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Community College Free For All:

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Kate Derrick

on 19 December 2016

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Transcript of Community College Free For All:

Community College Free For All:
The Evolution of Tennessee Promise
High School Class of 2010
of Knox's classmates graduated from high school and started college.
of Knox's classmates didn't graduate with him.
Knox was part of the
of his class to go directly into the workforce.
Knox and his classmates who went directly to work, with no postsecondary training, had an
average annual income of $9,030
Knox had a
16% chance of earning above minimum wage
4 years later
In 2014, Tennessee ranked
in the nation for education attainment.

(Kentucky was just below Tennessee at 45th.)
In Southeastern states, the average educational attainment was

In Tennessee, just
of adults had a postsecondary degree or credential.

By 2025,
of jobs in Tennessee will require a postsecondary degree or credential.

What does this mean for Tennessee and its economy?
A Brief History of the World
of Tennessee Promise
The model for Tennessee Promise began with a community-based program called
Knox Achieves
, launched by then-Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Radio Systems CEO Randy Boyd. Knox Achieves quickly expanded into tnAchieves.

provided public high school students with mentors and last-dollar scholarships to community/technical colleges.

By 2013, tnAchieves had expanded to
27 counties and 141 high schools
, and served over
64,000 students
; 65% of those students are first generation college students.

Students were
graduating at rates of 50 percent higher than the state average
and most of them graduated
The state looked at how to replicate the success of programs like tnAchieves statewide.

Governor Bill Haslam announces the plans for Tennessee Promise during the State of the State in February 2014.

In April, Tennessee Promise legislation passes easily, allowing the program to go into effect for the Class of 2015.
The Political Process
The Details
Policy champions:
Governor, legislators, community college administrators, business leaders, philanthropists

Tennessee Promise is anticipated to cost $33 million per year.

The program is funded through the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) reserves.

Biggest questions:
Who would be eligible and who would actually benefit? Would it promote undermatch? Would it affect other TELS programs?
And the results...
Fast forward to 2014...
Tennessee Promise is just one part of the Drive to 55...
Get students ready
Get students in
Get students through
Reconnect adults
Partner with industry
Student Success Course
Tennessee Promise Summer Bridge Program
Degree Compass
Tennessee Reconnect Communities
Tennessee Reconnect + Complete
Community College Reconnect
TCAT Reconnect
Ready to Reconnect
Veteran Reconnect
Tennessee Employer Toolkit
Kate Derrick
Director of External Relations
Tennessee Higher Education Commission


Kate Derrick
Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Additional success metrics...
Tennessee is #1 in the nation for FAFSA filing.

In Fall 2015, 17 percent fewer students originated federal loans.

Retention is holding steady compared to the years before Tennessee Promise implementation.
Full transcript