A partnership between the Bradley County Schools system GEAR UP Tennessee Program and Cleveland State Community College has led to the creation of a new partnership with Country Music Television. This partnership is providing the opportunity for parents who have students in the GEAR UP Tennessee Program who have not earned a certificate or degree from a college to do so — free of charge via a last-dollar scholarship that will be provided.
Additionally, participants in the Bradley and Polk County adult high school programs are eligible for this opportunity. This program will enable the high school student to become a second-generation college student, which will enhance their probability for success in college.
This fall, Cleveland State will pilot the GEAR UP Interest Group. This program is designed to provide support to parents of Bradley County GEAR UP students who agree to pursue and earn their college degree by the time their child completes high school.
Participants will receive a last-dollar scholarship to help them cover their college expenses. Additionally, those who are selected for the GIG program will work with the GIG coordinator who will be available to help the participants overcome any challenges and roadblocks they face while students.
Like most colleges, Cleveland State has a longstanding tradition of serving adult learners; however, this program takes this tradition to a new level by targeting a specific population and providing targeted supports, including financial, to the students who engage in the program.
This program dovetails with the new Empowering Education initiative that CMT has launched, which is why the country music giants have agreed to serve as a partner with Cleveland State and Bradley County Schools in launching this pilot program. These partners share an understanding that Tennessee cannot provide the type of workforce that prospective and thriving companies are seeking without also experiencing success at increasing the number of adult learners who pursue a postsecondary degree.
(About the writer: Tracey Wright is the director of Special Programs and Community Relations at Cleveland State Community College and will serve as the GIG coordinator in its inaugural year. To learn about the GIG program or how you can be a part of helping these partners support adult learners, contact Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.)