TDHS Partners With Families To Register Over 5,000 High School Seniors For The Tennessee Promise Program

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 | 09:52am

Families across SNAP, Families First, and Child Support Partnered with TDHS To Build Cycles of Success

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) partnered with SNAP, Families First, and Child Support families to register over 5,000 high school seniors for the Tennessee Promise, a scholarship which provides two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees. This marks the second year in a row DHS has reached out to parents with students in the 12th grade to encourage them to apply for the program.

The ongoing effort is a part of the Department’s two-generation initiative launched last year called 2G for Tennessee which has a specific focus on partnering with parents (caregivers) and children together to improve the whole family’s well-being.

“DHS’ efforts to support families through assisting with the Tennessee Promise is reflective of our commitment to a two generation strategy to build cycles of success”, said Dr. Raquel Hatter, Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner.  “We were so excited to hear the Governor’s announcement about the recent number of enrollments this year. We are pleased that DHS was able to contribute to this success.  Thank you to the DHS Team and the families for their hard work.”

Launched in 2014, Tennessee Promise made Tennessee the first state in the nation to offer high school graduates two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees. As a result, first-time freshmen enrollment increased 25 percent at community colleges and 20 percent at technical colleges in 2015, and the college-going rate increased to a historic high of 62.5 percent. Mentorship is a key aspect of the Tennessee Promise and the state’s goal is to secure 9,000 mentors before the deadline on November 20.

"DHS has continued to be an incredible partner with the Tennessee Promise," said Mike Krause, Executive Director of the Drive to 55. "Ensuring their clients have access not only to benefits available through DHS, but also to educational opportunities like the Tennessee Promise, helps us move closer to the Drive to 55 goal."

For more information on 2G for Tennessee and other initiatives at DHS visit

The mentor application is available through November 20 at   

A video message from Gov. Haslam calling on Tennesseans to become mentors is available at


About the 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.