meanwhile, in Tennessee…

So, while the government prepares to cut funding for adult basic education in British Columbia, the state of Tennessee is preparing to launch “Tennessee Promise” program, where high school students can qualify for two years of tuition-free higher ed within its system of community colleges.

Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program that will begin in the fall of 2015. It will provide students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or TSAA funds. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate’s degree program. While removing the financial burden is key, a critical component of Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance each participant will receive from a mentor who will assist the student as he or she navigates the college admissions process. In addition, Tennessee Promise participants must complete eight hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress (2.0 GPA) at their institution.

I honestly don’t even know what to think. It’s like Bizarro World.

2 thoughts on “meanwhile, in Tennessee…

  1. Katherine Wikoff says:

    I don’t know what to think, either. This is uncharted territory here in the U.S. If the federal government and states end up footing the entire bill, does that also mean they’ll eventually start trying to control curriculum? It (funding) seems like a very positive development. Certainly moving in the right direction compared to what you’ve described happening in BC, though.

  2. mworfolk says:

    I’m always wary of these things too, and my mind does jump to “what’s the catch?” But overall, at this point I’m just surprised someone seems to have realized, “Gee, it’s a good idea if we have people who are educated. It might be good for our economic interests.” I’ll be watching developments with interest.

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