Transform lives through meaningful learning experiences.
UTC offers students many opportunities to engage in experiential learning including practica, internships, research, and ThinkAchieve activities. ThinkAchieve was born from the Institution’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). While ThinkAchieve is a critical component of experiential learning at UTC, it does not encompass all opportunities in which a student can engage and supplement their classroom learning. This section contains data on the ThinkAchieve initiative, historical participation for practicum and internships courses, and the most recent student engagement in ReSEARCH Dialogues.
ThinkAchieve: Beyond the Classroom is a hub for experiential learning at UTC. Our students participate in and reflect on experience-based learning. ThinkAchieve opportunities include some of the most remarkable experiences offered at UTC, in the Chattanooga area, and around the world. As students participate and accumulate reflections, they gain points towards university awards and recognition, while simultaneously acquiring vital experience for life. ThinkAchieve Graduates earn the distinction of being recognized by the University at the UTC Commencement (Graduation) Ceremony, in the Commencement Program and on their official UTC Transcript, as well as at the SGA Senior Leadership Awards Banquet if graduating in the Spring Semester.
Students can participate in experience-based learning through courses, events, or experiences. Designated courses provide students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in a practical setting outside the normal classroom. Events are a onetime activity on campus or in the community and experiences are more expansive than one time events. All three types include a reflection component. More information can be found at https://www.utc.edu/think-achieve/.
During the 2017-2018 year, 1,996 unique students participated in 62 different courses. Another 181 unique students participated in events across campus such as Take Back the Night, SGA Debate, OrgFest, Live Like A UTC Student, Exotic Animals Exhibition, Eurydice, Organize Your Life, and Study Abroad. Experiences like PAWS mentoring, HAM LLC, Multicultural Mentorship Program, and Play, Believe, Achieve provided 378 more students with experiential learning opportunities. However, it is important to keep in mind that these are unique students in each category. Some students participate in more than one type of experiential learning throughout the year.
Since inception in 2013, the number of individual students participating in each ThinkAchieve category has grown from 693 to over 3,000 or 1/3 of the total student body. Additionally, the number of options within each category has also increased as shown by in the supplemental graphs. It is important to keep in mind that for reporting, all of the numbers represent unique students, however, it is apparent that those who engage in experiential learning continue to do so.
Additionally, while the number of courses designated as ThinkAchieve continues to grow, the program staff monitor for inclusion of experiential student learning outcomes and documentation of assessment. This practice ensures that students involved in designated courses are truly exposed experiential learning and the long term benefits.
Internship and Practicum Courses
Internships and Practicum courses allow students to practice the skills learned in the classroom in the real world environment. Both of these types of courses have increased in student participation over the last three years.
UTC's ReSEARCH Dialogues conference celebrates Scholarship, Engagement, the Arts, Research, Creativity, and Humanities on campus. ReSEARCH Dialogues showcases the scholarly and creative accomplishments of UTC’s undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, & staff. ReSEARCH Dialogues is open to the public.
There are four main areas of competition: Podium & Panel, Poster & display Presentations, Performance Presentations, and Pitch Competition. The Spring 2018 ReSEARCH Dialogues participation increased to 541 students compared to 442 in 2017. Additionally, graduate student participation increased by 24% in 2018.
The UTC Honors College currently offers the following four programs for high achieving students within the university:
- Brock Scholars Program: a four-year program that delivers a unique general education curriculum for high-achieving students. Students apply to the program during the fall of the senior year in high school and enter as first-semester freshmen. There is no minimum ACT or GPA required, though admission is very selective.
- Innovations in Honors Program (IIH): a problem-based, community-embedded learning experience designed for students to enter as sophomores or juniors. To be admitted, an applicant must have a minimum cumulative college GPA of 3.2 and at least 24 college credit hours.
- High-Achieving Mocs (HAM): a freshman-year-only experience. HAM students live together, take select courses together during the freshman year, and benefit from special programming and advisement. Many HAMmers go on to enter the Honors College's IIH Program in the sophomore year. Incoming freshmen with at least a 3.5 high school GPA and a minimum 26 composite ACT are especially encouraged to apply, though other applicants will be considered.
