Tag Archives: Enrollment management

Tennessee State University Learning Support Program Receives International Certification

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A key Tennessee State University student help program has received national and international recognition.

The Learning Support Centers, which provide help to students in math, writing and reading, have received the College Reading and Learning Association certification.

More than 1,000 college tutor-training programs around the globe have received CRLA certification under its international tutor-training program.

The Learning Support Centers average about 700 appointments a month from students who need help. (Courtesy Photo)

The certification provides recognition for program credibility, as well as sets professional standards of skills and training for tutors and mentors. This also ensures accountability, TSU officials say. Both the center and tutors are evaluated annually to ensure continued CRLA high standards.

“It is important that we have professional standards and training for our tutors that are within the guidelines of best practices,” says Tiffany Bellafant Steward, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success.

She says although the university positively reinforces the work of staff and peer tutors, the CRLA certification provides them additional opportunities to excel at what they do and “to provide exceptional service to our students.”

Olivia Watson, left, a peer tutor in the Math Center, reviews work with Parisa Bastian, a junior mechanical engineering major. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The TSU CRLA certification, which was granted in September, came after a review process of every aspect of the Learning Support Centers. The LSCs include a math center, a reading center, and a writing center.

Olivia Watson, a senior criminal justice major with a minor in sociology, from St. Louis, Missouri, has been a peer tutor in the Math Center for the last two years. She tutors college algebra and also helps with English.

Students receive help from staff tutors in the Writing Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“Being certified makes me feel a lot better because now I have something to show students if I have to tutor them,” says Watson. “This is something I can even take outside the university to help others because now I am certified. It kind of adds to my value.”

And that is exactly the goal for the CRLA recognition – to add value to what peer tutors do and to hold them accountable, says Thomas Hrycyk, coordinator of Tutoring Services in the TSU Student Success Center.

“A CRLA certification means there is a certain level of accountability to make sure what you are doing as peer tutors is providing the necessary help for the student you are tutoring,” says Hrycyk. “It means that there is an added level of expectation. If you want to come in and work with student A, that student can expect to have the same level of assistance as from anyone else she works with currently or in the future.”

The Writing Center is one of the three components that make up the Learning Support Centers. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Currently, the LSCs have 12 peer tutors and 14 staff tutors. Staff tutors, who are also certified, are either center staff or university professors, says Hrycyk. Although visitors seen at the center are generally freshmen, students up to graduate level are welcome.

“We turn nobody away if we feel we can help them out,” says Hrycyk.

Before students receive CRLA certification to be peer tutors, they undergo 10 hours of training that includes shadowing staff or senior peer tutors for a minimum of three hours. They also spend 25 hours of evaluated time tutoring students to become certified. To be accepted in the program, Hrycyk says, an applicant must have 30 or more credit hours with a 3.0 or higher grade point average, and have an A or B grade in the class or subject they want to tutor.

This level of preparation for peer tutoring is very assuring for Khasia Perry, a first-year economics and finance major, from St. Louis Missouri, who gets help in math.

“Knowing that the person helping me went through all this training makes me feel more comfortable and sure that I am getting the help that I need,” says Perry. “It is very important to me that I can trust this person and know what they are saying to me is based on knowing that they are also being monitored.”

According to Hrycyk, peer tutors are anonymously surveyed periodically throughout the year to get student evaluation of their work. He said the LSCs average about 700 appointments a month from students who need help.

For more information on the TSU Learning Support Centers, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/aeao/learning-support-centers.aspx

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Admissions Staff, Deans Engage MNPS Guidance Counselors About Offerings and Programs at the University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As a new school year begins, deans, admissions officials and staff are spreading the word about the quality educational opportunities at Tennessee State University.

On July 25, more than 90 Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools guidance counselors gathered at TSU for a training day. TSU officials used the opportunity to remind the counselors about the affordable cost of education at the University. They talked about programs and offerings, internship and study-abroad opportunities, that nearly 85 percent of students get employment immediately after graduation, and that a high number of graduates are accepted in graduate schools.

Participants at the MNPS training workshop visit displays of paraphernalia from the various TSU colleges. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

For the last eight years, MNPS has partnered with TSU to host the (elementary through high school) guidance counselors during their one-day annual workshop and training that precedes the opening of schools early next month.

Since the counselors serve as a direct link between their schools and the university, the goal is to encourage them to steer their students and potential graduates toward post-secondary education at TSU, said Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success.

“We offer an affordable, quality education that prepares our students with the necessary skills and competencies to be successful,” Izzard said. “We offer disciplines that prepare students to be global leaders, to impact the world and to be successful in their careers of choice.”

Izzard’s remarks were followed by deans of the various colleges, who gave brief remarks on the uniqueness of their offerings and programs.

Dr. Gloria Johnson, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, talks to guidance counselors about programs and offerings in her college. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“We want your students,” said Dr. Gloria Johnson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We want students who are creative, inquisitive, and students who are not sure what they want but have big dreams, because we can help them work that out.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, and Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences, talked about the “unique” STEM programs and research opportunities available to students who are interested in the sciences.

“A great number of students we have in our college come from the Nashville community; we want you to work with us to bring on board more of those students,” said Sharpe. “As a student in our college, you get a lot of great opportunities, including international research experiences, where students get involved in research in a prestigious foreign institution. They get a chance to study, research and come back and present their research here at home.”

