Reconnect and finish your degree


Helping adults go back to and through college requires the engagement and investment of many in the community.

Smoky Mountain Tennessee Reconnect is a program of Douglas Cherokee Economic Authority.

DCEA is a Community Action Agency serving 30 counties in Tennessee and 2 counties in Kentucky. The purpose of the Agency is to help families living in poverty improve their lives by providing them with assistance and services that they are not able to provide for themselves. The focus of the Agency is to help people help themselves.

DCEA’s mission is to provide resources, tools, and opportunities that help low-income families & individuals of all ages achieve personal, economic, and social stability.

DCEA’s goals are :

  • reduce barriers to personal, economic, and social stability preventing low-income families and individuals from achieving self-sufficiency;

  • mitigate the effects of poverty for the elderly and people with disabilities who may not be able to achieve self-sufficiency;

  • develop and sustain partnerships among supporters and providers of services to low-income people;

  • increase the capacity of the Agency to help clients achieve positive outcomes;

  • working with partners, create and/or improve community development opportunities that result in increased self-sufficiency for low-income community residents.

Find out more HERE.

Higher Ed

We partner with colleges and universities that are adult friendly. Partner colleges help with advising and often provide scholarships, fee waivers, and other incentives for Reconnectors.

Business & Industry

Our partner employers are investing in developing local talent. Some offer tuition benefits and other incentives for Reconnectors.


We work with elected and appointed government officials to improve policies that can benefit Reconnectors, and to spread the word about postsecondary educational opportunities for adults in our community.

Workforce & Economic Development

We coordinate and collaborate with our workforce system and economic development organizations to make sure that Reconnectors have up to date and relevant information about career opportunities in our community, and access to resources to help build their careers.

Community Social Services

We work closely with social service organizations to spread the word about our services, and to connect Reconnectors to services that can help with financial, health, logistics, and other non-academic issues that can hinder a Reconnector’s success.


We rely on the generous support of our funders to keep our services free to Reconnectors. These organizations recognize the importance of investing in our own – adults in the community, so that they in turn can support their family, friends, and neighbors.

Want to become a partner? Contact us to learn more.