EHS teams up with Tusculum University to offer guaranteed enrollment

With colleges becoming more and more competitive, it can be difficult to secure a post-high school future, but Elizabethton City Schools and Tusculum University teamed up to form a plan.

Members of Tusculum University and Elizabethton High School met Thursday, Nov. 29, to expand the reaches of the high school’s Bartleby program, officially forming a partnership that would allow members of the program to receive guaranteed admission into the university.

University President James Hurley said the partnership has been in the works for almost two years.

“We want to expand our partnerships with East Tennessee school districts in general,” Hurley said. “We have been blessed to educate their graduates.”

Hurley said EHS’s Bartleby program was part of the motivation to partner with the school.

“We really appreciate their alternative approach to education through this program,” he said. “It is a program that evolves daily.”

As part of the partnership, students who meet certain criteria within the Bartleby program will have the opportunity to receive automatic acceptance into the university. These criteria include a cumulative 3.0 grade point average and a 21 ACT score or equivalent.

Students are also eligible for scholarships to go towards Tusculum’s tuition, roughly $1,000 for students who elect to live on campus.

Hurley said the program allows students opportunities they might not have access to, but he said there is also another goal he has in mind for the partnership.

“This will force other colleges to create partnerships as well,” he said.

Hurley said the resulting competition will encourage other post-secondary schools to become more and more accessible, a development he said will strengthen the economy and people’s lives.

“Post-secondary opportunities are tied to economic health and prosperity,” Hurley said.

As a first-generation college attendee and graduate, Hurley said access to higher education is vital to future success.

“Without opportunities like this, I might not have had the chance to get where I am today,” he said.

Hurley said the partnership is a win-win for students and the school system.

“Elizabethton schools have an excellent tradition of history and legacy here,” he said. “These schools have great students. This is not the first or the last partnership we will have with city schools.”

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