Motlow plans to return to campus in Fall 2021

As spring semester approaches at Motlow State, the college turns an eye toward returning to on-campus learning in the fall. (Photo Provided)

LOCAL NEWS — Spring 2021 remote and virtual classes begin on January 19 but Motlow College says its eye is on a return to in person learning by fall 2021. That plan, of course, is contingent upon the status and spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Currently, new COVID cases continue to trend upward but more slowly than during the after Thanksgiving surge. Moore County gained two new, active cases overnight and have confirmed 47 new cases over the last seven days. Our positivity rate is currently 25.5 percent and we rank eleventh in daily new cases among all Tennessee’s 95 counties.

Students, employees, and visitors are currently still required to complete a self-assessment health form before coming to campus during the Spring 2021 semester. Additionally, those on campus will continue to be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and follow additional protective measures.

According to a press release, Motlow remains optimistic about its fall plans but leadership will make a final determination about fully returning to in person learning by late summer. Motlow says that current planning is based on Tennessee’s vaccination plan and Motlow’s pattern of success in its pandemic response.

The approaching Spring 2021 semester will continue to operate using an alternate schedule. The alternate schedule allows most classes to meet online in a virtual environment, with on-campus exceptions made for required course completion in programs such as nursing, mechatronics, and emergency medical services. College faculty and staff are available virtually Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Motlow’s new website, which debuted recently, includes easy and intuitive navigation to apply to the College, review updated campus and COVID-19 information, choose a course or program, and contact critical services such as the library and disability, counseling, and advising.

New students planning to attend Motlow beginning Summer or Fall 2021 are encouraged to apply by Mar. 31 to ensure completion of payment, planning, financial aid processing, orientation scheduling, and any needed placement testing before their term begins.

For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro School Board meets on Dec. 14

PUBLIC MEETINGS — The Metro School Board will meet in a regular session meeting on Monday, December 14 at 6 p.m. at Moore County High School Library. The Board will meet in a work session immediately following the public meeting.

In new business, the board will be asked to approve Director Chad Moorehead’s participation in the cross-state Communities of Practice Grant designed for superintendents to share insights, recommendations, and action plans with peers. It’s sponsored by Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS). To learn more about the organization, click here.

The board will also consider fencing bids for projects at Moore County High School and Lynchburg Elementary. There are currently two sealed bids: one from Dye’s Fencing in Lynchburg and a second from Maury Fence Company in Columbia. To see those bids, click here.

The Metro School Board will also discuss an internal audit, annual school board agenda, and discuss the designation of a systems testing coordinator. According to BOE policy 4.701 that coordinator “is responsible for administering, monitoring, and maintaining security of all tests to be administered within the school district. The principal of each school shall serve as or designate a building testing coordinator.”

Director of School Moorehead plans to give a construction progress report, discuss an installation schedule for LES Playground installation, and discuss the decision to postpone the Lynchburg Jr. Pro season. He will also address the school district planning retreat, the 2021-22 budget calendar, and the evaluations of instructional programs.

All Metro School Board meeting are open to the general public. Citizens who would like to address the board must make that request 10 days before a scheduled meeting. To view the complete agenda, click here. For questions or additional information, contact the BOE offices at 931-759-7303. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow adds thermal temp scanners to Moore County campus

Motlow’s Moore County campus recently added no-contact, thermal temperature scanners at the Marcum Technology Center, Simon Hall, Nisbett Center, and Ingram Administration buildings. (Photo Credit: Motlow College)

LOCAL NEWS — As COVID-19 cases rise throughout Middle Tennessee, Motlow College is stepping up their safety precautions by placing new, no-contact temperature scanners at building entrances.

Each thermal scanner provides a non-contact fever inspection kiosk that provides detection of temperature, with or without a mask, in less than one second. The thermal scanners are now provided as a supplemental aid to Motlow’s existing on-campus requirements. Students, staff, and visitors are still required to submit a self-assessment health screening form before coming to any Motlow campus. Scanners were added at the Marcum Technology Center, Simon Hall, Nisbett Center, and Ingram Administration on the Moore County campus.

The scanners are simple to use. Walk towards the scanner and it will detect your presence. It will display your temperature on the screen and tell you if you are cleared to enter the building. If your temperature is 100.4 or above, you are not cleared to enter the building and you should leave campus immediately.

