There are abundant opportunities in the Tennessee Valley for higher education at more than a dozen colleges and universities. Students can earn anything from associate and bachelor's degrees to technical certificates, master's and doctoral degrees.
Chattanooga State Community College serves more than 12,000 students. Located on Amnicola Highway, the college offers associate's degrees, technical certificates and 50 career programs in nursing and allied health, business, construction and human services, among others. Among its programs are Tech Prep, offering free credit in skills courses, and Middle College for high school students to adjust to college curriculum. The college curriculum strongly focuses on linking academic and professional teaching with current industry and business trends. 423-697-4404; www.chatta noogastate.edu.
Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tenn., enrolls 3,500 students. The average student age is 28, and 90 percent of the faculty hold master's or doctoral degrees. With 40 possible areas of study, the college offers day and evening classes as well as online and video courses. Satellite sites are in Athens and Madisonville. 800-604-2722; www.cleveland statecc.edu.
Dalton State College in Dalton, Ga., a unit of the University System of Georgia, offers 14 bachelor's degree programs, including early education, marketing systems and technology management. The college offers more than 56 associate degrees and 11 certificate programs as well as adult literacy programs. Almost 6,000 students attend Dalton State. 800-829-4436, 706-272-4436; www.daltonstate.edu.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College, in Rock Spring, Ga., emphasizes professional skills to provide students with jobs after graduation. With day and evening classes available, students can choose from 93 programs with courses offered on the main campus or other sites in North Georgia. Northwestern offers degrees in accounting, social work and medical assistance. 706-764-3510 or 800-735-5726; www.nwtcollege.org.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offers bachelor's, master's, postgraduate and doctoral programs to more than 10,000 students. The colleges of the university offer degrees in liberal arts, business administration, engineering and computer science, education, nursing and premedical studies. The university recruits students from the greater Chattanooga area and from across Tennessee and the Southeast. 423-425-4111. www.utc.edu.
Bethel University is a private Christian university, based in McKenzie, Tenn., and affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It has a campus in Chattanooga at 735 Broad St. and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in liberal arts, business, education and nursing. 423-756-1110; www.bethelu.edu.
Bryan College is a Christian liberal-arts college founded in Dayton, Tenn., in 1930. With more than 1,250 students from 40 states and six countries, Bryan provides studies in the natural sciences, Christian thought and athletic training. Bryan has 40 areas of study as well as 40 student clubs and organizations. 423-775-2041; www.bryan.edu.
Covenant College, in Lookout Mountain, Ga., is a Christian institution operated by the Presbyterian Church in America. More than 1,000 students are enrolled at Covenant. The most popular major areas of study include English, history and psychology. The college also provides preprofessional programs in medicine, nursing and law. 706-820-1560; www.covenant.edu.
Lee University, in Cleveland, Tenn., is a Christian university sponsored by the Church of God. The liberal-arts school was founded to train those entering the ministry but later developed programs for those seeking vocational skills. With more than 4,000 students enrolled, Lee University has become one of the largest Christian colleges in Tennessee. 423-614-8000 or 800-533-9930; www.leeuniversity.edu.
Richmont Graduate University, at 1815 McCallie Ave. in Chattanooga, provides master's level training in professional counseling and marriage and family therapy, integrating clinical training with a biblical foundation. As an extension of the graduate education programs, Richmont offers a network of Christian counseling centers. 423-266-4574; www.rich mont.edu.
Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn., is a college of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Southern offers more than 64 baccalaureate programs and 18 associate degree programs. Major areas of study include nursing, business management and education. More than 3,000 students study on the 1,000-acre campus. Online courses also are offered. 800-768-8437; www.south ern.edu.
Temple Baptist Seminary is a graduate school of theology and part of Tennessee Temple University. The seminary offers advanced preparation for biblical leadership in preaching, evangelism, missionary work and education. Temple also offers master's degrees and doctorates. 423-493-4221; www.tntemple.edu.
Tennessee Temple University, at 1815 Union Ave. in Chattanooga, is a ministry of Highland Park Baptist Church. The Christian liberal-arts college offers associate's and bachelor's degrees in Bible studies as well as business administration, computer science and sign language. The college enrolls 925 students in the college and seminary. 800-553-4050; www.tntemple.edu.
Tennessee Wesleyan College is a four-year liberal arts institution in Athens, Tenn. The 150-year-old college is affiliated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. The college offers more than 30 programs of study with more than 1,100 students enrolled. Among its academic programs are liberal arts and sciences, professional and preprofessional programs. Continuing-education programs and evening classes are available in Athens and Knoxville. 800-742-5892; www.twcnet.edu.
The University of the South is a private, four-year institution in Sewanee, Tenn. Commonly known as Sewanee, the college occupies 13,000 acres owned by 28 dioceses of the Episcopal Church. It offers 36 majors, preprofessional programs and master's degree and doctoral programs through the School of Letters and School of Theology. The College of Arts and Sciences has about 1,450 students, with environmental studies, economics and English among the most popular majors. 931-598-1000; www.sewanee.edu.
Chattanooga College, at 3805 Brainerd Road, was established in 1968 and prepares students for medical, dental and technical careers. Students in the dental assistant program learn dental terminology, microbiology and other professional topics, as well as English, business math and computer courses, according to the college website. 423-624-0077; www.chattanoogacollege.edu
University of Phoenix Chattanooga, at 1208 Pointe Centre Drive, offers degrees in business administration, criminal justice and more. The master's of business administration degree program provides instruction in health care management and technology management according to the college website. Programs also are available online. 423-499-2500; www.phoenix.edu.
Miller-Motte Technical College, at 6020 Shallowford Road, offers associate's degree programs in dental assisting, medical assisting, cosmetology and surgical technology. It also offers a diploma program in medical billing and coding and esthetics technology. 423-510-9675; www.miller-motte.edu.
Virginia College School of Business and Health, at 721 Eastgate Loop, offers programs in cosmetology, criminal justice, medical office management, therapeutic massage and pharmacy technician. 423-893-2000; www.vc.edu.