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Austin Peay provost praises university’s unique mission on ‘Signature Required’ podcast

By: Brian Dunn July 1, 2024


Dr. Cronley speaks during the "Signature Required" podcast.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Dr. Maria Cronley, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Austin Peay State University, was recently featured on the "Signature Required" podcast with host Spencer Patton. The podcast highlights leaders making a difference in Tennessee, which provided a platform for Cronley to discuss Austin Peay’s unique mission and its impact on higher education in the state.

During the interview, Cronley emphasized Austin Peay’s commitment to serving a diverse student body, including a significant military-affiliated population.

“About 28% of our students are military-affiliated,” she said. “We're really proud to be partners with Fort Campbell.”

Cronley also highlighted Austin Peay’s role in providing opportunities for first-generation and Pell-eligible students, who make up about 60% of the student population.

“When we help a student walk across the stage at Austin Peay getting their degree, we are changing not only the trajectory of their life but potentially changing the whole trajectory of many generations of a family,” she said.

The provost discussed Austin Peay’s unique position as one of two Tennessee universities offering associate degrees alongside bachelor’s and graduate programs. This allows students to earn stackable credentials for lifelong learning and career advancement.

Cronley addressed broader issues in higher education, including demonstrating the value of a college degree and Austin Peay’s efforts to remain responsive to student needs and workforce demands.

“We’re trying to put more and more resources and emphasis on student success,” she said, highlighting Austin Peay’s commitment to helping students graduate and achieve their career goals.

The full podcast episode featuring Cronley is available on all major podcast platforms and at https://www.spencerpatton.com/signature-required.


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