PEF Awarded $40,000 Grant To Help Increase College Completion Rates

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Public Education Foundation (PEF) is one of seven nonprofits in Tennessee awarded a $40,000 grant by the Tennessee College Access and Success Network (TCASN) to enhance year two of the SOAR Initiative. SOAR (Student Opportunities, Access and Retention) pairs peer mentors – current students at Chattanooga State Community College and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – with incoming first-generation college students as they complete associate’s coursework at CSCC and then go on to UTC for completion of a bachelor’s degree.

“SOAR is an inspiring program because it uses a peer-to-peer mentoring model to work with students who have the motivation to attain a 4-year degree, but need extra support as they begin higher education in community college and then move to a university experience,” said Stacy Lightfoot, director of College and Career Access for PEF. “The TCASN grant will allow us to expand our leadership training of the mentors as well as create an academic success lab dedicated to helping SOAR participants succeed.”

In spring 2011, PEF launched SOAR with grant funds from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.  The goal of the SOAR program is to double the current rate of college access and success – with success defined as engagement, persistence and retention, and transition to the next level – among the 200 students who will participate in the four-year project.  In addition to funds for more leadership training and a dedicated SOAR technology lab, the grant provides for a summer leadership retreat and monthly meetings for  all SOAR participants focused on enhancing their academic as well as leadership skills, covering topics such as note-taking, test preparation, interviewing skills, and technology.

For more information about PEF and SOAR, visit pefchattanooga.org


Walk At School Event At Red Bank Elementary Friday

Red Bank Elementary students have been participating in walk to school day events.   On Friday, the 5th graders are doing a surprise "flash mob" dance on the last song at 2 p.m.  (click for more)

Local Student Enrolls At Earlham College

Alexander Owen, an Earlham College first-year and son of Sterling Owen of Germantown, Tn, and Karen Nance of Chattanooga, has enrolled at Earlham College. " Earlham is dedicated to the development of effective ways to integrate international perspectives in education," officials said.  " Earlham graduates are well prepared for further study; n early half of Earlham alumni ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Cold, Wet Front To Make For Chilly And Damp Trick Or Treating; Snow Showers Possible Saturday

A surge of cold, moist air will make for less-than-ideal trick or treat conditions on Halloween night. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing this weekend. There is a possibility of snow showers in Chattanooga on Saturday. Here is the latest forecast: Today Showers likely, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming northwest ... (click for more)

Thanks For Publishing The Stokes Photo Book

I pre-ordered the Stokes Photo Book and picked it up Wednesday . The covers and content are very high quality and contain photos you will not see anywhere else.  This book of photos is worth much more than $35.  I have seen many historic photos of my hometown Chattanooga, but this collection is amazing. My favorites are National Cemetery, Confederate Cemetery near ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)