Dr. Flora Tydings, Chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents, was the speaker at the Rotary Club of Cleveland luncheon on Tuesday at the Museum Center at 5ive Points.
Dr. Tydings provided an update on “The New TBR” after the FOCUS Act changes including some of the system’s new priorities and the impact this will have on CSCC.
"The FOCUS Act separated the six universities from the community and the technical colleges” stated Dr. Tydings. “That gives us the opportunity to truly focus in on the community and the technical college arena. Our goal is to focus on student success and workforce development. That is the only reason we exist—to help students succeed and to compliment workforce development and economic development within the state of Tennessee. If our students are not successful, then we are not successful.”
DR. Tydings was also able to include a status report on the funding request for the new building and renovations on CSCC’s campus. The TBR recommended $25 million for Cleveland State campus revitalization project that included a new Health and Sciences building and renovation of the Mary T. Barker Humanities Building. The funding request was recommended by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and forwarded to Governor Bill Haslam in November. Governor Haslam will present his overall state budget proposal to the General Assembly the end of this month.
In addition, the chancellor provided positive updates about Cleveland State. One topic in particular was the Adult Reconnect program that starts in the fall of 2018. This is a last dollar scholarship that will allow adult students to come to college tuition-free.
“All of our campuses across all of our institutions have been working on how to better serve the adult student with their unique needs,” said Dr. Tydings. “At CSCC, they have actually implemented special web pages for the adult learner, focused pathways for the adult student and have also been the recipient of the Veterans Reconnect Grant. They have been working on prior learning assessments for all prospective adult students. This will help those students with acquired skills to not have to repeat courses for competencies they already have. Cleveland State is already ahead of the game in this arena and doing an exceptional job.”