Supports students with training for high-skill, technology-based jobs
LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — AT&T announced last week a $5,000 contribution to Motlow State Community College to support non-traditional, underserved students preparing for high-skill jobs requiring technology-based skills in Tennessee community colleges. The donation will fund scholarships to help students begin a path toward completing their college degrees. The contribution was presented at Motlow State.
“This type of support from private business is important as we work to find ways to advance higher education in Middle Tennessee, specifically throughout Motlow’s 11-county service area,” said Dr. Tony Kinkel, President, Motlow State Community College. “The programs this contribution will help fund gives our students the skills required to compete in today’s technology based economy.”
This donation is part of AT&T’s $65,000 gift to the Tennessee Board of Regents. Each of the state’s 13 community colleges will receive $5,000 to award scholarships to encourage students to participate in programs designed to help students succeed in the classroom and be better prepared to enter the workforce. The programs will target non-traditional and underserved students.
“To meet the needs of our ever growing economy, Tennessee’s institutions of higher education must ensure new entrants to the workforce are prepared and obtain the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed in a modern workplace,” said Representative Mike Sparks. “Through programs like those offered at Motlow State Community College, pathways are created for non-traditional students to gain these skills, benefiting all Tennesseans.”
“Tennessee’s community colleges serve as crucial pathways to prosperity for students who want to enter the job market as soon as possible,” said Senator Bill Ketron. “AT&T’s commitment to good corporate citizenship in education will allow our future workforce to reach its full potential reaping benefits for all Tennesseans.”
In January 2010, the Tennessee legislature approved an aggressive set of steps to increase the completion rates of students within the institutions of higher education in the state.
“We are delighted to support Tennessee students who are acquiring the skills they need to enter the workforce,” said Dennis Wagner, Director of External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T Tennessee. “Accelerated certificate and degree programs are a great way to ensure our students are fully prepared to enter the workforce and that they can find good jobs right here in Tennessee when they graduate.”
The Tennessee Board of Regents’ Office of Academic Affairs developed a curriculum for accelerated pathways for college completion. The goal is to increase completion rates at the TBR community colleges. TBR created programs of study that encourage and allow students with work and family obligations to enroll on a full-time basis, devoting 20 to 30 hours a week, including online education. Students now have the option to complete required coursework for an Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees within three semesters.
Students in these new programs would benefit from scholarships that would enable them to participate fully in the four to five-hour morning, evening or weekend blocks of time required to complete an accelerated certificate or degree program. The proposed AT&T Completion Scholarship program ($5,000 to each of the 13 Tennessee Board of Regents’ community colleges) would allow the institutions to award financial support to students enrolled in these programs and increase completion and entry into the workforce in Tennessee.