Tennessee High Schools Must Prove ‘College-Going’ Culture To Get Counseling Help

Governor Bill Haslam's counseling program, dubbed "Advise TN," is part of the Drive to 55, which is a long-term effort to make sure that 55 percent of Tennesseans have some kind of post-secondary degree. Credit: TN Press Services.

Governor Bill Haslam’s counseling program, dubbed “Advise TN,” is part of the Drive to 55, which is a long-term effort to make sure that 55 percent of Tennesseans have some kind of post-secondary degree. Credit: TN Press Services.

Tennessee is launching an intensive college counseling program in 30 public high schools this fall. But officials haven’t yet said which schools will get the extra help.

Gov. Bill Haslam has announced a competition to let schools prove their commitment to building what he calls a “college-going culture.” To be eligible, a high school also has to have a college-going rate that is less than the state average.

“Research tells us that having a school-wide culture of college-going – of students knowing that college isn’t only an option for them but it’s an expectation – is one of the best indicators of whether students will pursue higher education,” Haslam said in a statement.

The application deadline is August 12. The state is already hiring college counselors, who will be trained over the summer.

The $2.5 million program was funded in Haslam’s budget. Schools are being asked to explain in their application how they could sustain the increase in college counseling after the state’s money runs out.

This story was originally published by Nashville Public Radio on May 20, 2016.

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