Tennessee state colleges maintain record award pace
Tennessee community and technical colleges continued awarding degrees, diplomas and certificates at record levels this year despite the pandemic.
- Data released last week showed a combined 22,956 given out during the latest academic year, only one behind last year's all-time high.
Why it matters: Boosting graduation numbers has been a top goal at state colleges for years since that's when students can harness their education for better jobs and earnings.
- TBR Executive Vice Chancellor Russ Deaton told Axios he was "pleasantly surprised" to see those numbers stay high even as enrollment slowed.
Reality check: Enrollment trends show trouble ahead.
- Community college enrollment dropped by nearly 10% last fall. Early numbers show a drop of nearly 9% this fall.
- Technical college enrollment did increase, driven in part by high school interest in dual enrollment courses. But it wasn't enough to offset community college losses.
What's next: Deaton said college officials are currently grappling with how to stop the slide.
- "I don't think there's a good sense yet of how we arrest that trend or what the causes of that are," Deaton told Axios.