Education Primary and Secondary Education No matter what age or ambition, award-winning educational opportunities are limitless and highly regarded. Oak Ridge schools have been praised for excellence since the system began in 1943. With 4,800 students, the system includes four elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school, all certified by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Students are assured individual attention from the system's professional staff of almost 800. The student-to-teacher ratio in kindergarten through fourth grade is 13 to 1. Governor Haslam has made education his top priority in Tennessee. Several key programs have been put in place statewide, as well as additional local programs, to improve the over all quality of education and workforce in Tennessee: Tennessee Diploma Project Hope Scholarship Teach Tennessee (encourages mid-career STEM professionals to teach) Books from Birth (provides free books to all children in Tennessee before they enter kindergarten) Project Grad SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education) EnergizeTN.com America's Veterans to Tennessee's Engineers Innovation Valley Educators in the Workplace Knox Achieves The Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 Expect More, Achieve More AMTEC Program (Advanced Materials Education and Training Center - Roane State) Higher Education In addition to the flagship campus of The University of Tennessee, the region is home to nine four-year liberal arts colleges, five two year and community colleges, four technical institutions and six technology training centers. For a map of higher education institutions located in the Innovation Valley, click here. The University of Tennessee Main campus in Knoxville is the oldest and largest university in Tennessee More than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students 15 colleges and schools with major research programs in the fields of energy, polymer engineering, advanced and composite materials, biomedical sciences and geological sciences Nationally ranked programs in accounting, business administration, logistics, nuclear engineering and education Private 4-year Colleges Carson Newman, a private four-year college has been ranked by U. S. News & World Report as the best educational value in Tennessee and one of the best in the south among colleges and universities that offer master's level educational programs. Fountainhead College of Technology offers technical training in electronics, computer networking, information management and related areas, leading to certificates, associate's or bachelor's degrees. ITT Technical Institute offers two-year and four-year degree programs in various fields of information technology. Johnson Bible College is a private four-year college. Knoxville College is a private, four-year liberal arts college offering degrees in business, health sciences, communications, computer sciences, history, political science, psychology and music. Lincoln Memorial University is a private liberal arts university recognized for quality graduate programs in the fields of business and education. Maryville College, a private, four-year liberal arts college, is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the United States. For nine of the last ten years, Maryville College has been listed among U. S. News & World Report's Top 10 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the South. South College offers baccalaureate degree programs in nursing, elementary education, business administration and legal studies, as well as a number of associate degree programs. Strayer University is a private, four-year college catering to the non-traditional student with specific career-path degree programs in accounting, business, education, health services administration, public administration and information systems. Tennessee Wesleyan College is a private liberal arts college with a wide range of programs offered at the undergraduate level. Tusculum College, at its Knoxville campus, offers state-of -the-art technology to meet the needs of working adults. 2-year Community Colleges Pellissippi State Technical Community College, with 5 campuses in the region, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, one of the most modern technical colleges in the country, specializes in networking, supercomputing, engineering, media technology and automotive manufacturing. Roane State Community College, with 9 campuses in the region, Roane State Community College offers two years of instruction in the humanities, nursing, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences fields as well as transfer and career preparation study options. Walters State Community College, with 4 campuses, Walters State Community College offers programs of study that lead to Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Art degrees. 2-year Private Colleges Hiwassee College, the oldest private two-year institution in the State of Tennessee, offers a variety of university parallel and career/ vocational programs. National College of Business & Technology is a private career college offering degree and certificate programs in business, information technology and healthcare. Specialized Schools Governor's Schools of Tennessee offers summer residential programs for high school juniors and seniors. Tennessee School for the Deaf is a day and residential school for ages 3 to 21. Tennessee Technology Centers, with 27 locations across the state and 6 serving this region, the Tennessee Technology Centers (TTC) play a key roll in workforce development across the state. TTCs offer certificate and diploma programs in more than 50 distinct occupational fields as well as customized training for business and industry.