True Blue Partners



Industry partnerships. Outreach. Service to community. These are the key components of MTSU’s community-centered approach to higher education that results not only in greater student success but also an enhanced quality of life for residents across middle Tennessee.

One example of MTSU’s successful partnerships with industry is an agreement between the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and MTSU to prepare workers for the in-demand water supply and sanitation sector. “This collaborative effort is a perfect example of the innovation that Tennessee needs,” said Mike Krause, Tennessee Board of Regents chancellor and former executive director of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 to raise the percentage of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certification.

MTSU recently formally established a corporate partnerships program to facilitate services to the business community, an initiative enabling MTSU to better showcase its ability to support applied research along with employee education and development.

The goal is to forge partnerships that are mutually beneficial, leading to sustained funding in the form of donations, sponsorships, research grants, and student employment.

With more than three decades of “relationship building” in the financial services industry, former First Tennessee Bank executive Paula Mansfield (’82) now serves as the director of strategic partnerships in the Office of University Advancement. As a past president of the National Alumni Association, her ties to and knowledge about MTSU run deep.

Mansfield said the effort “creates a roadmap where industry and the University can intersect for mutual gain by tapping into the unique resources that both offer.”


glass iconMTSU’s forward-thinking Fermentation Science degree program, launched in 2017, comes as a result of MTSU’s response to game-changing trends redefining the multi-billion dollar fermentation industry across the country—specifically the brewing industry highlighted by craft beers and small-batch brewing. Importantly, though, this new degree proposal is not simply about brewing beer and distilling spirits. The full scope for the new degree has grown beyond just fermenting hops and barley—key ingredients in brewing beer—to any and all fermented foods and beverages such as yogurt. A majority of U.S. customers are seeking bolder flavors in their foods—and foods with nutritional and long-term health value—and that demand is being met by fermented foods.

5+ club iconMTSU was one of 12 universities recently named to The 5+ Club by the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, dubbing MTSU “a national leader in physics teacher education.”

Cloud iconMTSU ranks 17th among the nation’s top schools that support aspiring entrepreneurs, according to LendEDU, an online marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance. MTSU outranked schools such as Penn State, Duke, USC, Ohio State, and Johns Hopkins in LendEDU’s list of 50 “Top Colleges for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Report.” MTSU was the only Tennessee public university ranked (Belmont was No. 30) in the survey of more than 100 colleges offering entrepreneurship courses and programs to undergraduates.

Aircraft iconMTSU is one of just five colleges or universities in the U.S. to offer Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) studies leading to a degree. Students who earn a bachelor’s in the Department of Aerospace’s new UAS Operations concentration will be a part of a growing business sector. The field is expected to produce 70,000 new jobs, starting salaries of $50,000 or more, and $13.6 billion for the U.S. economy in the next three to five years.

Tie IconJones College, among the largest businesses schools in America, has an exclusive arrangement with Dale Carnegie in the state for all majors to complete the professional development training.