East Tennessee State University by Don Good, The Campus History Series
East Tennessee State University (ETSU), located in Johnson City, was founded in 1911 as East Tennessee State Normal School to provide teachers for the state’s public schools. The institution originally offered two courses of study: a four-year high school program and a two-year normal school curriculum, which initially enrolled 29 students. Today ETSU serves more than 14,000 students and offers over 100 undergraduate programs, 75 master’s programs, and a dozen areas of doctoral study. The university is organized into 11 colleges and schools. Approximately 700 full-time faculty members, 80 percent of whom hold doctorates, serve the institution’s students. Indicative of embracing its Appalachian heritage and location, the university boasts several unique programs, which include bluegrass studies and storytelling. While ETSU offers all the opportunities and resources of any large university, it also has many advantages typically found only in small colleges.
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