Tweaking Tennessee Promise
In its second year. There's a desperate need for more mentors and more attention paid to completing the required community service. From The Tennessean.
Tennessee Promise gets 'refined' in year 2
Officials at every level of Tennessee Promise — including counselors such as Ogilvie, leaders in Gov. Bill Haslam’s office and college admissions staffers — are using lessons from the program’s first year to refine their approach to year two.
Community colleges are beefing up admissions events and paying more attention to help with financial aid. The Tennessee Promise program itself is reaching out to involve parents more in the process and to bolster the student support system.
Mike Krause, the executive director of Tennessee Promise and a member of Haslam's staff, said these kinds of tweaks will become common as the program continues.
“This is definitely a program that every year we’re going to undergo continuous improvements,” Krause said. “There’s no doubt that this is a refined program now.”
For school counselor Ogilvie, that means encouraging students to stick with the program even if they don’t think they need to.
Ogilvie saw many of her students drop out of Tennessee Promise early last year, shirking required meetings and volunteer work because they thought they didn’t need a college backup plan. For some of them, it turned out to be a costly mistake.
“We did have a few students where life actually got in the way,” Ogilvie said.
Those students, she said, got wait-listed or denied at four-year schools and wound up paying to go to community college, which would have been tuition-free had they stayed in Tennessee Promise.