BlueSky Tennessee Institute opens applications for first class | News


BlueSky Tennessee Institute, a partnership between BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University, 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,” BlueSky Institute executive director Bradley Leon said. “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

Contributed to the Press