The Tennessee Postsecondary Evaluation and Analysis Research Lab (TN-PEARL) is a joint effort by the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).
Established in 2017, the TN-PEARL collaboration reflects the state’s commitment to creating and using research evidence to inform and guide its higher education policy dialogue and decision making. Many of Tennessee’s new higher education initiatives—such as universal mentoring and financial aid for two-year college students in Tennessee Promise and Reconnect—were without precedent. Tennessee continues to be active in creating student-centric scholarship programs to boost participation in higher education and foster student success. Yet given the novelty of these initiatives, Tennessee policy makers must work with limited guidance from relevant research to make decisions. The TN-PEARL collaboration intends to build up this base of research to inform policy and practice across Tennessee and the U.S.