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Supports Students with Training for High-Skill, Technology-Based Jobs


DYERSBURG, TENN., Sept 29, 2016 — AT&T today announced a $5,000 contribution to Dyersburg State Community College to support non-traditional, underserved students preparing for high-skill jobs requiring technology-based skills.  The donation will fund scholarships to help students begin a path toward completing their college degrees. The contribution was presented today at Dyersburg State Community College.

"Support from the business community is significant as we work to advance higher education and create a workforce that is ready to meet the needs of West Tennessee," said Dr. Karen Bowyer, President, Dyersburg State Community College.  "This contribution will help fund programs which prepare our students for today's technology-based economy."


This donation is part of AT&T’s $65,000 gift to the Tennessee Board of Regents.  Each of the state’s 13 community colleges will receive $5,000 to award scholarships to encourage students to participate in programs designed to help students succeed in the classroom and be better prepared to enter the workforce.  The programs will target non-traditional and underserved students.

"Higher education is one of the best ways to prepare a workforce that can meet the needs of Tennessee’s ever-growing economy," said Sen. Ed Jackson.  "Through programs like those offered at Dyersburg State Community College, pathways are created for non-traditional students to gain the skills they need to succeed, benefiting all Tennesseans.” 

 “Post-secondary education often creates a pathway to prosperity for those looking to quickly enter the job market, and today’s announcement expands that opportunity for more students,” said Rep. Bill Sanderson.  “AT&T’s investment in programs like this exemplifies its commitment to furthering education in Tennessee.”

In January 2010, the Tennessee legislature approved an aggressive set of steps to increase the completion rates of students within the institutions of higher education in the state.

 “We are delighted to support Tennessee students who are acquiring the skills they need to enter the workforce,” said Chuck Thomas, Regional Director of External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T Tennessee.  “Accelerated certificate and degree programs are a great way to ensure our students are fully prepared to enter the workforce and that they can find good jobs right here in Tennessee when they graduate.”

The Tennessee Board of Regents’ Office of Academic Affairs developed a curriculum for accelerated pathways for college completion. The goal is to increase completion rates at the TBR community colleges. TBR created programs of study that encourage and allow students with work and family obligations to enroll on a full-time basis, devoting 20 to 30 hours a week, including online education. Students now have the option to complete required coursework for an Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees within three semesters.

Students in these new programs could benefit from scholarships that would enable them to participate fully in the four to five-hour morning, evening or weekend blocks of time required to complete an accelerated certificate or degree program. The proposed AT&T Completion Scholarship program ($5,000 to each of the 13 Tennessee Board of Regents’ community colleges) allows the institutions to award financial support to students enrolled in these programs and increases completion and entry into the workforce in Tennessee.


13 Tennessee Board of Regents’ community colleges include:

Chattanooga State Community College – Chattanooga, TN

Cleveland State Community College – Cleveland, TN

Columbia State Community College – Columbia, TN

Dyersburg State Community College – Dyersburg, TN

Jackson State Community College – Jackson, TN

Motlow State Community College – Lynchburg, TN

Nashville State Community College – Nashville, TN

Northeast State Community College – Blountville, TN

Pellissippi State Community College – Knoxville, TN

Roane State Community College – Harriman, TN

Southwest Tennessee Community College – Memphis, TN

Volunteer State Community College – Gallatin, TN

Walters State Community College – Morristown, TN


Photo Caption: On hand for AT&T’s $5000 donation to Dyersburg State Community College were (L to R) Rep. Bill Sanderson, Senator Ed Jackson, Dr. Karen Bowyer, President of DSCC, scholarship recipient Jeremy Gattis of Trenton, and Chuck Thomas, Regional Director of External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T Tennessee.



About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, AT&T has passed the $250 million mark on its plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.


About AT&T

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