A New Initiative at Tennessee State University Aims to Boost Retention and Graduation Rates

Tennessee State University, the historically black educational institution in Nashville, has instituted a new program to increase retention and graduation rates. The latest data shows a four-year average graduation rate for Black students at Tennessee State of 38 percent.

The new program, named “Tiger Shield,” will target students from low-income and disadvantaged groups. A new Success Center will be established on campus where students can receive counseling and tutoring and a wide range of other student services. At-risk students will be encouraged to attend summer bridge programs after high school where they can get a head start on college. Students will have opportunities to participate in spring break and summer programs where they can earn academic credit and strengthen their ties to the university community.

John Cade, associate provost at Tennessee State University, stated, “A campus such as TSU must use all its resources to help students be successful, one student at a time. These initiatives were developed to use the right intervention strategy at the right time for each at-risk student.”


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