HCS & UTC Launch University High
Posted on 05/05/2023

(Chattanooga, Tennessee) - Hamilton County Schools (HCS) and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) came together to introduce students and staff of University High on April 27, 2023, in a ribbon cutting ceremony at UTC.


University High will support more than 55 students from 10 different Hamilton County Schools. Most of those students attended to share in the ribbon cutting, each taking home a piece of the ribbon as the inaugural cohort of University High. Brooklyn Wilkins from Howard High School and Jamaal Quiñones from East Ridge High School served as student speakers for the event. 

“When I first heard of University High, it was everything I wanted,” Wilkins said. “I’ve been to six different schools, so I’ve had a taste of everything…so when I heard of University High, I think this will be my final stop.”

Students and staff came together during the event to meet in their small group advisories for the first time. Daily advisories at University High will play a vital role in supporting each student.


UTC Chancellor Dr. Steve Angle and HCS Superintendent of Dr. Justin Robertson led speakers from both organizations as they joined to collaboratively support students for the start of a four-year degree at close to no cost to families. 


“As Director of Innovation for Hamilton County Schools, a big part of my role is visiting other schools and communities,”  said Grant Knowles from Hamilton County Schools. “Since we started planning University High over two years ago, I have chased this idea around the country. What we are building here is unique, and what sets us apart is the deep partnership with UTC, providing wrap-around supports for students beyond the classroom. Our why for University High is our who, and we are excited for the community to meet each of our amazing students.”

The majority of University High students are first-generation college students who will be the first in their families to attend and graduate with a four year degree. 

“We are very excited to connect these students and our community, to ensure that each student has a mentor and an internship to help them grow and personalize their learning, to chase their passions and dream big,” said Dr. Shewanee Howard-Baptiste, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and design partner for University High.


Both Hamilton County Schools and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga would like to extend a warm welcome to the community to get involved in supporting University High through mentorship, internship, or sponsorship for our University High students.

Additional University High Ribbon Cutting Coverage