TBR Reviews TN Promise, Completion Agenda, New Workforce Programs and Chancellor Evaluation

John Morgan

Members of the Tennessee Board of Regents discussed the Tennessee Promise program, systemwide completion initiatives, new workforce training programs, and the chancellor’s evaluation, among other topics at its quarterly meeting on the campus of Pellissippi State Community College.

In a presentation by Mike Krause, executive director of the state’s Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with college credentials, Board members learned more than 22,800 students to date have registered to participate in the Tennessee Promise program offering a last-dollar scholarship to high school graduates to attend a community college or TCAT tuition-free. The program is expected to increase enrollment of first-time freshmen at TBR colleges beginning next year and increase the numbers of students transferring from those schools into the four-year universities.

The Board also heard a report highlighting the system’s progress toward its completion goal, the TBR’s effort to increase the numbers of degrees, certificates and diplomas awarded as part of the Drive to 55 initiative.

The completion agenda report showed TBR institutions awarded more credentials this year than last and exceeded their annual goals for awarding degrees, certificates and diplomas. In the 2013-14 academic year, the 46 TBR schools awarded more than 36,982 bachelor’s, associate, certificate and workforce credentials, about 180 more than the year before. The number of bachelor’s degrees awarded last year was 13,665, just slightly above the goal for the year; associate degrees totaled 9,858, or 24 percent above goal; community college certificates reached 5,658, 212 percent above goal; and TCAT awards reached 7,801, 6 percent above goal.
To support those completion efforts, the TBR is implementing an initiative to use institution-specific and system-wide data and statistics to help make decisions, predict student behavior, and drive student advising and support.

With today’s Board action, additional workforce development programs will soon be offered at Cleveland State Community College and four Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.

Cleveland State received approval to begin offering an associate of applied science in Paramedics. At the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, a production automation technology program was added to the programs offered at the McKenzie campus; a pharmacy technician program was implemented at the TCAT – Jacksboro; an emergency medical technician program was added to the TCAT – Livingston; and the TCAT – Nashville’s Portland Extension Campus added programs in tool and die, building construction, machine tool technology, computer information technology, automated manufacturing technology, and welding technology.

In personnel action the Board also approved the performance evaluation for TBR Chancellor John Morgan. The evaluation process, which included surveys of multiple constituent groups, interviews with state officials and a self-assessment report, resulted in a comprehensive review and an overall excellent rating.

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, 13 two-year colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology, providing programs across the state to about 200,000 students.

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.