Dr. Tydings earned her Doctor of Education degree in Occupational Studies at The University of Georgia; her Master of Education degree at Mercer University, and her Bachelor of Science degree in education, with an emphasis in behavioral science, at Georgia Southern University.
She began her career as a professional educator in the Houston County, Ga., school system from 1976 to 1984. After working in the private sector, she returned to education in 1994 as apprenticeship director for four Georgia public school systems and as an adjunct instructor at Middle Georgia College.
Her career in higher education leadership began in 1996 as director of curriculum and staff development at Macon Technical Institute. She became vice president for academic affairs at Central Georgia Technical College two years later, and served in that position until her appointment as president at Athens Technical College in 2003. She served there until moving to Tennessee in 2015 as president of Chattanooga State Community College.
At Chattanooga, she ushered in the history-making first class of Tennessee Promise students, which led to a 25 percent increase in first-time freshmen enrollment; created new collaborations with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, including a dual admissions agreement that provides a seamless pathway for students to transfer between the two institutions; expanded the President’s Cabinet to include the heads of the Faculty Senate, Professional Staff Association and Support Staff Association; built relationships with the business and civic community, and led the campus in joining Achieving the Dream, a national reform network to accelerate success among diverse student populations and aid colleges in increasing persistence and graduation rates.