2013 TCASN Grantees

Bradley County Schools - $38,199: (2,000 students/3,000 family members)

Bradley County Schools, located in rural southeast Tennessee, served a predominately at-risk student population with over 75 percent of its students coming from an economically disadvantaged background. The district created ACCESS – Advancing College and Career Preparation to Ensure Success for all Students. Bradley implemented the College Board SpringBoard English/Language Arts Curriculum, which provided activities designed to engage students in problem solving, academic discourse and critical analysis. The school system also provided comprehensive training for teachers to ensure fidelity of SpringBoard’s implementation. As a result, students were better prepared to take the PLAN, ACT, and EOC assessments.

 As part of the ACCESS program, Bradley took group college visits, targeting students who would otherwise lack the parental support to visit a college campus. Bradley worked with area colleges and universities to offer on-campus experiences to promote college access beginning in the 6th grade.

Clarksville Montgomery County School System - $40,000: (150 students/50 family members)

The Connections to College and Career Readiness project targeted skill-development to prepare students for college-level coursework and provided 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 focused on developing academic and test-taking skills through strategic remediation and greater opportunities to participate in Advance Placement courses. TCASN funding also expanded 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 partnered with Austin Peay State University and Nashville State Community College to provide courses that matched students’ interests. A focused structure for supporting students who participated in dual enrollment included tutoring and mentoring, expanding the opportunity that the student experienced success. Supports for parents and guardians addressing concerns on how they best can assist their child in school and how to successfully access these opportunities were also provided.

LEAD Public Schools - $40,000: (275 students/138 family members)

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 supported a full-time, on-site College Counseling Department and the “College Corner.” The College Corner created a dedicated physical space on LEAD Academy’s campus with resources used specifically by the College Counseling Department. At the Corner, students and families work on college admission applications and materials with the assistance of LEAD faculty members. The Corner operates during the school day, after hours, and on weekends to encourage and allow family participation. The Corner features workspaces outfitted with computers and printers for research and the completion of application materials. TCASN support was also 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.

Martha O'Bryan Center - $33,000: (50 students/50 family members)

MOBC’s Post-Secondary Success Initiative served 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 strengthened 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 assigned one mentor to a cohort of 50 students in attendance at Nashville State Community College and Tennessee State University.  The Cohort Support mentor worked on specific student needs, ranging from arranging developmental tutoring in math and reading to helping students navigate college resources.

Meigs County High School - $40,000: (820 students/820 parents)

Meigs County Schools are located in rural Southeast Tennessee. Despite boasting high graduation rates, the postsecondary enrollment rate is well below state average. Meigs provided college visits, dual enrollment course financial assistance, during-the-day tutoring services, 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 catered to the targeted population in every aspect and provide for their individual needs.

Milan Special School District - $40,000: (2,200 students/4,000 parents)

Milan Special School District, located in rural Northwest Tennessee, 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 helped reach several goals from the strategic plan that remained unmet, including staffing for the college access office and maintaining a tracking system to accurately follow graduates. Funds were also used to increase sessions with parents, provide transportation services to students, and provide professional development for all K-12 teachers that highlighted 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- $21,399: (100 students/15 family members)

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. Through TCASN funding, Oasis continued their existing essential support services for these students and added 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 contributed to content by recommending topics. Discussions were facilitated by a social worker to ensure students stayed on topic and discussions were relevant to the skills being studied. Participation in these activities “put students ahead of the game” in searching for employment, and provided them with language skills to better their resumes and interviewing skills.

Pellissippi State Community College - $37,982: (420 students/100 family members)

Nationwide more than 88 percent of student veterans leave college by the end of their second semester, and only 3 percent graduate. In 2012, Pellissippi State served more than 500 veteran students per year using the GI Bill. This number represented 5 percent of the college’s population and was the fourth largest student veteran population in Tennessee. Pellissippi State used 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 was designed to serve veterans, active duty or reserve personnel and family members by providing access to cross-functional support in one location. TCASN funding helped provide mentors and other support staff, computers, a lounge area, and supplies for ongoing events and workshops.

Scotts Hill High School - $34,997: (225 students/225 parents)

Scotts Hill HS serves the rural, southern region of Henderson County. Scotts Hill used funding to provide support and assistance to students who otherwise would not financially be able to enroll in dual-enrollment. Students received 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 helped ensure that graduates are academically prepared to succeed in college and lessen their financial burden once they matriculate.

Southern Word, Inc. - $20,000: (5,600 students/4,800 family members)

Southern Word used 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 allowed Southern Word to continue strengthening partnerships between its K-12 programs and college spoken word activity. As Southern Word developed leading young artists, it was crucial that they saw college’s role in the continuation of their artistic development, the growth of their audience, access to financial opportunity, and long-term professional stability.

Southwest Tennessee Development District - $39,989: (2,200 students/4,000 family members)

SWTDD provides 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 used grant funds to create 11 "R U REDI" College Access Centers students could use to search colleges/careers/scholarships, take test prep, and complete admissions and financial aid applications. REDI mentors used the centers for one-on-one time with students, and families used the space to confidentially complete their FAFSAs and receive counsel from their student’s mentor.

Volunteer State Community College - $26,860: (150 students/50 family members)

Volunteer State Community College is a public, equal opportunity, two-year community college in Gallatin, Tennessee that serves 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, were selected to participate in a week-long, strengths-based, preparatory boot camp. Students were chosen by either a faculty or staff member who identified them as “students of potential” and believed with a little preparation, they would be highly successful in college. The program used Supplemental Instruction, a highly successful VSCC program founded on peer-facilitated student learning. The boot camp was 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.