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community college

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Tennessee has put a spotlight on its community colleges in recent years, making these higher education institutions the focus of programs like Tennessee Promise. Now, state officials are trying to give technical colleges the same boost — and they're starting by trying to win over high school guidance counselors.

The president of Nashville State Community College is retiring effective Dec. 31, the middle of the school year. His announcement Wednesday follows a lengthy tenure that was marked by impressive growth as well as flare-ups with some faculty.

Pearl-Cohn High School in Nashville wants 100 percent of its seniors to apply for Tennessee Promise this fall before the Nov. 2 deadline. But it's also aware that the goal is just step one in a long process of getting students onto campus next fall.

As of last Wednesday, only 28 out of about 200 high school seniors at Pearl-Cohn had not signed up for Tennessee Promise. Principal Sonia Stewart has been keeping good track of the stragglers.

Emily Siner / WPLN

With an influx of Tennessee Promise students heading to community college in a few weeks, one program is trying to prepare some of them for coursework before the first day of college. The three-week Summer Bridge program is part of an effort to decrease the number of community college students — usually a high percentage — who have to take remedial classes in reading or math during the school year.