MTSU Online, University College begins virtual ...

MTSU Online, University College begins virtual ‘Finish Now Fridays’ for adult degree seekers

With social distancing guidelines still in place at Middle Tennessee State University and beyond, faculty and staff are using technology to their outreach advantage.

Beginning Friday, April 17, MTSU Online staff will launch “Finish Now Fridays” to answer questions, offer guidance, and explain their programs to adults looking to finish their bachelor’s degrees. MTSU has the largest adult degree completion program in the state and has several programs that fit an adult’s busy schedule. (Update: There will be no live session Friday, May 1. Final session for the semester will be Friday, May 8.)

Each week, a group of advisers, degree counselors, and faculty will be on Facebook Live answering questions from prospective and current students about varying topics, including prior learning assessment, free degree evaluations, and the cost of going back to school.

The virtual Q&A sessions will begin at 10 a.m. on MTSU Online’s Facebook page. Those interested should ‘like’ that page in advance to be notified when it goes live on April 17.

Danielle Fowler, recruitment coordinator, University College

Danielle Fowler

Dr. Peggy Carpenter, assistant dean, University College

Dr. Peggy Carpenter

“While we cannot meet face-to-face with folks who are thinking of going back to school, we want them to know we are still here to help,” said Danielle Fowler, coordinator of recruitment in MTSU’s University College. “We know there are many people out there wondering what their options are and we want to make sure we’re available to them.”

One of those options is prior learning assessment, or PLA, which allows working adults to earn college credit for learning acquired from work and training. In the PLA course, students create a detailed portfolio of their professional competencies, training and certifications, and other experiential learning. Students can potentially earn up to two years of college credit from their prior learning.

Many of the required classes for anyone enrolling in the adult degree completion program are already offered online and several will be available in the summer semester. The scheduled in-person courses for the summer will be offered remotely.

“This is a time of uncertainty for many of us,” said Peggy Carpenter, assistant dean of University College. “We want to make sure students and their families are well informed about their options moving forward after this crisis.”

— Hunter Patterson (