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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
Tennessee is looking at providing incentives for community colleges and universities to recruit and graduate more students for STEM and healthcare fields. Governor Bill Lee asked the commission to adjust the funding formula to meet demand for workers in these fields over the next ten years.
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is proposing giving more funds to institutions of higher education for students that major in high-need academic fields. The extra money will help community colleges and universities create and support high-cost degrees like engineering and other STEM programs.
High-need fields include:
- Agriculture, agricultural operations and related sciences
- Natural resources and conservation
- Computer and information sciences
- Engineering technologies and technicians
- Biological and biomedical sciences
- Mathematics and statistics
- Physical sciences
- Health professions and related clinical sciences
These fields were identified by The Tennessee Higher Education Commission from data provided by Jobs4TN and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
Many students would qualify under this change, about a quarter of all associate degrees, a third of all bachelor degrees and over a half of community college certificates according to the commission.
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The commission’s executive director, Emily House, and Chief Policy Officer, Steven Gentile, presented the change to the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday. There will be a vote in May.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.