In the News

MT Engage featured in AACU publication "Building a Culture of Reflection and Integrative Learning through ePortfolios"

Like many transformative campus initiatives at colleges and universities in the South, MT Engage began as a quality enhancement plan for Middle Tennessee State University’s 2016–21 reaccreditation process with SACSCOC.

ePortfolios and other high-impact practices are not required through MT Engage, but faculty can certify their courses to signal that they include at least one high-impact practice, one beyond-the-classroom activity (such as off-campus events, cocurricular activities, or volunteering or research within the community), and a reflective “signature assignment” that is uploaded into an ePortfolio.

“The goal is to help students start developing a sense of self as a learner over time and to promote a culture of engaged learning on campus,” says Julie A. Myatt, director of MT Engage. “The ePortfolio is central to providing students with an opportunity to make connections between courses and their learning outside the university.”


MT Engage program celebrates 5 successful years on ‘MTSU On the Record’

Dr. Julie Myatt, director, MT EngageA program designed to give students a more intimate relationship with their college educations was the topic on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

MT Engage employs learning communities, collaborations, project-based learning, problem-based learning and outside-the-classroom activities designed to enhance the students’ intellectual lives.

“Helping students recognize that course work was meaningful, that it was related to their own goals, to their life experience — that is what the program has really tried to cultivate,” Myatt said.

Hear the Interview:

MT Engage professor Cobb plays games with numbers to make math fun

Dr. Christina Cobb, an assistant professor in the College of University Studies, tries to make her MT Engage math classes fun with games and activities. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)Engaging students in their classwork was part of Christina Cobb’s teaching style before she started teaching MT Engage classes.The assistant professor of university studies uses activities and games in her Math 1010 for general studies class. Prizes include backpacks, portable chargers, laptop stands and erasable notebooks funded by an MTSU grant. In math bingo, a student must solve a random equation and look for the answer on the bingo card. In Time to Climb, the first student who answers the question correctly moves up a hill in hopes of making it to the top. Since Cobb was doing so much of this already, she thought it might be worth her while to become an MT Engage-certified professor. She said it was the best decision she could have made.

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Hear the Interview:

MT Engage professor Knox helps students collect, organize work in English classes

Alvin Knox teaches Expository Writing and Introduction to Literature, two MT Engage courses, at Peck Hall. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)For some students, general education math and science courses are necessary parts of the schedule for which they have little enthusiasm. For other students, general education English courses fit that description. However, English lecturer Alvin Knox tries to remedy that sense of malaise in his Introduction to Literature and Expository Writing classes, both of which are MT Engage classes.

“I think what it does do for some students is (to get) them more involved in their entire educational career,” Knox said.

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Hear the Interview:

‘It takes a village’ to engage students with high-impact, inclusive teaching

Carmelita DotsonIt isn’t enough for Carmelita Dotson to make sure her students are engaged. She also engages her fellow professors. Dotson, a lecturer in the Department of Social Work, teaches courses in the MT Engage program, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. The program employs specific strategies involving technology and experiential learning to get students more involved in their educational careers.

“We saw MT Engage as an added bonus to help our students … to get the material integrated more smoothly throughout their journey,” Dotson said.

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Hear the Interview:

MT Engage Names 2019 Scholarship Winners

After receiving a scholarship toward her degree and career goals in foreign affairs, MTSU sophomore Hannah Solima of Smyrna, Tennessee, was even more convinced of the benefit’s of the University’s MT Engage curriculum program.

“The outside classroom experience really does help with your education, and how you learn and overall growth as a person,” said Solima, a University Honors College triple major who’s had multiple study abroad experiences in pursuit of degrees in French, International Relations, and Criminal Justice with a Homeland Security concentration as well as a minor in German.

