College Access Project: A Partnership of the Ayers Institute at Lipscomb University and TCASN
The Tennessee College Access and Success Network is a statewide organization that seeks to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential and build a statewide college-going culture. In addition to our advocacy work and past grant opportunities identifying and funding best practices across the state, the Network knows a critical way to move the needle on college-going is to provide high-quality professional development opportunities. To that end, the Network partnered with the Ayers Institute at Lipscomb University to create the College Access Project, a set of professional development opportunities designed to create a cohort of leaders across the state and equip them to be agents of change in their schools and communities.
The Network is offering professional development grants to college access practitioners working in schools and nonprofit organizations to participate in the College Admissions Process CAP strand at no charge if their school district or employer will provide match for their participation in the Paying for College strand. Professional development grants will be awarded with preference given to applicants who are TCASN members serving in high-poverty schools/communities. On the brief application (see link below), applicants will be asked to confirm that their district or organization will pay for their participation in the Paying for College strand a cost of $175.
Each strand is 8 weeks in length, and participants are awarded completion status based on their participation in weekly discussion board posts, submission of formative assessments, and final submission of a portfolio of work at the end of each strand. The strands are offered in an online format, and participants are able to complete an online orientation or can choose to complete an orientation in person at Lipscomb University. Participants will be able to choose between the two strand timings below.
The College Admissions Process Strand: January 7 – March 2, 2014
Paying for College Strand: March 3 – May 4, 2014 (includes spring break)
The College Admissions Process Strand: May 5 – June 29, 2014
Paying for College Strand: August 25 – October 19
Applications are due by 4 p.m. CST on December 4, 2013.
Awardees will be notified on December 9, 2013.
If you have any questions regarding this grant opportunity, please contact Jenny Mills, Member and Grant Services Coordinator, at email@example.com or 615-983-6900.
Rural College Summit Awards: $13,110 to Create 12 College Summits
TCASN is proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 Rural College Summit Competition:
Fentress County School District
Greene County School District (2)
Hardeman County Schools
Lexington High School
McNairy County Board of Education
Morgan County Schools
Springfield High School (2)
Union County High Schools
Wayne County Schools (2)
Read the full news release HERE.
2013 TCASN GRANTEES
Thank you to all who participated in the Network's third annual grants competition. We received 79 grant proposals from across the state; the 12 winning project proposals will serve more than 27,000 students and families.
Bradley County Schools, located in rural southeast Tennessee, serves a predominately at-risk student population with over 75 percent of its students coming from an economically disadvantaged background. The district will create ACCESS – Advancing College and Career Preparation to Ensure Success for all Students. Bradley will implement the College Board SpringBoard English/Language Arts Curriculum, which provides activities designed to engage students in problem solving, academic discourse and critical analysis. The school system will also provide comprehensive training for teachers to ensure fidelity of SpringBoard’s implementation. As a result, students will be better prepared to take the PLAN, ACT, and EOC assessments.
As part of the ACCESS program, Bradley will take group college visits, targeting students who would otherwise lack the parental support to visit a college campus. Bradley will work with area colleges and univerities to offer on-campus experiences to promote college access beginning in the 6th grade.
The Connections to College and Career Readiness project will target skill-development to prepare students for college-level coursework and provide students at Middle College at Austin Peay State University and the STEM Academy at Kenwood High School with the opportunity to gain college credit while still in high school. The program will focus on developing academic and test-taking skills through strategic remediation and greater opportunities to participate in Advance Placement courses. TCASN funding will also expand opportunities for dual enrollment courses among students who are traditionally underrepresented in college: first generation college students, economically disadvantaged students, minority students, and females completing science and math college and career tracks.
CMCSS will partner with Austin Peay State University and Nashville State Community College to provide courses that match students’ interests. A focused structure for supporting students who participate in dual enrollment will include tutoring and mentoring, expanding the opportunity that the student will experience success within dual enrollment. Supports for parents and guardians addressing concerns on how the best can assist their child in school and how to successfully access these opportunities will also be provided.
LEAD Academy was founded in 2007 as a public school option in Nashville that graduates students prepared for acceptance to and matriculation through college. TCASN funding will support a full-time, on-site College Counseling Department and the “College Corner”. The College Corner will be a dedicated physical space on LEAD Academy’s campus with resources used specifically by the College Counseling Department. At the Corner, students and families will work on college admission applications and materials with the assistance of LEAD faculty members. The Corner will operate during the school day, after hours, and on weekends to encourage and allow family participation. The Corner will feature workspaces outfitted with computers and printers for research and the completion of application materials. TCASN support will also be used to broaden the reach of the first LEAD College Summit, “college fair turned on its head” where students man individual booths and present portfolios of achievement to admissions counselors.
