TBR (Tennessee Board of Regents) Lumina Grant/Inside Track   

Amount: $150,000

The Lumina Grant provides an excellent opportunity for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) to work together on cohort-based and block-scheduled programs with the overall goal to increase the number of graduates and graduation rates in our community colleges. One of the most important objectives of this project is to accelerate time to credentials by creating programs of study that encourage and allow students to balance work and family obligations. A second important goal of this project is to develop initiatives with the technology centers that will strengthen program linkages and expand articulation opportunities for students desiring to pursue associate degrees at the community colleges.  

TBR’s newly designed pathways will result in greater simplicity and transparency for students. Students will be given a program completion plan including a schedule for all required coursework and total program costs prior to beginning their program. Students will be able to spend less time navigating the issues of registration and course selection and more time on the task of learning. This approach will help reduce the need for student advising for purposes of program planning and course selection and allow more time for helping students complete their educational goals.

With the successful bidder’s expertise and guidance, TBR will design new pathways that can “ladder” into high-demand AAS degrees as well as expand structured program offerings in TBR’s AAS and AA/AS transfer programs. These new pathways will complement and co-exist with TBR traditional programs of study. 

The measurable objectives for this project include: 

  • Impact: estimate impact and progress over the three-year grant period by tracking semester-to-semester persistence and graduation rates by program areas for new pathways versus the more traditional pathways in the same program areas.
  • Scope: establish a minimum of ten new pathways in high demand program areas over the three-year period. 
  • Scale: establish a target number of students to be enrolled in the new pathways over the three-year period.
  • System: establish an ongoing system for the design and implementation of new pathways. 

This project will have nationally significant outcomes. Community colleges across the U.S. are struggling with the same challenges of completions and completion rates that we face in Tennessee. With support from Lumina and collaboration among all the community colleges, Tennessee can demonstrate how to create new “built-for-success” pathways to postsecondary credentials.