April 06, 2017

Complete Tennessee Listening Tour Heads to Memphis

Roundtable to examine regional barriers to higher education
scheduled for April 12

NASHVILLE, TN – Complete Tennessee will host a roundtable in Memphis with educators, community leaders and elected officials on Wednesday, April 12. The Memphis roundtable is one of the final stops in the organization’s statewide listening tour, which has focused on raising awareness of the state’s low postsecondary attainment rate.
“This will be the 8th roundtable we’ve convened to discuss barriers to higher education in Tennessee,” said Complete Tennessee Executive Director Dr. Kenyatta Lovett. “The Complete Tennessee team has traveled across the state to nearly every economic development region, talking to stakeholders about the difficulties students face when pursuing postsecondary education. With each roundtable event, we’ve uncovered unique challenges that make it harder for both traditional and nontraditional students to access and complete a relevant degree program. To raise student achievement levels and improve postsecondary outcomes, communities must embrace cross-sector collaboration to develop and implement meaningful strategies and solutions.”
Carolyn Hardy, CEO of Henderson Transloading Services and member of the Complete Tennessee board, said, “Last fall, Complete Tennessee released a series of troubling findings in its ‘Room to Grow’ report. Tennessee postsecondary graduation rates are far too low, and too many students are unable to earn the degree or credential necessary to compete for local jobs. As a business leader and longtime Memphis resident, I know our students, workforce, economy and postsecondary opportunities are different. I look forward to a constructive discussion on ways we can work together across the region to raise graduation rates and help more students succeed.”
Dr. Lovett continued, “Complete Tennessee will conclude its listening tour later this month with a final roundtable in Nashville. We will then review all the findings and release a report detailing the greatest barriers to higher education in each region. We hope this report will help advance the conversation across the state on ways we can collaborate to better support current and future Tennessee higher education students.”

While the roundtable events are invitation-only for participants, press are welcome to observe and report on the discussion. Interested media should contact Kaci Murley at kaci@completetennessee.org to register their attendance and obtain additional event details.

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Complete Tennessee is a nonprofit 501(c)3 education advocacy organization focused on increasing postsecondary access and completion in Tennessee. Complete Tennessee’s mission will be advanced through four objectives: enhanced community engagement, improved research and accountability metrics, advanced leadership development, and heightened innovation through shared best practices. To learn more about Complete Tennessee, visit www.completetn.org