Mike Krause, Executive Director of the program says hundreds are registering weekly and Chattanooga and Cleveland’s community colleges have a major role to play.
"We think it sends a dramatic message not just to High School seniors this year but to say 5th graders and 9th graders that in Tennessee there is an expectation that you will continue to college and we will pick up the tab for your tuition."
Cleveland State Community College has been open for more than 50 years and with 3000 students, their president says a community college education is now more relevant than ever.
Cleveland State officials say they have also just invested close to a quarter of a million dollars in new strategic student development programs.
Dr. Bill Seymour, Cleveland State President,"Perhaps go into a job that pays better than students coming out of a 4 year college or university, so to come into a community college for tuition probably no loans to speak of and get right into a good paying job it makes perfect sense"
Cleveland State President Dr. Bill Seymour added their college is ready for new Tennessee Promise students from McMinn, Polk, Bradley, Meigs and Monroe Counties and beyond.
Current community college students believe two year associate degrees are necessary to be competitive in the job market.
"Good transition from High School to a four year degree, an in between step so to speak, because here is smaller than a bigger school and so it’s a bit more personal" says an art student at Cleveland State.
"I think that it’s very important because everyone has a fair opportunity and not only that use it, take advantage of it" added a local elementary education mature student.
http://tennesseepromise.gov/ for more information.