Walters State Community College
Walters State: The Great Smoky Mountains Community College is a state-supported community college operated by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
In 1957 the Pierce-Albright Report was presented to the Tennessee legislature, detailing situations of higher education in the state. It showed many citizens of Tennessee to be without sufficient access to colleges and universities and led to the allocation of $200,000 in 1963 to implement the recommendations of the report. The State Board of Education developed a plan to locate community colleges in the underserved regions within a reasonable distance of travel to the majority of residents, and in 1965 the Tennessee General Assembly certified the establishment of the first wave of these institutions. In 1970 Walters State Community College became the sixth college created in this process. Walters State was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges in 1972 and received reaffirmation of accreditation in 1976, 1987 and 1997.
Walters State is a learning-centered, comprehensive, public community college dedicated to increasing educational attainment and supporting economic development by providing affordable, high quality educational opportunities for the residents of East Tennessee. To accomplish the mission, the college: Offers programs of study that lead to associate degrees or to certificates in programs of study of one year or less. Delivers public service and non-credit programs in support of workforce development and personal enrichment. Employs highly qualified faculty and staff. Fosters and inspires student engagement and success. Provides convenient access through multiple campuses and advanced technology. Partners with other educational institutions to promote access and facilitate articulation and transfer. Pursues external sources of support and entrepreneurial initiatives. Assesses and responds to community needs. Provides opportunities for promoting diversity and cultural awareness to enhance quality of life. Pursues resourcefulness, effectiveness and efficiency through comprehensive accountability and continuous improvement programs.