Middle Tennessee State University will offer three times as many classes in Shelbyville this fall as it did last fall, including several new programs, according to Lisa Moore of Middle Tennessee Education Center, the joint venture of MTSU and Motlow State Community College located on Dover Street.
MTSU will hold an open house, "A Celebration of Education," 4-7 p.m. Aug. 2 at MTEC. Academic advisors, admissions department personnel, financial aid personnel and faculty members will be on hand to talk about MTSU's course offerings and assist students with the application process. Refreshments -- including the popular chocolate milk produced by MTSU's own dairy -- will be served and door prizes will be offered.
MTSU will offer 19 undergraduate and two graduate-level courses this fall, on topics ranging from forage crops to commercial law.
New course offerings in Shelbyville include an emphasis on agriculture -- not a major per se, but a way for adult learners to take the agriculture courses they need in pursuit of a liberal studies degree. Moore said the liberal studies degree is an ideal one for adult learners because it allows an adult learner to focus on the classes in which they're most interested.
In the adult degree completion program, students can get up to 30 hours of credit -- the equivalent of two full semesters of classes -- for what they've already learned in the real world.
"That's a significant cost savings," said Moore.
Moore said she recently gave a presentation on the agriculture courses to local beef cattle operators, and was pleased with their support.
Agriculture courses being offered this fall include agricultural policy, forage crops, soil and value-added agriculture.
Other newly-offered programs include criminal justice, communication and social work. The criminal justice course to be offered this fall is on organized and white-collar crime.
The education courses already being offered are being expanded, and the business courses are being offered on-site by MTSU for the first time, using distance learning technology.
Of the 19 undergrad courses being offered by MTSU this fall in Shelbyville, seven are being taught by tenured or tenure-track professors, said Moore.
"That's a significant investment by the university," she said.
Moore pointed out that adult students (over 21 years of age) have the option of taking a few classes before completing the college admission process. For example, an adult student could enroll in four three-hour classes and take those before deciding to officially enroll in a degree program.
Scholarship money is available, although Moore said students must enroll first before applying. Priority is given to Bedford County students.
Moore said that MTEC has proven to be a great option to taking classes on the main MTSU campus in Murfreesboro, and draws students from surrounding counties.
"If you can drive to Shelbyville instead of driving into Murfreesboro, it's a wonderful opportunity," said Moore. "When I talk to students, they are pleased that it's so convenient."
Moore also said she's delighted with community support for the center, including local leaders who are serving as ambassadors for MTEC, manning booths at events like the county fair, for which MTSU was a silver-level sponsor. Local residents have even donated artwork to be displayed at MTEC.
For more information about MTEC, call Lisa Moore at (931) 685-4444 or visit mteducationcenter.com.