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Year End Review

Austin Peay State University has achieved much in 2010 and
2011 – developed new programs, formed new partnerships, conquered obstacles and exceeded expectations. APSU is pleased to offer this review to demonstrate what this University has accomplished in the last year.


A year of records in enrollment, retention, graduation

APSU has produced a year of records, keeping hold of its designation as Tennessee’s fastest-growing public university. For the Fall 2010 semester, enrollment, retention and graduation rates reached new all-time high figures. APSU’s total student enrollment for last fall was 10,723. That’s a 5.3 percent jump from the Fall 2009 semester.   Moreover, from the year 2000, APSU’s percentage of enrollment growth is the fastest of all public universities in the state. APSU also retained greater percentages of its first-time, full-time cohort of students, edging toward the 70 percent mark. The significant growth in retention is mirrored by APSU’s increase in its six-year graduation rate, which measures each cohort of first-time, full-time students since 2000 when APSU began tracking the statistic. The six-year graduation rate for the cohort that started at APSU in 2004 is at 33.11 percent – the largest rate recorded this decade.

New chemical engineering technology degree awarded to 53 students

On May 6, 2011, APSU’s College of Science and Mathematics graduated the first class to receive the new Associate of Applied Science in chemical engineering technology. A total of 53 students received the degree, launched for the first time in Fall 2009. The Associate of Applied Science in chemical engineering technology was designed following the announcement in December 2008 that Michigan-based Hemlock Semiconductor Group will build a new production facility in Commerce Park. Many specialized jobs will be created at the plant, requiring specialized education and training, such as that provided by APSU.
The 60 credit-hour program, expected to produce 64 graduates per year by the fifth year of operation, includes 17 hours in general education requirements and 43 hours in the major.

School of Nursing records
perfect pass rate

The APSU School of Nursing recorded a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX licensure testing in 2010, surpassing the national average pass rate of 89 percent. The feat was accomplished for the first time in the program’s history in 2009, and was repeated in 2010, when 41 students graduated in December 2010 with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree took the NCLEX for the first time and passed. In addition to the B.S.N., the APSU School of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing.

Hemlock Semiconductor Building open

The Hemlock Semiconductor Building, which opened in Fall 2010, houses the chemical engineering technology (CET) associate degree program and laboratory. The facility is named in honor of Michigan-based Hemlock Semiconductor Group for its $2 million gift to APSU of laboratory equipment for the building. The contribution was one of the largest monetary gifts ever given to APSU.

New residence hall for students

Beginning with the Fall 2011 semester, APSU students will be able to live in a new residence hall complex. The $25.5 million, 416-bed facility replaces three existing residence halls on the APSU main campus: Cross, Killebrew and Rawlins. The quality of residence halls is among the top three reasons why students choose a college or university. Research supports that student retention is greater when students live on campus.

Honors Commons at APSU,
a place for high achievers

The Honors Commons is APSU’s first designated space for high achieving students to meet, study, socialize and attend classes. The 8,000-square-foot space, which opened in Fall 2010, houses both the University’s Honors Program and the President’s Emerging Leaders Program. The space also includes classrooms dedicated for honors classes, a quiet study area and a music practice room. The Honors Program at APSU allows motivated students to pursue their education in a more challenging, interdisciplinary environment. About 250 students are currently enrolled in the program.

STEM Center created

The new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Center in the APSU College of Education was created with the help of $476,000 in federal funding received in early 2010. It is designed to provide state-of-the art science and mathematics instruction to K-8 preservice teachers and professional development workshops and courses for elementary and middle school teachers. The congressional award, the largest the College of Education has ever received, was the result of two years of lobbying to improve science and math education for preservice teachers. The funding provided for the purchase of science and mathematics technology equipment and supplies for a new science laboratory in the Claxton Building. The award also supports professional development programs.



Program designed to keep students on track to graduation

As part of a commitment to student success, APSU created the Course Recommendation System, which helps to pair a student with courses that best fit the students talents and program of study. The system combines past students’ grades with a particular student’s transcript to make individualized course recommendations. The strongest recommendations are courses necessary for a student to graduate. The system also provides information to faculty. This information is designed for use as a tool in academic advising, meant to supplement the advice faculty members provide to their advisees as they progress through their degree.

