students and alumni of Northeast State Community College in all aspects of career counseling and professional planning. A dedicated staff is available to assist students with resume development, cover letters, interviewing, and job search planning. Additionally, the office can assist students with clarifying their objectives and establishing career goals, which will enable them to fulfill their personal potential. The Career and Workforce Development Center has a full range of programs and services to help you find and achieve your goals.

I am a veteran. What kinds of military education benefits are available for me?

Because the type of military benefits you can receive will be determined based on your individual situation, Northeast State has a fully staffed Veteran & Military Student Success Center that can help you with your admissions application and enrolling in courses, while maximizing your veterans benefits. We also have a Veterans Center, an area on campus specifically set aside for veterans to have quiet time between classes, study, and build relationships with fellow veteran students.

Can I participate in campus activities?

Absolutely! All students are encouraged to become active in our many student organizations/clubs and social activities that take place at various campus locations throughout the year. Whether you involve yourself in campus carnival days in the fall and spring, various clubs related to your interests, intramural sports that test your athletic endurance and teamwork skills, or cultural activities involving nationally known artists, musicians, singers, dancers, writers, and lecturers, you are sure to find events that enhance your collegiate experience. And, best of all, most activities and events are absolutely FREE for students.

How do I register for my classes?

You will receive assistance with class registration when you attend Advising & Registration Day. Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor who will assist you in selecting the appropriate classes for your major, thereby insuring that you are on the correct path to earning your degree! You can always schedule an appointment with your advisor prior to orientation if you do not want to wait.

What is MyNortheast?

MyNortheast is a secure site that provides students, faculty, and administrative staff with world-class intranet and internet services. This is where you can check your e-mail, register for courses, and communicate with classmates and professors.

Can I get credit for past work experience?

Yes. You can apply for college credit through a program known as Prior Learning Assessment, also known as Timewise TN, in which your past experiences and knowledge (from work, hobbies, volunteering, and other sources) may account for skills that you would have learned in the classroom. If you can demonstrate this knowledge at the college level, Northeast State may award college credit for what you already know.

How can I pay for my classes?

If you qualify for grants and/or loans, those will automatically be applied to your account. If there is a remaining balance, you can pay with cash, check, or credit card. You may also use our payment plan to cover your balance. Because of TN Reconnect, your tuition and mandatory fees should be covered as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. However, the following items are not covered by TN Reconnect and will be your responsibility if no other sources of aid are available:

  • Online fees for TN eCampus courses
  • Specific course fees such as nursing fees, health professions course fees, music fees, and any other fees specific to a course
  • Books, access codes, or supplies
  • Fines such as parking fines and library fines
  • Calculator rentals
  • Printing costs

When is tuition due?

Tuition is due prior to the beginning of each semester. Exact dates can be found on our Academic Calendar.

Tennessee Reconnect and Tennessee Promise only cover mandatory tuition and fees. Mandatory tuition and fees at NeSCC include undergraduate in-state tuition, student activity fees, campus access fees, technology fees, and international education fees. TN eCampus fees, Health Professions course fees, Nursing fees, Music fees, or other program specific fees are not covered by Tennessee Reconnect or Tennessee Promise and must be paid for by the student or with external scholarship funds. Book costs, access codes, educational supplies, calculator rentals, printing costs, parking fines, and library fines are not covered.

Any external scholarships received by a student are in addition to funds received through the Tennessee Reconnect or Tennessee Promise program. The Federal Pell Grant, the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS), the Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA), and any tuition discounts/fee waivers must be applied to a student’s mandatory tuition and fees prior to receiving Tennessee Reconnect or Tennessee Promise funds. However, external scholarships will not reduce the amount of funding a student receives from Reconnect or Promise. The State and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) consider all aid other than state and federal as "gift aid", so it will not be factored in prior to awarding Reconnect or Promise funds. Northeast State Foundation Scholarships awarded to students are considered "gift aid".

Connect with Northeast State

Northeast State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. For questions or concerns, please contact the Affirmative Action Officer.