The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) announced the award of over $750,000 to three community colleges and one university. Jackson State Community College was awarded $184,543 to pursue its project to increase student success.
The institutions funded by the grant created proposals for how they would go about increasing student success and outcomes. Activities include increased advising and academic coaching, increased data analysis around student success, and guided student pathways based on academic and career goals.
According to Mike Krause, THEC executive director, the governor’s Drive to 55 initiative is the driving force behind the push for student success. “These grants allow institutions to develop new services entirely focused on students excelling academically and gaining the skills and credentials necessary to succeed in the workforce,” Krause said.
Jackson State received $184,543 for its project, Pathways to Success. According to Brian Gann, VP of student services, JSCC will develop individualized digital pathways to degrees for students that provide a clear roadmap to graduation and will allow a student and the institution to see if that student is getting off track. Gann states that, “a lack of focus and direction for a new student often leads to frustration and the student either delaying or not attaining their educational objective.”
To help keep students on track, JSCC plans to implement completion coaches that will serve as wraparound support to students, connecting students to academic support and student support resources on and off campus as needed. They plan to track and guide students along the pathway to progression metrics and ultimately degree attainment.
A special initiative for summer Pell grant usage will be launched to encourage continuous enrollment toward degree, helping students to maintain momentum and move forward on their plan. Targeted communication to students who complete progression metrics will help keep students aware of their progress on their roadmap and encourage them to reach the next progression point.
“We are excited and honored to receive this funding to help our students be more successful,” said Gann. “There has been a very intentional effort to bolster student success at Jackson State. This grant will go a long way in helping us to better achieve that goal.”