Dayton Advisory Board Learns of New Initiatives

Chattanooga, TN — The Chattanooga State Dayton Advisory Board meets several times a year to learn about what the college is offering that is new to the community and for students. This year in particular will herald some sweeping new changes in higher education. Attendees at the recent meeting on August 8 were very excited to learn about a brand new program recently signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam called Tennessee Promise. Debbie Adams, vice president for student affairs, briefly explained the program.

Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program that will begin in the fall of 2015, open to all graduating Tennessee high school seniors beginning with the class of 2015. It will provide students a “last-dollar” scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE Scholarship, or TSAA. Students may attend any community college of their choice in the state of Tennessee. Brad McCormick, assistant vice president for student affairs noted that community scholarships a student may seek are not affected by the awarding of a Tennessee Promise scholarship.

High school seniors may begin applying for Tennessee Promise in mid-August. The deadline for application is November 1, 2014. To learn more about how to apply and the requirements of the program, log onto

Dr. Mike Ricketts, dean, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, reported that more than 135 students have attended welding classes since the program opened in 2011 in a partnership between Chattanooga State, Suburban Manufacturing, the City of Dayton, Rhea County and the Southeast TN Career Center. Welding jobs tend to be a very plentiful in the area and easy to obtain.

Preparing students for higher education has put Rhea County high school students on the map in Tennessee. In a pilot program that began several years ago, the statewide expansion of the SAILS Program (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) into Rhea County heralded amazing results. Of the 96 high school seniors who participated in the SAILS Program, 93 wiped out their need for developmental math in college, meaning that Rhea County sailed away with the highest completion rate in the state of Tennessee. According to Dr. Robert Denn, dean of academic success and support, more than 14,000 students across the state and 125 students from Rhea County will be a part of the SAILS Program in 2014-15.

Chattanooga State offers more than 50 classes locally at the Dayton site, located at 200 4th Avenue. Classes begin August 25. Visit or call 423-365-5010 for more information.