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Tennessee Scholars

  • Tennessee Scholars
  • 611 Commerce St.
    Suite 3030
  • Nashville, TN 37203
  • 615-256-5141
  • 1994
  • Ruth Woodall
  • Executive Director
  • 615-686-8883

Program Description

Tennessee Scholars is a state-wide, business-led program that communicates the expectations of the workforce and post-secondary education early in the academic career of the child. When a student graduates as a Tennessee Scholar they are eligible for scholarships, rewards and recognition, job preferential hiring, and many other incentives from businesses. A Tennessee Scholar graduates with a rigorous academic course of study and workforce skills such as 95% attendance, no out-of-school suspensions, at least 80 hours of volunteer service (visit for a complete course description). All Tennessee Scholars must meet the State Requirement of the Tennessee Diploma Path as well as the additional expectations. While any student may qualify to be a Tennessee Scholar, all criteria must be met in order to finish the program.

The Tennessee Scholars have access to mentoring, job shadowing, volunteer opportunities, networking with business and industry, and recognition for achievement. This access is possible through business interaction with the program. The program is business led, and business leaders are finding creative ways to incentivize students to graduate prepared for the future.

Tennessee Scholars also provides:

  • Collaboration with any other program or service in a community that supports student achievement
  • Parent workshops and information
  • Links to resources for parents, children, educators, and business
  • Advocacy
  • Volunteer training

Success Stories

In 2012 we had 4000 Tennessee Scholars graduates. A student survey indicated the following:

  • Average ACT score for Tennessee Scholars was 24.1
  • Average grade point average was 3.2
  • Average number of volunteer service hours was more than 100
  • 73% took at least one Career Technical Class
  • 43% took at least one dual credit class
  • 56% took at least one AP class
  • 100% applied to college
  • 100% were eligible for scholarships
  • 86% tested out of remedial classes in college
  • Services Provided

    • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
    • Arts and cultural
    • Career exploration and counseling/internships
    • College admissions guidance and counseling
    • College fairs/campus visits
    • Community service/service hours
    • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
    • Leadership development
    • Mentoring
    • Parent/family services
    • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
    • Scholarships and last-dollar grants
    • Science, tech, engineering, & math (STEM)


    Education Level and
    Number of Students

    • High School: 35000
    • Middle School: 0
    • Elementary School: 0
    • Post-secondary: 0
    • Non-traditional: 0

    Populations Served

    • Academically At-risk
    • Academically High-performing
    • ESL Students


    • Between 25% and 50%