Metro Nashville high school grads can 'trailblaze' to TSU through new scholarship program

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Starting this fall, dozens of Metro Nashville Public Schools students can go to Tennessee State University, Nashville's public historically Black college — for free.

University President Glenda Glover joined Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Adrienne Battle and Nashville Mayor John Cooper Wednesday to announce the new nearly $9 million initiative called "Trailblazing to TSU."

Through the program, the university will award 100 Metro Schools graduates full academic scholarships to attend Tennessee State after they graduate from a local high school.

Related: Less than half of Nashville high school graduates enrolled in college last year, a 10-year low

The scholarships will each ultimately be individually named after a civil rights leader in recognition of the "trail blazed" by those individuals.

“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,” TSU President Glenda Glover said during a press event Wednesday.

Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Adrienne Battle (left) laughs with Glenda Glover, president of Tennessee State University, during a press event in Kean Hall on TSU's campus  in Nashville, Tenn. on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Adrienne Battle (left) laughs with Glenda Glover, president of Tennessee State University, during a press event in Kean Hall on TSU's campus in Nashville, Tenn. on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.

The program is the latest partnership forged between Metro Nashville Public Schools, the state's second-largest school district, and a local college or university to create opportunities to help prepare students for postsecondary success. The overall effort has been dubbed "University of MNPS," by district leaders.

"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," Battle, a three-time graduate of TSU, said Wednesday.

“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.”

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Last month, Metro Schools and Lipscomb University announced a new pathway that will train Nashville high school graduates to become teachers and in turn go back into the classroom and serve the community. Through that partnership, Lipscomb will provide 10 full-ride scholarships annually.

Belmont University also recently expanded its long-time "Bridges to Belmont" program, offering full scholarships to up to 50 students from 10 Nashville high schools a year.

Each year, 25 scholarships will be allocated to each of four high-demand programs at TSU: business, education, health sciences and engineering. For more information, visit: mnps.admissions.tnstate.edu.

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Meghan Mangrum covers education for the USA TODAY Network — Tennessee. Contact her at mmangrum@tennessean.com. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: New scholarship to allow Nashville grads to 'trailblaze' to TSU