When It Comes To Community College, Governor Haslam Understands

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Governor Haslam’s State-of-the-State address this week was full of the core ideas that he has built his administration around.  One of those core ideas concerns how high school students transition into a local workforce that is demanding a greater degree of competency and aptitude. 

In his speech, the governor outlined his intention to fund the Tennessee Achieves program.  This is a program that has Haslam’s fingerprints all over it.  He was a part of the original pilot in Knox County and has continued to encourage its use across the state.  The program provides last dollar scholarships to community colleges for students who have a financial need or “gap”.  For communities, like Bradley and Meigs County, who already offer this program, it means that graduates can enroll in a local community college without any out-of-pocket expense.  The program is equitable and encouraging.  But what has gone less noticed has been that these current Tennessee Achieves programs have been funded almost entirely through private dollars.  

This is an excellent example of how local communities and private dollars can catalyze policy.  It is an example of how local business and civic leaders see a need and take measures to meet that need, long before government steps up. By proposing the use of state funds to fill this gap, Haslam is building on that hard work and acknowledging the value local communities place on educating their youth for the workplace. 

Working with this program, I have seen the access it can create. I have also seen many occasions where good-hearted people and businesses donate to make those things possible.  If the state assumes the cost of the Tennessee Achieves program, I am sure that these donors will turn their support toward the next issue that needs to be addressed and I fully expect that they will again lead the way.

J. Adam Lowe

J. Adam Lowe is the executive director of the Cleveland State Community College Foundation and serves as the vice chairman of the Bradley County Commission.  He is presently seeking the 22nd District seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. 


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)

2 People Shot Saturday Night On Carousel Road

Two people were shot Saturday evening on Carousel Road. At  9:11 p.m. , Chattanooga Police responded to 1406 Carousel Road on a call of a person shot. One victim on the scene suffered minor injuries.  Another victim was transported by personal vehicle to a local hospital. The s econd victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  The suspect ... (click for more)

Teenager Killed In ATV Accident Thursday Night

Damon Lee Jones, 15, was killed Thursday night in an ATV accident in Walker County. It was reported he was riding with a 17-year old, when they tried to enter a church parking lot, but ran into a cable barrier. The accident happened on Dunwoody Road in LaFayette. The other rider, identified as Timothy J. Wallin, was not injured.   (click for more)

Alabama Wins 34-20, But Vols Find A Can-Do QB In Dobbs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee now has renewed hope for success down the home stretch of the 2014 football season. Maybe a bowl game is more a reality now than it was a week ago. Why? Quarterback Joshua Dobbs got on the field. Dobbs, who hadn’t taken a snap all season, rallied the Vols from a 27-0 deficit and turned in a sterling performance to threaten fourth-ranked ... (click for more)

Notre Dame edges Boyd Buc, 1-0 in Girls Soccer

Notre Dame senior Liz Ciabattone scored in the fifth minute and then the Irish held off a battling Boyd Buchanan team for the next 85 minutes for a 1-0 triumph in an A-AA sectional match. The victorious Irish along with Chattanooga Christian (2-0 winner against Grace) advance to the state quarters next Wednesday in Murfreesboro. “It’s good to get the win and advance to the ... (click for more)