Education always has been a main concern in
McMinn County, which hosts a four-year liberal arts college, a state
vocational training center, 16 schools operated by county and city
governments and three private schools. There are seven other colleges
and universities within a 60-mile radius of the county, as well as one
of only two accredited Japanese high schools in the United States.
Tennessee Wesleyan College, located
in Athens, is a private, independent, coeducational institution
accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and
the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.
The college offers more than 20
majors and pre-professional programs to its 1,000 plus students. About
68 percent of the faculty holds doctoral degrees and the school
boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 15-to-1. Evening school
programs are offered on the Athens campus with branches in
Knoxville, Cleveland and Chattanooga.
A sister school, Nagasaki
Wesleyan, is located in Isahaya, Japan. Each year, several
Nagasaki Wesleyan students transfer to TWC to complete their
Located in nearby Madisonville,
Tennessee, Hiwassee College is a private junior college operated
by the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. The
curriculum, designed for transfer to Tennessee Wesleyan College,
Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and Maryville
College in Maryville, Tennessee, includes pre-medicine, business,
agriculture and computer science.
Cleveland State Community College,
located in Cleveland, Tennessee, offers associate's degree and
one-year certificate programs in areas such as banking, accounting,
computer and information systems, industrial electronics, industrial
maintenance and office careers. Several off-campus courses are
offered in McMinn County.
The McMinn County Workforce and
Educational Complex is affiliated with Cleveland State Community
College. The complex offers local, state and federal career
programs in a single location and workshops and training for both
employees and employers.
The complex can be reached at (423) 745-9332.
Roane State Community College,
located in Harriman, Tennessee, has similar career training and
The University of Tennessee at
Knoxville (The main campus of The University System) is the largest
higher education system in the state.
There are 10 major schools at the university offering more than
300 degree programs.
The University of Tennessee at
Chattanooga offers 45 undergraduate programs and 13 graduate
programs of study. Its schools specialize in business administration,
engineering, education, arts and sciences and health and human services.
Elementary and secondary schools
Through its School Board, McMinn
County government operates seven elementary schools, two high schools
and a vocational high school. The system, with an enrollment of about
6,000 students, operates on an annual budget of about $30 million.
Athens operates four elementary-level
schools and a junior high school on an annual budget of about $14
million. About 1,750 students attend the city's school system.
Etowah operates a single elementary
school with an enrollment of about 360 students.
Three private schools are also
available in McMinn County. Fairview Christian Academy is a K-12
school that offers students the choice of a regular degree, a college
preparatory degree emphasizing math and science, and a business degree.
Liberty Christian School is a K4 through 12 school certified through the
Accelerated Christian Education Program. The Seventh-day Adventist
Church School offers first through eighth grades. All three schools
have a Bible-based curriculum.
Several local industries participate
in the Adopt-A-School program offered in most of the school systems.
The program places industries in the role of mentors for the schools,
which provides for improved educational opportunities for the children
and valuable public relations for involved businesses.
The Tennessee Technology Center at
Athens, located on Vo-Tech Drive in Athens, provides valued skills
training in several job fields. Both evening and day classes are
offered on a quarters system.
The courses of study taught by the 22
full-time faculty members at the school include auto body and mechanics,
drafting, electronics, machine shop, practical nursing, business systems
technology and welding.