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UT, HMG partnering to train new pharmacists

The University of Tennessee and Holston Medical Group in Kingsport are joining forces to educate pharmacists.

UT and HMG announced the strategic pharmacy Center of Excellence partnership during a news conference Monday, Nov. 22.

This is a turning point for the citizens of Northeast Tennessee, our patients, our providers, Dr. Jerry Miller, HMG founder and president, said.
UT, HMG partnering to train new pharmacists

The University of Tennessee and Holston Medical Group in Kingsport are joining forces to educate pharmacists.

UT and HMG announced the strategic pharmacy Center of Excellence partnership during a news conference Monday, Nov. 22.

“This is a turning point for the citizens of Northeast Tennessee, our patients, our providers,” Dr. Jerry Miller, HMG founder and president, said.

Under the agreement, students from the Memphis-based UT College of Pharmacy will spend time at Kingsport-based HMG during their residency. Starting in 2006, UT pharmacy students will rotate in and out of HMG, where UT College of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Brian Cross will join the HMG staff while remaining with UT.

Petersen said he sees such partnerships as critical to UT's future, adding that UT and East Tennessee State University should not be considered competitors but public schools working for the public good.

Miller said HMG chose to work with UT rather than ETSU's new pharmacy school because ETSU's first incoming students are to start in fall 2006, making a partnership a few years away. A new pharmacy school also is planned in Southwest Virginia. All will help fill a shortage of pharmacists. (Kingsport Times News, Nov. 22, 2005)

MTSU credits 3 factors for enrollment growth

In recent years, Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro has experienced a steady growth. In 1987, the school's enrollment was 11,975 and increased more than 63 percent during the next 12 years. More than 22,000 students attend MTSU today.

MTSU has the largest undergraduate enrollment of any university in the state, with an estimated 93 percent of the student population coming from Tennessee.

University officials credit three factors for the school's enrollment boom: growth of the entire Middle Tennessee region, growing recognition of the academic quality of the institution and low tuition cost.

“We continue to be a very economical choice for people,” said Bob Glenn, vice president of student affairs and vice provost of enrollment management. “We are a part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system, our tuition increases have been controlled at the central level.

“If you look at the three largest universities in the state — MTSU, University of Tennessee and University of Memphis — and compare our tuition, ours is significantly less,” Glenn said. (The Tennessean, Nov. 16, 2005)

Nashville Metro schools to open Middle College

Metro schools in Nashville will open a new high school in January aimed at giving students a head start on a college path.

Middle College is a model that has been used across the country for about 20 years to reach students who, for some reason, are not thriving in high school.

Williamson County Schools has operated a Middle College at Nashville State Community College since 1997 with a graduation rate of nearly 92 percent. That program moves to Battle Ground Academy's former campus in Franklin in January, making room for Metro to launch a similar program at NSCC for between 50 and 100 students.

Metro's Middle College will be the fifth in the state. In addition to Williamson County, two operate in Memphis and one in Chattanooga.

Applying to Metro's Middle College will be similar to college admissions, said Middle School Principal Ervin Tinnon. Students will have to complete an application, interview and essay to be evaluated by a panel of educators. Students will have the opportunity to earn college credit at a highly discounted cost through dual-enrollment courses. (Nashville City Paper, Nov. 21, 2005)

New Northeast State program could become ‘model for rest of state'

Northeast State Technical Community College in Blountville is creating a program that will allow second-semester seniors to begin training in the work force early.

The Career Fast Track Program will allow between 30 and 50 high school students each year to complete 12 to 15 hours of college-level credit. It's the school's first such program, said Northeast State President Bill Locke.

To be eligible, students must have a minimum ACT score of 19, be on track to complete all high school graduation requirements and be recommended by the high school's educational director. The first group of students will begin in January.

A $135,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will cover tuition and other costs. (Bristol Herald Courier, Nov. 18, 2005)

U.S. college dropout rate sparks concern

For decades, getting more students into college has been the top priority of America's higher education leaders. However, according to latest government figures, 54 percent of students entering four-year colleges in 1997 had a degree six years later.

After borrowing for school but failing to graduate, many of those students may be worse off than if they had never attended college. Now the question of what to do about the country's unimpressive and stagnate graduation rates is on the agenda, from college presidents' offices to state houses. The latest sign of the trend comes Wednesday, Nov. 30 when former Princeton University President William Bowen lays out an ambitious research agenda on the question during a speech in New York.

Bowen, president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will examine in detail who graduates and who doesn't — and why — at a group of about 20 varied universities.

“The United States has always said it believes in opportunity and social mobility and fairness,” Bowen said. “If you find that the odds of getting through are very different for different groups of people, that's something you ought to be concerned about.” (The Associated Press, Nov. 15, 2005)