Record Number of MTSU Graduates Earn MT Engage Learning Distinction

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Julie Myatt, right, director of Middle Tennessee State University’s MT Engage program, takes a photo with Kate Matthews, recent MTSU graduate, at the MT Engage spring reception to celebrate students who graduated with an MT Engage distinction held April 12, 2023, at the Student Union ballroom on campus. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU’s MT Engage program recently celebrated a record-breaking 248 students graduating with the program distinction this past school year.

“Earning this distinction is an accomplishment worth recognizing,” MT Engage Director Julie Myatt said. “Students who graduate with the MT Engage distinction have demonstrated their integrative learning by passing at least four MT Engage courses and submitting a reflective ePortfolio documenting the knowledge, skills and abilities they have gained at MTSU.”

The program facilitates these opportunities for students to take their classroom experiences to the next level through investing in faculty development and promoting high-impact teaching practices to better support students from all backgrounds, Myatt said, attributing some of this year’s record participation to timing.

“We’ve finally been a program long enough to have a large group of students graduating,” Myatt said of the program first introduced on campus in 2016 and adopted permanently last year. “Another significant contributing factor is our partnership with major pathway faculty using the ePortfolio as a capstone project in their courses.”

Myatt said this distinction comes with special recognition at commencement as well as a transcript statement that sets students apart from other graduates.

“The real benefit to MT Engage graduates is the ability to look back on and make sense of all they’ve learned at MTSU,” she said. “This reflection equips our graduates to articulate to prospective employers or graduate schools who they are and what they can contribute.”

Jayla Carter, who earned her degree in health communication with the MT Engage distinction on May 6, said she pursued the distinction to explore a different learning experience and has been happy with her experience.

“It provides a structured framework for students to explore their academic interests and develop skills that will be useful in their future careers,” said the Alcoa, Tennessee, native. “Completing the program can help you stand out to potential employers, as it demonstrates your commitment to learning and personal growth.

“You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with other motivated students and faculty members who share your interests along with a great way to build your resume and gain experience that will help you succeed in whatever path you choose…. It’s an excellent way to get the most out of your college experience and prepare for a successful future!”

Carter, who plans to pursue a career in communications, said she definitely recommends the program to other students as “an excellent way to prepare for your future career and gain a competitive edge in the job market.”

In the wake of this year’s record, Myatt hopes even more students will seek out MT Engage courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“I’m interested in partnering with faculty teaching study abroad courses so that students taking those courses can use them to meet the requirements for the MT Engage Graduation Distinction, and I hope MT Engage can continue supporting both our students’ academic engagement and our excellent faculty who work so hard to foster the meaningful learning experiences that get students excited about and invested in their coursework,” she said.

To learn more about the MT Engage program, visit the website at https://www.mtsu.edu/mtengage/.

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