Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan is at the White House today taking part in a summit of higher education leaders focused on expanding college opportunity.
He and others will join President Barack Obama and the First Lady to announce commitments to help more students afford and graduate from college with a quality education and skills.
The White House calls it “the launch of a mobilization by the White House and the Department of Education, which will help share and develop additional evidence on what works and foster new commitments to action from a broader range of colleges and universities, business, nonprofits and other leaders.”
The summit will be especially focused on helping low income and underprepared students with college access and success to increase economic mobility and reduce factors that contribute to inequality.
“We are honored to respond to the President’s call to action,” said Morgan. “It’s the right thing to do, and it’s a commitment we have already made in Tennessee to increase the number of Tennesseans with college degrees and certificates. That effort requires us to ensure every student finds the opportunity, means and support to get into college and succeed.
“Governor Haslam’s ‘Drive to 55’ initiative put us on the right path to help lead this effort.”
The Tennessee Board of Regents is among the nation’s largest higher education systems, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, the 13 community colleges across the state, and the 27 colleges of applied technology. More than 200,000 students enroll in TBR schools each year.
Many TBR campuses have already begun focusing on increasing the pool of students preparing for college with early intervention programs. TBR recently announced a system-wide effort to develop guided pathways to success to help guide students toward finishing their degrees successfully and on time.
TBR institutions are also implementing programs that help students who are underprepared – especially those who need help with math, English and reading. Campuses are redesigning courses to replace developmental education by enrolling students directly into a credit bearing course and then supplementing their instruction and providing extra support to improve students’ understanding of the concepts and mastery of the skills. The programs help students avoid paying for extra courses by embedding the remedial education within the regular for-credit classes.
TBR and the University of Tennessee system are working together to take the programs statewide.
The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.