Press Release from Gov. Bill Haslam, Oct. 31, 2011:
Governor to address event Tuesday
NASHVILLE – College and university presidents from across Tennessee are joining forces today and tomorrow to develop strategic plans for increasing student graduation and retention rates on their campuses.
Presidents and senior-level campus administrators from eight institutions – Austin Peay State University, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tennessee Tech University, Columbia State Community College, Dyersburg State Community College, Jackson State Community College, Northeast State Community College and Roane State Community College – are participating in the inaugural Tennessee College Completion Academy, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Franklin.
The Tennessee College Completion Academy is a state-level simulation of the national academies developed by Complete College America, a national organization committed to increasing U.S. college completion, and the academy builds on the state’s deep commitment to improving college completion, as articulated by the Complete College Tennessee Act and subsequent work toward implementation.
“If we’re going to become the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs, we must increase the number of Tennesseans with college degrees and credentials,” Haslam said. “We must work together to identify the best practices that will help students succeed if we want to reach our goals of increasing the number of college-educated Tennesseans.”
Reports indicate that more than 60 percent of jobs in Tennessee will require a college education by the end of the decade. Today, only 31 percent of Tennessee’s adults aged 25-34 hold a college degree, according to a report by the Lumina Foundation.
The two-day intensive meeting will allow campus leaders to learn from national content experts and help them develop strategic plans and goals in areas such as: improving time-to-degree; designing new structures to help students balance education with careers and families; aligning resources for success; engaging campus leaders; and building community support.
“The academy gives us a chance to compare notes and to share methods on ways to help campuses push students toward completing their degrees in an efficient and timely manner,” said Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan. Statistics show the longer it takes a student to get through college, the less likely he or she will graduate.
The Tennessee College Completion Academy is organized by the Tennessee Business Roundtable with support from Complete College America and in partnership with the Governor’s Office, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Tennessee Board of Regents, and University of Tennessee.
To accommodate demand, a second academy is scheduled for spring 2012 for other public college and university leaders throughout the state.