Haslam Announces 81 Percent Retention Rate for Promise Students

Thursday, April 07, 2016 | 12:08pm

Retention numbers indicate early success for first class of Tennessee Promise students

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced 81 percent of the 2015-16 class of Tennessee Promise students returned for the spring semester after beginning classes last fall. 

This high retention rate for Tennessee Promise students is a significant indicator they are on pathways to success in higher education.

“When we launched Tennessee Promise, our goal was not only to get more students to enroll in a technical or community college but also to see the students succeed and graduate,” Haslam said. “Students must receive post-secondary credentials if we’re going to achieve the goal of Drive to 55, and we will continue to work with our campus leaders to ensure these students have the highest possible chances of attaining their certificate or degree.”

In fall 2015 there was a 24.7 percent enrollment increase at community colleges and a 20 percent enrollment increase at colleges of applied technology (TCATs).

Data provided by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission indicates that Tennessee Promise students enrolled at a TCAT had a retention rate of almost 95 percent while community college students were retained at a rate of 78.5 percent. The community college data also includes Austin Peay State University, the single public university with associate degree students.

The retention rates for Tennessee Promise students by college are:

Austin Peay                   88.7%

Chattanooga State      78.4%

Cleveland State            74.5%

Columbia State            74.9%

Dyersburg State           81.1%

Jackson State                81.9%

Motlow State                84.8%

Nashville State             81.2%

Northeast State           77.1%

Pellissippi State           77.2%

Roane State                 72.1%

Southwest                    84.8%

Volunteer State          73.4%

Walters State              75.5%

All 27 TCATS                94.7%

Total Average           80.6%


DRIVE TO 55: In 2013, Governor Haslam launched the Drive to 55 to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. As a result, the Drive to 55 has established the Tennessee Promise program, the nation’s first scholarship and mentorship program that provides high school graduates last-dollar scholarships to attend two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees; reduced the number of college freshmen requiring remediation through the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program; provided free technical college for adults through TCAT Reconnect Grants; created Tennessee Reconnect + Complete to help more adults return to college to complete unfinished degrees; developed a more comprehensive state approach to serving student veterans; and leveraged technology to enhance classroom instruction and college advising.