Cleveland State Hosts GIG Kick-Off Event

Monday, May 05, 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.  



Women Entrepreneur Symposium To Be Held Tuesday

The WE women entrepreneur symposium (formerly named Women At The Top Symposium or W.A.T.T.S) will be held on Tuesday, August 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Stratton Hall. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, Honorary WE Chairperson, invites all women entrepreneurs to a symposium featuring Sloane Scott, a.k.a. the “Digital Diva” of FLO Thinkery, as the keynote speaker, ... (click for more)

UnifiEd Releases School Board Candidate Survey

With just over one week to go before election day, UnifiEd - described as "a community-led movement of parents, teachers, and citizens who want every student in Hamilton County to have the chance to attend great public schools" – has released initial results from its first-ever school board candidate survey. Following the announcements of the settlement of the lawsuit between ... (click for more)

House Approves Expansion Of Chattanooga Veterans Affairs Clinic

The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday to authorize funding for a new lease and expanded Veterans Affairs clinic in Chattanooga. This veterans’ package has been approved by the House and Senate Conference Committee.  Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said, “I am proud to announce the legislation passed this afternoon will fund a new lease for a multi-specialty ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council To Hold Special Meeting On Naming New City Judge

The Cleveland City Council will hold a special called meeting next Monday to consider an interim appointment of a city judge. It will be at 11:45 a.m. at the City Council’s regular meeting place in the Cleveland Municipal Building, 190 Church Street, NE. The council will also establish the process for application for city judge. Longtime City Judge Bill Moss died July ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)