By Emmanuel Freeman
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University and the Metro Nashville Public Schools have announced a new partnership in which the university will offer 100 MNPS students full scholarships beginning the fall 2023 academic year. TSU President Glenda Glover was joined by Nashville Mayor John Cooper and MNPS officials at a press conference on the TSU campus Wednesday to launch “Trailblazing to TSU.” The new initiative will provide scholarship recipients the opportunity to be educated and trained for career opportunities in four high-demand content areas in the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Health Sciences.
The partnership will also include early college experiences in collaboration with MNPS, such as college visits, mentorship, guidance, and counseling support. The full-ride scholarship will cover four years of tuition and fees for participating students.
“As an institution of higher learning with deep roots in our community, we are elated to provide this opportunity for 100 Metro Schools graduates to be TSU Trailblazers, earning a degree and treasured life experiences that will help them to succeed in life and careers beyond our campus,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “MNPS students are fortunate to have such a strong advocate in Dr. Battle, who has worked with me and my team to develop this initiative in a way that will maximize the benefits to the students and our respective organizations.”
Trailblazing to TSU, which is one of many partnerships TSU has had with MNPS in the past, is part of a broader initiative of Dr. Adrienne Battle, director of Metro Schools, to create the “University of MNPS,” which aims to develop, strengthen, or expand partnerships between Metro Schools and colleges and universities in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area.
“Elevating our relationship with TSU has been a key focus of mine in developing the University of MNPS initiative, because this institution means so much to so many in our community and among the many teachers and administrators who have used TSU’s College of Education as a springboard to success – including myself,” said Battle, who earned three graduate degrees at TSU, including a doctorate. “This generous offer to provide a no-cost education to 100 of our students will help more of our graduates to live their dreams and be on the pathway to great-paying, highly sought careers in Nashville and beyond.”
The Trailblazing to TSU scholarships will each be individually named after a leader in the struggle for civil rights in America, in recognition of the trail blazed by individuals who fought for their rights, opportunity, and equality in America. To ensure the success of students participating in the program, TSU will assign a mentor to each scholarship recipient to guide them in their collegiate journey and to strengthen their chances for success in life beyond college.
“Investing in our children’s future through education is among our most important responsibilities as a community, and I’m thrilled that TSU has stepped up to the plate in a big way for our Metro students,” said Mayor Cooper. “It’s a fitting tribute that these 100 scholarships will be named for civil rights leaders as living testaments to their role as powerful examples for our future leaders. I’m grateful to President Glover for partnering with us on this initiative and for everything she does for Nashville, as well as to Dr. Battle for her continued leadership and service to Metro Schools.”
Terence Izzard, TSU’s associate vice president for enrollment management, whose office worked along with MNPS officials to bring Trailblazing to TSU to fruition, said TSU’s commitment to MNPS has been longstanding.
“This partnership with MNPS is not a new partnership with TSU in terms of our commitment to MNPS,” Izzard said. “Trailblazing to TSU is an intentional partnership as we launch into 2023, our next class that will be coming in next year. Dr. Battle, her team and our team have been meeting for weeks to arrive at this day. I want to thank everyone for your hard work.”
Izzard announced that as part of the relationship TSU has with Metro schools, the university has already committed 71 scholarships to MNPS graduates to attend TSU in the fall.
Erin Armstrong, a sophomore biology major and an MNPS graduate, who introduced President Glover, said coming to TSU was the best decision she made. She invited current MNPS students to take full advantage of the scholarship program.
“President Glover’s philosophy of University and Student First and shows in everything she does,” said Armstrong, who is a member of the TSU Honors College. ”So, to all MNPS students desirous of furthering their education after high school at TSU, you can expect a great campus life with caring professors and everything to help you succeed.”
Also speaking at the ceremony was Michel Shanchez, principal of Cane Ridge High School.
Students who are interested in applying to this exciting program should visit mnps.admissions.tnstate.edu.