We all know that a college degree is key to achieving success in work and life. But for many of our students, making the leap from high school to college is more challenging than it should be.
That is why we partnered with the Tennessee College Access and Success Network to develop Bridge to Completion: A Framework for Developing Nashville’s Campaign for College Success, the first-ever comprehensive, citywide research study to better understand Nashville’s postsecondary landscape.
The good news: About 80 percent of our high school seniors take concrete steps toward college, like meeting with school counselors and applying for financial aid.
The bad news: Only 24 percent of Nashville public high school graduates are earning a postsecondary degree within six years.
It’s clear that our students want to go to college. But for too many, finding the resources and support system to enroll can seem like an insurmountable challenge. And for the students who make it to college, there are too many obstacles that prevent them from finishing their degrees.
There is already so much great work happening across this city to bridge these gaps, and the report identifies several key action areas to enhance and expand this work, which include things like improving access to college counseling, increasing student support services at community colleges, and launching a coordinated effort to combat “summer melt.”
Every student who has the qualifications and desire to go to college should be able to achieve that dream. We are committed to working with our many education and community partners to make that happen.