SMYRNA, Tenn. — Nontraditional Motlow State Community College sophomores Shamesha Talley (business administration) and Joan Edens (organizational communications) have definite ambitions about pursuing bachelor’s degrees this fall at Middle Tennessee State University.
So does Mia Bush, 17, of La Vergne, Tennessee, a La Vergne High School senior doing dual enrollment at Motlow. She wants to study biochemistry and music/music business when she enrolls in August.
They were just three of dozens of Motlow students attending the kickoff to the 2023 MTSU Promise Tour at Motlow’s Smyrna campus to recruit community college students wrapping up their associate degrees who are looking to pursue a four-year degree on the Blue Raider campus.
Led by Admissions, MTSU faculty and staff are visiting nine community colleges across the state to recruit transfers for 2023 and to get them to apply by the Feb. 15 guaranteed transfer scholarship — $3,000 per year for qualifiers. At each stop, MTSU is waiving the application fee.
Short, long roads to finish line
Talley, 26, a 2014 Riverdale High School graduate, attended Motlow for two semesters, then took a six-year break to attend cosmetology school. Now back at Motlow, the Murfreesboro resident “is determined to get her associate degree and, hopefully, her bachelor’s degree in business” at MTSU, she said.
“I like that MTSU’s very diverse and has lots of opportunities for students,” added Talley, who talked at length with Josh Aaron, chairholder of the Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. “They (faculty) are there to get you through and reach your destination.”
Talley also has an interest in international programs — like study abroad — “to explore the world outside the state of Tennessee,” she said.
An Air Force veteran, Edens, 56, who has been accepted for admission to MTSU, has been a technical writer professionally, before concentrating on academics at Motlow the past two years.
For Edens, continuing her education at MTSU is “about how to customize your courses toward your degree that will be most effective for your career path,” she said. She’s also considering taking Honors College courses.
Near the end of the MTSU Promise Tour event at Motlow, Edens received advice from professor Amy Macy in Recording Industry, on how to pursue her path.
A music, science pathway
Bush, who has visited MTSU twice, said she’s “100% committed to coming.” She’s also interested in following a premed path.
Bush and Macy discussed music at length, as Bush also attends W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville, Tennessee, where she’s learned about “audio and video production and a wide variety of instruments,” she said.
Quite the turnout of students
Joined by Danny Kelley, assistant vice president of Student Life, Jackie Victory, MTSU director of Student Organizations and Service, said, “I’ve been doing this (Promise Tour events) for years and I’ve never seen this type of crowd (interest) before.”
Jones College of Business Dean David Urban has a group of five to six faculty, staff and graduate students attending Promise Tour events at Motlow, Volunteer State in Gallatin and Nashville State this week.
“MTSU prides itself on being the number one destination for transfer students in Tennessee,” Urban said. “Jones College supports that objective.
“We are reaching out to community college students interested in business fields to facilitate a seamless transfer between the community college and MTSU’s Jones College. Some of our very best Jones College students have received their associate degree from a Tennessee community college. They are highly-motivated, goal-oriented students, and we welcome them.”
John Davis, MTSU undergraduate recruitment assistant director who oversees transfer admissions, said “this (Motlow) will probably be our biggest one, along with Columbia State. Both are great partners along with the other community colleges.”
The Colleges of Basic and Applied Sciences, Liberal Arts, Honors and Education provided representatives to meet prospective students, as did various campus departments.
If any students, parents or family members have any questions about transferring to MTSU, they can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Promise Tour visits Pellissippi State in Knoxville Tuesday, Jan. 31, Cleveland State Wednesday, Feb. 1, and Chattanooga State Thursday, Feb. 2. All tour events run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)
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