Professor Michael Sherr, chair of the MTSU Department of Social Work, sat among his colleagues in the James E. Walker Library conference room Thursday, May 11, to discuss why students need hands-on experience, no matter the field of study.
"Social work is a field where everything students learn in undergrad, in general education courses -- actually will use," said Sherr, one of about 30 MTSU faculty participating in the 2017 MT Engage Summer Institute.
MT Engage, the university's most recent Quality Enhancement Plan, urges faculty to teach students learning through experience, and the day-and-a-half institute that ended Friday, May 12, provides training sessions to instruct them on how best to do so.
At day one, held Thursday at the Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center conference room in Walker Library, faculty and staff representatives recalled their own learning experiences outside of the classroom and recounted how they were applicable to other aspects of life. Applied learning is a skill used often by the MT Engage program to help students receive maximum results from the MT Engage-based courses they take. Almost 1,900 students were enrolled during fall semester in MT Engage courses.
MTSU's latest QEP gives the option to "see connections between different academic disciplines while increasing student motivation," said Dianna Rust, MT Engage Leadership Team chair and associate professor in University Studies.
MT Engage Faculty Fellow Director Mary Hoffschwelle holds these MT Engage summer institutes once a year to help faculty understand how they can incorporate MT Engage's concepts and practices to their own courses.
"Seeing this many faculty members reinforces my belief that they truly are committed to student learning and are anxious to find ways to promote a sense of an academic community," Hoffschwelle said.
Other topics covered during the training included e-Portfolio training, student support services, beyond the classroom activities and value establishment.
MTSU students will be able to learn more about the benefits about the MT Engage program and its future during MT Engage Week, which will be held in September and during CUSTOMS new student orientation.
The Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, is a requirement set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC, the regional accreditation body for higher education institutes in the South.
For more information about MT Engage, visit www.mtsu.edu/mtengage.