Top 5 Reasons Why Community is our Middle Name

Top 5 Reasons Why Community is our Middle Name

Dr. Bill Seymour, President

Cleveland State Community College


Cleveland State has been proudly serving this community for 48 years. While some community colleges have elected to remove the word “community” from their name we at Cleveland State could not be more committed to our middle name.  The fact that we are a community college is what makes us special.  In fact, it is our mission to serve you – the community – not just some, but the whole community.  To make the point even further, here are my top 5 reasons why “community” is and always shall me our middle name.


Open Access:  By their nature, community colleges are open access.  We exist to give everyone with a high school diploma or GED an opportunity for a college education.  Students of all academic abilities select community colleges because of the many educational options they provide.  Unlike colleges that only admit students that meet established standards a community college gives everyone an opportunity to learn and advance their career.


Affordable Costs:  The tuition and fees at community colleges are normally about half of four-year public colleges or universities and a fraction of private colleges.  Plus community college students are eligible for the full range of state and federal financial aid.  With the low cost and available financial aid, the Tennessee Promise program can provide those “last dollars” to eliminate your out of pocket costs (tuition and fees only).  In addition, Cleveland State has launched its own Adult Promise Scholarship to provide last-dollar funding to adults who otherwise could not afford to attend.  We are committed to low costs because we know that is what our community needs.


Community Service:  Cleveland State is one of the leading colleges in the country for incorporating service learning into the curriculum.  Since serving our community is our highest held value we go out of our way to teach that value to our students.  Recognized regionally and nationally for their efforts 56% of our faculty infuse their classes with a service learning component.  Not only does this teach a worthy value it functionally expands the learning process through practical engagement with real-life situations and community needs.


Workforce Development: Open access and affordable education is the best way to assure that our community has a knowledgeable and well-trained workforce.  Businesses and industries that exist in our area have a great need for employees that have the skills and abilities to help them succeed.  With our changing economy more than 50% of our students are now enrolled in certificate and Associate degree programs designed to get students right into the workforce.  Currently, grads from 2-year programs are earning higher first year salaries than many 4-year college graduates.  Our students are in great demand throughout our community.

Our Community First Plan:  The Cleveland State 2020 Community First Plan is nearly complete and it will serve as our strategic plan for the next five years.  We want to thank the 300+ people from our community that helped us develop this plan.  We decided on this name because we wanted to make it clear to all that the community is at the heart of all that we do. This community includes current and potential students, alumni, employers, schools and civic, service and government partner organizations throughout our 5-county service area.  It’s all of us.

We take great pride in our middle name.  It is what makes us unique.  It gives us our purpose.  It gives us our passion to serve you – our community – every day.


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