FACULTY NEWS: President Hall asks faculty to help TN Reconnect students keep moving forward
Earlier this month President Tracy D. Hall sent an email to each faculty member asking for their help to keep students moving forward. She asked every faculty member to incorporate into their lectures a brief video presentation on applying for a Tennessee Reconnect scholarship. The last dollar scholarship allows eligible students to attend Southwest tuition-free.
According to President Hall, Tennessee Reconnect scholarships have breathed new life into the dreams of about 1,200 adult learners at Southwest by removing the financial barrier that prevents so many from earning a credential. “Unfortunately, only half of TN Reconnect students reapply to receive funding for the following year,” Hall said. “Even fewer return to school.”
Data show that one of the principal reasons TN Reconnect students do not reapply for funding is that they don’t know that they must do so every year to receive the funding. “This is a prime example of the old adage that says ‘what you don’t know can hurt you,’” Hall says.
Faculty can help President Hall encourage students to persist tuition-free by sharing the YouTube video that is linked to the “How to Apply” graphic.
“I ask you to allow TN Reconnect students 15 minutes at the end of your recorded lectures or classes to fill out their grant application for the next year,” Hall said.
Faculty also can post this link in their virtual classroom chat section so that students can easily refer to the video at a later time: https://youtu.be/FrCiFPEuxQg.
In addition, a downloadable PowerPoint presentation is provided for faculty who prefer this visual aid. The slides contain instructions that basically walk the students through the reapplication process, much like in the video. They also contain notes to help faculty facilitate the presentation.
Faculty who join this effort are asked to complete Tennessee Reconnect Faculty Survey once they have incorporated either the video or the presentation into their live or recorded lectures to help track and acknowledge participation.
President Hall says everyone pulling together will help students persist to completion. “I truly appreciate all of our amazing faculty members’ efforts to support our students, especially during this incredibly difficult time.”