Message from President Tracy D. Hall

Greetings, Fellow Saluqis:

Let me begin by extending a Saluqi Salute to our very own Southwest Tennessee Community College Saluqis Men’s Basketball team and Head Coach Jerry Nichols:  Congratulations on being the 2018 Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) Regular Season Champions!  Also, kudos to Coach Nichols on being named the TCCAA Coach of the Year! I could not be prouder of Coach Nichols and our student athletes!  They had a stellar year with a national ranking as high as No. 18 and a 21-4 record for the regular season.

Dr. Tracy D. Hall

I also want to congratulate the Lady Saluqis and their Head Coach Andrea Martre on a phenomenal year and 20-win season! The Lady Saluqis demonstrated talent and tenacity all year long and as a former basketball player (yes, believe it or not, I used to play), I am nearly bursting with pride!

Please join me in congratulating both teams.  We have an excellent athletics program and I look forward to cheering our baseball, softball and women’s soccer teams on to victory this spring, too.  #GoSaluqis!

We are shining both on the court (and field) and off as Southwest moves forward with improving how we serve students.  At the recent Pizza with the President where students received an update on our public safety stance and efforts, I was elated to hear a student provide feedback that they had noticed a palpable and positive shift in the quality of our customer service delivery.  They described it as a “180-degree improvement.”  Words cannot adequately express how affirming this was to hear given the strategic, concerted efforts of senior staff, especially Vice President for Student Affairs Jacqueline Faulkner and Vice President for Academic Affairs Christopher Ezell, and their respective team members.  They have worked diligently and deliberately to transform the college culture to promote student success. The improving enrollment and retention data are proof of this amazing progress.

The launch of Tennessee Reconnect will only add to this encouraging trend. Did I mention we are No. 1 in the state with the largest number of applicants selecting Southwest as their school of choice on their Tennessee Reconnect application? I thank Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and our Reconnect Ambassadors for this. Keep up the great work!

•	83% of the 3,449 applicants were eligible for Reconnect funds
•	17% were ineligible 
o	23% due to student loan defaults
o	19% are not independent
o	18% missing information on the FAFSA
o	10% earned graduate degree already
•	69% had completed the FAFSA application
•	23% are currently enrolled
•	48% have some college experience, but are not currently enrolled
•	27% have no college experience
•	59% have dependents
•	63% plan to work one full-time job
•	21% plan to work one part-time job
•	3% will work multiple jobs
•	90% have internet access at home

I am happy to report that I visited two churches in Memphis recently to share the good news of Tennessee Reconnect and am slated to visit more.  I thank recruiters Shenay Nolan, Nigel Stephenson and Student Ambassador Devin Hodges for so ably representing Southwest recently by sharing literature with members of First Baptist Church-Broad and Metropolitan Baptist Church, respectively. They sacrificed a portion of their weekend to support me and the College and our efforts to spread the word face-to-face about Tennessee Reconnect and I am truly grateful.

Reconnect Ambassadors are out in the community spreading the word, too. For example, Ron Wells (Millington Center director) is sharing Reconnect details in Millington and passing out as many Reconnect information cards as he can. Rachel Newman (program specialist in Retention and Student Success) is scheduled to present Reconnect to Shelby County Trustee employees April 6. Thank you, Ron and Rachel!  Also thank you to Robert Jackson (coordinator of projects in Communications, Marketing and Community Relations) for speaking to members of the Seeds of Destiny education ministry at Olivet Fellowship Baptist Church.

If you are a Reconnect Ambassador spreading the word about Reconnect and all Southwest has to offer, please let Daphne Thomas or Klaudia Kroboth in the Communications, Marketing and Community Relations department know and share any photos you snap of your visits. We want to keep up with the outstanding work you are doing and share it with the Southwest family and the broader community.

Thank you for all you do.

With Saluqi pride,

Tracy D. Hall Signature

Dr. Tracy D. Hall