The Tennessee College Access and Success Network has awarded over $1.6 million to 51 grant projects that serve more than 60,500 students and families. Thank you to all of our grantees for their commitment to building a college-going culture across our state. Learn more about our FUNDED PROJECTS.


Grantee End-of Contract Highlights

As part of the no-cost extension on the Race to the Top award, TCASN extended the contract end dates for six of our grant projects who were doing excellent work and were able to unexpectedly conserve initial funds awarded through seeking donations and other means. The contract extensions ended on December 31, 2014.

2011 Seed Grant:  Bradley County Schools

  • Successful initiatives begun through TCASN funding, such as a district-wide college fair and a college planning seminar for high school juniors called “Catch the College Fever” have become self-sustaining initiatives through partnerships established with local institutions of higher education.
  • Bradley County Schools has leveraged a GEAR UP TN grant and a Youth CareerConnect grant to sustain the day-to-day work of the College Access Project originally launched with TCASN grant funds.
  • Throughout their over 3 years of TCASN funding, Bradley County has worked to build a college-going culture that pervades the school district and broader community. The college access efforts have helped support teachers as they implement more challenging curricula in the schools and have worked to build relationships with local employers to better connect college access with career preparation.

201 Seed Grant:  Franklin County Schools

  • Franklin County consistently invested grant funds in professional development for teachers and staff members so that college access efforts could be sustained beyond the end of grant funding. During the extension period, grant funds made it possible for 8 staff members to attend the TCASN conference.
  • College access efforts have led the district to focus even more intensively on academic preparation for postsecondary. Extension funds were used to implement a flipped classroom math initiative designed to increase rigor of mathematics instruction.
  • During the grant funding, a student group called Imagine Franklin County (IFC) was founded. The group plans and implements an annual career fair and operates an after school program for elementary school students called “Literacy Rocks!” that helps elementary school students build college-going awareness. The group also fundraises to pay for college application fees in order to sustain assistance begun with grant funds.

2013 Exemplary Model Grant:  LEAD Academy High School

  • LEAD Academy High School used extension funds to provide support to their first graduating class as they started college this fall, to offer small and personalized college visit experiences to current high school students, and to provide ongoing professional development to staff so that college access efforts can be sustained beyond the life of the grant.
  • Each senior at LAHS visited at least three in-state colleges this fall, and in the second season of offering college visits, the students participated in much greater numbers.
  • LEAD Academy staff have worked hard to take advantage of networking opportunities with fellow access practitioners as well as admissions counselors from across the nation through participation in professional development opportunities made possible by grant funding. LEAD partnered with another charter network to develop a customized college access database and subscription to the National Student Clearinghouse, which will allow them to generate data in order to track additional funding to sustain the program.

2013 Exemplary Model Grant:  Milan Special School District

  • One of the main focuses of Milan’s efforts to build a college-going culture have been to start early and involve parents. This year, 87% of the 4th graders in the district, along with at least one parent, came to a college-themed movie night. The parents were presented information on TN Stars 529 College Savings Plans and how to help their students prepare for college. The students were given college-going tee shirts that they can wear to school on spirit days all year long.
  • Grant funding provided college visit opportunities to local four-year, community college, and TCAT locations as well as local manufacturing businesses, where students heard from their county mayor and local workforce investment board about the importance of a postsecondary credential.
  • Milan has made enormous strides toward sustainability. Through a 2011 TCASN Catalyst grant, the district developed a strategic plan that was updated during the extension period. The district has committed to funding a full time college access counselor in the high school and a part time college counselor in the middle school. Local grant funds have been made available to continue activities offered through TCASN funding, such as the elementary school movie night. The other five districts in Gibson County have started to offer similar programming after seeing Milan’s success and each district committed to providing funding to allow SWTDD’s REDI program to operate in the county, providing additional college access resources.

2013 Exemplary Model Grant:  Oasis Center

  • Using the extension funds, Oasis Center was able to operate their highly successful Oasis Resource Center (ORC) initiative at Nashville State Community College for another semester. This included offering daily ORC access, tutoring and technology access, a college orientation program, and additional cohort building activities.
  • Throughout grant funding, Oasis has worked diligently to establish a strong partnership with Nashville State that would support the ORC after grant funding ended. As of now, Nashville State has committed to continue allowing the ORC to use space on campus and participate in administrative meetings throughout the 2015-2016 school year.
  • Oasis Center used the extension period to secure additional outside grant funding to be able to continue offering all ORC services on the Nashville State campus.

2013 Exemplary Model Grant:  Pellissippi State Community College

  • Now that the Ben Atchley Veteran’s Success Center is up and running, grant funding provided additional opportunities for programming and sustainability efforts. Two workshops were held this past semester specifically for veterans: one on suicide prevention, and one from a Vietnam War veteran who discussed his military experience and life after service.
  • A new partnership was developed with the Veterans Upward Bound program at UT Knoxville to provide tutoring before the entrance test, which has helped to increase participation in test prep services offered through the center.
  • Pellissippi State’s leadership is actively invested in the center and its sustainability. PSCC received a grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to provide programming for three years; after this funding ends, the program’s operating expenses will be absorbed into the Academic Affairs budget for the college. The staff at the center are also connecting with similar initiatives on other campuses to identify best practices.


2013 Grant Awards:

Rural College Summit Awards

2013 Funded Projects

Official News Release

2012 Grant Awards:

2012 Funded Projects

Official News Release

2011 Grant Awards:

2011 Funded Projects

Official News Release


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