Monday: Multiple Guest from MTSU Talk about Big Items that impact Rutherford County and Beyond

Nov 16, 2020 at 07:32 am by WGNS

SEGMENT ONE – 8:10 a.m.

GUEST: Bobbi Lussier (pronounced LOO-sher), executive director of professional laboratory experiences in the MTSU College of Education
TOPIC: MTSU’s nationally ranked undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program and COVID-19 adjustments

The MTSU College of Education’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program was recently ranked among the nation’s best by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Despite the onset of COVID, the college continues its dedication to providing the same high-quality preparation to its students with hands-on, practical experience in real classrooms.

Everything changed in March, recalled Bobbi Lussier, executive director of professional laboratory experiences at the college.

Faculty quickly provided students with specialized resources to replace the cancelled field placements. One resource was a video library called Accomplished Teaching, Learning and Schools or ATLAS.

MTSU’s clinical practice program stands out as among only 33 traditional elementary programs out of more than the 1,100 evaluated to earn an “A” grade in the NCTQ’s 2020 “Teacher Prep Review.”

Lussier credited collaboration with the school’s pre-K-12 partners for its score on the clinical practice, also known as in-classroom experience and student teaching. The university has its most in-depth, intense partnerships with Rutherford County Schools and Murfreesboro City Schools.

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SEGMENT TWO – 8:25 a.m.

GUEST: Dr. Vincent Windrow, associate vice provost for Student Success
TOPIC: Quest 2025, MTSU’s latest five-year initiative to enhance student curriculum and outcomes by emphasizing lifelong learning

Middle Tennessee State University renewed its nationally acclaimed efforts to retain and graduate its students on Wednesday, Oct. 21, unveiling an ambitious set of new goals and initiatives for the university over the next five years.

The university has listed five strategic priorities for Quest 2025: 1. develop a comprehensive faculty development program to integrate high-impact practices in key areas of curricula; 2. eliminate achievement gaps and increase the diversity of faculty and staff; 3. increase online, hybrid and off-site offerings, adaptive scheduling and curricular flexibility; 4. support a culture of service through all divisions of the university; and 5. create more living-learning opportunities on campus.

Among the additional goals spelled out in the plan, MTSU intends to:

  • Launch new undergraduate and graduate degrees that meet market demand for Tennessee.
  • Modify graduate degrees to meet market demand, including content and delivery of the degree programs that will ensure access, equity and quality.
  • Revise the summer schedule to make financial aid more accessible to students who wish to pursue coursework in summer.
  • Develop and redesign courses to link learning activities to students’ professional development and civic engagement.
  • Incorporate required high-impact learning experience into every major.

Learn more:

SEGMENT THREE – 8:40 a.m.

GUESTS [IN STUDIO]: Dr. Dawn McCormack, associate dean in the MTSU College of Graduate Studies, and Sarah Hendrix, strategic communications manager for the college

TOPIC: MTSU College of Graduate Studies boosts recruitment efforts as more people seek advanced degrees

As the COVID-19 pandemic roiled the U.S. economy for much of this year, MTSU’s College of Graduate Studies experienced an almost 28% increase in enrollment this fall as recent graduates, working professionals, displaced workers and others saw the value of enhancing their skills, knowledge and marketability by pursuing an advanced degree.

University administrators, faculty and students recently shared their insights about the graduate school experience, made more enticing for prospective students this year by a temporary waiver of admissions tests for certain programs.

Dawn McCormack, associate dean of the College of Graduate Studies, highlighted how in the last year they have homed in on a student-centered approach, cementing their role of matching and connecting students with the right program and faculty while also providing students with support.

“Everyone is here to help you succeed,” she said. “The graduate school is really looking to help people prepare for their future…. We’re connecting potential students who are looking to move up in their professional careers or even get started…. We see ourselves really in that role of linking them to these opportunities.”

“We do a lot more of the counseling and advising,” said Sarah Hendrix, strategic communications manager. “We help students with researching their options.”

The college will continue to grow next semester.

“We are up 150% in spring 2021 applications and up 200% in admitted students compared to the same day last year,” Hendrix said.

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