NASHVILLE, TN — Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and Nashville State Community College (NSCC) announced recently they are strengthening their partnership in an unprecedented new joint venture to create even greater outcomes and opportunities for Nashville students.
“Nashville works best when we work together,” said Mayor John Cooper. “I applaud Dr. Battle and Dr. Jackson for working together to improve student experiences and outcomes. Getting our kids into career training or college is important but it’s only the first step. Today, we are taking an important next step: making sure that once they get to college, they succeed.”
With a new joint venture called “Better Together,” Dr. Adrienne Battle, MNPS Director of Schools, and Dr. Shanna Jackson, NSCC President, are joining forces through a formal memorandum of understanding to improve postsecondary attainment and to focus and align the high school-to-college-to-career pathways needed to better prepare students for the current and emerging workforce needs of Nashville’s growing economy.
“When it comes to student success and workforce development, we see MNPS and Nashville State as one institution with one purpose,” said Dr. Battle. “Our MNPS graduates attend Nashville State more than any other college. So our institutions must be united in helping all of them succeed. This new joint venture is going to help us strengthen our work. We both agree – we are ‘Better Together.’”
Battle and Jackson said the joint venture is designed to significantly improve student outcomes for both systems – with a particular focus on closing achievement and equity gaps. Their goal is to increase the number of students who attain postsecondary credentials that will have high economic value and earning power in Nashville and beyond.
“Equitable outcomes for Nashville’s students is not a buzzword – it is our call to action,” said Dr. Jackson. “The time is now to have an intentional strategic focus on preparing all students to be successful in college, career and life.”
“By working together, we are creating a longer runway for students to build the skills and confidence they need to achieve postsecondary attainment. That still remains the strongest ladder for economic and social mobility and increasing future health outcomes and civic engagement.” said Dr. Jackson.
“Working better together will not just impact and build the individual student, but it also helps build their families and neighborhoods – and our entire community,” said Dr. Battle.
Key components of the new Better Together joint venture already underway or to be explored include:
Shared Student-Level Data Dashboard – to better understand why some MNPS students are succeeding at Nashville State while others are not – and what can be done together to address achievement and completion gaps.
Nashville State Career Pathway Programs/Partnerships at Every MNPS High School – such as the new joint Surgical Tech program at Pearl-Cohn High School.
Classroom to Career Collaborative – bringing together MNPS high school teachers, Nashville State faculty members, and local employers to share experiences and expertise and for potential classroom exchange programs.
Summer Scholars Institute – matching students with an immersive college and career summer experience at Nashville State.
Expanded Innovative Early College High School Opportunities with Nashville State – learning from and replicating best practices from this top performing Tennessee Reward School for the benefit of other Nashville high schools.
Unlimited Dual Enrollment – more early college credit courses for MNPS students through Nashville State.
Nashville GRAD – increased wraparound supports (advising, textbooks, transportation, etc.) for MNPS Students enrolling in Nashville State to increase student retention/completion. We care about the needs of each individual student during high school, college and beyond.
“Nothing we do will be more important to the future of our students and to our community than working together to put all of our students on the right track for college and career success,” said Dr. Battle.
“We know if our public schools are strong, if college is accessible, affordable and supports completion, and if we align our pathways across both of our systems to meet the existing and emerging needs of local employers – we are solidifying the success of Nashville and Middle Tennessee for generations to come,” said Dr. Jackson.
“We are excited about this new partnership. We are going to be even Better Together.”