Our mission: We advocate, invest, and work to insure that all students in Middle Tennessee have access to a high-quality education

Access and Affordability (read more) June 2016 eNL

Access, Affordability and Success

New Secretary of Education shares vision for higher ed

In our newsletters we often talk about the skyrocketing cost of higher education and share resources to assist families in reducing the cost of college. The topic of matching, persistence and access to higher education and resources to assist families in navigating the process is equally important. 

In a recent interview, U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. John King, stated; "No online tool will supplant the need for quality human interaction and counseling," he said. "In order to serve the needs of today's student population, institutions will need to increase collaboration with the K-12 sector and with industry. Not only that, but in an increasingly expensive and competitive environment, schools must clearly articulate their value propositions to students if they are to remain viable."

In a postive step forward in this direction, the State of Tennessee announced the launch of a $2.4 million advising program that will put additional college counselors into 30 public high schools across the state in the fall. This initiative will help 10,000 high school juniors. In Metro Nashville Public Schools the high school college counselors are supported with strong community based programs like the Oasis College Connection and Martha O'Bryan Center's Top Floor Zone and College Zone. Since their inception in 2010, Tennessee College Access and Success Network has been leading the way in conveining thought leaders to remove barriers to higher education, promote college persistence, and increase postsecondary completion rates for all Tennesseans. But we need to do so much more!

So what can you do? Consider being a Tennessee Promise mentor. You can make the difference in the lives of 5-10 high school seniors with an annual committment of 10-15 hours. You can also push your lawmakers to introduce effective policy to reduce college costs, increase access and insure our students graduate.

From the June 2016 Scarlett Family Foundation newsletter