Presentations were also made by the deans of the colleges of Agriculture, Business, Education, Health Sciences, and the Honors College.

According to Dr. Gregory Clark, director of High School Relations and NCAA Certification, nearly 21 percent of TSU’s enrollment comes from Metropolitan Nashville Public High Schools.

“We want to remind these guidance counselors that TSU is Nashville’s university,” said Clark. “We need all of their students. We provide all the programs that millennial students need. Many of these counselors have furthered their education at TSU, which is a testament to the quality of our programs.”

Ursula Reed, a guidance counselor at Martin Luther King Magnet High School, says her TSU preparation gave her a strong foundation. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Ursula Reed is a guidance counselor at Martin Luther King Magnet High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science, and a master’s degree in school counseling, both from TSU.

She said the preparation she received from TSU gave her a strong foundation as a “young professional.”

“This is where I received what has prepared me to be a productive school counselor,” said Reed, who has been a counselor since receiving her graduate degree in 2007. “I talk to students about TSU. A good number of students from MLK come each year to TSU.”

TSU admissions staff and deans presented at the guidance counselors’ workshop on Wednesday. Pictured are, from left, Dr. Gregory Clark, Director of High School Relations and NCAA Certification; Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering; Erynne Davis, Director of Digital Media; and Terrence Izzard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Megan Cusson-Lark, MNPS executive director of School Counseling, said she appreciates the partnership between TSU and metro schools.

“We enjoy being on campus and finding out additional information about various departments at the university,” Cusson-Lark said. “Our partnership has grown to where for the second straight year we will hold our college fair together with TSU at the Gentry Complex (in September). We are really appreciative and thankful for the partnership and we are excited that it has grown.”

In addition to student recruitment, teacher recruitment is another link between TSU and Metro Schools. The University remains a key pipeline to recruiting Metro and area teachers.  Recent reports show that for the past five years, TSU has been one of the top teacher preparation programs in the state, providing exceptionally qualified candidates for teaching positions, not only across Tennessee and the southern region, but right here in the university’s backyard with MNPS.

 

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

Block Scheduling at TSU Finding Appeal with New Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When incoming freshmen arrived to begin classes at Tennessee State University this fall they found a new and innovative program designed to help make sure they stay on track to successfully complete their general education classes.

Called “Block” scheduling, the program is designed to help students transition from high school to college, build or develop relationships among peers, and ensure success to graduate in four years.

According to Dr. John Cade, interim vice president of Enrollment Management, the majority of new freshmen will participate in some type of block schedule, said, to help them develop the critical thinking and writing skills necessary to satisfy their general education requirements.

“As a result of the Block program, incoming freshman and returning sophomores taking general education courses will experience some of the advantages of staying together as a peer group while taking the same classes, and focus on meeting the core requirements,” Cade said. “It will also make it easier for students to schedule classes.”

With the new program, freshmen and sophomores will be able to choose between 10 different course “bundles” or blocks that contain the courses to meet the general education requirements before they move on to major core classes. The courses include math, speech, English, social sciences, humanities and freshman service-leadership orientation.

Cade said the program fits hand-in-hand with the newly announced book bundle program that allows freshman and sophomore students to buy “e-books” for general education classes, and have books the first day of class.

“This is part of our student success and retention initiatives,” Cade added. “We want to give our students the tools to be successful from day one and make sure they have access to all programs, graduate on time, and be able to start their careers as quickly as possible.”

According to Julie Roberts, director of the office of Academic Success, there will be various levels of the block program to guarantee freshmen full-time class schedules and provide the first step toward fulfilling general-education requirements.

One of those is a cohort program, where students will have the opportunity to take classes, and follow the same set schedule and progress through the program together. Students will move through the program as a unified group.

“During their first semester, students participating in this ‘block’ take a set of integrated courses with the same group of fellow students,” Roberts said. “Behind this block is the idea that people learn better, and benefit from reinforced social and academic support, when they are integrated into this type of learning community.”

More than 200 freshmen have signed up for the cohort block. The learning in this group, Cade added, fosters connections between students and faculty, and promotes the development of peer-support networks during the first college year.

“This will help develop relationships from day one,” said Cade. “When students feel vested in the educational outcome of not only themselves but of others as well, there is a potential that retention rates increase and students complete all four years of their degree.”

The block schedule is just one of many graduation and retention initiatives at TSU, designed to increase the number of students graduating and increasing the percentage of students retained at the University.

Other programs include the Take 15 program, where students are encouraged to take 15 credits hours per semester, and mini-semesters such as Maymester, Xtreme Spring Break, and SUNsational Summer where students can earn up to 12 credits over the three mini semester offerings.

When it comes to student success and retention, added Cade, it really does take a commitment from everyone at the University to ensure the success of all students through programs such as the new book-bundle program, one of the only such programs in the Tennessee Board of Regents system.

“The more we can do to help students succeed through initiatives such the new book-bundle program, the more likely they will want to be here,” added Cade. “Also, the more academically successful a student is, the more likely they will want to be here, and develop into independent thinkers and world-class leaders.”

To learn more about the Block program or retention initiatives, contact the Office of Academic Success at 615.963.5968.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.