Chattanooga State Community College


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Adult Student Testimonials

ashley mello TN Reconnect adult student photo

Ashley Mello, age 34

Exercise Science Major

I’ve always had the personal drive to coach people in health and fitness. I’ve competed in triathlons, fitness events, and I am a NASM certified trainer. I’ve used that experience to train others for a few years but wanted the educational background to complement that experience.  This is one of the reasons why I decided to go back to school using the Tennessee Reconnect program at Chattanooga State.

I had been homeschooled my whole life and although I consider myself educated to some degree, I always wanted to do something more. I entered the workforce and became mired in the life that, although fulfilling, was still lacking in the potential that I saw in myself.  I considered going back to school, but the cost was prohibitive, and I thought it was beyond what I was capable of academically. At the same time, the longer I waited to get back into the classroom, the less confident I became that I would be able to learn at the level that I had been during my younger years. The idea of going to college was completely off my radar until the Tennessee Reconnect program was approved in 2018.

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