Tennessee has been a leader in higher education policy innovation and implementation for more than a decade through the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 and the Tennessee Promise Scholarship Act of 2014. This report urges Tennessee to build on these policy foundations and offers five recommendations for increasing student success in college completion and degree attainment.

Going Higher:

Recommendations For Improving Postsecondary Completion And Student Success In Tennessee



  1. Focus On Student Equity In Goal-Setting, Reporting, And Data Transparency

Tennessee needs to significantly increase college completion rates, especially for students who are eligible for Pell Grants, are Black, or are Latino.

  1. Align Tennessee’s Postsecondary System To The Future Of The Workforce

Tennessee can support aligning higher education institutions with regional career opportunities.

  1. Reinvent Credential Delivery For Tennessee Public Higher Education

The state should encourage institutions to embrace competency-based approaches to receiving degrees and credentials.

  1. Increase Student Success With Tennessee Transfer Pathways

Tennessee should analyze why it is so hard for students to navigate TTP and introduce solutions.

  1. Maintain Momentum For Student Success

Tennessee must embrace innovation to increase college completion.