Category: Academics

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EBSCO equips students,faculty with access to hundreds of academic collections

Before the spring semester, the Glass Memorial library released EBSCO, a resourceful online reference tool to make the task of research easier for students and faculty.

EBSCO equips students and faculty with the necessary tools to access quality resources from a variety of reliable content providers and databases.

The EBSCOhost e-book academic collection features over 120,000 titles that are available to assist in research. Other features of EBSCOhost include:  web access, mobile access, discovery service, publication finder and severalg.

In addition to EBSCO, Johnson library director, Carrie Beth Lowe mentioned that the library’s staff is available to assist students with their research.

“EBSCO is a good place to start if you don’t know what database to use,” she said. ” You can also always ask us for help and we will point you in the right direction for your research.”

Although EBSCOhost provides sources from numerous databases, it does not include all of them. The ProQuest database and features of the ATLA religion database are not included in EBSCO search results. ATLA provides an index to religious periodical literature and provides access to leading theology and religion journals.Lowe notes to keep this in mind when researching.

“There are some special features that the ATLA religion database offer such as a scripture index that will not be searched through EBSCO, “she said. “It is best to go to the ATLA database for more in depth searches dealing with scripture.”

Resources included in the library catalog may not show up on EBSCO so it is best to check both for the latest information on available books and resources.

There are links and tutorials on the Glass Memorail website that will

http://libguides.johnsonu.edu/database_tutorials

 

 

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JU offers students the latest educational technology

KNOXVILLE — The Templar School of Education provides all students the opportunity to use a technology space in the Teacher Education Resource Center featuring 3D printers.

The space holds robotics, three 3D printers and twelve different robots for teaching elementary through middle school students.

Director of International Education and Educational Technology, Dr. Chris Templar, spoke on the upgraded technology.

“Schools are adding these Makerspaces to their libraries and to their classrooms. We train teachers for schools so we have to keep up to date,” she said.

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Students played with robotics in a campus trial run (Photo/Clyde Timbs)

Templay said that the 3D printers give educators a unique teaching method for young students.

“Teachers can have the children make things that go along with what they’re learning,” she said. “By the time they get to middle school they can make quite sophisticated things. They use them fairly extensively in the classrooms.”

Templar said the technology is becoming more and more accessible.

“3D printers are going down in price tremendously,” she said. “The first one we bought was $3000, the last one we bought was $250.”

Templar’s Teach Assistant, Donna Babb, said she can teach any student the Tinkercad software to use the printers.

“Tinkercad is a free program where they can go online in their room and build an object and then we can put it on an SD card and print it off for them,” she said. “The printing is ten cents per gram.”

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A 3D printed pencil holder like this takes three and a half hours to print

The 3D printing machines work by heating strands of filament until they melt and reconstructing the fluid in the form of the design.

“It’s really easy and its fun. They can do a lot of things with it, especially with teaching how to graph and teaching mathematics,” Babb said.

Templar said that the education department works hard to continue affording students the opportunity to work with the latest technology.

“We spend time every year, Dr. Krug and I, going through every class and asking what is no longer state-of-the-art and what is state-of-the-art that we need to put in,” she said.

Templar said that, in addition to 3D printing, there are many other areas of technology they are excited to be involved in.

“We’re doing Virtual reality, we’re doing Augmented reality, we’re doing app development for cell phones. We’ve even been flying drones around indoors,” she said.

Templar said that regularly updating technology is necessary for the school to be able to add new programs. The department is hoping to offer a Doctor of Education in Educational Technology degree beginning next year.

Templar will be speaking on robots and early education at the Future of Educational Technology conference in Orlando, Florida at the end of January.

To begin learning Tinkercad software to design your own 3D prints visit here.

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JUTN ranks high among financially fit colleges

KNOXVILLE —Johnson University has received an “A” in the 2016 Forbes College Financial Grades, ranking 3rd on the Christian Colleges and Universities Financial Strength list.

Forbes lists Johnson’s financial GPA as being 4.132 on a 4.5 scale.

This scale measures the fiscal soundness of more than 900 four-year, private, not-for-profit schools with at least 500 students.

According to Forbes,the grade measures financial fitness as determined by nine components broken into three categories.

Forbes staff writer, Matt Schifrin, mentioned the nine variables used to determine balance sheet and operational strength:

  1.         Endowment Assets Per FTE (15%) Year-end endowment assets divided by the number of 12 month full-time equivalent students.
  2.         Primary Reserve Ratio (15%)How well a college’s expendable assets cover its annual expenses.
  3.         Viability Ratio (10%)The amount of expendable assets a college has relative to its debt load.
  4.         Core Operating Margin (10%)How well a college meets its obligations (such as instructional expenses and students services) from the tuition, grants, gifts, and investment revenue it receives.
  5.         Tuition As A Percentage of Core Revs (15%)How dependent a college is on tuition for core revenues.
  6.         Return On Assets (10%)Whether a college’s assets are actually growing.
  7.         Admission Yield (10%)The percentage of admitted students who actually choose to attend a particular college.
  8.         Percent Freshman Getting Institutional Grants (7.5%)The percentage of students actually getting institutional grants or rebates from colleges to attract enrollment.
  9.         Instruction Expenses Per FTE (7.5%) How much money a particular college devotes to the core mission of higher education.