APSU apps for iPhone,
Android available

APSU launched its own iPhone app Aug. 25, 2010. Then in early 2011, the Peay Mobile 2 app was launched for Android smartphone users. Both the APSU iPhone and Android apps have several features for users: a blog by APSU President Tim Hall, Google map of the main campus, APSU news, sports news, event calendar, faculty and staff directory, course catalog, class schedules, push notifications, campus dining information and much more information. The APSU app is a free download for either the iPhone or the Android.


Austin Peay Guarantee helps transfer students

Students at four community colleges – Hopkinsville, Ky., Volunteer State, Columbia State and Nashville State – who wish to enroll at APSU after earning their associate degree are able to transfer with ease, in large part due to a new dual admissions agreement between the colleges and APSU. Known as the Austin Peay Guarantee, the dual admissions agreement offers community college students the advantage of a structured approach for completion of the associate degree followed by enrollment to pursue the baccalaureate degree. A dually admitted student first enrolls at one of the four partner community colleges. Upon completion of the two-year degree, the student then will enroll at APSU to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Each student under this agreement is advised by both the community college and APSU, assuring a seamless transition to APSU. The Austin Peay Guarantee is applicable for community college students wanting to pursue any academic discipline at APSU.

APSU Celebrates Women
in Athletics

The new Women in Athletics endowment, launched April 8, 2011, has raised more than $26,000, and pledges continue to be counted. The endowment is part of a new effort, Austin Peay Celebrates Women in Athletics, to laud all current and former female athletes at APSU and recognize the growth of women’s sports. For the inaugural year, the 2011 Austin Peay Celebrates Women in Athletics featured the 25th anniversary of the Lady Govs softball program. In addition, the softball field was named in honor of Cheryl Holt, a longtime coach and assistant athletic director at APSU. Each year, the Women in Athletics event will focus specifically on one sport and/or milestone. The goal is to celebrate women’s achievements in athletics and raise money for the women’s athletic programs.

Research opportunities for faculty, students

More than ever, students and faculty at APSU are being encouraged to embrace scholarly inquiry through research and creative activity as part of an increased, comprehensive focus for faculty and students at APSU. Currently, APSU offers many research opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty:

• Summer Research

Fellows Program (SRFP) awards up to $5,000 for up to 10 proposals by tenured or tenure-track faculty to develop a research project that should place them in a better position to seek external funding.
• Graduate Student Research and Creative Activity Extravaganza is an annual celebration to showcase the scholarly and creative pursuits of APSU’s graduate students.

• Provost Lecture Series,

a venue for faculty members to present their research and creative activity on campus, is designed to foster a spirit of intellectual and scholarly inquiry among faculty, staff and students.
• Presidential Scholars Program, under the guidance of the newly created Office of Undergraduate Research, provides $3,000 in support of each independent undergraduate research project. These scholars work with a faculty mentor.

Master’s degrees with military
in mind

Specifically with active duty military in mind, the Austin Peay Center @ Fort Campbell now offers a Master of Arts in corporate communication, a Master of Science in health administration and a Master of Science in management, all online. While APSU offers the graduate degree programs to all students, soldiers particularly may receive credit for certain military training in some programs. In addition to the three master’s degree programs, APSU offers many bachelor’s degrees and other master’s degree online.

More highlights

APSU has accomplished much more within the last year. Here are a few additional highlights of APSU’s accomplishments:
• Improved its funding the most as a percentage among all Tennessee’s public universities under the new performance-based funding
• Received approval to begin the planning and design for a new building to house mathematics and computer science departments
• Created a Military Student Center in the Morgan University Center
• Established the College of Business Advisory Board
• Increased Printing Services revenue 103 percent over the previous year by expanding capabilities and providing more services through implementation of technology
• Introduced the “battle buddy” concept as a peer mentor initiative for new military veteran students
• Developed and distributed an online quarterly alumni/advancement newsletter
• Sent the Lady Govs volleyball team to its first appearance ever in the NCAA tournament