Education leaders at Nashville State Community College are trying to enroll more residents into its degree and tech programs ahead of the start of the 2021-2022 academic year. The college’s GRAD program, which launched under former Nashville Mayor David Briley in 2019, gives students extra financial and academic support.
Participants in the program receive money for textbooks, advising and career development assistance, plus a $100 monthly stipend for gas and groceries.
— Nashville State Community College (@NashvilleState) July 7, 2021
The Metro government offered to reimburse Nashville State up to $1.5 million during the previous two academic years, but the college had about $400,000 that it didn’t spend.
Metro leaders budgeted $500,000 in 2019 and reimbursed the college for $480,359.49 during the 2019-2020 academic year. The budget increased to $1 million in 2020 with the college expending $638,037.37 for the 2020-2021 year.
The most recent budget provided $1 million that the college hopes to take full advantage of. So far, only 45 students have stayed in the GRAD program to graduation day. This is despite more than 500 students registering for the program and receiving advising support.
The graduates, however, did complete their programs one year ahead of the stated 3-year graduation goal, according to a spokesperson for Nashville State.
The college also says that GRAD students are more likely to stay in college than non-GRAD students. The persistence rate from fall 2020 to spring 2021, according to the college, is 84% for GRAD participants compared to 68% for non-participants.
“Data shows that Nashville GRAD is making a difference for students who are committed to their studies, with the graduate rate nearly twice as high compared to other Davidson County students,” says Shanna Jackson, the president of Nashville State.
The program is available to students who apply and enroll full-time in pursuit of an associate degree or technical certification. The deadline to apply is August 11.