MTSU summit helps freshmen, sophomores climb towar...

MTSU summit helps freshmen, sophomores climb toward success

Motivating MTSU’s freshmen and sophomores to become academic achievers, the university is offering the third Student Success Summit.

Billed this year as “Climbing to the Heights of Success,” the summit will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, in the Student Union Ballroom, 1768 MTSU Blvd. It will feature motivational speaker Chris Sands.

Student Success Summit posterTo pre-register, visit Saturday’s registration begins at 9:30. The event is free.

In addition to Sands, an author, educator and visionary, the event includes workshops for first- and second-year students “to get them acclimated to rigors of the university,” said Vincent Windrow, assistant vice provost in the Office of Student Success, the lead sponsor of the summit.

Information sessions will include:

  • Career and internship advice
  • Financial aid tips
  • Connecting with peers

Held in 2013 and ’14 for freshmen only, this year’s summit adds sophomores to the mix.

“It is designed to welcome back sophomores,” Windrow said. “There is a sense of abandonment for second-year students. We are in the process of developing a yearlong program for them that includes study abroad, maintaining the Hope Scholarship (with excellent grades) and networking opportunities.”

For freshmen, the summit will help them become engaged in campus, financial aid understanding and literacy and study skills, Windrow added.

“You’re not in high school any more and this is not the 13th grade,” Windrow said of the approach. “Freshmen have a new set of challenges. Our message to them: ‘We can’t do it for you, but we can do it with you.’”

Vincent Windrow

Vincent Windrow

Many of these students are first-generation students “who need to be self-motivated and self-starters. This (workshop) is to encourage, instruct and empower them,” Windrow added.

Sands will bring the inspiration.

“He will provide takeaways, principles and insights so they can have additional tools for their toolkit,” Windrow said.

After the workshop, a button ceremony will be held for the sophomores in attendance. Windrow said doing this in front of the freshmen will help them aspire to be engaged in campus activities.

The MTSU Button Campaign, instituted several years ago, is a way for students to become involved with MTSU. They receive them by attending various campus events, Blue Raider games, adviser meetings and more.

Sponsors also include the Division of Student Affairs, June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, the Black History Month Committee, Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and Scholars Academy.

For more information, contact the Office of Student Success, Peck Hall Room 142, at 615-898-8650 or visit

— Randy Weiler (