November 15, 2018

Complete Tennessee and Nashville Mayor’s Office Urge Increased Support for Adult Returning Students

NASHVILLE, TN - Nonprofit postsecondary advocacy organization Complete Tennessee in partnership with the Office of Nashville Mayor David Briley recently released a report examining challenges facing adult postsecondary students in Middle Tennessee.

Developed with insight from thirteen focus groups with 113 participants and a complementary anonymous survey, the Nashville Talent Hub Report aims to raise awareness of the barriers to higher education and encourage more robust discussion about opportunities to improve adult degree attainment.

The report found the majority of adult students struggle with the financial burdens associated with higher education, including tuition and fees, transportation costs, childcare, textbooks, and course materials. Students also expressed concern about the lack of transportation options, hindering their ability to pursue a postsecondary credential while also managing work and family obligations. Additionally, students struggle with a feeling of “belonging” and lack confidence to navigate the higher education system and enroll in the appropriate educational opportunities.  Read the report.

Complete Tennessee Executive Director Dr. Kenyatta Lovett said, “Tennessee has recognized the importance of helping more citizens access higher education and has made great efforts to reduce related financial barriers. However, the Nashville Talent Hub report confirms that adult students face significant challenges beyond the cost of college, including uncertainty about navigating a postsecondary program and worries about ‘belonging’. We hope this report will inspire us to think differently about ways we can better support adult students in Middle Tennessee as they pursue the postsecondary credentials necessary to support a better quality of life for more citizens.”

In September 2017, the Lumina Foundation, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, designated Nashville as a Talent Hub community. The Nashville Talent Hub, a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, Complete Tennessee, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Nashville State Community College, provides dedicated funding and resources to increase postsecondary degree and credential attainment for adults living in the Nashville Promise Zone. 

To read the Nashville Talent Hub report, click here

# # #