Satellite ETSU site serves Sevier

May. 15, 2014 @ 07:46 PM

East Tennessee State University at the Sevier Center, the local satellite location of the Johnson City institution, hosted an open house Thursday afternoon, so that prospective local students could learn about the degree programs available.

“This is the first time we’ve had something like this for students and families to come see what we can offer,” Brandi Garner, coordinator of ETSU at the Sevier Center, said.

Shortly after the open house began, Garner said she and others at the event had already spoken with several prospective students. She hoped to see 100-150 before the afternoon was over.

“We would like to see some more students from Walters State,” she said. “They get their associates, and a lot of them don’t realize they can keep going and get that next degree without ever leaving Sevier County.”

ETSU offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs online, as well as a special education program on-ground in Sevier County.

“There’s a growing need for special education teachers in East Tennessee,” Tina Hudson, assistant professor of Special Education at ETSU, said. “Just this spring we graduated 25 new teachers into the community.”

The Sevier Center is equipped with two classrooms, one with multimedia capabilities. For online courses, there is a room for proctored exams. There is also a dorm area for ETSU medical students who visit Sevier County and help local doctors.

In the Sevier Center conference room, students and parents can meet with Johnson City-based ETSU admissions and financial aid officials via the Jabber system, a video conferencing arrangement. Video conferencing is also used in classrooms.

“We have cameras and TVs in here, and they can interact with the professor in Johnson City,” Garner said. “And then the professor can also come out here and teach the class and have it broadcast back in Johnson City or Kingsport or any of our locations, and you can teach everyone from just one location like that.”

Garner said she can speak to local students interested in ETSU because she is originally from Sevier County and attended ETSU.

“I know the county and I know the school,” she said.

ETSU at the Sevier Center is located on the third floor of the Sevier Center building, 1122 Blanton Drive. For more information, call the ETSU at the Sevier Center office at 365-1761 or visit