MOBC’s Post-Secondary Success Initiative serves underrepresented, first generation college students from the Stratford Cluster of East Nashville, addressing key academic and socio-emotional supports necessary to bridge the gaps from high school to college to graduation. The Cohort Support project will strengthen MOBC’s work with students through additional mentoring and materials, while laying the groundwork for a co-locational model of service. For this project, MOBC will assign one mentor to a cohort of 50 students in attendance at Nashville State Community College and Tennessee State University. The Cohort Support mentor will work on specific student needs, ranging from arranging developmental tutoring in math and reading to helping students navigate college resources.
Meigs County Schools are located in rural Southeast Tennessee. Despite boasting high graduation rates, the postsecondary enrollment rates are well below state averages. Meigs will provide college visits, dual enrollment course financial assistance, during-the-day tutoring services, and mentoring and college counseling to meet the specific needs of first-generation, low-income students and their parents, assisting them through each step of the college-going process. Meigs will cater to the targeted population in every aspect and provide for their individual needs.
Milan Special School District, located in rural Northwest Tennessee, recently appointed a veteran senior high school counselor to the position of college access counselor, demonstrating the district’s commitment to increasing college access and success. In 2012, MSSD received a TCASN Catalyst Grant to develop a strategic plan for its newly created College Access Program. TCASN funding will help reach several goals from the strategic plan that remain unmet, including staffing for the college access office and maintaining a tracking system to accurately follow graduates. Funds will also be used to increase sessions with parents, provide transportation services to students and provide professional development for all K-12 teachers that highlights the need for all community members to understand the connection between academic achievement, individualizing for diverse learners, and the long-term outcome - college and career planning for life after high school.
Oasis Center’s Oasis College Connection program provides college retention and success services to low-income, first generation youth attending Nashville State Community College through The Oasis Resource Center. Oasis will continue their existing essential support services for these students and add facilitated discussions around applied employer skills, pulling from the expertise of subject matter experts -the local workforce investment board, and relating the discussions to “real-life” situations. Students will engage in discussion, share with their peers what works and what doesn’t work. Students will contribute to content by recommending topics. Discussions will be facilitated by a social worker to ensure students stay on topic and discussions are relevant to the skills being studied. Participation in these activities will “put students ahead of the game” in searching for employment, and will provide them with language skills to better their resumes and interviewing skills.
Nationwide more than 88 percent of student veterans leave college by the end of their second semester, and only 3 percent graduate. Pellissippi State serves more than 500 veteran students per year using the GI Bill. This number represents 5 percent of the college’s population and is the fourth largest student veteran population in Tennessee. Pellissippi State will use TCASN funding to establish a Veteran Success Center where veteran students can access needed advising, counseling, and financial aid services as well as relax and study with one another in a comfortable environment. The ‘one-stop’ philosophy is designed to serve veterans, active duty or reserve personnel and family members by providing access to cross-functional support in one location. TCASN funding will help provide mentors and other support staff, computers, a lounge area, and supplies for ongoing events and workshops.
Scotts Hill HS serves the rural, southern region of Henderson County. Scotts Hill will use funding to provide support and assistance to students who otherwise would not financially be able to enroll in dual-enrollment. Students will receive assistance after completing an ACT intervention course during their junior year and the AVID college readiness system during their senior year. Increased dual enrollment access to Scott’s Hill rural students will help ensure that graduates are academically prepared to succeed in college and lessen their financial burden once they matriculate.
Southern Word will use TCASN funding to create writer-mentor support for spoken word groups and events at one community college and one four year middle Tennessee public university, the continuation of an inter-university spoken word and hip hop performance troupe with representatives from Middle Tennessee partner schools, and the documentation and digital distribution of performance pieces. This support will allow Southern Word to continue strengthening partnerships between its K-12 programs and college spoken word activity. As Southern Word continues to develop leading young artists, it is crucial that they see college’s role in the continuation of their artistic development, the growing of their audience, access to financial opportunity, and long-term professional stability.
SWTDD is charged with providing comprehensive planning, promoting economic, community, and human resource development for 11 rural Southwest Tennessee counties. REDI's College Access Program serves 19 high schools and approximately 1700 students in Southwest Tennessee. REDI will use grant funds to create 11 "R U REDI" College Access Centers students can use to search colleges/careers/ scholarships, take test prep, and complete admissions and financial aid applications. REDI mentors will use the centers for one-on-one time with students, and families can use the space to confidentially complete their FAFSAs and receive counsel from their student’s mentor.
Volunteer State Community College is a public, equal opportunity, two-year community college in Gallatin, Tennessee that is serving a growing adult learner population. Prior to enrolling in credit-bearing courses, a group of nontraditional students who, due to academic need, are required to take developmental courses, will be selected to participate in a week-long, strengths-based, preparatory boot camp. Students will be chosen by either a faculty or staff member who identified them as “students of potential” and believes with a little preparation, they can be highly successful in college. The program will use Supplemental Instruction, a highly successful VSCC program founded on peer-facilitated student learning. The boot camp will be offered with one group from the main campus and one group from the Livingston campus before fall, spring, and summer classes for a total of 150 students.
2012 Grant Awards:
2011 Grant Awards: