MTSU's College of Behavioral and Health Sciences has entered an exchange agreement with a South Korean secondary school that specializes in sports science.
MTSU signed the five-year memorandum of understanding Tuesday (May 19) with Ulsan Sports Science Secondary School, a new middle and high school in South Korea "dedicated to the education and training of aspiring professional athletes, as well as students interested in other sports-related careers."
Ulsan's students live six days a week on its campus, which contains a dormitory wing, academic wing and an expansive athletic complex. MTSU's Department of Health and Human Performance within the College of Basic and Applied Sciences developed the cooperative relationship with Ulsan, which is located in Ulsan Metropolitan City along South Korea's southeastern edge.
In a ceremony Tuesday inside MTSU's Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building, Dr. Harold (Terry) Whiteside, dean of the MTSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, and Ulsan Principal Jae-o Jung finalized the memorandum, which urges academic, research and cultural exchange related to sports education and science.
Whiteside said the renewable agreement, signed by University Provost Brad Bartel, stemmed from some Health and Human Performance faculty members having previous ties to Ulsan as well as a visit last fall to South Korea by Dr. Scott Colclough, associate dean in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.
"Things sort of took off from there," Whiteside said. "This is an exciting agreement. This gives an opportunity for both institutions to benefit greatly from each other. This is the type of agreement I've looked forward to for years."
At Ulsan, student-athletes have the opportunity to specialize in one of 12 different sports, including: gymnastics, swimming, modern triathlon, shooting, archery, wrestling, weight lifting, judo, boxing, taekwondo, track and field and canoeing.
The school also invites a select group of students to be "sports experts" -- students who excel at and/or have a strong interest in athletics but have greater desires to become physical education instructors, sports managers and more.
"Ulsan Sports Science Middle and High School aims to be the best institution of physical education in Korea, providing students with a unified and innovative curriculum," Jae-o said. "This collaboration with an institution like MTSU will provide opportunities for our students, faculty and administrators to expand their understanding and experience, and practice instruction, research and training for sports-related careers."
Whiteside, Colclough and Health and Human Performance faculty hosted a small delegation of Ulsan officials this week and gave them a tour of MTSU facilities. MTSU hopes to send a group to South Korea in the near future as part of the exchange, Whiteside said.
Specific areas of cooperation under the memorandum include:
- Faculty exchanges to promote teaching, research and faculty development
- Joint research, training and continuing education programs
- International student exchange program to promote cross-cultural awareness and education among youth
The partnership will also leverage program initiatives of MTSU's Collaborative Learning and Leadership Institute, which is a partnership of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and Murfreesboro City Schools that focuses on exposing youth to multiple learning opportunities and providing MTSU students with experiential learning and research opportunities.