June 11, 2018

Complete Tennessee Launches “College Completion Communities” Program

Pilot program encourages regional strategies to support college attainment

NASHVILLE, TN - Nonprofit postsecondary advocacy organization Complete Tennessee today announced a new pilot program to support the development and implementation of regional strategies for postsecondary attainment. The “College Completion Communities” program will encourage stakeholders to develop targeted plans that can address local attainment challenges and help more students access and complete postsecondary programs.

Complete Tennessee Executive Director Dr. Kenyatta Lovett said, “We have seen firsthand that different regions of Tennessee face very distinct challenges that affect higher education completion. Students in one part of the state may struggle with a lack of educational options, while another area may need support programs to help ease the transition from high school to postsecondary. 

“The College Completion Communities initiative will develop localized solutions to address regional attainment and completion issues, and we look forward to coordinating with communities to develop thoughtful, targeted plans to help improve college attainment in the months ahead.”

Five communities will participate in the initial College Completion Communities pilot: 

•    West Tennessee: Lake, Obion, and Weakley counties
•    West Tennessee: Lauderdale and Tipton counties
•    Middle Tennessee: Humphreys and Perry counties
•    East Tennessee: Meigs and Bradley counties
•    East Tennessee: Hamblen, Greene and Washington counties

Each of the five communities will convene a group of advisors, known as a “Completion Council,” who will build a three-year Completion Plan of Action designed to address the greatest challenges to postsecondary achievement in their region. The Completion Council will include educators, chamber of commerce members, business and community leaders, and elected officials.

Complete Tennessee Director of Engagement and Advocacy Kaci Murley said, “The College Completion Communities initiative will be a centerpiece of our work at Complete Tennessee. Encouraging local engagement and ownership of the Drive to 55 and Tennessee’s completion goals is integral to successfully raising postsecondary outcomes statewide. We’re excited to help each of the pilot communities to develop effective plans and innovative solutions that will help more students access and ultimately achieve success through higher education.” 

Later this year, the five communities will come to Nashville to share their Completion Plans of Action with state officials and higher education leaders. The Completion Plans of Action will be made publicly available at that time through the Complete Tennessee website. 

For more information on the College Completion Communities initiative, click here

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