MTEC open house touts ‘finest education poss...

MTEC open house touts ‘finest education possible’ for region

MTSU women’s basketball head coach Rick Insell, left, speaks during the Celebration of Education Open House at the Middle Tennessee Education Center in Shelbyville Aug. 2. Joining him is assistant coach Alex Fuller, a former Central High School basketball standout. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

SHELBYVILLEFamiliar faces returned to Shelbyvllle this week as MTSU Lady Raiders’ head coach Rick Insell and assistant coach Alex Fuller joined university and local officials to welcome the community to a great higher-education opportunity right in its backyard.

Middle Tennessee Education Center hosted “A Celebration of Education,” including a special preview of its expanding curriculum, on Aug. 2 at the center, located at 200 Dover St. in Shelbyville.

Admissions counselors, administrators and educators were on hand to explain how the center can help students chart a path to improving their educational credentials and obtaining more fulfilling, higher-paying jobs.

The Middle Tennessee Education Center is a partnership between Middle Tennessee State University and Motlow State Community College with the support of Bedford County government. It is designed to make access to higher-education classes more convenient to students from Bedford, Coffee, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore, Rutherford and Williamson counties.

“We’re about giving the finest education possible to middle Tennessee,” MTSU Provost Brad Bartel told the crowd. “MTEC is here for you. When we know what you need, we’re here to deliver it.”

Insell, who remains a household name in Shelbyville thanks to a 28-year career as coach of the Central High School girl’s basketball team, echoed the provost’s remarks.

“When you start talking about our agriculture department, our business school, education, aerospace (and) concrete industry management and telling people about MTSU, they see we’re not just blowing smoke,” he said.

Insell brought his state- and national-championship coaching prowess to MTSU in 2005, he brought that coaching prowess up the road to MTSU, where he’s turned the Lady Raiders into perennial NCAA tournament participants.

Also joining the open-house celebration was assistant coach Fuller, who played for Insell at Shelbyville en route to three state titles and a Miss Basketball award, as well as Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray; Dr. Warren Gill, dean of MTSU’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience; Dr. Jim Burton, dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business; and Dr. Mike Boyle, dean of the University College at MTSU.

Ray recognized local business “ambassadors” for their support of the work at MTEC.

Dr. Jim Burton, left, dean of MTSU’s College of Business, chats with potential MTSU transfer student Kevin Smith during the MTEC Celebration of Education Open House.

“This will be one of the biggest institutions around once it takes off,” Ray said.

The center is offering offer 21 new courses this fall, including a new emphasis in agriculture with four courses and several additional courses for the interdisciplinary studies’ elementary education major.

According to center coordinator Lisa Moore, MTEC also will host a graduate program in educational leadership, and two new courses in criminal justice and social work are being test-marketed to determine local demand for those programs.

More than a third of the courses will be taught by tenured or tenure-track faculty from MTSU, Moore said.

Among the center’s other offerings are:

  • an adult degree-completion program for an accelerated path toward a bachelor’s degree at MTSU;
  • a degree-advancement program to help students who have earned an associate’s degree from Motlow pursue a bachelor’s degree at MTSU;
  • prior learning assessment, which will enable students to earn college credit for military training, previous certifications and professional development; and
  • general-education and developmental courses.

With 42,000 square feet of space in Shelbyville’s former Medical Arts Building, the Middle Tennessee Education Center has room to expand its curriculum and its student population even further. Class start times at the center range from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate adult learners’ work schedules.

Each classroom currently in use is wi-fi-ready for students to use laptops and other devices. One classroom has been outfitted for videoconferencing.

For more information about MTEC contact Moore at 931-685-4444 or go to