- Departmental Honors: a year-long senior thesis designed by the student in conjunction with a faculty director from the student's major department. To be considered, an applicant must have a minimum cumulative college GPA of 3.2 and a minimum GPA in the major of 3.5.
Students participating in an Honors College program are required to complete specialized honors courses with limited enrollment that are intended to offer individual attention from faculty. In Spring 2018, 18 courses were offered by the Honors College with a total of 921 student credit hours (SCH) generated and a duplicated headcount of 303.
Between Fall 2015 and Fall 2017, the number of distinct students taking at least one Honors College course increased by 41%. The Innovations in Honors Program was first introduced during the Fall 2015 term, increasing the total number of honors course offerings. Students enrolled in honors courses are likely to be retained at the university until graduation. In Fall 2015, 181 students took at least one class through the Honors College. By Spring 2018, only 6.1% of those students had left the university without graduating.
The Mocs One Center is comprised of services provided by the Bursar’s, Financial Aid, and Records Offices to create a one stop shop for students. Specific information about available services, scheduling appointments, and other important updates can be found on the Mocs One Center website.
Beginning in 2015, the MocsOne personnel worked diligently to get the center up and running. In March 2015, an implementation team comprised of representatives from the Financial Aid, Scholarships, Bursar, and Registrars Offices began meeting to create a one stop shop center at UTC. In September and October 2015, a staff of 7 was hired. These new staff underwent extensive training to learn UTC enrollment related business processes, and the new Mocs One Center (MOC) opened in November 2015. When the Center opened in late 2015, the staff have served over 7,676 students via the on-line request form, phone calls, and face to face visits. Now that the MocsOne Center is fully operational, more students are being served.
- During AY16-17, a total of 10,697 students were assisted as walk-ins.
- However, the AY17-18 year saw the number of walk-in students helped increase to 12,631.
- Additionally, more students are utilizing the consolidated website. More than 3 times the number of unique students visited the MocsOne Center website in AY17-18 than in AY16-17.
The graph below shows increase in student utilization since opening and results from student satisfaction survey can be located below the graph.
The primary goal of the MocsOne Center is to efficiently assist and effectively answer over 90% of the questions received from students, parents, and faculty. During the AY17-18 year, a user satisfaction survey was administered with the following results (from those who responded):
- 73% would use services again;
- 83% were satisfied or very satisfied with timeliness of response;
- 83% were satisfied or very satisfied with the professionalism of the counselor; and,
- 77% were satisfied or very satisfied with the ability of the counselor to solve the client’s problem.
Staff training within the Mocs One Center is an ongoing process. Currently, a MOC representative attends the Financial Aid Office’s weekly staff meetings while updates are provided by the Records and Bursar’s Office on an as-needed basis. New staff spend the first few weeks of employment placed within each of the 3 functional support areas. Beginning March 2017, trainers within the 3 functional areas will provide weekly training exercises to introduce new services or changes to current processes to the MOC staff. Sessions scheduled include updates on Financial Aid’s summer awarding processes, new features with the MyMocsDegree audit platform, and the new Internet Native Banner (INB) system. The MOC staff are members of the professional organization called the Institute for Student Services Professionals (ISSP) designed for one stop shop service centers within higher education.
As of Fall 2017, UTC is home to 25 fraternities and sororities with more than 1,500 participants. Greek Life is handled by the Office of the Dean of Students. To join a fraternity or a sorority, a student must have full-time enrollment status (12 or more credits) and have a GPA of 2.5 as an incoming freshman or transfer student, though individual Greek organizations are permitted to enforce higher standards. In Fall 2017, the Office of Student Development reported that 1,513 students were participating in Greek Life (Source).
Possibly as a result of the required academic standards for sorority and fraternity members, they are more likely to persist than the overall student body. Between Fall 2016 and Fall 2017, 89.6% of Greek students pursuing an undergraduate degree graduated or were retained in comparison to 77.2% of the overall undergraduate population.
