UT Martin Somerville Center offers ‘mock college,’ CPAD services

MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin is offering new programs through the Somerville Center this semester to benefit both current and prospective college students in the area.

Faculty from the center are offering “mock college” courses to K-12 students from several area schools to help them see what a college course is like and how their study and attention habits may need to change before graduation. This is the program’s second year of operation.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for school-age students to see what a university classroom is like,” said Kara Tapp, Somerville Center director. “During these mock college experiences, student engagement is a key component. They are able to compare a college classroom to a high school lecture. This enables them to have a better understanding of what their future college classrooms will be like.”

Fifty-seven students from Fayette Academy participated Oct. 11 and heard short lectures from Dr. Kyle Dempsey, assistant professor of psychology; Richard Rucker, adjunct professor of biology; and Dr. George Daniel, co-coordinator of the UT Martin First-Year Initiative Program.

More than 100 students from East Junior High School visited the center Oct. 22, and more than 120 eighth-graders from West Junior High School participated Oct. 25. Other participating faculty members included Matt Meador, history; and Paul Green and Dr. Cindy Boyles, both criminal justice.

Seniors from Fayette-Ware High School will participate Nov. 7, and 130 students are expected to attend.

The university has also extended the Office of Career Planning and Development to offer career counseling services at UT Martin’s five educational outreach centers. Katie Mantooth, assistant director of the office, assists students at the Somerville Center with choosing appropriate majors and exploring careers best suited to their interests.

Students now have access to Handshake, an online tool allowing students to engage with community leaders in their chosen career fields, and TypeFocus, a personality type and career assessment tool to help students narrow their field of interest. These personalized services are available to center students throughout the semester via email, and Mantooth visits the center in person twice per month.

“Having Katie Mantooth available to our students has been a wonderful new addition to services at our center,” said Tapp. “We often see students change their majors, come in undeclared or have no idea what career would work best for them. This opportunity allows students to explore different career avenues and choose majors that suit their interests and abilities.”

For more information about the UT Martin Somerville Center and its services or degree programs, contact Tapp at 901-465-7313 or ktapp@utm.edu.


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