Chattanooga: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) is the largest employer in Chattanooga. HCDE was formed in 1997 upon the merger of Chattanooga Public Schools and Hamilton County Schools. The resulting Hamilton County School system has built upon the strengths of Chattanooga's Paideia active learning curriculum, the county's site-based management approach, and other recognized programs. Hamilton County's 15 magnet schools, focusing on such areas of study as math, science, and technology, fine arts, liberal arts, and classical studies, add to the diversity of the school system.

The following is a summary of data regarding Hamilton County public schools as of 2002-2003.

Total enrollment: 44,217

Number of facilities elementary schools: 47

junior high/middle schools: 15

senior high schools: 14

other: 15 magnet schools

Student/teacher ratio: 15.2:1

Teacher salaries average: $34,494

Funding per pupil: $7,229 Chattanooga has a strong tradition of private and parochial elementary and secondary education, including the nationally recognized Girls' Preparatory School, the McCallie School for Boys, and the coeducational Baylor School. More than 15,000 students attend 33 private and parochial schools.

Public Schools Information: Hamilton County Schools, 6703 Bonny Oaks Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37421; telephone (423)209-8400

Colleges and Universities

There are 17 junior colleges, colleges, and universities located in the Chattanooga region. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), a primary campus of the University of Tennessee system, is comprised of a College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies, schools of Nursing and Engineering, and a graduate school offering master's degrees in 22 subjects.

Chattanooga State Technical Community College, with more than 8,000 students, is a two-year college offering the following areas of study: arts and sciences; engineering, business, and information technologies; industrial technology; and nursing and allied health.

Three private colleges operate in the Chattanooga area: Tennessee Temple University, with more than 500 students; Southern Adventist University, in nearby Collegedale, TN, with nearly 2,300 students; and Covenant College, in Lookout Mountain, GA, with more than 1,200 students. Vocational education and training programs are also offered through continuing vocational education of the public school systems.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library consists of a main downtown library and four branches. The library has holdings of nearly 500,000 volumes, 1,382 periodical subscriptions, and 19,416 audio and video materials. Special collections include interviews on Chattanooga and Hamilton County history, Genealogy, and Tennesseana. The library also offers special events, concerts, and programs, including preschool story hours and film festivals.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UT) makes the following research and testing resources available to business and industry: The Center for Excellence in Computer Applications, which provides resources associated with high technology; and The Center for Economic Education and its associated Probasco Chair of Free Enterprise, which designs and implements research projects and education programs about basic economic principles. At UT's SimCenter, established in fall of 2002, research professionals, UT faculty, and students serve government and industry through research in computational engineering. The Bass Research Foundation studies ways to increase the quantity of America's bass fishery resources. The Tennessee Valley Authority has several research centers in Chattanooga.

Public Library Information: Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library, 1001 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402-2652; telephone (423)757-5310; email