Currently, UTC’s Athletic Department has 13 NCAA sports teams with six being for men and seven for women. Like with fraternities and sororities, students must meet GPA requirements in order to remain eligible. A student must have a cumulative GPA of 1.8 at the start of the sophomore year, 1.9 at the start of the junior year, and 2.0 at the start of the senior year. In Fall 2017, the Athletic Department reported that there were 315 total student athletes on campus (Source).
Like with Greek participants, athletes are less likely than the overall student body to leave the university without graduating, however, there is a noticeable gap between male and female athletes. In Fall 2016, 88.4% of female athletes graduated or were retained compared with 83.4% of male athletes. There is also a significant amount of variation in student success amongst the different sports. For athletes enrolled in Fall 2016, Women’s Volleyball had the highest rate of students who graduated or were retained at 94.1% compared to Men’s Basketball at 60.0%.
The graphs below illustrate student persistence, that is students who remained enrolled at UTC from Fall to Fall, as well as those who graduate during the academic year.
Inspire, nurture and empower scholarship, creativity, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives.
The UTC Center for Professional Education is a premier provider of quality outreach programs to a variety of learners in the region. The programs offered meet the educational and career development needs of the local and regional workforce. As the organization continues to grow and evolve, the programs offered include human resources, project management, leadership development, supply chain and logistics management, teacher training, and entrance exam preparation.
Human Resources: UTC has been recognized by the Society of Human Resource Managers as the designated SHRM training provider in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. We continue to offer two courses per year, fall and spring.
Project Management: To continue to meet the growing demands of business/industry in the area, UTC Professional Education is expanding its project management training program. In addition to the currently offered PMP exam prep, the Center is preparing to launch additional Project Management courses to continue to address a variety of training needs.
Leadership Development: The Center for Professional Education recognizes the need to provide management and leadership development training for mid-career professionals. To meet this need, we have launched Crucial Conversations, a program that addresses communication challenges that prevent teams from being successful. In addition, we have a series of leadership development courses in the works.
Teacher Training: The Chattanooga APSI has grown into a considerable program. In 2018, the program will host more than 170 participants from 12 states. This program extends UTC’s reach as a provider of quality training and professional development programs.
Entrance Exam Preparation: The Center for Professional Education offers a variety of exam prep programs that help prepare students be successful in their preparation for educational opportunities. Currently, we offer ACT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT, and MCAT programs.
Other Programs: In addition to the programs cited, the Center for Professional Education also has a contract to administer a leadership development program for law enforcement. This program, managed by the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center is hosted on the UTC campus.
Current partners and stakeholders include the UTC Alumni Association, Chattanooga 2.0, Chattanooga Chamber, Chattanooga SHRM Chapter, Tennessee Career Center (Southeast Tennessee Development District), and the Tennessee Department of Education (Division of Post-Secondary Education).
Increased Use of the Learning Management System
The Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) has been a part of the UTC campus for many years. Over the course of the past three years, we have focused on three areas to increase the usage of this mission critical learning technology to improve student engagement in the classroom. These areas include:
- Increased Online/Hybrid Offerings. The Blackboard LMS allows UTC to expand our courses to students within our community
and beyond. The use of the LMS provides students with a collaborative environment
that takes the classroom to the student.
- Banner Grade Submission Form (also known as ILP). The ILP tool is an Ellucian Banner product that allows the Blackboard LMS to transfer
grades for mid-term and final exams directly to the Banner system from Blackboard
with the push of a button. This tool has been rapidly adopted across campus. Because
of the ease in transferring the grades from the Blackboard system to Banner, more
instructors are now increasing their usage of the grade center within Blackboard.
This provides students with real-time grade information.
- Syllabus Posting and Centralized Extraction. Beginning in Fall 2016, the UTC administration began the process of requiring instructors to post the syllabus for each course in the Blackboard Learning Management System. This process has continued for two years and we are now able to extract 99% of syllabi for the courses offered each semester through one central point of contact. This provides important documentation required for SACS COC reporting as well as centralized storage of course syllabi.
Campus-Wide Adoption of the Camtasia Video Production Suite
Since the beginning of Fall 2016, instructors across campus have adopted the Camtasia video production suite to create tutorials and instructional videos to incorporate in the classroom. We have had 141 installations of Camtasia across campus and provided individualized training sessions from a member or the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning with each installation. By adopting this learning technology, instructors receive a powerful piece of video production software as well as tips and tricks associated with best practices in video production. All instructors are required to provide closed captioning on any video produced and provided to the students in the course.
Zoom Video Conferencing
The Zoom video conferencing software is one tool that we utilize for quite a few learning technology functions. This tool allows for the following:
- Creating simple instructional videos to post in courses utilizing via the Blackboard
- Collaborating for groups, meetings, class projects, etc. through dedicated meeting
rooms with the ability to create sub-groups for collaboration using the Breakout Room
- Providing technical support and troubleshooting functionality through a video conference
and sharing of screen features.
- Allowing faculty to offer online office hours to students at non-traditional times in non-traditional locations.
In Spring 2018, UTC began the pilot process for the Blackboard Ally software, which is integrated with the Blackboard LMS. Ally automatically analyzes all course materials by running them through an accessibility checklist that checks for common accessibility issues. Ally will then generate accessibility alternatives for the instructor’s original material and provide instructors the ability to immediately convert the material into an alternative format including Semantic HTML, audio, ePub, and electronic braille.
ePortfolio Development with Google Sites
In today’s technological society, students must have the ability to demonstrate to employers their proficiency with technology. What better way to do this than by providing the students with training on learning technologies that offer the portability for their technical assignments.
One of the products used by instructors on campus to create ePortfolios is Google Sites. Since Fall 2017, we have had six courses incorporating ePortfolios created with Google Sites into the curriculum. Over 100 students have created ePortfolios using Google Sites as required by the instructor.
Ensure stewardship of resources through strategic alignment and investments.
The Complete College of Tennessee Act (CCTA) was passed in January 2010 in order to address the need for more Tennesseans to be better educated and trained while also acknowledging the state’s diminished fiscal capacity to support higher education. THE CCTA created a comprehensive reform agenda that seeks to transform public education through changes in policies at the state and institutional level. Metrics such as progression demonstrated through earned course credits at the 30, 60, and 90 mark, and graduation rate are used to provide funding to institutions based on outcomes.
Graduation rates are calculated for first-time, full-time freshmen who graduated within six years. The Gold line represents first-time, full-time freshmen who began at UTC and graduated from UTC while the blue line represents first-time, full-time freshmen who began at any UT System Institution (e.g. UTK, UT Martin) and graduated from any UT System Institution.
Radius: UTC’s Customer Relationship Management Database
The following are some of the ways in which UTC units are now using Radius:
- Undergraduate Admissions is using Radius to manage applications, inquiry forms, recruitment event forms (Blue and Gold Preview, Moc Minute, Friends and Family), communication plans, and campus tours.
- Graduate Admissions is using Radius to manage applications, inquiry forms, recruitment event forms, and communication plans.
- English as a Second Language (ESL) Institute is using Radius to manage admissions applications, inquiry forms, and communication plans.
- All graduate academic programs are using Radius to manage applications, inquiry forms, uploads of their prospective student databases, and campaigns for recruitment.
- The BSN, RN to BSN, Dietetics, Social Work, and Integrated Studies programs are using Radius for their applications.
- Career Services is beginning to use Radius to manage the internship process and events.
- The Center for Advising is using Radius to manage pre-health events, admitted transfer advising, and communication plans.
- Records is using Radius to manage Center for Veteran’s Affairs data and communication plans.
- Student Development is using Radius to manage the Parent & Family Association, Echo ads, OrgFest, and events.
- The UTC Testing Center is using Radius to manage senior exit exams, paid test taking opportunities, and major program tests.
- The Center for Professional Education is using Radius to manage course registrations, fees, and communication plans.
- The Walker Center for Teaching and Learning is using Radius to manage event registrations.
- The College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies is using Radius to manage the Allied Health Career Fair and pre-admission forms.
- The College of Arts & Sciences is using Radius to manage events and educational opportunities.
