area named Target Partner for PBS college access documentary
Through the efforts of the Center for Community Career Education
at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga and
the surrounding area has been selected as one of 100 communities
in the U.S. as a Target Partner for the PBS documentary, College
Track: America's Sorting Machine. The Chattanooga area was chosen
on the basis of the community’s discussion of education and
the opportunities provided for students at all levels.
Roundtable Inc., producers of the show, plan to send a follow-up
team to Chattanooga to learn more about what is happening in the
region for possible use in future programs.
According to College Track news releases, the three-part series
examines “how low expectations and lack of rigorous preparation
limits student choices for post-secondary education and hampers
their chances for success in life.”
“ College Track gives us the opportunity to pause and consider
the issues of college access and equity in our region. The vast
of our students are first generation college students. This means
they are the first in their family to go to college. This series
examines why so few of our young people enroll in college and why
so many drop out of college before they finish,” according
to Sandy Cole, Interim Director, Center for Community Career Education.
Cole wrote and submitted the application to College Track on behalf
of the region’s efforts.
The UTC Center for Community Career Education coordinates GEAR-Up
programs in Walker County and Bradley County schools, and the UTC
Teacher Preparation Academy coordinates a GEAR-Up program in Hamilton
County. The success of programs such as GEAR-Up is one of the reasons
the Chattanooga region was chosen as a partner.
Ultimately, College Track hopes to open a dialogue with parents,
students, and educational leaders to identify area needs in the
ongoing effort to prepare students for high school graduation and
access to post secondary education. In Tennessee, only 17% of the
population hold a college degree.
The PBS documentary will air Wednesday nights from 8-9 p.m., September
15, 22 and 29. Chattanooga Comcast will carry the program on WTCI-Channel
45, cable channel 5. In Bradley County, Charter Communication will
carry it on cable channel 10, and in Walker County, the broadcast
will be carried on Comcast cable channel 5.
One of Channel 45’s locally produced programs, “Beyond
the Headlines,” will begin its new season with a follow-up
program October 6 at 8 p.m.
This three-part series will examine:
Who's In, Who's Out
This segment examines the educational "sorting machine" that
exists in our
public schools, which derails many kids who could be "college
Expect the Best
This program considers what happens when the dream of a college
is set in motion in classrooms and communities where expectations
Get In, Stay In
This segment examines which students are prepared to succeed in
why so many students drop out before they finish. Issues of race
can turn the higher education experience into an obstacle course
some of the best and brightest in the country from graduating with
“There are so many programs working to serve the youth of
our region, and still we know there are many gaps where some students
through. That’s the real opportunity we have here. To use
the heightened awareness that comes from this national broadcast
as a leverage to identify where we can do better,” Cole said.
Funding for the local broadcast of College Track comes from UTC,
the Center for
Community Career Education, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce,
Education Foundation of Chattanooga and the Community Foundation
“This series gives our community and region a chance to think
about how we might be part of a change that will make college more
to more students. If we are going to stay competitive, if we are
going to make the dream of a college education a reality, if we
want a more educated population in this country we must address
this issue, soon,” Cole said.
For more information, please contact Sandy
Cole at (423)425-4475.