Cleveland State Hosts GIG Kick-Off Event

Monday, May 5, 2014
Back Row, Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, Education Program Manager Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); Dr. Tommy Wright, Vice President for Finance and Administration, CSCC / GIG Committee Member; Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President; Judah Akers of Judah and the Lion. Front Row, Pictured from left to right are: Lucia Folk, Vice President of Public Affairs, CMT; Catherine Seymour, GIG Committee Member; Tracey Wright, Director of Special Programs and Community Relations, CSCC / GIG Coordinator; Brian McDonald and Nate Zuercher of Judah and the Lion; Patti Hunt, Small Learning Communities Grant Coordinator; Bradley County Schools; Melissa Presswood, GEAR UP Site Coordinator and Richie Stevenson, Principal, Lake Forest Middle School.
Back Row, Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, Education Program Manager Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); Dr. Tommy Wright, Vice President for Finance and Administration, CSCC / GIG Committee Member; Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President; Judah Akers of Judah and the Lion. Front Row, Pictured from left to right are: Lucia Folk, Vice President of Public Affairs, CMT; Catherine Seymour, GIG Committee Member; Tracey Wright, Director of Special Programs and Community Relations, CSCC / GIG Coordinator; Brian McDonald and Nate Zuercher of Judah and the Lion; Patti Hunt, Small Learning Communities Grant Coordinator; Bradley County Schools; Melissa Presswood, GEAR UP Site Coordinator and Richie Stevenson, Principal, Lake Forest Middle School.

On May 1, more than 200 community members from Southeast Tennessee gathered at Lake Forest Middle School to explore adult learning opportunities in conjunction with Cleveland State Community College (CSCC), Bradley County School District’s GEAR UP Tennessee Program, and CMT’s (Country Music Television) Empowering Education, the network’s initiative which encourages viewers to pursue post-secondary education. This initiative  will provide opportunities for parents of GEAR UP participants to earn a college degree before their child graduates from high school. This will enhance the probability for their child’s success in college. The program is called GIG, which stands for GEAR UP Interest Group. 

“The goal of CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION is to help our viewers navigate the busy and sometimes overwhelming educational landscape,” said Lucia Folk, vice president of public affairs, CMT. “One of the best ways to do that is by supporting the great work that is being done on a local level. We are thrilled to partner with Cleveland State Community College and Bradley County School District’s GEAR UP Tennessee Program as they launch GIG, an innovative collaboration which will support parents and their children in achieving a college degree.”

 “I am proud that Cleveland State is a part of this exciting partnership,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, Cleveland State President. “Providing educational opportunities for adult students is a significant part of our mission, and we are thrilled that CMT is onboard. While there are many initiatives, such as Tennessee Promise, that focus heavily on traditional-aged students, we want to be very intentional about expanding opportunities for those who are non-traditional ages. This strengthens workforce development and supports the Governor’s Drive to 55.”

The evening began with Cleveland State providing participants with a dinner catered by G’Daddy’s Barbeque of Cleveland and an informational fair where representatives from Cleveland State’s Enrollment Services, Financial Aid and OneSource were on hand to assist students, as well as community agencies such as Adult High School of Bradley/Polk Counties, GEAR UP Tennessee / Bradley County, The Caring Place, Community Action Network, Habitat For Humanity and the Refuge. Participants were given all the tools, assistance and knowledge to become a college student at Cleveland State Community College this fall. Following the informational fair, community members were treated to a concert by artists, Judah and the Lion.  Also, during that time, CSCC shared success stories of students who returned to school after many years with the goal of inspiring those facing similar challenges to consider furthering their education.

            GIG Participants are required to :

            ?          Complete a GIG application and interview
            ?          Complete a CSCC application
            ?          Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
            ?          Attend at least two workshops a year
            ?          Meet monthly with the GIG Coordinator
            ?          Provide two hours of service at his/her child’s school or to the GEAR UP program
 
            In turn, participants will receive:

            ?          Tools to help overcome the barriers
            ?          Personal attention by the GIG Coordinator
            ?          Assistance completing the CSCC application
            ?          Assistance completing the FAFSA
            ?          A specific Financial Aid Counselor assigned to provide assistance
            ?          Up to $1000 in scholarship dollars each academic year
            ?          Special recognition as a GIG participant
            ?          A certificate or degree (if proper credit hour and grade requirements are met)

“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as the GIG Coordinator in its first year,” stated Tracey Wright, Director of Special Programs and Community Relations. “The GIG program allows Cleveland State to target adult learners, which are difficult to reach. We have carefully put together a program with the support needed to help the GIG participants successfully complete a certificate or degree program before their son or daughter graduates from high school.”

GIG applications are due by May 15. Completed applications may be turned in at Lake Forest Middle School, Bradley Central High School or GOAL Academy. For more information on the GIG program or the upcoming kick-off event, contact Ms. Wright at 473-2341 or email her at twright05@clevelandstatecc.edu.  



Dalton Announces Makeup Day Plans For Students, Staff

Dalton Public Schools has announced that students will only make up 1 day of school after the recent inclement weather forced schools to close last week.  The current school calendar only has one make-up day remaining in the school year.  Dalton students and staff will use Thursday, March 12, as a full instructional day. March 12 was originally an elementary design ... (click for more)

6th Annual Dalton State Book Festival Features Tennessee Author

Book lovers are invited to hear Tennessee author Susan Gregg Gilmore speak on her latest novel, “The Funeral Dress,” March 18, at Dalton State’s sixth annual Book Festival. This annual literary festival celebrates authors from the South, including local authors. The Book Festival is hosted by Dalton State’s Roberts Library and made possible with support from the Dalton State ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Placed Under Winter Storm Watch

Hamilton County has been placed under a Winter Storm Watch with a prediction of freezing rain, sleet and snow for Thursday. The new wintry mix is slated to begin around midnight on Wednesday and continue through 4 p.m. on Thursday. There could be up to two inches of snow following up on last week's eight inches.  Here is the Winter Storm Watch: ...WINTER STORM ... (click for more)

Henry Hopes To Bring E-Filing To Clerk's Office This Year; Saving Almost $222,000 On Personnel

Circuit Court Clerk Larry Henry said he hopes to E-Filing of documents and other court papers to the clerk’s office this year.   He said at first it appeared it might take much longer, but that progress is being made to the online program. Mr. Henry told members of the Pachyderm Club that attorneys, litigants and members of the public would be able to go online to view ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform - And Response

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Insult To Israel

I am deeply saddened that over two dozen members of Congress – all Democrats – will be boycotting a speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, when he speaks in Washington tonight. I am also offended that the President of the United States will not receive Netanyahu prior to the speech – a customary gesture on such occasions – because he claims it is too close to ... (click for more)