- The Title IX Director is using Radius to manage training and informational events.
- The Music and Chemistry & Physics departments are using Radius to manage recruitment.
- The Moc Up program is using Radius to manage student and mentor applications.
- The Honors College is using Radius to manage Brock, Innovations in Honors (IIH) and High Achieving Mocs (HAM) applications and inquiry forms
- The Mocs One Center is using Radius to manage Come Back to UTC E-Return campaigns.
- Financial Aid is using Radius to manage to promote FAFSA completion.
- The Summer Bridge program is using Radius to manage student and mentor applications.
- The College of Engineering & Computer Science is using Radius to manage tour requests and events.
- The Office of International Student Services is using Radius to manage undergraduate and graduate admissions and inquiries.
UC Foundation and the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs: UTC’s Connection to Alumni and Friends
The mission of the University of Chattanooga Foundation is to provide resources that support distinctive programs and promote bold initiatives that enrich the educational experience at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. This means keeping strong ties between the University, its current students, and its loyal alumni base. In 2017-18, there were nearly 150 events geared toward alumni engagement. These events drew attendance more than 2,200 UTC alumni and more than 1,500 additional friends, helping to keep a strong foundation of alumni involvement in the UTC community.
2017-18 Alumni Engagement Events
Career & networking events
Chapter, council, & committee meetings
Lunches, dinners, and picnics
Reunions & receptions
Embrace diversity and inclusion as a path to excellence and societal change.
The UTC Office of Equity and Inclusion has collaborated with the Diversity Advisory Council to formulate an institutional diversity plan. That plan is in the draft stage, pending minor revisions before final approval from the executive team and other institutional stakeholders.
The university’s diversity plan will establish broad and far-reaching goals to improve and maintain a diverse and inclusive campus:
- Enhance UTC’s achievement of excellence through the recruitment, retention and promotion of quality diverse faculty, staff and administrators.
- Enhance UTC’s offering of diversity-related educational opportunities and opportunities for ownership in campus life that prepare all students for working and living in a global society.
- Advance UTC’s climate of accessibility and culture of inclusion for persons with disabilities.
- Improve UTC’s reputation as a globally focused institution of higher education.
- Establish a clear and consistent message on diversity as a core value at all levels of university governance.
- Develop a cohesive plan, strategies, and initiatives to enhance UTC’s spending with Minority, Women, Veteran, Disabled, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.
The diversity plan will also identify a number of actions to be taken associated with each goal, as well as establish an accountability and assessment structure to ensure progress. UTC’s constituent divisions, colleges, departments, and units are at varying stages of developing their own diversity priorities which will ultimately align with the overall institutional plan.
The charts below provide a baseline for faculty diversity and show modest improvement in the recruitment of both female and underrepresented minority tenured and tenure-track faculty since the Strategic Plan was adopted.
The Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) was developed to ensure that information technology resources and services are accessible to all students, faculty and staff of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
“Accessible” means: information, materials, and technologies are available to an individual with a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use.
Recent emphasis has been on increasing accessibility of Information, Materials, and Technology (IMT) for students, faculty, and staff. Project updates include the following 2015 Annual Report, 2016 Annual Report, and 2017 Annual Report.
- Developed training program focused on creation of accessible documents, “Accessibility:
What is it & Why Should You Care?”
- All Colleges participated in training
- 13 Departments: Office of the Chancellor; Academic Affairs; Disability Resource Center; Enrollment Services; Finance and Administration; Facilities Planning and Management; Honors College; Human Resources; Library; Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research; Records Office; Division of Student Development; and Communications and Marketing.
- Created advanced level accessibility sessions including checking existing PDF files for accessibility and making existing PDF files accessible.
- Technological accessibility training expanded to include an online format.
- Syllabus template:
- Available in accessible format and all faculty are required to post their syllabi by a certain time which helps all students.
- In Spring 2018, UTC began the pilot process for the Blackboard Ally software, which is integrated with the Blackboard LMS. Ally automatically analyzes all course materials by running them through an accessibility checklist that checks for common accessibility issues. Ally will then generate accessibility alternatives for the instructor’s original material and provide instructors the ability to immediately convert the material into an alternative format including Semantic HTML, audio, ePub, and electronic braille.
