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


TNStars College Savings Sweepstakes Deadline Extended To Dec. 31

Tennessee families have more time to register for one of two $5,290 scholarships awarded by the TNStars College Saving Sweepstakes. One family of an elementary school student and one family of a middle school student will be awarded $5,290 to set up college savings accounts. Contest entries will be received until Dec. 31. Winners will be randomly drawn in January. TNStars, Tennessee’s ... (click for more)

Student Design Wins ‘Moc My Ride’ Contest

Be on the lookout on campus or in downtown Chattanooga for bikes wrapped with a design of UTC colors with the Chattanooga skyline. UTC student Mikey Clavin’s design was chosen in the first ‘Moc My Ride’ contest, a partnership between Bike Chattanooga and UTC Athletics. The ‘Moc My Ride’ contest was an open competition inviting UTC students to create a unique bike design to be ... (click for more)

Architect/Contractor Selected By Erlanger For New Children's/Women's Hospital

HKS has been selected as the architect and McCarthy as the construction manager for a new Children’s and Women’s Hospital at the Erlanger campus on East Third Street. The Atlanta team competed against another Atlanta group for the major construction project. Erlanger officials announced Monday that $11.5 million is being set aside in a debt restructuring for the new $30 ... (click for more)

Westfield Charged In Burning, Torture Of Kitten At Cleveland

An arrest has been made in the case of a kitten who was burned and tortured in Cleveland, Tn. At 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Gary A. Westfield, 31, of Cleveland, was placed in custody on a warrant obtained by Lt. Robert Harbison and Detective Matt Jenkins of the Criminal Investigations Division. Westfield was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)