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)

In Favor Of Dean And Wamp

I don't normally endorse political candidates (I always recall the joke about the hardware store selling more hip boots and shovels during election years). This year I will make an exception. I have known Vince Dean for over 30 years. I know him to be an honest person that you can actually talk to even when there isn't an election going on. When he was at the police department, ... (click for more)

One Of Oldest Log Homes At University Of The South Suffers Heavy Fire Damage

The oldest log home at the University of the South at Sewanne suffered heavy damage on Friday night. Fire broke out at the historic Rebel’s Rest at approximately 11:30 p.m. Fire units arrived a short time later, but flames were shooting high in the air. Rebel's Roost was built as the family home of Major George Fairbanks a year after the close of the Civil War. The house ... (click for more)

Corker Says Congress Needs Time To Review Plan For VA Reforms

As negotiations between the Senate and the House of Representatives over legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continue,  Senator Bob Corker urged that lawmakers have the opportunity to review a complete Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on any final conference VA bill before taking a vote. “Our veterans deserve solutions to the systemic problems ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts Sacramento Gold Saturday At 7:30

The Chattanooga Football Club will host yet another playoff soccer game on Saturday as Sacramento Gold comes to town in the National NPSL final four semifinal game.  The NPSL National semifinals are powered by Mitre.  Midwest region champions Lansing United will play Northeast region champions Red Buls U23s in New York on Sunday in the other semifinal match.  The ... (click for more)

Lookouts Get 8-7 9th Inning Win Over Biscuits

Chris O’Brien’s only hit of the game was the one that mattered the most, giving the Chattanooga Lookouts (12-21)  a win in the bottom of the ninth inning on his RBI single against the Montgomery Biscuits (19-16) before a raucous sell-out crowd of 6,378. The first inning came and went innocuously, but the second showed the first offensive outburst of the night as the ... (click for more)