Statewide SAILS Meeting Highlights Successes

Submitted by: 
Chattanooga State Community College

SAILS (Seamless Alignment of Integrated Learning Support) has grown not only in the use of successful methodologies but in popularity as well. At a recent statewide meeting held at Chattanooga State, approximately 30 SAILS field coordinators met for a day of professional development training and discussion. SAILS is designed to help students who, without intensive instruction, are on a trajectory for placement in remedial math when they get to college. The SAILS facilitated hybrid model provides a solid conceptual framework so students can take college-level math courses right out of the gate, states Dr. Robert M. Denn, project director for SAILS Math TN.The SAILS program was created at Chattanooga State and was first implemented with a test group of 20 high school seniors at Red Bank High School in 2012. With funding from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and support from the Governors Office and the Tennessee Board of Regents, the program has attracted national attention with its unprecedented 70 percent success rate. It has grown to include all 13 community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents system. This year, SAILS is partnering with 184 high schools serving 13,636 students across the state and expects to grow to 18,000 students next academic year.Regional Lead Field Coordinators Abbie Alexander (West TN) and Jeannette Tippett (East TN), with Deanna Swiney, Coordinator of Educational Technology, conducted the professional development training. The training not only delved into technology, but allowed the field coordinators to share interventions and motivational tools in order to help students be successful in SAILS.The field coordinators are the key to SAILS success. They provide support to the classroom teacher and facilitators in the areas of content, curriculum, technology and logistics and serve as communications liaisons between the high schools and the community colleges. It is a difficult job. Without them, this is just another math program, emphasizes Denn.The next logical step is the implementation of SAILS English, which is being piloted next spring at Walters State and Roane State Community Colleges who will partner with a few high schools in their service regions. Our goal is to change the college-readiness landscape in Tennessee, shares Denn.For more information on SAILS, see or contact Robert M. Denn at 423-697-2648,