NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Officials at Tennessee State University are attempting to change a culture that assumes four-year graduation completion is the exception rather than the rule by encouraging students to take 15 credit hours per semester.
The “Take 15” initiative will help keep students on track to graduate on time, save tuition money, and start their careers as quickly as possible.
“Graduation in four years has long been a tradition at many private schools where tuition can get quite expensive, especially for the parents,” said Dr. John Cade, Associate Provost at Tennessee State University. “That is not the case sometimes at public institutions. We’ve seen that at times, the longer it takes students to graduate, the less likely they are to complete a degree. We want to make sure our students have a plan and to complete their degree in the shortest amount of time possible.”
Research has shown that fewer than half of students enrolled at public colleges and universities across the country graduate in four years, with a graduation rate of 31 percent when compared to 52 percent for private universities. Research also shows that many times when students take longer to graduate, the path to college ends with no degree – and often, lots of debt.
Students who complete their undergraduate degree in four years instead of six years can save close to $6,700 for in-state tuition or $19,000 for out-of-state students per year.
“It just makes financial sense,” added Cade. “That is another advantage to completing a degree in four years. Students who elect to pursue completing their degree in four years leave with less debt or have to take out fewer loans…which is supported by parents whose wallets could be depleted by tuition bills.”
The initiative also takes in account the fact that states are not expanding extra resources on higher education as well. With the passage of the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, the state has defined a clear set of directives to address the need for more Tennesseans to be better educated at a time when the state’s fiscal capacity to fund higher education has diminished dramatically.
Considered a national model for increasing the number and quality of college graduates, the CCTA recognized that in the past few years, public universities and colleges have lost a large portion of their state operating revenues.
“We are in the same situation as many colleges and universities across the nation, with our students facing the prospect of increased debt,” said Cade. “There is a demand for growth in education at the state and national levels, and through the ‘Take 15’ initiative, we can make sure our students are prepared quicker and with less debt to enter the Tennessee workforce.”
To learn more about the “Take 15” initiative, contact the Advisement Center at 615-963-5531 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
About Tennessee State University
With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the county by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu
TSU Quick Facts
Motto: Think, Work, Serve Established: June 19, 1912 Type: Public, HBCU Endowment: $41.7 million Chancellor: John Morgan President: Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Faculty: 431 Enrollment: 8775 Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States Campus: Urban, 500 acres (2 km²) Former names: Tennessee A&I State Normal School for Negroes (1912); Tennessee A&I State Normal College (1925); Tennessee A&I State University (1951); Tennessee State University (1968) Colors: Reflex Blue and White Nickname: Tigers Athletics: National Collegiate Athletic Association Affiliations: Ohio Valley Conference Web site: www.tnstate.edu Phone: 615-963-5000
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