Southwest officially opens new Somerville location with ribbon cutting
Southwest Tennessee Community College’s newest location at UT Martin in Somerville, Tennessee will offer Fayette County residents convenient access to a community college education.
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Diana Fedinec, Director Public Relations and Media
August 15, 2019 - The Fayette County community came out in force Tuesday to celebrate the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Somerville Site located within The University of Tennessee at Martin Somerville Center. State legislators, mayors, aldermen, commissioners, Chamber representatives, Southwest President Dr. Tracy D. Hall, UTM Chancellor Dr. Keith Carver and many more school representatives and leaders cut the ribbon to mark the momentous occasion. “Community colleges are about access and providing affordable opportunities for anyone who seeks to pursue their education,” Dr. Hall told the crowd. “We belong here and we are happy to be here to serve Fayette County. We are looking forward to having a growing enrollment at this location.
Somerville Site marks the opening of Southwest’s seventh location. It provides Fayette County students a convenient location to complete their community college coursework without commuting into Shelby County.
Nearly 100 elected officials and community supporters joined Southwest and UTM leaders, students and faculty at the event. Special guests included Senator Dolores Grisham, Fayette County Mayor Rhea “Skip” Taylor, Oakland Tennessee Mayor Chris Goodman, Fayette County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sissy Dowdle and Oakland Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pattie Krepela.
“This partnership with Southwest really makes this center complete,” said The University of Tennessee at Martin Chancellor Dr. Keith Carver. “You can go all the way from dual enrollment to an associate and bachelor’s degree and use the same facility right here in Somerville. I think great things are going to come from this day.”
The college will initially offer eight freshman level courses that are transferrable to UT Martin through the Tennessee Transfer Pathway for those wishing to complete four-year degrees. Additional degree programs will become available over the next year to allow full degree availability within the next 12-18 months. Southwest students will have access to a tuition-free education through Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect as they prepare to enter directly into the workforce or continue their education at UT Martin and beyond.
“When we started the plan for this center five years ago, the thought process was that it would serve as a hub where you could earn your bachelor’s degree, but also get a high school diploma,” said The University of Tennessee at Martin Somerville Center Director Kara Tapp. “Now you can get an associate degree! It’s a proud day for Fayette County.”
The free event offered on-site admissions and financial aid stations to help students get ready for the beginning of Fall Semester, Aug. 26. Three $150 book scholarships were awarded to incoming Southwest students and door prizes handed out through random drawings. Special thanks goes to Main Street Eatery for catering a scrumptious buffet of food.
For more information about our Somerville Site, contact Somerville Site Director Ron Wells at 901-333-4108 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Prospective applicants should contact Admissions at http://www.southwest.tn.edu/admissions/.