The Tennessee College Access and Success Conference will be held at the Chattanoogan on Thursday and Friday. The conference is an annual event which will convene a record 350 college admissions professionals, school counselors, college advisors and representatives of community-based organization dedicated to helping students achieve college success. It is being held in Chattanooga for the second year.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker will open the conference at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. Senator Corker is a Chattanooga native, 1970 graduate of Chattanooga High School, 1974 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and former mayor of the city. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.
Immediately following the Senator’s remarks, a group of student researchers will present results from a survey of Hamilton County and other high school students about the hurdles they faced and the help they received in planning for college. This session is entitled Hear Us Out, and addresses the following questions from students’ perspective:
* What does it take to get to college, especially if you are the first generation in your family to go?
* Where does the motivation come from? What stands in the way?
* What supports do students need, and where can they turn for help?
Former Hamilton County teacher and principal Edna Varner will close the conference with an entertaining and insightful lunchtime presentation at noon on Friday. Ms. Varner is a senior program consultant for the Public Education Foundation and the director of School and System Supports for Cornerstone, a national literacy initiative. She has written numerous articles on effective leadership for a variety of education journals and newsletters, and spoken at conferences and district convocations on creating and sustaining effective schools.
The Tennessee College Access and Success Conference is designed to help educators and professionals across Tennessee increase the number of students enrolling and succeeding in college. Forty sessions are scheduled over the course of the two-day conference. The agenda also includes opportunities to network with other educators and college access professionals.
Session topics include:
* The Road to Success in College begins in Elementary School: A Professional Development Model to Improve Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement
* Financial Aid 101: A College Education is Affordable
* Factors Affecting the Process of Dropping out of High School
* How do you Spell Student Success?
The 2010 conference theme, Invest to Advance, reflects the innovative work, ideas and strategies occurring in the field of education.
The conference is hosted by the Public Education Foundation and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, through its GEAR UP TN and College Access Challenge Grant programs, and is an on-going part of the work of both organizations.