MURFREESBORO — Chattanooga will be the first stop on the statewide Middle Tennessee State University True Blue Tour to recruit outstanding students from Hamilton and surrounding counties Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
And while it will be physically impossible to transport a 257,000-square-foot structure down Interstate 24 by bus, the recently opened $147 million Science Building will be at the forefront of President Sidney A. McPhee’s agenda when talking to prospective students, their parents or guardians and alumni.
MTSU will hold the True Blue Tour event for all high school and potential transfer students and their families from 6 to 8 p.m. EDT in the convention center, 1 Carter Plaza, in downtown Chattanooga. To register in advance, visit www.mtsu.edu/rsvp. For a map and directions, visit http://tinyurl.com/mar46zj.
The event — where deans and academic personnel from admissions and other academic departments share the many available options and answer questions — also will feature interactive displays including the 40-foot, $1.4 million Electronic Media Communication mobile production truck and Concrete Industry Management’s mold to make concrete coasters by hand.
The Science Building, which officially will be dedicated in mid-October during Homecoming Week, and major changes regarding future scholarship opportunities for students will top McPhee’s remarks.
“The new Science Building is critical to our continuing efforts to provide Tennessee with graduates ready to succeed in today’s workforce,” McPhee wrote in his annual president’s newsletter to the campus community in August. “The building is already helping MTSU create more science graduates to fill high-tech jobs, prepare more teachers for math and science in K-12 schools and enhance the economy of our state and region. It immediately makes MTSU more competitive for research projects, science scholarship and entrepreneurial efforts.”
MTSU hopes to boost recruitment of incoming freshmen and transfer students with a recent change to scholarship eligibility requirements intended to help more students ease the burden of rising tuition.
To attract more incoming freshmen, MTSU is adjusting ACT requirements to offer scholarships to more high school students eligible to take University Honors College classes and who complete their MTSU applications and meet the Dec. 1 priority deadline for applying.
For prospective students who meet the application requirements and deadline, five major scholarships will be guaranteed with annual scholarship amounts ranging from $2,000 to $6,000. The required high school GPA remains 3.5.
McPhee again will be emphasizing the MTSU Quest for Student Success Initiative, which has a goal of reaching a minimum graduation rate of 62 percent by 2020. The university recently hired a new vice provost for student success. MTSU is hiring 50 new advisers who will be housed in individual colleges and have the latest software to help shepherd students through their academic endeavors.
Chattanooga-area counselors and community college staff will be served lunch and learn about the university’s more than 150 academic programs earlier in the day.
MTSU will travel to Johnson City Sept. 22, Knoxville Sept. 23, Nashville Sept. 30, Memphis Oct. 22 and Jackson Oct. 23 for the remaining True Blue Tour dates.
Fall Preview Days will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 1. True Blue Experience Days will be held Friday, Oct. 17, for prospective students in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences; Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, for prospective students in the Colleges of Behavioral and Health Sciences and Liberal Arts; and Friday, Jan. 30, for prospective students in the Colleges of Mass Communication, Business and Education. To register, visit www.mtsu.edu/rsvp.
MTSU True Blue Tour at a glance
Who: MTSU deans, academic personnel and President Sidney A. McPhee
What: True Blue Tour, recruiting prospective students from Chattanooga, southeast Tennessee, northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama
When: 6 to 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 17 (Note: There will an 11:30 a.m. luncheon for area counselors and community college staff.)
Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza
Why: In an effort to attract future students to the MTSU campus in Murfreesboro, university officials travel by bus and automobile to “bring” the campus — 150 academic programs and much more — to Chattanooga.
Etc.: All public, private, homeschool and potential transfer students from southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia are welcome. … Attendees will be treated to interactive displays including the Electronic Media Communication’s 40-foot, $1.4 million mobile production lab — aka “The Truck” — and Concrete Industry Management’s mold to make concrete coasters by hand.