Motlow State selected Assistant Professor of Geography Charle Coffey as its nominee for the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award. Each year college presidents nominate one educator to the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.
“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 Dr. Michael Torrence, Motlow President. “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.
“She believes in the power of education to change lives; she believes everyone has the
right to an education, and she is compelled to serve as an educator,” added Torrence. “Charle Coffey is an advocate for every student who walks into a classroom seeking an education.”
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.
She 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 award recipients will be chosen in each of these institutional categories:
- Two-year colleges
- Four-year colleges and universities with less than 2,000 students
- Four-year colleges and universities with 2,000-7,000 students
- Four-year colleges and universities with 7,001-15,000 students
- Four-year colleges and universities with more than 15,000 students
The selection committee (not to include any representatives from the National Resource Center or sponsor) will consist of a national panel 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 National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition serves as the trusted expert, internationally recognized leader, and clearinghouse for scholarships, policy, and best practice for all postsecondary student transitions. Based at the University of South Carolina, its website states, “As a group, these individuals mirror the diversity of American colleges and universities. They share the common goal of improving the educational experience of first-year students. Yet, their methods for doing so are uniquely responsive to the particular institutional settings of which they are a part.”
Photo provided by Motlow: Assistant Professor of Geography Charle Coffey