There are many opportunities in the Tennessee Valley for higher education at more than a dozen colleges and universities. Students can earn anything from technical certificates, associate and bachelor's degrees to master's and doctoral degrees.
Chattanooga State Community College
Chattanooga State serves about 10,000 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. It also partners with companies such as TVA, Alstom, Wacker and Volkswagen to provide workforce training programs.
* 423-697-4404 or 866-547-3733
Cleveland State Community College
In Cleveland, Tenn., the school enrolls about 5,000 students. The average student age is 28, and 94 percent of Cleveland State's 70 full-time employees hold master's or doctoral degrees. With 40 possible areas of study, the college offers courses on nights and weekends as well as online courses. Satellite sites are in Athens and Madisonville.
* 423-472-7141 or 866-547-3733
Dalton State College
The school in Dalton is the University System of Georgia's state college for Northwest Georgia. It offers 14 bachelor's degree programs, including early childhood education, marketing and nursing. The college offers 22 associate degrees and seven certificate programs. About 5,700 students go to Dalton State, 85 percent working full-time or part-time.
* 706-272-4436 or 800-829-4436
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
With campuses in Calhoun, Rock Spring and Rome, Ga., this college emphasizes professional skills to provide students with jobs after graduation. It serves nine counties, including Whitfield and Catoosa, and offers close to 200 programs in the areas of business, health, industy and public service. Students can earn associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates. About 8,000 students enroll each year.
* 706-764-3510 or 866-983-4682
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
UTC offers bachelor's, master's, postgraduate and doctoral programs to more than 11,000 students. The university offers a comprehensive array of degrees in the fine and liberal arts, laboratory and social sciences, business, engineering and computer science, education, health professions and other areas. The university recruits students from the region and beyond.
* 423-425-4111 or 800-UTC-MOCS
The private Christian university, based in McKenzie, Tenn., is 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.
This Christian liberal arts college was founded in Dayton, Tenn., in 1930. With more than 1,400 students from 41 states and nine countries, Bryan provides studies in the natural sciences, Christian thought and criminal justice. Bryan has 22 majors with 42 areas of study and more than 40 student clubs and organizations.
* 423-775-2041 or 800-277-9522
Located in Lookout Mountain, Ga., Covenant is a Christian liberal arts institution founded in 1955 and affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America. About 1,000 students from 21 countries are enrolled. The most popular majors include English, history and psychology. The college also provides preprofessional programs in medicine, nursing and law.
* 706-820-1560 or 888-451-2683
Lee is sponsored by the Church of God and is in Cleveland, Tenn. The liberal-arts school was founded in 1918 to train those entering the ministry but developed programs for those seeking vocational skills. It offers 48 degrees. With about 5,000 students from 57 countries, Lee has become one of the largest Christian colleges in Tennessee. Its music program has gained national recognition.
* 423-614-8000 or 800-533-9930
Richmont Graduate University
This 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. Richmont also offers a network of Christian counseling centers.
* 423-266-4574 or 888-267-4073
Southern Adventist University
In Collegedale, the school is a college of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. About 3,000 students are enrolled, and more than 60 percent live in campus housing. It offers baccalaureate degrees in more than 50 majors, more than 20 associate-degree programs and a one-year certificate program. It also offers seven master's degrees. Major areas of study include nursing, business management and education.
* 423-236-2000 or 800-768-8437
Temple Baptist Seminary
This graduate school of theology is 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.
Tennessee Temple University
Located at 1815 Union Ave. in Chattanooga. 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. Temple offers 11 majors and 20 minors.
Tennessee Wesleyan College
This college is a four-year liberal arts institution in Athens, Tenn. Founded in 1857, the school is affiliated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. The college offers more than 30 majors with about 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.
* 423-745-7504 or 800-PICK-TWC
Sewanee: The University of the South
The private, four-year institution in Sewanee, Tenn., is 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 1,500 students, with environmental studies, economics and English among the most popular majors.
* 931-598-1000 or 800-522-2234
Located at 3805 Brainerd Road, with a satellite at 5600 Brainerd Road, Chattanooga College was established in 1968 and prepares students for medical, dental, criminal justice 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.
University of Phoenix Chattanooga
The school, at 1208 Pointe Centre Drive, offers degrees in business administration, criminal justice and more. Students attend classes once per week, usually at night, and meet weekly with learning teams. Programs are available online.
* 423-499-2500 or 866-766-0766
Miller-Motte Technical College
Miller-Motte, 6020 Shallowford Road, offers associate 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 or 888-794-9357
Virginia College School of Business and Health
The school, 721 Eastgate Loop Road, offers programs in cosmetology, criminal justice, medical office management, therapeutic massage and pharmacy technician. A culinary institute, Culinard, opened in November 2012. Culinard students may pursue a diploma in culinary arts or pastry arts, both of which can be completed in 36 weeks, as well as an online associate degree in culinary arts.