NSCC FOUNDATION INITIATIVES
Over the last fifty years, Nashville State has transformed from a small technical school into a seven-campus community college network serving a student population as diverse at the Middle Tennessee area itself. Thousands of students enroll every year in the College’s 80+ programs of study, seeking a high-quality, affordable education with a real-world focus. The College is uniquely positioned to meet students from all socioeconomic, professional, and cultural backgrounds right where they are in life and position them for success after graduation.
The Foundation is focused on growing resources and connections that will help us support students, build strong programs, and ultimately meet Middle Tennessee’s growing workforce needs. Whether you represent a foundation or corporation, own a local business, or simply want to make an impact in your community, there are unlimited and creative ways to support our mission and the students we serve.
Our work is primarily focused within two major initiatives — Beyond Financial Aid and Nashville GRAD.
WHY BEYOND FINANCIAL AID?
A lot of people have heard of Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect — or they’ve heard people say that community college is now free in Tennessee. However, that’s not the whole story.
Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect are last-dollar tuition programs, meaning that they cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees after all other forms of gift aid (such as PELL Grants) have been applied.
While Promise and Reconnect have dramatically increased access to higher education by removing the burden of tuition, they have also illuminated the breadth and depth of challenges experienced by students — challenges which are rooted in systemic inequality and go far beyond the initial hurdle of a tuition payment.
Promise and Reconnect cover no other education expenses outside of tuition and mandatory fees. Students are on their own when it comes to paying for textbooks and supplies, transportation, meals, and the like. Many of our students find these expenses to be cost-prohibitive. In other words, they can’t afford free tuition.
We’ve worked to identify the most significant challenges encountered by our students, and the Beyond Financial Aid initiative is the product of that research. During the past few years, we’ve developed programs that provide assistance with child care, nutrition, textbooks, and transportation. We also have a Helping Hand Fund that provides students with immediate, short-term emergency financial assistance to keep them from dropping out in times of crisis.
Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect get students to college. Beyond Financial Aid helps them get through college, to graduation and beyond.
NASHVILLE GRAD: GETTING RESULTS BY ADVANCING DEGREES
Modeled after the highly successful evidence-based Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) initiative at the City University of New York (CUNY), Nashville GRAD: Getting Results by Advancing Degrees, complements the state of Tennessee’s programs for tuition-free college, Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect, by providing robust academic and career advising and removing financial barriers beyond tuition for first-time, full-time Davidson County students. The program is the first-of-its kind to support students at Nashville State and clears their path toward economic prosperity, helping them graduate in a timely fashion with the skills they need to obtain higher wage, high demand jobs in our growing local economy.
Former Mayor David Briley granted $1 million from the Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County’s FY2019-2020 budget to the NSCC Foundation to establish Nashville GRAD during the Fall 2020 semester, and lead investors HCA Healthcare, AllianceBernstein, and Piedmont Natural Gas each committed $100,000. Community partners Bank of America, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Airlines, Tennessee Titans, and Verizon Wireless have also invested in the program. These gifts and ongoing funding from the Metro Nashville government demonstrate the partners’ shared belief in the importance of closing our city’s equity gaps and developing local talent to meet our growing workforce needs.
The Foundation continues to seek investments from community partners in order to provide comprehensive wraparound services for Nashville GRAD students and ensure the sustainability and longevity of the program.