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Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Shelton State Community College’s Director of Recruitment, Tennyson “T.J.” Smith, is a recent graduate of the 2017-18 cohort of the Community College Fellowship Program (CCFP).  Smith was one of sixteen participants in this year’s CCFP cohort and graduated alongside presidents, executive administrators, and community college members from Alabama and Mississippi.


A joint partnership between Mississippi State University’s John C. Stennis Institute of Government and The University of Alabama’s Education Policy Center, the CCFP cohort met monthly throughout the academic year to discuss state and national policies on education and to determine successful ways to advocate on behalf of Alabama and Mississippi college students.


In April 2018, the cohort traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with elected representatives and discuss Pell grant funding options.  Additionally, they met with other educational policy constituents, such as the American Community College Association and the Association of Community College Trustees.


“Learning about educational policy and seeing how political decisions affect students were eye opening,” said Smith.  “The most rewarding aspect of my participation was a civil rights bus tour and hearing from those who participated, but doing all of the activities with a diverse group of people from other parts of the country who cared about social injustice, discrimination, and racial disparity was also very affirming.”


Tennyson “T.J.” Smith is Director of Recruitment at Shelton State Community College.  For more information about Shelton State, visit