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TSU Kicks off Dual Enrollment Program with Apple Smart Technology Partnership

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NASHVILLE,
Tenn.
(TSU News Service)
– High school students looking to get an early start on college now have a home
at Tennessee State University.

Dr. Robbie Melton, TSU Associate Vice President for Smart Technology and Innovation, conducts a coding class at Kenwood High School in Clarksville, Tennessee. (Submitted Photo)

Through its National Center for Smart Technology, the university has launched a dual enrollment program with three major school districts in the state that offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credits while enrolled in high school.

Participating
school districts are Clarksville Montgomery County School System, Metro
Nashville Public Schools, and Shelby County Schools.

Jalen Driskell and
Larry Perry, 12th graders from Shelby County’s Trezevant High School
in Memphis, are excited about the opportunity to earn early college credits.
The two were among 130 students also from Pearl Cohn High, and Clarksville’s
Kenwood High School, who participated in the Apple Coding class last fall as
part of the dual enrollment program.

TSU Kicks off Dual Enrollment Program with Apple Smart Technology Partnership
Officials from the TSU Office of Smart Technology and Innovation join faculty and staff of Kenwood High School to kick off the TSU-Apple-Kenwood Coding initiative. (Submitted Photo)

“I learned a lot from the initiative, especially working as a team,” said Driskell, who hopes to major in engineering after high school. “Being enrolled allows me to move ahead in receiving my college credits and to do better with time management.”

For
Perry, he said the coding class was a lot of fun and increased his interest in
doing more college work.

“Coding
allowed me to gain the experience with talking to others versus typing,” he
said. “Receiving this college credit allows me to be prepared for my future.”

TSU Kicks off Dual Enrollment Program with Apple Smart Technology Partnership

Dr.
Robbie Melton, TSU’s associate vice president for Smart Technology and
Innovation, said with the Apple partnership, TSU has created an amazing
opportunity for high school students to start coding
and creating.

“All
over the state, as well as all over the country, students are interested
in coding and creativity,” said Melton. “With
this dual enrollment program, it is unique in the fact that students across the
state of Tennessee can now embrace the skills of coding and creativity through
dual enrollment. We are positioned to provide coding and creativity on site and online, for high school
students to have a pathway to our computer science and “Everyone Can Code and
Create” curriculums at TSU.”

Dr.
Johnnie C. Smith is the executive director of the TSU Dual Enrollment
Partnerships. She said students who participate in the program must meet the TSU
admission’s requirement. They must be beginning juniors with a GPA of 2.75 or better, and must have recommendations from their principals or guidance counselors to participate. In addition to the Apple coding
curriculum, she said the program offers general education courses, as well as
engineering and English composition. The courses are offered onsite and online.

“Like all other schools in the state, we are going after courses we know will count in different schools, like general education courses,” Smith said. “We are targeting students within the state of Tennessee. They will gain college credits to get a jump start on college and also use those credits to meet their high school requirements for graduation. We are really excited about the possibility of what this program can do at the institution.”

Some
of the teachers whose students participated in the fall 2019 program said it
was very beneficial and definitely makes the whole dual enrollment initiative more interesting.

“This
program benefited our students by giving them the opportunity to learn the
fundamentals of coding and inspired them to create something unique for a
problem in their community,” said Abraham Wolfe, a high school AP Physics and Robotics teacher
in the Clarksville Montgomery County School System.

Quanita Adams, a high school math teacher with Metro Nashville Public Schools, said, “The students enrolled in DE Coding this semester have tapped into a world that they may have not experienced elsewhere and produced amazing products in a short time.”

Herbert
Vannostrand, a high school computer science teacher with the Shelby County
Schools, agreed.

“The Apple Coding curriculum provided my students with a
clear, concise, up-to-date and fun program to learn the Swift programming
language, as well as bringing relevant up-to-date information about how coding
can affect change in their lives,” Vannostrand said. “I recommend
this program to any computer science teacher and I am ready to teach the course
again next year.”

Dual enrollment is just one of many initiatives undertaken in the last year under the TSU-Apple partnership. In July, TSU launched HBCU C2 “Everyone Can Code and Create,” a national initiative supported by Apple, which seeks to bring coding experiences to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and underserved communities. To date, TSU has impacted 32 HBCUs with the HBCU C2 Initiative. Also, in July, TSU launched the first community “Everyone Can Code and Create” initiative for youth on its Avon Williams Campus. The initiative is also part of the National Center for Smart Technology Innovations.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded in 1912, Tennessee State
University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier,
historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38
bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven
doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution
with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its
downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery
Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to
excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality
education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them
as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the
University online at tnstate.edu.

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