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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

LeEllen Bedford Carter Earns Doctorate

Former Motlow graduate; Now instructor in College's 2+2 program

June 16, 2011

LeEllen BedfordDr. LeEllen Bedford Carter of Lynchburg is a shining example of the ever-expanding educational possibilities that are available in rural counties like Moore and others served by community colleges. Carter's commitment to education is evident as she used every opportunity available for her own education and now works to help provide even better opportunities for future students in the area.

After her 1992 graduation from Moore County High School she attended Motlow College, graduating in 1994 with an associate's of science degree, university parallel. At that time, that was the highest degree she could receive attending classes in her home county. Carter left home for a few years to earn a bachelor's degree in multidisciplinary studies, a master's in instructional leadership and a specialist in education (Ed.S.) from Tennessee Technological University (TTU) in Cookeville.

In 2000 she returned to the area and taught at Farrar Elementary and West Middle Schools in Tullahoma. In 2006, just after she earned the distinction of being named 'Tullahoma's Finest Teacher,' she began working for her alma mater, at her other alma mater. Carter is now an instructor for TTU at Motlow's Moore County campus. Because of Motlow's partnership with TTU in the 2 + 2 program, a student can earn an associate's of science in teaching (AST) at Motlow that is transferable to any Tennessee Board of Regents university. The 'stay at home and earn a bachelor's degree' option is: the student may then transfer to TTU where instructors like Dr. Carter offer Tech's upper level classes at Motlow's Moore County campus and McMinnville center.

Carter continued her own education and recently became Dr. Carter earning her doctorate of education from Tennessee State University. Her dissertation submitted for doctorate was: The Practice of Mentoring: A study of Career Functions and Psychosocial Functions Among Educational Administrators within Four Tennessee Public School Districts. She is married to Chad Carter who teaches and coaches basketball at Ninth Grade Academy in Fayetteville. The couple resides in Lynchburg and has two children, Logan, 6 and Ellie, 1. Carter is the daughter of William G. (Bill) and Sandra H. (Jo Jo) Bedford also of Moore County.

The statistical scare of 'brain-drain' whereby youth of rural communities leave home to acquire an education then never come back to apply it, doesn't ring true with Dr. Carter. In her work with the 2 + 2 program she is back home, completing the training for tomorrow's teachers. Students begin in Motlow's education department, that was recently named among the top 50 in the nation according to Community College Week, then transfer into Tennessee Tech's program where according to Beth Mannle, assistant dean of TTU, "The retention rate for transfer students in the College of Education is above 90 percent. The students have goals, they know what they want and they stay."

Charle Coffey, director of education at Motlow added, "When students begin the program, they think the number one benefit is convenience. Later on they realize the real benefit of this partnership is they have the opportunity to be out in the local classrooms working with the local school systems building alliances and learning classroom skills throughout their program. Freshman and sophomores start building bridges while observing, juniors make connections with practicum and seniors with student teaching." Coffey continued, "Another strength is the close advisement students receive. We work with them on an individualized basis throughout the program."

For additional information visit the College's website to learn more about the 2 + 2 program and other education programs available at Motlow College or call Charle Coffey, director of education at 931.393.1811 or 1.800.654.1811.