Message from President Tracy D. Hall
My Fellow Saluqis,
Preliminary data indicate spring enrollment is up over last spring ever so slightly in full-time enrollment equivalency (FTE), making two consecutive spring semesters of FTE enrollment gains. Although the actual headcount of students on campus dipped by about 20 students over last spring, the numbers are encouraging. This exciting trend reverses years of decline, a clear indication we are headed in the right direction. The increase in FTE means more students are taking more credit hours, which means they will walk across the commencement stage faster—an enrollment trend that directly and positively impacts our state funding levels. We want our students to not only persist, but also insist on achieving their dream of a college credential on time and I am proud of the work we are doing to help them reach this auspicious goal.
We also are progressing in our efforts to tell the story of Tennessee Reconnect—a Drive to 55 program that will empower adults to earn a credential tuition-free. I was elated to see over 60 of you attend the Community Relations Ambassador Orientation Feb. 8 in the Bornblum Library. I noticed how you listened intently and many of you said that you left the event, toolkits in hand, inspired to tell the Southwest and community college story.
The community college concept remains a mystery to many in our city and county. I charged our ambassadors to hit the streets to tear down the myths surrounding community college and career and technical education. Too many still see community college as “junior college” and career and technical education as not college at all. We have the power to dispel these myths by telling the story that community college and career and technical education are college and that our students increase their earning potential by more than 30 percent with a single credential. Take a look at a report issued by Georgetown University on earning potential and credential attainment. It’s eye-opening.
If you would like to be a Community Relations Ambassador, it’s not too late. Contact Klaudia Kroboth in the Communications, Marketing & Community Relations department. She will email you a toolkit and more information.
Thank you for your commitment to our students and a better Southwest.