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.  



Alexander Says Betsy DeVos Is On Our Children’s Side

At Tuesday’s Senate education committee hearing on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said, “Betsy DeVos is on our children’s side.  On charter schools and school choice, she is in the mainstream of those trying to help children succeed and her critics are outside of it.” Alexander, who was ... (click for more)

Auditions For Lee’s Children’s Chorale To Take Place Monday

Auditions for the spring semester of Lee University’s Children’s Chorale will be held Monday from 6-7 p.m.  The Lee University Children’s Chorale is an opportunity for area students to be involved in a community ensemble that is committed to excellence. Students will be encouraged to grow both as musicians and singers throughout rehearsal and enjoy performing music that ... (click for more)

County Commission Votes 8-1 To Deny Permit For Controversial Bakewell Firing Range

The County Commission voted 8-1 on Wednesday to deny a special exceptions permit for a $2.4 million firing range at Retro-Hughes Road at Bakewell. Only Commissioner Greg Martin was in support. Opponents and supporters were again gathered at the courthouse, but the commission voted without hearing further argument. Commissioner Randy Fairbanks said to him "it is not a gun ... (click for more)

Big Woody's Tree Service Employee Killed In Fall On Signal Mountain

Recovery efforts are underway for a man who fell 150 feet off a bluff, while trimming trees on Signal Mountain. At  11:22 a.m. , a 911 call was made by an employee of Big Woody's Tree Service reporting a man in his early 30s had fallen off a bluff the mountain while trimming trees on private property.  The man fell 150 feet. Walden's Ridge Emergency Services ... (click for more)

Beyond Freedom Of Speech - And Response

Yes, most people know about the First Amendment to our Constitution, "The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction."  I being a "deplorable" draw the line when people block traffic, try to disrupt, and even stop an activity through malice and disregard for others. Case being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Want To Protest? Get Paid!

In a troubling time when “false news” is the rage and people ask me – to my face – if anybody from Russia ever approached me personally searching for votes for President-elect Donald Trump, there appears a website that, to cop a phrase, “is too good to be true.” There is a group out of California that allegedly wants to hire “operatives” to protest Friday’s inauguration. Forget ... (click for more)