Op-Ed | Motlow: The Future Is Now

Op-Ed | Motlow: The Future Is Now

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By Dr. Michael Torrence | Motlow College President

The roads to our homes, no matter your location, connect each member of our community. Roads mapped by surveyors. Roads marked by signage. Roads that connect our families. Roads that function as connective links for the regions’ various industries and businesses. Roads that lead us in, around, and through the spans of rural and metropolitan Tennessee. Roads intertwined toward continued expansion. Roads are adjacent to growth that truthfully characterizes who we are emerging into together. Roads, like us, have stories to tell about the places, spaces, and destinations we have journeyed. Roads numbered 840, 111, 241, 40, 24, 65, among others, carry us to our destinations. Roads created, widened, and repaved lead to Motlow State Community College.

Over this past year, roads have been less travelled. However, the path to Motlow State Community College is clear. Motlow State never closed its doors to Teaching, Innovation, Learning, or Training (TILT). This TILT direction that we have embraced exemplifies the complex organization we are and our minimum standard. We will give you the best of us! Motlow State Faculty and Adjunct Faculty embraced learning new skills and platforms such as Open Education Resources (OER), Lib Guides, coding, hybrid and online delivery systems, Open Source content, virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. We engaged with producers, artists, and thespians leveraging virtual engagement while sustaining connection. Motlow State Faculty and Adjunct Faculty embraced access to enhancing their skills to further their craft, Teaching. Moreover, as a credit to instructional faculty, their ability to switch from face-to-face instruction to virtual platforms highlights their talent, abilities, and commitment. Teaching is a calling and answering that calling is a choice. We are switching back and coming back better than ever with new skills and instructional practices.

Our entire organization adjusted its workflow from paper to automation. While we made this functional shift, no one was furloughed or laid off. People matter here, and it is evident in how we do our best to support students. So much as students are our mission and preparing them for transfer is but one of our responsibilities, but just as important is creating contributing members to our workforce. Our degree pathways that begin with micro credentials, like certificates, lead toward Dual Enrollment or employment. With our local high schools, we are expanding offerings and partnerships. We know that we can only serve everyone and every need through collaborative partnerships with all others. Credentials will be ever more important, and we define these early credentials as “stackable” because we seek to create pathways to earn and learn through apprenticeship programs and other creative methods. As an institution, we are not just locations of higher education, but a bridge to developing useful skills for higher paying careers and self-fulfillment. 

As an organization focused on student success and workforce/community development, we know that we must continue to learn so that we are prepared to provide students/learners from the ages of 8 to 80 with the skills of today and the future. Community Colleges will continue to be the most agile economic development engines within our region. We are ready to work and know you are ready to earn. Our staff awaits you this summer and this fall. We believe in our ability to provide you with transferable skills that embolden ability, heighten awareness, and empower your passion. As our faculty, staff, and administrators continue to explore and grow too, we know that the access created for them is akin to the access we create for you. Motlow State Community College is where you can find your place and launch into the future.

Motlow State Community College continues its preparedness toward today’s needs and framing our shared futures. We value you and look forward to your return. Classes are available, and we will look forward to seeing your faces this summer and fall.

Be yourself and be your best, everything else is hard enough.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. 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.}