To learn more about Motlow College’s on-campus COVID safety requirements, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow names U.S. Navy veteran Dwyer first Chancellor’s Commendation winner

Motlow State President Dr. Michael Torrence, left, awards Motlow freshman and U.S. Navy veteran Zachary Dwyer a special challenge coin, representing the inaugural TBR Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans. Dwyer was nominated by Torrence for the award. Challenge coins are a rich tradition in all military branches and signify special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride, respect, and esprit de corps. (Photo Credit: Motlow College)

LOCAL NEWS — The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) recently established a new award honoring the service, bravery, and sacrifices of military veterans. The Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans will honor a military veteran attending one of the state’s community and technical colleges. Recipients of the new Chancellor’s Commendation were nominated by the college presidents and include students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

That award winner from Motlow College will be Zachary Dwyer of Smyrna. Zachary is a freshman attending Motlow’s Smyrna campus. He is majoring in general studies and plans to transfer to MTSU to study Geoscience. He graduated from Lancaster Christian Academy in 2010 and joined the Navy in 2011, serving aboard the USS Fitzgerald and USS Bonhomme Richard during his eight years of service.

“Courage, commitment, and honor are the core values of the U.S. Navy, and Zachary Dwyer embodies these core values,” said Motloe President Dr. Michael Torrence. “In an unprecedented year, Zach’s core values are his anchor and compass as he begins a new journey as an adult learner in a time of uncertainty. He brings as much to the classroom as he receives, and he enjoys the learning experiences and environment of Motlow.”

College presidents presented recipients of the commendation a special Challenge Coin on behalf of the chancellor.  Challenge coins are a rich tradition in all military branches and signify special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride, respect, and esprit de corps.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, 3,436 students in the College System of Tennessee self-reported as veterans and active duty military personnel on their admission materials. Since such reporting is not required, there are likely more student veterans – and they are in addition to the many veterans in the faculty, staff, and alumni ranks. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Lynchburg Elementary to get security upgrades

Soon Lynchburg Elementary and the Department of Education Building will get security upgrades like a buzz in bell at the front entrance that requires individuals to identify themselves on camera before being allowed in the building. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — According to Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead, Lynchburg Elementary School (LES) and the Department of Education (DOE) Building located on the LES campus will be getting significant security upgrades in the coming year.

At LES, school officials plan to install a door access control system on the LES front entrance similar to the one that already exists at the high school. Visitors will be required to ring a door bell equipped with a camera. The receptionist or principal then has the option to buzz that individual in for a second level of screening.

Once inside the building, guests will be ushered to a receptionists desk with a bank teller style window. Visitors to the building would not be allowed to enter if their business can be transacted through the teller window at the receptionists office.

A similar system will be installed at the Department of Education Building. Additionally, for security purpose, school officials will add tint to all the DOE windows.

Director Moorehead says the project would be funded by both a $20,000 State School Safety Grant as well as budgeted capitol projects funds. The Metro School Board approved the project unanimously last week. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow selects Coffey as student advocate award nominee

Motlow College recently nominated Assistant Professor of Geography Charle Coffey for the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award. (Photo Credit: Motlow State)

LOCAL NEWS — Each year college presidents from around the U.S. nominate one educator to the National Resource Center for Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award. In 2020, Motlow State has selected Assistant Professor of Geography Charle Coffey.

Coffey leads Motlow’s First-Year Experience success as a component of the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Critical Thinking in the First-Year Experience is a QEP that reaches a significant number of Motlow students through the MSCC 1300 course designed to empower students to reach their educational and career goals.

“Having a profound understanding of community college students, barriers, and challenges, Charle transformed the Motlow First-Year Experience curriculum into a living, dynamic, interactive, and meaningful class that is practical, portable, and profitable for students as well as the faculty,” said Motlow President Dr. Michael Torrence. “She developed a curriculum and syllabi that integrates core skills: critical thinking, writing, reading growth, resilience, intelligence, and tenacity. The class is offered both on-ground and virtually to support varied schedules.”

Coffey has worked at Motlow since 1983 in multiple capacities and roles, including Director of Admissions, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Director of Academic Services, and Director of the Education Department. Coffey earned her associate degree from Walters State, a B.B.A. and M.Ed. from MTSU, and is a Certified Covey Facilitator.

“I believe in our students and in providing resources to enable them to be successful,” said Coffey. “FYE is definitely that type of resource. This program provides foundational information and skill-building activities to help students hone critical thinking skills that will follow them through college courses and into life beyond college. I believe in the validity of this program, and I am honored to be nominated for this award.”

Two winners from two year colleges will be chosen by a selection committee composed of members and former members of the National Advisory Board of the National Resource Center, past Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates, and other leaders in American higher education. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow State focused on veterans and active military families

Motlow College reminds Moore County veterans and active duty military that they offer tuition free options to develop a career after the military. (File Photo)

EDUCATION — For many vets and active military, the what’s next question looms as they return home to normal routines and familiar places. On Veterans’ Day, Motlow State reminds local military families that they are here to help transition by offering opportunities to earn certificates and associate degrees with full veteran benefits.

