About the Center for the True Blue Core 

Located in Peck Hall on the west side of campus and staffed by a full-time director and assessment coordinator as well as an administrative coordinator, the True Blue Core Center provides support and a physical space for students completing the general education requirements at MTSU, but also administers the program and ensures ongoing, high-quality curriculum to promote student recruitment, retention, and success.

Founded on the premise that a general education is fundamental to a university education and to academic and career success, the Center provides programming for students that fosters a diverse, inclusive, and intellectually rich environment, while also offering assistance to students in navigating the Core curriculum.  

The Center’s primary obligation is to students, but as part of that obligation, the Center also supports faculty by fostering interdisciplinary and collaborative ventures that encourage students to see connections and engage in integrative thinking.

Center for the True Blue Core Priorities

  • Select and recognize True Blue Core Scholars annually for academic achievement across the Core. 
  • Support and collaborate with advisors to provide students with an individualized, curated path through the Core.
  • Collaborate with the LT&ITC to offer programming for faculty and students that highlights the skills and knowledge gained in Core education. 
  • Administer micro grants to faculty for program and professional development.  including micro grants for faculty to enhance inclusive teaching, develop high-impact practices, implement problem-based learning, and create and maintain Blueprints.  
  • Administer the Outstanding Teaching in General Education/True Blue Core Teaching Award. 
  • Oversee a robust plan of assessment that fosters assessment as reflective practice, and allows the core to grow, to improve continuously, and to change over time as the needs of students change, even as it meets the obligations to the MTSU  accrediting body. 
  • Coordinate and administer any add-on components to the program such as Blueprints and Study Abroad in the Core and facilitate collaboration among faculty. 
  • Support the True Blue Core Committee in their work of curriculum review, approval, and course recertification. 
  • Collaborate and partner with other university programs with regard to curriculum and assessment: Learning, Teaching &Instructional Technology Center (LT&ITC), the MTSU Career Center, the  MTSU Center for FJE, MTEngage, EXL, the Office for Education Abroad (OEA), the Reading History Initiative, the Data Science Institute, MTSU Online, the Office of Student Success, and MTSU advisors. 

Susan Myers-Shirk, Director, Ph.D. True Blue Core & Center for the True Blue Core

Susan Myers-Shirk earned her undergraduate degree in History at Messiah College and her Master’s and Ph.D. in History from Pennsylvania State University. Myers-Shirk has been a faculty member in the History Department at MTSU since 1994 and has taught countless general education courses in History during that time. She has published a book and articles in her field and has advised numerious graduate students, but her current research revolves around general education pedagogy, assessment, and redesign. She presents frequently at the Association of General and Liberal Studies (AGLS) and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU)conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment (GEPA). She served as the General Education Director for the History Department for four years, has been the university-wide Director of General Education,  now True Blue Core, since 2017, overseeing the redesign and launch of the new general education curriculum.

Dr. Christina Cobb, Implementation Coordinator, True Blue Core

Christina M. Cobb is an Assistant Professor in the University Studies Department where she teaches mathematics, first-year seminar, and graduate professional studies courses. At Tennessee State University, she earned a Bachelor and a Master of Science in Mathematics, and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Cobb joined the University Studies Department in 2011 and became the True Blue Core Implementation Coordinator in Fall 2022. She has taught numerous general education courses in Mathematics and served as the 2021-2023 Inclusive Teaching Fellow with the LT&ITC. 

Ms. Abby Arnold, Administrative Coordinator

Abby joined the True Blue Core team in January 2024 as a full-time coordinator. She graduated from MTSU in 2020 with a degree in global studies. More recently, she has worked with the Jones College of Business advising center before joining us here at the True Blue Core. She brings experience and knowledge from her time at MTSU as a student and professional.

Molly Walters, Graduate Assistant

Molly is a graduate student studying the holocaust and disability. She graduated from MTSU in 2023 with a bachelor of science. She was lucky enough to get a graduate assistantship and work with the True Blue Core. 

Director of the True Blue Core
Susan Myers-Shirk, Ph.D.
Professor of History

Implementation Coordinator
Dr. Christina Cobb
Associate Professor, University Studies

Administrative Coordinator
Abby Arnold

Graduate Assistant
Molly Walters

Contact Information
core@mtsu.edu
615-898-5624


Institutional Memberships

  • Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)
  • Association for General & Liberal Studies (AGLS)

Follow Us!

Facebook logoInstagram logo