Go back

News in higher education

Community college would be free for thousands of Tennessee students under a plan in Gov. Phil Bredesen's proposed budget.

It would cover students who graduate from high school and score 19 on the math, reading and composite ACT just under the state average composite score of 20.7.

If the legislature goes along with Bredesen, the program would start in Fall 2008 and cost the state $10 million to $12 million per year, to be funded by state lottery proceeds. Tennessee has 13 community colleges, including Nashville State in Nashville and Volunteer State in Gallatin. Community college would be free for thousands of Tennessee students under a plan in Gov. Phil Bredesen's proposed budget.

It would cover students who graduate from high school and score 19 on the math, reading and composite ACT just under the state average composite score of 20.7.

If the legislature goes along with Bredesen, the program would start in Fall 2008 and cost the state $10 million to $12 million per year, to be funded by state lottery proceeds. Tennessee has 13 community colleges, including Nashville State in Nashville and Volunteer State in Gallatin.

State officials believe the waived tuition program is the first of its kind in the nation. The average tuition at the state's community colleges is $1,227.50 per semester for a full-time student. (The Tennessean, March 1, 2007)

Robertson County is another step closer to having a higher education facility.

Robertson County Mayor Howard Bradley, Springfield Mayor Billy Paul Carneal and NorthCrest Medical Center CEO Scott Raynes met recently with officials from Austin Peay State University and Volunteer State Community College.

The meeting was scheduled to discuss constructing a building on the NorthCrest campus that would house both two-year and four-year degree programs.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data for 2005, approximately 5.1 percent of Robertson County's 60,561 residents have attained an associate degree. Another 10.7 percent have obtained a bachelor's degree.

A schematic of the proposed building was brought to the meeting and NorthCrest will be working with Vol State and APSU to squeeze more classrooms into the facility, Bradley said. (The Tennessean, Feb. 28, 2007)

Gov. Phil Bredesen's 2007-08 budget recommendations unveiled recently did not include money for a proposed program designed to help adults in Tennessee earn a college degree.

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee systems had sought $2 million in state funding to launch the collaborative effort to re-enroll the more than 60,000 adults in the state who dropped out of college in good standing.

The Governor's Scholars and Fellows Program was included in the Tennessee Higher Education Commission's funding recommendations.

Board of Regents Chancellor Charles Manning said the system still will push for program funding before the Legislature's committees.

“But it's obviously a steeper incline (if it's not recommended by the governor),” he said. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Feb. 24, 2007)

Cumberland University is trying to tap into a nationwide trend that shows alumni of small colleges generally are more willing to give to their alma maters than those at Ivy League schools and large state universities.

A new national study showed that on average, fewer than 12 percent of alumni who could be found contributed to their alma maters in fiscal year 2006.

The Lebanon liberal arts school has doubled its development staff and is in the quiet phase of a major capital campaign. Administrators are targeting alumni in the new capital campaign to boost participation, and it may already be paying off. While it raised only $363,705 from alumni in fiscal 2006, so far in fiscal 2007, it has raised nearly $660,000.

Locally, alumni from Volunteer State Community College, Trevecca, Vanderbilt and Sewanee contributed to their alma maters at a rate that exceeded the national average.

Their peers at the University of Tennessee, Tennessee Tech, Meharry Medical, Austin Peay State University and Middle Tennessee State fell below the national average, the report showed. (The Tennessean, Feb. 25, 2007)