Tennessee College Access and Success Network Awarded $225,000 from The Kresge Foundation

The Tennessee College Access and Success Network announced today that it was awarded a $225,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to continue its work expanding higher education opportunities for low-income and underrepresented students.

“The Kresge Foundation is a national leader in the college access community,” said Bob Obrohta, executive director of TCASN. “We are excited and inspired to be working with them in Tennessee to further expand postsecondary access and success.”

The grant will also fund the creation of a Shelby County Completion Study in which TCASN staff will conduct an in-depth, multi-level analysis of what college access and success looks like for Shelby County public school graduates. The completed report will synthesize diverse data sets, stakeholder perspectives, and best practices to identify opportunities for Shelby County youth to earn college degrees or certifications after high school graduation.

“For nearly a decade, the Tennessee College Access and Success Network has championed more equitable college outcomes for all students while serving as a leading voice for the state’s college success professionals,” said Caroline Altman Smith, deputy director of the Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. “We’re eager to partner with TCASN to learn more about the postsecondary paths of students in Memphis – a focus city for Kresge – and support the network’s ongoing efforts to improve college completion rates statewide.”

Lastly, The Kresge Foundation grant creates the opportunity for TCASN staff to work closely with the organization’s board of directors to develop a long-term strategic plan.

“The Tennessee College Access and Success Network is dedicated to removing barriers to higher education and increasing college completion rate for high school students in Tennessee,” said Tayo Atanda, TCASN board of directors’ chair and attorney at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. “This grant from The Kresge Foundation allows us the opportunity to expand our work as we explore new ways to further support underrepresented students in realizing their dreams of completing a college education post high school. We would like to thank The Kresge Foundation for this opportunity.” 

Driven by the mission to increase the number of Tennesseans completing postsecondary opportunities, the TCASN aims to establish a college-going culture in communities across the state. www.tncollegeaccess.org, 615-983-6909.

The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit kresge.org.