Gov. Haslam to offer counseling for high school seniors as part of ‘Drive to 55’ initative

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Governor Bill Haslam

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WDEF) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced his new plan called Advise TN.

It’s a program to increase the number of students accessing higher education by providing college counselors to 30 public high schools and 10,000 junior and senior students across the state this fall.

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The new initiative is administered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC.)

State officials say it supports the state’s Drive to 55 campaign to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post-secondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025.

Officials say partner high schools will be selected through a competitive process based on a strong commitment to building a college-going culture.



To be eligible for consideration, high schools must have a college-going rate that is less than the state average. For more information and to access an application, click here.

The deadline for schools to apply is August 12.

State officials say college advisors are being hired and trained this summer and will be placed with partner schools in fall 2016.

They will work alongside the school’s counselors, educators, parents and local partners to implement college-access best practices and foster the school’s college-going culture, devise creative approaches to reach and connect with students, and, most importantly, assist students and their families as they navigate the college-going process.

Officials say advisors will supplement, not replace, existing high school counseling staff.

Advise TN was included in Haslam’s 2016-17 budget with funding of $2,455,800.

High schools selected to participate in Advise TN are expected to develop sustainability plans to continue the program beyond initial state funding.