Bridging the past and present, the Northeast State at Bristol teaching site – located in the historic City Central Building at 620 State Street in downtown Bristol – was unveiled May 6 during a grand opening hosted by Northeast State and the Bristol TN/VA Chamber of Commerce.
Northeast State is leasing 16,000 square-feet of third-floor space to house classrooms and offices. As currently configured, the facility will have nine classrooms – all of which are outfitted with state-of-the-art computer-based teaching technology.
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey was on hand for the event and noted the facility “rivals anything in the state of Tennessee,” saying the teaching site would aid Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to raise the number of Tennesseans who hold two- and four-year degrees to 55 percent by 2025.
Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam said the College plans to offer two-year associate degrees, certificates, workforce development training, and GED/Adult Education at the site. Initial enrollment is estimated at 75 students for the summer term and 150-200 for the fall semester.
“It’s a truly historic day in an historic building and we are delighted to be in Bristol, Gilliam said. “Our goals are about access, completion, and community and this facility plays an important role in our goal of having a teaching site within 20-30 miles of every citizen in the College’s service area.”
In addition, Northeast State officials are planning to offer an entertainment technology program that will mesh with Bristol’s “Birthplace of Country Music” brand. The program would focus on equipping students with sound, lighting, and rigging skills, which could be used in performances, hotels, churches, theaters, and other related venues.
The College is also seeking partnerships with other area higher education institutions including Virginia Highlands Community College, King College, and East Tennessee State University.
The facility is the former H.P. King Building, which J. Allen Hurley, president of Vision, LLC and former CEO of Touchstone Wireless, purchased from the City of Bristol. Hurley, a Northeast State alumnus, has proceeded with plans to make the facility a downtown attraction. The building has multiple-sized venues for events and the 620 State Restaurant & Venue is located on the first floor.
“It’s a great day for Bristol, a great day for Northeast State, and a great day for the community, Hurley said. “If you’re working a full-time job 8-10 hours a day and you have to drive 40 minutes one way to get to class – and then get someone to watch the kids – it makes is hard to go back to school. Now, Northeast State a Bristol changes that and makes access to education easy and convenient for students in the area.”
Registration is now under way for summer sessions which begin June 4.
Classes for the full term (June 4 – Aug. 8) include Developmental Writing, Computer Applications, Learning Support Math 1, Learning Support Math 2, Learning Support Math 3, and Basic and Developmental Reading.
Classes for the first term (June 4 – July 3) include Composition I, U.S. History I, Introduction to Humanities I, and Fundamentals of Speech.
Classes for the second session (July 5 – Aug. 1) include Composition II, American Literature, U.S. History II, Intro to Humanities II, and General Psychology.
In addition, Northeast State at Bristol will host a Summer Institute for Entertainment Technology featuring bluegrass legend Doyle Lawson. Topics will include sound, lighting, production, and performance techniques. The institute is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 23, 24, and 25. For more information, call 423.354.5214.
For more information about the Northeast State at Bristol, visit www.Northeaststate.edu/Bristol or contact Dr. Keith Young, dean of Off Campus Programs and Services at 423.354.5237 or ckyoung@NortheastState.edu.