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Motlow State awarded $25,000 SERS Grant by Tennessee Board of Regents

LYNCHBURG, TN (May 27, 2016) — Motlow State Community College was recently selected to receive a Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Student Engagement, Retention, and Success (SERS) grant for the 2016-2017 academic year in the amount of $25,000.

The SERS grant is based on a TBR initiative that focuses on institutions using high impact practices (HIP) identified by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. The Motlow State grant is titled "Empowering Student Success: Engaging High Impact Practices through First Year Experience."

The Motlow grant team consisted of Elizabeth White, instructor of reading, Brian Robinson, chair of humanities, and Meagan McManus, languages faculty member.

"Receiving the wonderful news of the SERS Grant award for our first year experience course is especially exciting for our team," said Elizabeth White, first year experience instructor. "We will be able to further provide students with additional opportunities for engagement, collaboration, and authentic learning experiences that can truly connect with their lives. It will help foster a sense of community at our college on all our campuses."

The core of the grant focuses on the use of a variety of HIP at Motlow: the first year experience course, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, collaborative assignments and practices, service learning, and a course "capstone" project.

The first year experience class is currently a co-requisite course with a learning support course in reading. This approach allows students to learn how to be a college student at the same time they are acquiring the reading abilities necessary to be successful.

Some of the highlights of the SERS grant include the use of digital e-portfolios as a capstone completion project for the first year experience course; high engagement activities which are campus-wide, co-curricular activities involving students, faculty and staff members; an eight hour service learning credit for community service hours; and student centered, collaborative assignments and projects.