Columbia State Awarded SERS Grant to Support Underrepresented Minorities

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Photo: Columbia State Community College Facebook

Columbia State Community College was awarded a $50,000 Student Engagement, Retention and Success Grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to fund a “College Majors Lead to High Paying Career Salaries for Underrepresented Minorities” project.

With this project, underrepresented minority students will work alongside Columbia State graduates and local industries that have hiring relationships with the college’s graduates to make college recruitment videos. The videos will be created to help students focus their educational plans by learning about particular college majors that lead to higher paying careers. The project will produce 16 videos in specific career clusters and programs of study that can be used as recruitment tools for the college, as well as information tools for students trying to decide on a major.

“As we look at opportunities to engage our students outside the classroom while enrolled, and retain our students until academic goals and graduation are achieved, this $50,000 will go a long way in promoting the mission of the college and building greater and lasting economic relationships in our communities,” said Dr. Christa Martin, Columbia State assistant to the president for access and diversity.

In addition to the opportunity for underrepresented minorities to be directly involved in marketing and media publications for the college, the project may lead to opportunities for job shadowing, co-ops, internships and possibly a full-time position in the future.

Overall goals for the project include: Increasing student enrollment of underrepresented minorities and Pell-eligible students in college majors that lead to higher paying careers; decreasing the disparity range of underrepresented minorities retained in college majors that lead to higher paying careers; and increasing graduation rates of underrepresented minorities from college majors that lead to higher paying careers.

Student Engagement, Retention and Success grants are funded through the Tennessee Board of Regents with access and diversity funding and can focus on any subpopulation that is part of the following institution plans: Achieving the Dream, Pathways Project or diversity or completion plans. To learn more about SERS grants, please visit