The presidents of MTSU and Motlow State Community College signed a memorandum of understanding Nov. 2 to help students who earn a two-year associate’s degree to apply those credits toward earning a four-year bachelor’s degree.
MTSU’s Dr. Sidney A. McPhee and Motlow’s Dr. MaryLou Apple officially authorized a Dual Admission Program to ease the transfer process between the two Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and encourage students’ academic success.
The signing took place on the MTSU campus and launches MTSU’s third such program. The University has already established dual-admission programs with Chattanooga State and Nashville State community colleges.
“In light of the recent Complete College Tennessee Act, which was historic legislation passed and approved by the General Assembly about a year and a half ago, universities and community colleges have made additional efforts to provide what we call ‘hassle-free pathways’ for our community-college students to move on to the university and pursue their undergraduate degrees and other professional training,” McPhee said.
“We believe this dual-admissions agreement with Motlow Community College will be in line and consistent with that goal. We have for a number of years encouraged many of our students who sought admission to our university, after advising and counseling them, to begin their studies at Motlow. That has been a really good resource for MTSU.”
McPhee added that according to data from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, MTSU is the first choice in the state for transfer students from a community college or another university, and Motlow is MTSU’s No. 1 feeder school.
“I want to congratulate you on being an institution that has stepped up to the plate to be such a resource to so many different students,” Motlow’s Apple responded. “For us it is about the student; I think that’s why we work well with MTSU.
“Just as Dr. McPhee talked about MTSU advising students to come to Motlow, we, in turn, counsel students who need to go directly to MTSU. That’s a partnership. We will continue to ask ourselves, ‘What’s the next thing we need to do to help our students be successful?’”
Students must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the new partnership with Motlow, including meeting admissions standards for MSCC, earning up to 29 college semester hours and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 grade-point average.
After fulfilling all their dual-admission requirements, students will be guaranteed admission to MTSU. Participating Motlow students will be able to save money by completing their first two years at the community college but will also be exposed to the university environment and become familiar with MTSU professors and staff.
Advising will be available at both institutions, and students who leave MSCC will be able to register at MTSU during priority registration periods.
“Even though we’re a campus approaching 27,000 students, we don’t behave like that,” McPhee said. “It’s because of initiatives like this that we reach out to break the campus down … where students can feel more comfortable as they maneuver through their studies and the campus. When we say we’re a ‘student-centered campus,’ it’s not just rhetoric.”
— Tom Tozer (Thomas.Tozer@mtsu.edu)