Real-life job training, a college degree in less than two and a half years and an immediate job offer right after graduation in some of the most in-demand IT careers in the nation.
That is what the pivotal partnership between BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) and East Tennessee State University will deliver for the inaugural class of 32 students in the BlueSky Tennessee Institute, and all those who follow. The groundbreaking collaboration will provide Tennessee students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in computing and a job offer from BlueCross in just over two years.
“The opportunity to build a partnership with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee emerged in late 2020 as we were dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We put together a team of ETSU faculty and developed a format for an accelerated program that allowed us to meet all of BCBST's strategic employment goals while still retaining our ABET accreditation and program quality,” said Dr. Tony Pittarese, dean of ETSU’s College of Business and Technology.
The accelerated degree will provide a new pathway into one of the fastest-growing careers in the country by developing much-needed technology talent to prepare the next generation of technology leaders in fields such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, data analysis, health care information systems and more.
Students will put what they’re learning to practice in classrooms located in the BCBST headquarters in Chattanooga. Students admitted to the program, who might not otherwise be able to pursue a higher education degree, will be considered for generous scholarship opportunities that will create new pathways for success.
“Blue Sky students and Department of Computing students at ETSU are positioning themselves not only for immediate opportunities,” said Brad Leon, executive director of BlueSky Institute, “but for a career that is going to provide them fulfilling and exciting opportunities for the entirety of their career.”
Students in the BlueSky Tennessee Institute powered by ETSU will be surrounded by people who are “deeply invested and support them each step of the way in their academic, personal and professional success,” program leaders said. Applications are now open for the next cohort of students.
Learn more at BlueSky Tennessee Institute Program (etsu.edu).