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MTSU, Cleveland State partnerships extend ‘Promise...

MTSU, Cleveland State partnerships extend ‘Promise,’ promote mechatronics alliance [+VIDEO]

CLEVELAND, Tenn.Middle Tennessee State University signed an agreement Tuesday, Oct. 16, to extend the MTSU Promise to Cleveland State Community College, creating a pathway for students with associate degrees from the college to move seamlessly to the four-year university.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Cleveland State President Bill Seymour also signed a transfer agreement to make it easier for Cleveland State students who earn an associate degree in mechatronics technology to transfer to MTSU’s mechatronics engineering program and earn a bachelor’s degree.

The presidents signed the documents on the Cleveland campus as MTSU’s True Blue Tour, a 14-city, four-state caravan to recruit prospective students, stopped in nearby Chattanooga en route to Atlanta, Georgia, Oct. 17.

McPhee noted that 91 former Cleveland State students are currently enrolled at MTSU, making the college one of the most valuable sources of transfer students for the Murfreesboro campus.

Presidents Bill Seymour, left, of Cleveland State Community College and MTSU’s Sidney A. McPhee sign an agreement Oct. 16 at Cleveland State promoting a new partnership in their respective mechatronics programs to help students earn an associate degree at the college and transfer to MTSU, where they can work toward their bachelor’s degrees. The leaders also signed an agreement to ease the transfer from the college to the university. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Presidents Bill Seymour, left, of Cleveland State Community College and MTSU’s Sidney A. McPhee sign an agreement Oct. 16 at Cleveland State promoting a new partnership in their respective mechatronics programs to help students earn an associate degree at the college and transfer to MTSU, where they can work toward their bachelor’s degrees. The leaders also signed an agreement to ease the transfer from the college to the university. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

“MTSU is the No. 1 transfer destination in Tennessee,” McPhee said. “Extending the MTSU Promise to Cleveland State steps up our partnership even further and will allow our advisers to help these great students transition to our campus.”

Seymour agreed, saying the cooperation between the two mechatronics programs underscores the unique partnership between the two institutions.

MTSU Wordmark“Perhaps no other program at Cleveland State has developed so quickly and strongly as our Advanced Technologies programs,” Seymour said.

“This agreement is also timely due to the establishment of our new Mechatronics Honors Institute — and these students will be strong candidates for completing their bachelor’s degree at MTSU,” he added.

MTSU launched its MTSU Promise program in May with an agreement between the Murfreesboro campus and Motlow State Community College.

Cleveland State logoThe MTSU Promise pledges to help students at partner schools complete an associate degree, then move forward in seeking a four-year degree.

This new agreement calls for Cleveland State to share directory information of the college’s students with MTSU so they are included in tailored communications of emails and hard-copy mailings that support the process of planning for a bachelor’s degree after they successfully complete an associate degree.

The agreement also says Cleveland State students who participate in the MTSU Promise will sign a “reverse transfer” agreement, meaning if they fail to complete their associate degrees before transferring, they would automatically receive their associate degree from Cleveland once they’ve completed sufficient credits at MTSU.

Presidents Bill Seymour, left, of Cleveland State Community College and MTSU’s Sidney A. McPhee shake hands after signing two agreements in a new partnership between the two schools Oct. 16 at Cleveland State. One agreement will ease the transition as Cleveland State students earn an associate degree and seamlessly transfer to MTSU. The other is a mechatronics alliance between the two schools’ programs, both of which continue to grow. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Presidents Bill Seymour, left, of Cleveland State Community College and MTSU’s Sidney A. McPhee shake hands after signing two agreements in a new partnership between the two schools Oct. 16 at Cleveland State. One agreement will ease the transition as Cleveland State students earn an associate degree and seamlessly transfer to MTSU. The other is a mechatronics alliance between the two schools’ programs, both of which continue to grow. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

MTSU is No. 1 in the state in using the reverse transfer process.

MTSU, through its existing Guaranteed Transfer Scholarship Program, will provide aid for Cleveland State students who transfer to MTSU in the amount of $3,000 per year for two years, or a maximum of four semesters, based on achievement of a 3.0 GPA.

Students transferring to MTSU will not be eligible to apply to receive the Guaranteed Transfer Scholarship until after completing 45 credit hours at Cleveland State.

Dr. Debra Sells, vice president of student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services

Dr. Debra Sells

Dr. Deb Sells, MTSU’s vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services, said the annual application deadline is Feb. 15, which means the majority of participating Cleveland State students will have completed 60 credits before they transfer.

Sells also said MTSU will revise letters of rejection for students in the Cleveland State service area who apply to MTSU for freshman admission but are not admitted.

The letters will also say the student is being placed in a “deferred admission” category, and that MTSU recommends that they enroll at Cleveland State for two years of study under the Tennessee Promise, the state-funded scholarship that pays tuition and fees for students at two-year colleges.

MTSU will also guarantee to such students that if they complete 60 credits with a 3.0 GPA at Cleveland State, they will be guaranteed admission and a scholarship to attend MTSU for their last two years of study, Sells said.

Meanwhile, the agreement between the institutions on mechatronics education was hailed as “an exciting day, three years in the making” by Tim Wilson, chair of Cleveland State’s Advanced Technologies Department.

“This agreement is also timely due to the establishment of our new Mechatronics Honors Institute. Students in this program will be strong candidates for completing their bachelor’s at MTSU,” Seymour added.

Wilson said Cleveland State started the process “to give our students an opportunity to complete their undergraduate degree in mechatronics engineering. MTSU now is an excellent avenue by which those students may complete their studies in an engineering program of study.”

McPhee concurred, underscoring the partnership both institutions enjoy with Siemens Mechatronic Systems as part of the global company’s certification program. Siemens recently donated advanced software, with a commercial value of $278 million, to the mechatronics program at MTSU.

“We welcome this opportunity to invite these excellent students from Cleveland State to continue their education at MTSU in a facility that is clearly one of the best in the nation,” McPhee said.

— Andrew Oppmann (Andrew.Oppmann@mtsu.edu)


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