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News: Tennessee Higher Education Commission Awards Roane State Tennessee Promise Forward Grant

News: Tennessee Higher Education Commission Awards Roane State Tennessee Promise Forward Grant

Oct. 5, 2017

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) has awarded a $91,940 Tennessee Promise Forward grant to Roane State Community College to develop and expand innovative student success and retention programs.

Through the grant, Roane State will work to enable more Tennessee Promise students to earn a post-secondary credential.

“Across our state’s community colleges, great work is being done to ensure that the students who begin college with the Tennessee Promise go on to earn a credential," said Mike Krause, Executive Director of THEC. “Tennessee Promise Forward grants provide community colleges with the opportunity to expand successful programs and develop innovative student supports. From parent engagement pilots to service learning, THEC is excited to see the impact that this year’s Tennessee Promise Forward grants have on student success."

Roane State officials plan to develop a parent portal through CampusESP, an all-in-one platform for parent communication and community-building. Although many colleges and universities utilize this platform, its use to promote parent engagement in a community college setting is innovative. Only one other community college, Delaware County Community College, currently uses the platform.

Through the portal, parents will be able to view general and student-specific information that the student has consented to share with parents. For example, if a student has consented to share financial aid information but not academic information such as course grades, parents will only have the option to view financial aid details.

Features of CampusESP include automated newsletters, analytics including content usage and email open rates, and a Facebook-like social media component for parents to communicate with each other and college staff. In addition to this social media component, the software will allow college staff to send emails and text messages to parents.

The Tennessee Promise Forward grant program began in 2015 with the goal of retaining Tennessee Promise students at community colleges. The program was initially funded through a College Access Challenge Grant from the U.S. Department of Education and received a non-recurring allocation in the 2017-18 State budget due to positive results in years one and two. The institutions were chosen through a competitive application process and the Tennessee Promise Forward grants are administered by THEC.

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