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

Wednesday, June 6, 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


Cleveland City School Board Welcomes Dr. Russell Dyer

The Cleveland City Schools Board of Education invites the community to meet Dr. Russell Dyer, new director of schools, on Thursday, July 7, 4-5 p.m. at the Administrative Office Building, 4300 Mouse Creek Road, Cleveland. This drop-in reception is open for teachers, parents and the community.  For the past two years, Dr. Dyer has been chief of staff for Collierville Schools ... (click for more)

Lu And Liu Take First Place In Lee’s Piano Competition

Yun Lu and Vincent Liu took first place in the 12th annual Lee University piano competitions for the collegiate and pre-collegiate divisions, respectively. The award ceremony concluded the International Piano Festival and Competition held June 12-18.  For the pre-collegiate division, second place was awarded to Jonathan Reichenberger, with third place going to Eriko Darcy ... (click for more)

Home In Ooltewah Damaged By Fire Caused By Lightning Strike Sunday Afternoon

A home in Ooltewah was damaged by fire early Sunday afternoon. At  4:33 p.m. , the homeowner called 911 reporting a fire at the residence at 711 Rocky Shadows Drive (Mountain Shadows subdivision in the Ooltewah area). The Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting light smoke showing from the roofline. Firefighters entered ... (click for more)

Bass Pro Shops Opens July 13 In East Ridge

The grand opening of the Bass Pro Shops East Ridge Outpost kicks off Wednesday, July 13, at 6 p.m .  The event features an all-star cast of celebrities from the world of sports, entertainment and the great outdoors who will join together to help Bass Pro Shops celebrate an Evening for Conservation. The grand opening event will continue through Sunday, July 17, ... (click for more)

General Bell: Chattanooga Needs The Coolidge Medal Of Honor Heritage Center - And Response

I'm pleased and indeed compelled to let you know a bit more about the exciting and most honorable "Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center" planned for Coolidge Park.     Here's what the Heritage Center will be:  It will be a fitting capstone for Chattanooga's Coolidge Park on Northshore in downtown Chattanooga.  While this exceptional Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where Will George Go?

George Will, easily one of the most respected conservative columnists in America and a Republican commentator, was a guest on Fox News Sunday yesterday when he made a very revealing statement. He announced he has left the Republican Party “for the same reason I joined it” and that he is not only disappointed by the party’s actions but its increasingly-inept leadership as well. ... (click for more)