Motlow graduates offer “quality of education” guarantee to employers

Motlow State Assistant Professor of Mechatronics Khalid Tantawi conducts a lab session with Motlow Mechatronics students at the Smyrna campus. Starting in the fall of 2018, graduates of Motlow technical programs will be covered by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Program Warranty, guaranteeing the graduate has demonstrated the knowledge and skill set as identified in the curriculum or program guide and can perform each competency.

Motlow State Assistant Professor of Mechatronics Khalid Tantawi conducts a lab session with Motlow Mechatronics students at the Smyrna campus. Starting in the fall of 2018, graduates of Motlow technical programs will be covered by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Program Warranty, guaranteeing the graduate has demonstrated the knowledge and skill set as identified in the curriculum or program guide and can perform each competency.

Beginning with the fall of 2018 class, Motlow State Community College Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree, Diploma and Technical Certificate graduates can feel even better about their educational achievement. The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) is now backing, in writing, the quality of the work-ready graduates it produces through its newly launched, system-wide Program Warranty.

The program demonstrates the confidence of the TBR College System in the quality of its technical programs. The Warranty guarantees that the graduate has demonstrated the knowledge and skill set as identified in the curriculum or program guide and can perform each competency.

Any program graduate who is identified to lack such knowledge and skill set will be retrained at no cost to the employer or the graduate.

The degree guarantee program is an ideal extension of Tennessee’s growing economic development prowess. It puts muscle behind education’s role as an engine for economic growth.
— Terri Bryson, Motlow vice president of external affairs and workforce innovation

“The degree guarantee program is an ideal extension of Tennessee's growing economic development prowess,” said Terri Bryson, Motlow vice president of external affairs and workforce innovation. “It puts muscle behind education's role as an engine for economic growth.

“Job development and economic development are two sides of the same coin. If we want our children and grandchildren to earn livable wages, we have to recruit great companies who pay well. The competitive truth is that you just cannot recruit new jobs into a community until the region can demonstrate that it has plenty of highly skilled workers who are job-ready. This pledge (warranty) is the equivalent of a good-housekeeping seal of approval on our graduation-to-job mission.

“At Motlow, we already stand behind our work, and local industries trust us,” she added. “The guarantee allows us to scale what we already do. It also gives us a framework to engage new prospects. It is a pledge that assures new students we are here for them, and it is also an effective strategy for inviting new employers into our circle of economic interdependence.”

With A.A.S. programs such as Mechatronics and Robotics, Motlow is at the forefront of TBR institutions working to meet the workforce needs of business and industry.

“The message in this program is that we are willing to stand behind our students,” said Fred Rascoe, dean of career and technical programs at Motlow. “This is not a marketing initiative. This is a market obligation. Any organization that produces a valuable resource has to be willing to stand behind the quality of the product or service they produce. We produce graduates. Every one of our students is pursuing higher education for the purpose of gainful employment. Getting a good paying job is the end goal. The guarantee proves to our students that our mission is all about their success. “

From the employer side, the benefit of the warranty can result in substantial savings.

“Today, there is a documented cost of training a new employee of over $20,000,” said Todd Herzog, president of Accu-Router, Inc., in McMinnville. “For HR professionals, this guarantee program would help to avoid hiring mistakes, where this training cost could swell. This would be of value for industry and might even allow the lowering of a recruiting/training budget, resulting in a recognized cost savings.

“From the graduate’s side of this program, an employment (acceptance) decision would have an important guaranteed provision. This could be viewed as time saving, by reducing the risk of career missteps, and by motivating graduates to make new job acceptances and perhaps try harder in the job knowing there was a ‘safety net’,” Herzog added.

Graduates of qualifying programs will receive a personalized TBR Warranty pocket card. The warranty will be good for one year from the student’s date of graduation or completion of certificate and will be honored by the community college or technical college from which the individual graduated.