Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Dr. Kristin Wilson (Director), Dr. Regina Garza Mitchell, Dr. Brian Meredith and Dr. Tony Norman
Educational Leadership Doctoral Program
Doctor of Education
The Tennessee Promise scholarship and mentoring program broadened access and affordability to postsecondary education in Tennessee. This policy innovation increased the number of students seeking to engage in postsecondary education. It also shifted some of the state’s students to the more affordable community colleges and colleges of applied technology for their first two years of college. Equally important, Tennessee Promise incentivized the presidents and provosts of the six public universities under review to expand existing transfer receptivity efforts as their universities prepared to receive and support Tennessee Promise community college student transfers.
The purpose of this narrative policy analysis based on Roe’s (1994) four-step process is to document and describe how presidents and provosts at six Tennessee public universities responded to Tennessee Promise and prepared to provide transfer receptivity for Tennessee Promise community college student transfers. Employing the theoretical lens of policy innovation and diffusion, I engaged with the leaders’ stories, including interview transcripts, local news articles, and publicly-accessible documents found on the universities’ websites.
The study’s findings indicate the majority of university leaders responded to the policy innovation’s broadening of access and affordability to postsecondary education by preparing their universities to receive and support Tennessee Promise community college student transfers. They did so while working within a difficult enrollment context, i.e.,declining university headcounts since Fall 2011; declining numbers of high school graduates; lifting of University of Tennessee’s enrollment cap; and shifting from the use of a performance-based funding model targeting enrollment to the use of an outcomesbased model that primarily rewards student progression and degree completion.
The university leaders simultaneously sought to offset Tennessee Promise’s impact on enrollment while moving their universities’ enrollment growth agendas forward. The leaders responded by revising scholarships; extending community college partnerships; committing to receive student transfers; expanding retention efforts to include student transfers; and assessing policies, practices, and programs. Future plans include integrating student transfers and sustaining efforts. Working within shared governance, a majority of the leaders communicated institutional priorities, administered available resources, and led institutional change, all of which resulted in diffusion of transfer receptivity for Tennessee Promise community college student transfers.
Educational Sociology | Education Policy | Higher Education Administration
Buchanan, Lori Elliott, "A Narrative Policy Analysis of the Responses to Tennessee Promise and Plans for Transfer Receptivity by Six Tennessee Public Universities' Presidents and Provosts" (2017). Dissertations. Paper 130.