MTSU was the top and most efficient producer of graduates among Tennessee Board of Regents universities in 2011-12 and led all state institutions in granting degrees to adult and low-income students. This, according to a report released this week by President Sidney A. McPhee. Robert Rickman has the story.
The statistics, compiled by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, are contained in the MTSU President’s Biennial Report, which was delivered to state lawmakers and officials on Wednesday and Thursday. Among the report’s highlights:
- The 3,911 bachelor’s degrees awarded by MTSU in 2011-12 were the most granted by any TBR institution, followed by the University of Memphis (2,724 degrees) and East Tennessee State University (2,146).
- MTSU graduated more for less state money per graduate than any TBR university. In dividing MTSU’s 2011-12 total state funding by the number of graduates that year, the state spent $18,773 per MTSU graduate. Austin Peay State University was the second-most efficient university in this regard ($19,898), followed by ETSU ($20,503).
- MTSU had the second-highest graduation rate among TBR universities based on a six-year cohort with 51.6 percent in 2011-12. Tennessee Tech University had the TBR’s top rate at 55.6 percent and ETSU was third at 48.5 percent.
- MTSU led all state universities in the production of adult graduates (age 25 and older) with 1,488 degrees granted in 2011-12. Memphis was second in this category (1,281), followed by ETSU (860) and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (743).
- MTSU led all state universities in the production of low-income graduates (Pell Grant eligible) in 2011-12 with 2,027. UT-K was second in this category with 1,601, followed by Memphis (1,537) and ETSU (1,045).
“The Complete College Tennessee Act calls for colleges and universities to focus on student retention, degree completion, improvement in the areas of transfer and articulation, and institutional mission distinctiveness,” McPhee said.
“MTSU had already made those goals a strategic priority,” he said. “When we say ‘I am True Blue,’ we are also reaffirming our devotion to student success.”
MTSU has the largest undergraduate enrollment among state universities and is also the No. 1 choice of the state’s veterans, transfer students and students enrolled in summer courses.
The report also notes that MTSU was the only Tennessee university to receive the Adult Learner Friendly Institution designation from the Coalition of Adult Learning Focused Institutions in 2012. Half of MTSU’s 25,000-plus students are classified as adult learners.
McPhee also noted in the document that MTSU is the only Tennessee university selected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a “VetSuccess on Campus” program and has been named a military-friendly institution for three years in a row by G.I. Jobs Magazine.
TBR is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers, providing programs across the state to more than 200,000 students.
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