2019 Scholarship Winners

MT Engage Names 2018 Scholarship Winners

MT Engage, the university’s latest Quality Enhancement Plan, announced Carolline Parker and the other winners of its inaugural scholarships at the second annual spring reception held Thursday, April 12, in the Student Union Ballroom.  Students attending the reception received a free professional headshot for their e-Portfolios as well as an MT Engage T-shirt. The event also featured displays from MT Engage students participating in the Reading History Initiative, an MTSU program that links reading and U.S. history courses for college freshman who require additional literacy skills. Dr. Becky McIntyre from the Department of History and Tim Nelson from University Studies partnered to coordinate the effort. Also attending the reception was MT Engage featured guest, Candyce Reynolds, a professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Her work has focused on the use of the e-Portfolio to promote student learning and program assessment. - Jimmy Hart


Entrance RHI Class


MT Engage Abroad: Singapore Edition

In May, seven MT Engage students enrolled in Administering Early Childhood Programs embarked on a journey to Singapore to study early child issues in a global setting. As described in Dr. Jane Seok Jeng Lim's syllabus, "Administering Early Childhood Programs (Study Abroad - Singapore) will provide an understanding of the state regulations, standards and framework that impacts early care and education in Singapore. It also examines the various preschool settings in Singapore and the importance of being a community of learners in a professional organization." Students reflected daily on their experiences, noting that they will be able to bring a different perspective to their classrooms because of what they learned in Singapore.

Singapore3    Singapore1

For more information on Study Abroad opportunities, visit:

MT Engage students teams up with Borderless Arts Tennessee for Blue Mars Festival

Students enrolled in Lori Kissinger's Interpersonal Communication course collaborated with Borderless Arts Tennessee for Blue Mars Festival. Attendees participated in games, crafts, a photo booth, a bake-off and a costume contest, all with a Mars theme.  Borderless Arts Tennessee is a statewide organization committed to inclusive and accessible arts programs for people with disabilities to enhance educational curriculum, enrich creative expression, empower career development, and encourage community engagement.

More on the Blue Mars Initiative.

Second Annual MT Engage Week

Various activities scheduled September 22 through September 29, 2017 gave students the opportunity to become more involved on campus and in the classroom. Overall attendance is estimated at over 1,000 students, faculty, staff and community members.

Full list of events.

2017 MT Engage Summer Institute

MT Engage hosts a day and a half training session in the summer for faculty members to strengthen the skills needed to teach MT Engage courses. This year, over 30 faculty members registered and gained knowledge to certify their courses in the MT Engage program. On May 11th and 12th, several topics were discussed, including ePortfolio training and pedagogy, rubrics and assessment, integrative thinking, critical reflection, and student support services.

summer institute                 Dianna Rust leading a training session on integrative thinking at the 2017 MT Engage Summer Institute. (Photo by Jayla Jackson)

Inaugural Student Reception

MT Engage hosted their first student reception on April 20, 2017. Students were provided with refreshments, t-shirts, and an opportunity to have their photo taken professionally for use in their ePortfolios. This event will happen annually, eventually growing to incorporate the presentation of scholarships.

Student at reception              students at receptionLeft: Student displaying his MT Engage t-shirt. (Photo by Jimmy Hart)
Right: Students enjoying refreshments at the reception. (Photo by Jimmy Hart)

The Portfolio Process with Melissa Peet

Melissa Peet visited MTSU on March 21, 2017 to lead two workshops on ePortfolio development; one for students and one for faculty. Peet's work as director of integrative learning and knowledge management at the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business greatly influenced the MT Engage program. The presentations were sponsored by the Distinguished Lecture Fund, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, College of Education, Office of Student Success, and MT Engage. 

peet flyer

MT Engage Open House

On February 15, 2017, MT Engage celebrated the opening of a new office space inside the James Union Building, Room 306. The office will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

In an interview with MTSU News, Mary Hoffschwelle said "It not only provides a workspace for our MT Engage staff ... but it also provides a place where faculty and students can come to talk with us about MT Engage courses, what they're learning in these courses and what they need to do with what they're learning."

  Dr. Dianna Rust and Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle (Photo by Jimmy Hart)             Cookies decorated using the laser etcher in the library's MakerSpace

Left: Dr. Dianna Rust (Left), QEP Committee chair, and Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle (Right), faculty fellow director of MT Engage. (Photo by Jimmy Hart)
Right: Cookies decorated by Lexy Denton using the laser etcher in the library's MakerSpace. (Photo by Jayme Brunson)

MT Engage Launch Celebration

On October 25, 2016, MT Engage celebrated the successful launch of their program inside the Student Union Ballroom. In addition to faculty-led teams and committees, MTSU students had a hand in developing the QEP. Marketing materials were created by advertising classes and branded with a student-designed logo. 

Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, faculty fellow director of MT Engage, said “I’m working with a group of folks who are committed to thinking about learning and instruction so that we can really address the goals that we have at this university, not only the goals that we have for our Quality Enhancement Plan."

Philip Phillips, Mary Hoffschwelle, Dianna Rust, Sidney McPhee (Photo by Jimmy Hart)      Left to Right: Dr. Philip Phillips, Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, Dr. Dianna Rust, Sidney A. McPhee (Photo by Jimmy Hart)

First Annual MT Engage Week

Events scheduled throughout the week of September 15 to September 23, 2016 gave students an opportunity to get more involved in the campus community. Events included film screenings, debates, guest speakers, and symposiums as well as Bash the Rec and Engage-a-palooza: Open Mic MTSU Songwriters. Overall attendance is estimated at over 2,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Full list of events.

bash    facilities   engageapalooza  ASID

MT Engage Positions Announced

The Office of the University Provost is pleased to announce the appointment of the two MT Engage Faculty Fellows effective July 1, 2016.

Mary Hoffschwelle, professor of History, has been appointed as the Faculty Fellow Director of MT Engage, MTSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. 

She recently chaired the Academic Master Plan Subcommittee on Academic Quality and previously served on the General Education Committee, Planning Committee, and as Interim Director of the Albert Gore Research Center from January to July 2015.

 Dr. Hoffschwelle earned her master’s at the College of William and Mary and doctoral degree at Vanderbilt University, and began teaching at MTSU in 1992. She teaches general education courses in History as well as upper division and graduate seminars. Her teaching practice includes participating in Raider Learning Community course pairing Tennessee History and Science and History pin Collections curated by Honors Tennessee History students for the Albert Gore Research Center. Prior to coming to MTSU, she was the Executive Director of Oaklands Historic House Museum.

Hoffschwelle will replace the QEP Committee Chair, Dianna Rust, who directed the development of the MT Engage plan. Rust as well as the other subcommittee chairs (Lara Daniel, Jason Vance, and Michelle Boyer-Pennington) will remain on a Leadership Team to provide support to the new Faculty Fellows. 

Scott McDaniel, professor of University Studies, has been appointed as the Faculty Fellow Coordinator of Assessment for MT Engage, MTSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. 

He currently serves on the Faculty Senate and previously served on the Grade Appeals Committee and the Advisory Committee for LT&ITC. 

Dr. McDaniel earned his master’s in mathematics at MTSU and doctoral degree at Tennessee State University and began teaching at MTSU in 1995. He teaches general education courses in mathematics including statistics. His teaching practice includes flipped classroom and online instruction. He was a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology award in 2003 and 2015. He currently serves as Co-PI on an NSF grant developing modules for teaching statistics with pedagogies using active learning. He previously served as a statistical consultant for two Department of Justice Grants.

McDaniel will work closely with the IEPR Office to direct the assessment of MT Engage learning outcomes and program goals.

Under the leadership of Dr. Hoffschwelle and Dr. McDaniel, we look forward to seeing the implementation of MT Engage and how it will positively impact student learning on our campus.

Habitat for Humanity Build

On Friday, February 26, MT Engage partnered with Phi Kappa Phi to sponsor shifts as part of the MTSU Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build.

Habitat Photo 2Habitat photo 1Habitat Photo 3Habitat Photo 4
Pictured:  MTSU Students Cera Salman, Evan Lester, Calla Sharp, Cole Fullerton, Alexis Noble, Jasiel Olvera and University President, Dr. Sidney A. McPhee. 

MTSU Business Student Justin Johnson Designs Winning Logo for MT Engage

MT Engage launched a logo contest as part of their November 6th kickoff. Entries were required to incorporate the MT Engage tagline, "engage academically, learn exponentially (and) showcase yourself". The top three entries were displayed at the Student Union Commons where members of the campus community could cast their votes. Justin Johnson's design will "represent the MT Engage curriculum enhancement plan for the entire university."

Justin Johnson and Sidney McPhee (Photo by Andy Heidt)Pictured: Sidney A. McPhee (Left) and Justin Johnson (Right). (Photo by Andy Heidt)

Launch Event

On November 6, 2014, MT Engage was introduced to the MTSU community by President Sidney A. McPhee at an afternoon event on the Student Union Building commons.

McPhee    Launch Crowd









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