Haley Hendrix has one main goal as the Tennessee Promise Coordinator at Cleveland State Community College — to make sure that all Tennessee Promise students know her name and that she is here to …
Haley Hendrix has one main goal as the Tennessee Promise Coordinator at Cleveland State Community College — to make sure that all Tennessee Promise students know her name and that she is here to help them along their educational journey.
“Tennessee Promise is an opportunity for people to go to school for free, so that’s one reason this job was appealing to me,” stated Hendrix.
“I also like being in a college atmosphere. I believe in education, especially higher education. I think it’s really important. I loved my college experience, and I want everyone to have that opportunity. College is way more than just getting a degree; it’s about meeting people and learning about life.”
As the Tennessee Promise coordinator, Hendrix is responsible for coordinating all communication regarding Tennessee Promise with high school students, current students and parents. She visits the local high schools and makes presentations about Tennessee Promise and also assists students in completing their Promise applications.
Since volunteerism and community service is a huge component of Tennessee Promise, Hendrix also reminds students of upcoming community service deadlines, as well as volunteer opportunities throughout the community.
“With this job, I’m able to develop a relationship with students while they are still in high school and see them through until graduation. I really like that aspect. I don’t want anyone to lose this opportunity, so I try to make as much contact with them as I can to let them know that I’m here.”
Hendrix has been at CSCC for less than a year, but long enough to become invested in these students’ future.
“We had one student this summer who if she didn’t make a certain grade in this one particular class, she was going to lose her Tennessee Promise Scholarship. I was on pins and needles. When the grades came in, and I saw it, I started crying. I was so happy she didn’t lose it.”
When she can see a student is struggling, she refers students to CSCC’s Success Center so they will be able to meet with a success coach. She has also referred students to the dean of their departmental major to assist them with finding a tutor.
“I wish something like this was available when I was in college,” stated Hendrix. “I had to take out loans all four years, and I would have given anything to have had two years free, and all I had to do was maintain a C average, do community service hours and fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on time, It’s like if someone is handing out free lottery tickets — you’re not going to take one?”
Hendrix continued, “I don’t know why they wouldn’t take advantage of it. Students want the total college experience, but they can get that here. We have athletics, clubs, an honor’s program, so many opportunities. You can even go on a study abroad trip at a community college. So, you are still getting everything you can get at a four-year college, but you are saving so much money.”
Hendrix encourages students to make sure they apply by Nov. 1 and put CSCC as their first choice.
Applications are available online by visiting www.tnpromise.gov. For more information on the Tennessee Promise, contact Hendrix at (423) 472-7141, ext. 317.
Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program focused on increasing the number of students that attend college in our state. It provides students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or the Tennessee Student Assistance Award. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate degree program.
While removing the financial burden is key, a critical component of Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance each participant will receive from a mentor who will assist the student as he or she navigates the college admission process.
This is accomplished primarily via mandatory meetings that students must attend in order to remain eligible for the program.
In addition, Tennessee Promise participants must complete and submit eight hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress (2.0 GPA) at their respective institution.
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