NASHVILLE — The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System has received a $40,000 grant to pay for STEM Academy and Middle College High School’s students’ fees for dual enrollment in college courses.
The Tennessee College Access and Success Network awarded a total of $412,426 this week to six schools, two higher education institutions and four nonprofits in its third annual grant competition, raising the total amount of Race to the Top funds awarded by the Network to more than $1.6 million.
"The Tennessee College Access & Success Network is providing meaningful and wise investments to promote educational success across the spectrum of student groups in our state. This latest round of funding reflects a commitment by our state to ensure our policy of more college graduates is a real and reasoned strategy," said State Representative Joe Pitts, member of the House Education Committee.
The 12 awarded programs are adapted and tailored proven best practices from across the state and contribute to the Network’s mission to establish a college-going culture in all Tennessee communities.
The grant will fund dual enrollment fees for students in the Middle College High School at Austin Peay State University and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy at Kenwood High School. While the HOPE lottery scholarship covers some of the cost of enrolling in college courses while students are in high school, it doesn’t cover 100% of the cost. The grant will provide funds to cover the course, as well as textbooks or materials needed in the class.
“This was our most competitive competition to date and the decisions were extremely difficult,” said Bob Obrohta, the Network’s executive director. “The awarded programs reflect the need to serve a broad spectrum of underserved populations, all types of communities, and a variety of strategies as we strive to reach Governor Haslam’s goal of 55 percent of the population having a degree or certification by 2025. There is no one silver bullet.”
“Tennessee must continue to create and expand partnerships and initiatives that make degrees accessible, affordable, and valuable,” said Richard Rhoda, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. “Through investments like those announced today, the Network continues its partnership with the state to increase college attainment among all Tennesseans.”
Bradley County Schools, Clarksville Montgomery County Schools, Lead Academy (Nashville), Meigs County High School, Milan Special School District, and Scotts Hill High School (Henderson County) will all receive about $40,000 to implement their proposed onsite, transition, and pre-dual and dual enrollment programs.
Pellissippi State Community College (Knoxville, $37,982) will use the funding to serve military veterans, while Volunteer State Community College (Gallatin, $26,860) will serve adult students.
"The CMCSS program funded by this grant will provide needed depth for our students in the targeted schools who are enrolling in dual enrollment courses. These are bright students who are preparing for their future in higher education." Representative Joe Pitts
Southwest Tennessee Development District (Jackson, $40,000) will create 11 college access centers in area high schools that can be used to navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes. Martha O’Bryan Center’s and Oasis Center’s awarded programs (Nashville) will use grant funds to provide support and assistance to help current college students persist through challenges and stay enrolled in higher education. Creative arts nonprofit, Southern Word, ($20,000) will serve high school and college students from across the state through the creation of spoken word troupes.
The Network received 79 grant applications in its 2013 competition. The winning 12 projects will serve 27,000 students and families across the state, bringing the total number of students and family members served through Network grants to 60,500. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) are key partners of the Network and helped identify model best practices from across the state.
For brief descriptions of each project or to learn more about the Network, visit tncollegeaccess.org
For more information, please contact Wendy Tabor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-983-6909.