TN spends $1M urging that college dropouts go back to school

Start of a Wall Street Journal article:

Adults across Tennessee are being blasted with a message on television, radio and highway billboards: Finish what you started.

State education officials have spent $1 million in the past year to advertise their Tennessee Reconnect program, an initiative aimed at bringing college dropouts back to school. Public and private institutions are mining student records and reaching out to people who have made it more than halfway to graduation. Churches and job centers are also promoting the program.

“We’re doing everything, all at once,” said Mike Krause, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, which aims to boost the share of Tennessee adults with college degrees to 55% by 2025 from 38% today. “It takes a very diverse approach to move the needle.” Mr. Krause added that the state should start seeing enrollment results in the spring.

Tennessee is among a number of states seeking to boost the ranks of college graduates and improve local economies. After enticing more people through the high-school-to-college pipeline with better counseling and financial aid, they’re now turning to former students as the best bet for prospective students.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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