Sequoyah High Student Completes Cleveland State's SAILS Program

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Jason Hammontree and Allison Young
Jason Hammontree and Allison Young
Sequoyah High School student Allison Young is the first person in the state to complete the SAILS program offered through Cleveland State Community College. SAILS is Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support. The purpose of this project is to provide high school students their 4th year of high school math while making them college ready in math during their senior year of high school. Thus making them better prepared for college. The plan is that students will take bridge math in the fall semester and upon successful completion of the bridge math course, the student will be provided the opportunity to take their college math elective course at Cleveland State during the following semester through dual enrollment. For students who receive college math credit in high school, this will provide them with the incentive to remain in college as they have already begun earning college credit and have satisfied their math requirement.

“My teacher told me when I was on Unit 4 or 5 that I was the first one that was that far because I had passed the first two placement tests and nobody else had passed the second one, so that was pretty awesome,” stated Ms. Young. “I actually felt really smart.”

Karen Wyrick, CSCC Math Chair, said, “There are five competencies which are divided into six units in our learning support math classes. A CSCC student whose ACT is less than 19 is going to come here and go straight into learning support math, but when they complete these six units, they will be college ready. There are 11 community colleges in the state of Tennessee doing SAILS, but Allison is the first student in the state to mark off her competencies. If she came to CSCC next year, she would spend a minimum of one semester doing learning support math, possibly up to three. She has saved up to a year and a half of time and a lot of money. This says a lot about her, she has done a lot of work to get where she is now.”

Ms. Young said, “I like this format of math a lot better because I can work at my own pace. I can go ahead of everyone else if I am ready to move on; I don’t have to wait on everybody else, but I also like that you can stay on it as long as you want and nobody is rushing you to finish.”

Ms. Young said she completes approximately two modules a day. She works on the modules at school, then goes home and finishes as much as she can so she is ready to take the quizzes at school. Her goal is to complete College Algebra while still a student at Sequoyah. 

“Allison is an excellent student and a hard worker,” stated Jason Hammontree, Math Instructor at Sequoyah High School. “I have been very impressed by her dedication to this.”

Ms. Wyrick said, “There are around 6,000 students in the SAILS math program and we have already saved them over $2.6 million and 4,807 semesters of learning support math that they are not going to have to take when they attend college. If they go to any TBR school, these competencies will transfer with them when they leave here.”

John Squires, Regional SAILS Math Director said, “Allison Young was the first student in Tennessee to complete the SAILS program. She should be very proud of her accomplishments, as should all students who finish SAILS and enter college ready for a college level math class. As one of the original pilot programs, Cleveland State has helped pave the way for SAILS to spread across the state.  The relationships formed between community colleges such as Cleveland State and their local high schools will benefit future students for years to come.” 

For more information on the Cleveland State Community College, visit the website at For more information on the SAILS program, contact Squires at (423) 697-3164 or by emailing him at

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