Objective

Knox Promise is a new community-based, comprehensive approach to help Tennessee Promise students persist and succeed in attaining college degrees and credentials. Knox Promise will increase the number of Knox County college graduates by providing additional financial and coaching support for students.

Background

By offering our high schools' graduates two years of tuition-free community or technical college, Tennessee Promise has already increased college enrollment and degree attainment in the state. Knox Promise recognizes that some of our students need support beyond the tuition dollars.

Knox Promise helps students successfully navigate their way through college by addressing additional needs, closing lingering economic and equity gaps, and expanding the tnAchieves coaching model. Knox Promise students will have a dedicated Completion Coach to support them during college (in addition to their volunteer mentor who helps them in their transition to college).

Approach

Knox Promise offers four high-impact supports to every Knox County high school graduate from the classes of 2019 and 2020 who remains eligible for Tennessee Promise.  Students who meet the criteria will be eligible to receive:

  • Completion Grants, determined by need, to ensure unexpected financial burdens are not barriers to college graduation.
  • A Textbook Stipend (each semester for up to five semesters).
  • A dedicated tnAchieves Completion Coach who will proactively support students until they achieve a college degree or credential.
  • A unique Summer Support Program for specific students designed to boost student retention between their college freshman and sophomore years.

Again, to remain eligible for Knox Promise, students must also retain their Tennessee Promise eligibility, meaning Knox Promise students must complete all Tennessee Promise requirements by the state’s prescribed deadlines. 

Model

Knox Promise is a first-of-its-kind Tennessee Promise community-based initiative designed to increase the number of students attending and ultimately graduating from college.  While the program is deeply rooted in student success, it is also a community-based workforce development initiative. Here in Knox County, the birthplace of the idea for Tennessee Promise (knoxAchieves), Knox Promise seeks to create a model that other communities can replicate across Tennessee and the nation. Thanks to the profound generosity of the Haslam Family Foundation, Knox Promise is being launched as a pilot program for the 2019 and 2020 Knox County high school graduating classes. It will be externally evaluated by the University of Tennessee Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research to verify results and establish its impact. 

For questions and more information, please email Krissy DeAlejandro at krissy@tnachieves.org!