Not all the retention and graduation initiatives at MTSU are the work of the faculty and administration. A student group is taking its own proactive steps.
"The Young and Educated," co-created by Memphis native and accounting major Clinton Knox III, is an official MTSU student organization that is planning to help freshman males become adjusted to both college and the adult working world.
"We've already started boosting it through social media," Knox said. "Other organizations are helping us out by sending traffic our way."
Knox said the group will show young men what it means to be "the epitome of a gentleman" by having speakers talk to them about business opportunities, helping them create business cards, even teaching them how to tie a tie.
"I was fortunate enough in high school to have different mentors to help me out," said Knox. "But I know a lot of guys are missing that."
Membership dues will cover an association shirt, a professional photo, business cards and organizational expenses.
In fact, The Young and Educated already has awarded a book scholarship for fall 2014 to accounting major Breanna Bass of Murfreesboro.
Periodically, the group will hold fundraisers to raise money for future scholarships that will enable students to purchase their textbooks.
While The Young and Educated has its own upperclassmen officers, Knox said it will enable freshman males who join to select their own set of officers to give them experience in running their own affairs under the older students' mentorship.
"We want them to feel as comfortable and involved as possible," Knox said. "We're going to teach them how to run an organization."
The co-founders, along with Knox, are healthcare administration major Dominic D. Cooper and political science major Leonard Brown Jr.
They are aided in this groundbreaking endeavor by Executive Treasurer Matthew R. Laster, a junior majoring in information technology, and Executive Secretary Sean T. Bachus, a senior majoring in healthcare administration. The faculty adviser is Barbara Scales, director of the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students.
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