tnAchieves releases 2021-2022 annual report


tnAchieves has released its 2021-2022 Annual Report: Supports Matter. The report highlights tnAchieves’ statewide impact, provides insight on key programs and outlines a call-to-action designed to address higher education challenges created and exacerbated by the pandemic.

In a year when many students were faced with pandemic-related challenges, tnAchieves responded by strengthening existing programs and developing new strategies to meet every student where they are at scale. Serving 89 percent of the state’s high school seniors and 86 percent of its community college graduates, tnAchieves understands the gravity of the work. tnAchieves continues to pair rich data analysis with student voice to provide Tennessee students with proactive, impactful programming.

Below is a summary of the report’s highlights; however, you are encouraged to read the full report at

  • tnAchieves students outpace their peers at Tennessee community colleges in first-year retention by 13 percentage points and 16 percentage points in six-year graduation.
  • To date, tnAchieves students have given back over 3.5M hours of community service, and for the eighth consecutive year, tnAchieves has exceeded its mentor recruitment goal of 9,000 volunteer mentors.
  • With support from the General Assembly, tnAchieves dispersed more than $220,000 in completion grant funding to our state’s most economically disadvantaged students in only two months.
  • tnAchieves’ Summer Institute, in partnership with the State of Tennessee and Southwest Tennessee Community College, saw a 100 percent success rate this year with participants not only eliminating remediation but beginning college with nine college credits.
  • tnAchieves created a proactive coaching model, COMPLETE, to work with students who face significant barriers in higher education. Once 10 percentage points behind, students who are economically disadvantaged are now on pace to graduate with their peers from higher income households.
  • tnAchieves learned from COMPLETE and thanks to the Haslam Family Foundation, the organization launched a more comprehensive coaching model, Knox Promise. In Knox County, every TN Promise student receives a coach and access to completion grant funding. In partnership with the University of Tennessee’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, we know Knox Promise students have a 78 percent fall-fall retention rate – a 47 percent increase from Tennessee’s community college retention rate. Additionally, while the state’s college going rate decreased by five percent, Knox County’s college going rate increased by two percent.

tnAchieves Executive Director Krissy DeAlejandro outlines tnAchieves’ role in developing student-centric programming to alleviate pandemic-related challenges.

“The annual report discusses the pandemic’s role in Tennessee’s higher education landscape. You will see a devastating decline in our state’s college going rate, but also a call to action,” DeAlejandro said. “We believe that the damage caused by the pandemic, as it relates specifically to vulnerable student populations, can be reversed by placing students at the center of conversations and, more importantly, the work.  As a non-profit operating external to institutions, tnAchieves sees our role as continuing to be the voice of the student.  We are also committed to building and expanding new and innovative programs designed to move the needle.  The community’s support and trust means we feel empowered to be bold in the name of student success.  We have never shied away from doing things differently!”

The report provides four call-to-action items that aim to reverse decline’s in Tennessee’s college going rate and ensure all students have an opportunity to earn a college credential:

  • Attack with a students-first approach.
  • Increase community engagement.
  • Expand tnAchieves COMPLETE coaching.
  • Invest further in completion grants.

tnAchieves launched in 2009 with a goal of changing lives and transforming communities – a bold charge only Randy Boyd, Bill Haslam, Mike Ragsdale, Rich Ray and Tim Williams could set in motion. Because of the support of thousands around the state, tnAchieves students are breaking family cycles, overcoming unimaginable barriers and finding meaningful careers. Read tnAchieves’ 2021-2022 Annual Report: Supports Matter to learn more.

tnAchieves is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that has been providing scholarships with mentor support since 2008. TN Promise provides every high school senior the opportunity to attend a community or technical college tuition free. The scholarship application is available for students beginning their senior year of high school at Please email for more information.


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