BlueSky Tennessee Institute Opens Applications for First Class

Accelerated bachelor’s degree program offers opportunity to study and intern at BlueCross, then earn tech job upon graduation

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueSky Tennessee Institute, a partnership between BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University (ETSU), is now accepting applications for its inaugural class. Accepted students will begin working toward a bachelor’s degree at BlueCross headquarters next summer and can complete the program in just over two years.

The program offers eligible high school graduates the opportunity to:

  • Earn a Bachelor of Science in Computing, Concentration in Information Systems from ETSU in just over two years;
  • Gain real-world experience by learning and working as an intern at BlueCross – a mission-driven company focused on improving the health of 3.4 million members in Tennessee and beyond; and
  • Potentially earn a rewarding job offer from BlueCross after successfully completing the program.

“This program is designed for self-motivated learners who work hard at their studies and have a passion for computer science and cybersecurity,” said BlueSky Institute executive director Bradley Leon. “It’s a challenging, fun opportunity and we are pleased to take this next step toward welcoming our first students for this one-of-a-kind educational experience.”

The intensive program pairs an accelerated version of ETSU’s ABET-accredited Computing curriculum with an innovative job training model. ABET is the leading international accreditor for computing programs, and ETSU’s program offers instruction in high-demand fields such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, wireless computing, data analytics, health care information systems, and more. ETSU’s curriculum has been named Best Bachelor of Science in Computing for Information Systems by and

“The BlueSky Tennessee Institute offers a unique job training model that will further the impact of higher education,” Dr. Tony Pittarese, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology at ETSU, said. “Our professors look forward to working with BlueCross to deliver a first-class computing education to students in Chattanooga.”

During their time at the BlueCross Cameron Hill headquarters in Chattanooga, BlueSky Tennessee Institute students will have access to activities and events designed to welcome them into the organization’s inclusive, diverse workplace culture. The program offers employee mentoring as well as assistance from Melissa Graham, student success manager.

“Student supports are key to ensuring all of our BlueSky Tennessee Institute students have the opportunity to succeed while navigating life’s challenges,” Graham said. “As part of this accelerated degree program, we will provide extensive support services and opportunities beyond those available to typical college students.”

In addition to providing a new entry point for one of the country’s fastest-growing career fields, the BlueSky Tennessee Institute will help develop technology talent for BlueCross and help the company meet the needs of its members.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the BlueSky Tennessee Institute, or to begin an application, visit

About BlueCross®

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.4 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and has brought peace of mind to its members and local communities for more than 75 years. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at

About East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University was founded in 1911 with a singular mission to improve the quality of life for the people of the region. A century later, the mission is unchanged and ETSU has transformed into a nationally ranked university focused on academics, research and service. ETSU is situated “in the shadow of the mountains” in Johnson City, Tennessee, and offers more than 160 undergraduate and graduate programs. Learn more at


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