Tennessee college work sets a national example, report says

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam speaks as he visits the Cleveland State Community College campus on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, in Cleveland, Tenn. Monday was the first day of classes for students taking advantage of Tennessee Promise, a free tuition program. The students on stage with the governor are Tennessee Promise honor students.

Tennessee's campaign to boost college success has made it a national education leader, according to a new report from Ivy League researchers, but the researchers warned that several problems stood in the way of unqualified success.

The report released Tuesday by the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education tracked the progress made by Republican and Democratic governors who collaborated with college and business leaders to boost college enrollment and graduation over the last several years. Lead author Joni E. Finney said that collaboration, combined with the rapid-fire launch of support programs like the Tennessee Promise scholarship under Gov. Bill Haslam, has established a model other states should follow.

"Tennessee is a big experiment, and I think everybody in the country is watching," Finney said, noting the constellation of forces that had aligned behind a singular goal.

Read more at our news partner's website, tennessean.com.