High-wage, high-demand fields like Entrepreneurship, Robotics, Supply Chain Management, and Cyber Defense are extremely popular with veterans and the military. Each is designed to place graduates into the workforce after two years of instruction. Certificate programs such as Emergency Medical Technician, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, and Early Childhood Education can be earned in less time than a traditional college degree and prepare graduates for the workforce.

Tennessee Reconnect is very popular, providing tuition-free college for adults 25 and older without college degrees. Motlow’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs assists veterans, active military, and eligible disabled veterans and their dependents in requesting educational assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information, contact Motlow’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs at 931-393-1529 or email veteranservices@mscc.edu. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow develops new apprenticeship pathways

Motlow College recently announced three new apprenticeship opportunities coming for those interested in developing a career in the nursery industry, robotics and automation industry, and municipal water treatment. (File Photo)

EDUCATION — Apprenticeships provide an express lane to stable, high paying jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 94 percent of workers who complete an apprenticeship program retain employment with an average annual salary of $70,000.

Motlow College recently announced three new apprenticeship opportunities coming for those interested in developing a career in the nursery industry, robotics and automation industry, and municipal water treatment. Motlow staff developed the apprenticeships by focusing on its 11-county area’s specific needs. The new apprenticeships were announced this week in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week, which happens annually on November 8-14.

Apprenticeships offer an alternative to traditional college degrees and certifications where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce. Individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a nationally-recognized, portable credential. Apprenticeship is a proven training program used to recruit, train, and retain world-class talent, and each program is registered and validated by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Motlow will use local workforce development funds and grant funds to work with agriculture industry partners throughout Warren County to develop that program. Apprentices will complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 200 hours of classroom instruction.

The Municipal Water Treatment apprenticeship is being developed in cooperation with the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts. The program is still in the development stages, and municipal water treatment plants throughout the service area are encouraged to consider joining the apprenticeship program once details are finalized.

Automation and Robotics apprenticeship will offer participants a unique opportunity, acquiring a portion of their on-the-job training component while also completing their classroom requirements at the Automation & Robotics Training Center in McMinnville.

Motlow invites any industry interested in partnering to create other apprenticeship opportunities to reach out by emailing motlowtrained@mscc.edu. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro School Board meets tonight at 6 p.m.

PUBLIC MEETINGS — The Metro Moore County Board of Education will meet tonight in a regular session meeting at the Moore County High School Theater beginning at 6 p.m. To view the full agenda, click here.

In new business, the board will hear the results of the 2021-22 Instructional Calendar Public Survey and consider bids for a new school system playground at Lynchburg Elementary. They will also discuss alternative MCHS senior trip locations based on the current COVID 19 pandemic.

Director of Schools Chad Moorehead will also present the resignation of Moore County Schools Supervisor of Special Programs Jennifer Penn who will be leaving the school system to work with the UT Extension Office.

The board will discuss the Tennessee State Board of Education Hold Harmless Resolution, which holds school systems harmless from BEP funding reductions in 2021-22 based on school enrollment numbers from 2020-21 due to COVID-19 absences.

The board will also discuss security improvements at LES and the Moore Department of Education Building including a door access control system, an improved visitor check in station, and adding window tint to all DoE windows.

Rules and safety regulations for use of facilities for the upcoming Moore County Jr. Pro season at the LES Gym will also be addressed.

All Metro School Board meeting are open to the general public. To have your item added to an agenda, contact Director of School Chad Moorehead’s office at 931-759-7303. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

State extends TN Promise application deadline to December 1

The state recently extended the TN Promise deadline for all 2021 seniors until December 1. (File Photo)

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission announced this week that it will extend the TN Promise Scholarship deadline from November 2 to December 1. State officials said they made the change in order to accommodate students facing hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In a time of tremendous disruption for many of our students, we want to be cognizant of the barriers students are facing and be flexible where we can,” Executive Director Mike Krause said in a press release. “Extending this deadline will ensure students who wish to attend a community or technical college tuition-free have the fullest possible opportunity to do so. We do not want the pandemic to deter students from applying.”

TN Promise gives students the opportunity to access last-dollar scholarships. It allows every high school student to attend a community or technical college tuition-free. Applicants also have access to critical non-financial supports as part of the program, including a volunteer mentor from their community.

TnAchieves recognizes that the college and scholarship process is daunting and offers support to both students and families in the process. Students in need of application support can reach out to tnAchieves by emailing tnAchieves@tnAchieves.org.

Current high school seniors must apply for TN Promise by November 2, at www.tn.gov/tnpromise. If you have any questions, please visit www.tnAchieves.org. Students must also complete the 2021-22 FAFSA by February 1, 2021 to remain eligible. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}