Tennessee College Access and Success Network (TCASN)
Driven by their mission of increasing the number of students completing post-secondary opportunities, the Tennessee College Access and Success Network aims to establish a college-going culture across the state. They work to remove barriers to higher education, promote college persistence, and increase post-secondary completion. Their focus is on connecting leaders, advocating for access and completion, and increasing the capacity of individuals and institutions to produce successful and equitable outcomes for underrepresented students.
Through a Lumina Foundation for Education grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), the Tennessee College Access and Success Network formally launched in November 2010. TCASN was founded under the leadership of a Partnership Council, comprised of representatives from the Ayers Foundation, Kingsport Educate and Grow, Niswonger Foundation, Oasis Center, Public Education Foundation, Southwest Tennessee Development District (REDI), tnAchieves, Tennessee Department of Education, and the Tennessee higher Education Commission. Through partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education and THEC, TCASN received Race to the Top funds in July 2011 to expand the reach of its services and grow its membership base.
After being "incubated" at the Oasis Center for a year, the Network received its 501c3 status and has been operating as a stand-alone organization since July 2012. Through Race to the Top, TCASN awarded $1.6 million to 51 grant projects that served more than 60,500 students and families across Tennessee. In 2015, TCASN expanded its reach nationally with The TalentED Project. Built in partnership with UBS, The TalentED Project is a free online platform that matches first-generation, lower-income college-goers with select institutions that are a good fit for them.