- Produced new training video called “Choosing Accessible Textbooks”.
- Video has been seen by 70 employees so far.
- The UTC templates and top 20 webpages were updated to be in compliance. Specific enhancements include:
- The Bursar Office has developed some Instructional Videos. These videos are in English and Spanish and also contain Closed Captioning.
- Students, Faculty, and Staff can report a barrier through the “Report a Barrier” link on the Accessible Technology Initiative webpage. This has been a great tool as when someone reports something, it is then routed to the correct department so changes regarding accessibility can be addressed. The response time for these report is 24 hours.
- Faculty can use the software Camtasia to make closed captioned videos for accessibility.
- Since Spring 2017 there have been 86 individual training sessions provided and 141 Licenses issued and Installations
- Held an Accessible Technology Fair in the Spring of 2015 and Fall of 2017.
- 2015 Fair had 14 exhibits and approximately 150 visitors
- 2017 Fair had 10 exhibits and approximately 100 visitors
- Quality Matters Standard:
- Implemented rubric for ensuring quality on hybrid courses
- Camtasia helps meet this standard
- During the week of March 26, 2018, there was an article in “University Echo” about “Online fee sits in surplus account” where the Provost discussed the Quality Matters standard.
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services assists international students on the UT Chattanooga campus. The staff of ISS is trained and experienced in cross-cultural counseling and U.S. immigration regulations. The services offered by ISS include advising, counseling, and advocacy on: admissions processes; immigration issues; academic issues; and personal issues.
The UTC Study Abroad Office offers many opportunities for students to study at institutions around the world. A list of all programs currently offered is available here. Before participating in a study abroad experience, UTC students are required to attend two information sessions known as Study Abroad 101 and Study Abroad 102. In Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, 271 attended Study Abroad 101 and 117 attended Study Abroad 102.
Foreign students who wish to study at UTC must take either the TOEFL or IELTS test and provide documentation verifying that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves while studying. The international enrollment at UTC has increased by 7% since Fall 2015. Most international students have an F1 visa with those typically making up between 75% to 80% of the total international population.
Since Spring 2017, the top five origins for international students have been Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, India, Sudan, and China. In Spring 2018, those five countries made up two-thirds of all international students. Of those five, all but Kuwait have long been common countries of origin for UTC students. Students from Kuwait did not begin regularly attending UTC until Fall 2016.
International Enrollment at UTC
|Fall 2015||Spring 2016||Fall 2016||Spring 2017||Fall 2017||Spring 2018|
Most Common Countries of Origin for International Students
|Fall 2015||Spring 2016||Fall 2016||Spring 2017||Fall 2017||Spring 2018|
Since inception in 2016, UTC has hosted three cohorts of international students as part of the Department of State’s Study at the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders (SUSI). In 2018, another set of twenty-two undergraduate, foreign students from 19 countries studied at UTC. As part of that effort, five UTC student mentors were assigned to the project, five Rollins College of Business professors taught SUSI participants, and students spent 45 hours in class. Five leadership development sessions and seven entrepreneurial engagement activities were offered, as well as four volunteer experiences.
UTC currently has 32 active advisory boards/councils, one retired board, and four developing boards/councils across the University. Of the 32 active boards there are 520 people made up of 247 females (47.50%) and 273 males (52.50%). The Think Achieve Advisory Board, developed in conjunction with the launch of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) of 2011, was retired after full integration in 2016.
In addition to community members, 19 students are currently serving as active board members. Community members serving on the active boards represent both the public and private sectors and hold positions ranging from officers to owners. The 32 boards have been broken down into 11 different industry types. These types are: Alumni/Student/Parent, Computer and Engineering, Consulting and Design, Education, Insurance, Medical, Politics/Finance/Religious, Sales, Support, and Utility. The industries that the board members work for are not only located in the United States, but are also international.
The graphs below show the distribution of the gender, industry type, and the location of the companies the board members work for.