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

Motlow Fayetteville campus primed and ready for growth

Nov. 30, 2015

When the fall 2015 semester began back in August and student enrollment numbers began to become available for universities and community colleges throughout the state, Motlow State Community College was proclaimed as the fastest growing college in Tennessee.

Lost somewhat in that prestigious recognition, primarily earned due to the tremendous growth on its Smyrna campus, was the realization that enrollment on Motlow's other three campuses was not keeping pace with the impressive increase in Rutherford County. Included among those slower growth rates was the Motlow Fayetteville campus.

Debra Smith, who was recently named as the interim director of the Fayetteville campus, is focused on reversing the recent enrollment trend in Lincoln County. Smith began her education as a non-traditional student at Motlow in 1992 and is a prime example of how a community college can transform someone's life. She recently completed her Master's in Education degree from East Tennessee State University.

"My number one priority here is to try to get these classroom seats filled," she said. "We have a beautiful facility here and the ability to educate and train our community. I want the people of Lincoln County to know that we are working hard to get the programs and courses they need, whether they need to be career ready in two years or to seamlessly transfer to a university. We are also stepping up our recruiting effort for adult students, and we are consistently reaching out to business and community leaders to gain support and involvement in our school."

Located on a beautiful 20-acre site near downtown, the Fayetteville campus features a 14,000 square foot instructional facility and currently supports almost 400 students. The Don Sundquist Center of Advanced Technologies, completed in August 2001, is located adjacent to the original building, which opened in 1988. The campus serves the residents of Lincoln County in Tennessee, and Madison, Jackson and Limestone counties in Alabama. Motlow's Fayetteville Center offers students all the classes they need to complete the general education requirements of their degree as well as many classes needed to fulfill most of the programs of study that Motlow offers.

"We are fortunate to have Motlow State Community College as a part of our community," shares Bill Newman, Lincoln County mayor. "It fulfills a need we have for a variety of students ranging from current high school students and recent high school graduates, to more "mature" adults returning to complete a degree or seeking higher education for the first time."

Motlow's ability to train and educate students, specific to the needs of area businesses, is a major strength for the campus and adds impetus to seeking more industry involvement in order to capitalize on the potential.

An example of such involvement is the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development Board, which utilizes campus facilities, exposing new businesses to the state-of-the-art classrooms, educational labs, and training programs that the Fayetteville campus offers. "When new industry comes to Fayetteville or considers coming to Fayetteville, they meet with the board here on campus and see all we have to offer," Smith added.

Another example of Motlow's Fayetteville campus meeting industry demand is the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program. The fast-paced, high-energy program prepares students to sit for the practical certification examination administered by the Tennessee Division of Emergency Medical Services as well as the written exam administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. By 2020, employment of Emergency Medical Services personnel is expected to grow by 33 percent. The Fayetteville campus is providing a path for students to help fill this demand.

The Fayetteville campus is consistently seeking new programs and the individuals to benefit from them. The campus is primed and ready for growth in the student population, educational programs, and industry partnerships. For more information or a tour of the campus, contact Debra Smith at or 931-438-9766.

Lincoln County native Debra Smith was recently named the interim director of the Motlow State Community College Fayetteville campus. Smith, who attended the campus as a student and graduated from Motlow in the mid-1990s, is focused on growing the student population as well as increasing involvement by business and industry leaders.