MT Engage, MTSU’s new “Quality Enhancement Plan,” will officially replace MTSU Experiential Learning (EXL) courses beginning in the Fall of 2016.
The decision to begin MT Engage was announced in 2014 and will take about five years to be implemented in all college learning levels, according to the university’s website.
“The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, MTSU’s accrediting body, requires that every 10 years the university looks at institutional data or collects new data about student learning,” Dianna Rust, Chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee, said. “After reviewing that data, we must select a particular topic or issue related to enhancing student learning and design a plan or course of action to improve that in our students.”
The ultimate goal of the program is to increase student engagement through integrative thinking and reflection. In order to accomplish this goal, MT Engage uses methods of learning found both inside and outside the classroom.
Inside the classroom, students will engage in collaborative learning communities and project/problem-based learning. Outside the classroom, students will pursue further education through service-learning, research, co-curricular activities and attending events both on and off campus.
Students will be able to opt-in by enrolling in MT Engage courses. Students who do participate will be required to create an ePortfolio to showcase their knowledge, skills and abilities gained at MTSU. Incentives for student participation in MT Engage include scholarships, cash rewards, the opportunity to mentor other students, electronic badges and a recognition reception.
“The typical university budget we operate under will be supporting MT Engage,” Rust said. “There are no additional fees to students for MT Engage.”
Because the program goes the extra mile with high-impact teaching methods and integrative/reflective thinking, faculty who choose to teach MT Engage courses will be supported by a faculty development plan. The plan may include faculty learning communities, a workshop series and summer faculty institutes.
“Everything kicks off in Fall 2016, and the scholarships would not kick off until year two,” Rust said. “We need students to create something in order to review it and assess it and select the exemplary portfolios.”
An information booth about MT Engage will be available in the Student Union Building on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon, and again on Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for students to attend.