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.  



2nd Annual TN History For Kids Will Be Held In August

The second annual TN History for Kids/Hamilton County Dept Education history tent revival will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 9. This year's event will include speakers on Frederick Douglass, the Scopes Trial, Cherokee culture, the Federal Reserve, the Civil War battles of Chattanooga, the Parthenon and Greek culture, De Soto, the history of Islam, the Chickamaugans and Nickajack, ... (click for more)

GPS Has 2 Honored As Women Of Distinction

GPS Senior Story DeWeese and GPS alumna Betsy Blunt Brown ’92 were among those honored as Women of Distinction at the 2016 Awards Luncheon presented by the American Lung Association on Tuesday. Story was one of six high school seniors recognized as having distinguished themselves within their school and community; Ms. Brown joined nine others as one of the Chattanooga area’s most ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Rules That Hutcheson Medical Center And Its Trustees Owe Erlanger $36,379,968.20

A federal judge at Rome, Ga., has ruled that the Hospital Authority of Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties and Hutcheson Medical Center are liable to pay Erlanger Health System $36,379,968.20. Judge Harold Murphy, in a 90-page opinion, discarded a counter-claim brought by Hutcheson against Erlanger. He directed that Erlanger be paid $20 million for money it spent while managing ... (click for more)

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson Hospitalized; 2 Cleveland Police Officers Injured After Altercation With Man With History Of Assaults

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson and two Cleveland Police officers were injured Thursday while intervening in a domestic assault in progress. While driving on 25 th St. N.W. Sheriff Watson witnessed the assault, it was stated. When the sheriff tried to intervene, the man involved in the assault attacked him. During the scuffle the man struck Sheriff Watson numerous times, ... (click for more)

Jill Levine Is An Educational Rock Star

No one has covered the Hamilton County Department of Education drama better than Roy Exum.  Thank you, Roy, but I take issue with your unnamed sources.  Professional jealousy and sour grape darts should not be anonymous.   HCDE is so dysfunctional, and there is good cause to place this public organization under a microscope, dissect it into pieces and discard all ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Cancer Is Not A Battle

I read a marvelous essay not long ago where the author urged, “Stop telling the lie that cancer is a battle … a battle implies a fair fight, and there was nothing fair about my cancer or the cancer that took the life of my friend. Those experiences were about as fair as getting hit by a car – and nobody says people lose their battles with automobiles.” Mary Elizabeth Williams, ... (click for more)