NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An adult online degree program promoted by Gov. Bill Haslam opens today in Tennessee.
WPLN-FM reports legislators were hesitant to spend $5 million to open an office of Western Governors University, which targets people who have some college credit but never finished a degree.
Lawmakers argued that Tennessee's existing public colleges could start a similar program, but Haslam convinced them to go with the Salt Lake City-based nonprofit.
Rich Rhoda, who heads the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, said a local WGU branch is a "small and very worthwhile investment."
Rhoda said Tennessee needs all the providers it can get.
The state has set a goal to graduate 55 percent of residents from college, meaning as many as 100,000 adult Tennesseans need to finish school.