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Higher education report shows serious gaps in Tennessee education

Posted at 9:08 PM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 22:08:54-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The 2018-2019 State of Higher education in Tennessee report shows significant equity and attainment gaps continue to exist.

It was released by Complete Tennessee Tuesday.

Some of the findings show that only a third of black students graduate from college within six years of enrollment. And Complete Tennessee says faculty of color are under-represented at Tennessee's post-secondary institutions.

"We as a state rightly focus on enrollment, and we've seen positive trends tied to the opportunities made possible by programs including TN Promise and TN Reconnect. But completion is the name of the game," said Kyle Southern.

"But when we looked at the data, the first year of promise, (fall of 15) we had 1,833 first-time full-time freshmen. Three years later, 1,053 of them have dropped out, and if that's not a punch in the gut and a call to action, I don't know what is," said Dr. Shanna Jackson.

Dr. Jackson is the President of Nashville State. She said they're now working to build a support system for their students to try and keep them in class working for that degree.

Currently, only one in five Tennessee students are ready for college level work in all major subject areas.