In addition to the Forbes ranking, the Chronicle of Higher Education released data on costs at colleges and universities from 1998-99 through 2016-17.

Among other private four-year institutions in the state of Tennessee for 2016-17, Johnson ranked 3rd lowest in cost among those who offer room and board.

Tuition/Total Costs 2016
 Johnson University = $13,950/ $19,770

View the lists in the links below:

 Forbes 2016 Financial Grades

Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2016-17

 

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JUTN hosts 2016 Chinese Character Recognition Contest

KNOXVILLE- On the 29th of Oct. Middle-Eastern Tennessee High School students converged at Johnson for the 2016 Chinese Character Recognition Contest.

The purpose of the contest is to foster the interest in Mandarin Chinese, encourage a sense of achievement in learning the language, and enhance ability in Chinese script writing among high school students.

The contest was open to all high school students who have learned Chinese for one year or more.Several area schools participated in the contest this year, with a total of 48 participants.

The contest involved individual and team efforts, and also featured a speech competition. Cash prizes and Johnson University scholarships were awarded to the contest winners.

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Dr. Hugh Ross to speak on faith and science

KNOXVILLE – On Oct. 12, Dr. Hugh Ross, President and Founder of Reasons to Believe, will be on JUTN’s campus speaking on science, faith, and controversial questions of origin.

Dr. Ross will speak in the PW gym at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

This meeting will count towards students’ group chapel attendance.

Dr. Ross will also be available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Private Dining Room of the Gally Commons for an informal Q&A.

Students and faculty are also invited to attend the chapter meeting for Reasons to Believe in PW 213 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m on Wednesday.

Reason to Believe is an organization dedicated to scientific research. They posit in their mission that reason should, “consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature.”

To learn more about Dr. Ross and Reasons to Believe visit their website here.

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What JU students should know about the changes in FAFSA

KNOXVILLE – Students on Johnson’s campus may have seen fliers or read announcements recently telling of changes in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2017-18 year.

FAFSA has announced that this year students will be able to file for aid beginning on October 1st, three months earlier than in prior years.

Students will also for the first time be able to file prior-prior year (PPY) tax information when reporting personal and family income.

JUTN Financial Aid Counselor, Jenna Cook, explained the reasoning behind the changes.

“Normally you use the tax information from the current year, so when you complete your FAFSA most of the time your taxes aren’t completed. You would put ‘will file’ in the tax section and then you can’t be awarded aid until that section is updated,” she said “So you would have to go back into the FAFSA and change it, which most students don’t remember to do.”

Thus, in an effort to simplify, FAFSA will accept already completed 2015 tax forms.

Cook noted that this will be helpful for students in that it will make the tax section of the form a one-step process.

“For students who are selected for verification its also beneficial because half of that process is already done since they’ve used the tool. It just makes it faster for everyone,” she said.

“And the fact that its open earlier gives students more time to manage their finances before the 2017-18 year starts. So they beat all of the rush of the last minute applications and verification process. They can come to school with already in mind what their aid is.”

Although the changes will be helpful for most, some students could face complications, which Johnson’s Financial Aid staff is prepared for.

“If there has been a dramatic loss of income, and that’s a scenario that’s probably going to come up a lot, we are doing special circumstance appeals for those students and reevaluate their situation,” she said “So those people are not necessarily out of luck if something has changed dramatically.”

For more information on JU financial aid visit their webpage.

Financial Aid encourages students to take advantage of these changes and begin filing a FAFSA here.

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JUTN introduces new first-generation program

KNOXVILLE – The First-Generation College Student program has kicked off its first year at Johnson University. This program will connect first-generation freshmen to first-generation upperclassmen and faculty.

A first-generation student is defined as a student whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. Students that are classified as first-generation are the first in their family to attend a four-year college with the purpose of attaining a bachelor’s degree.

The new program will offer social activities, workshops, and resources to assist students. Workshops will focus on career planning, financial aid information, scholarships, guilt and many other topics based on student preferences.

Johnson has roughly 120 first-generation students.  So far 15 students have attended the first meeting for the program.

Director of Academic Support, Kelly Estes sees the program as being beneficial to all first generation students that attend Johnson University.

“As the Director of Academic Support, I felt students would benefit from a program that would provide mentors, workshops and other resources to assist them in being successful at Johnson,” she said.

The program will serve to encourage first generation students and offer them opportunities and personal experiences that they may not have otherwise received. Each freshman will have mentors to encourage and assist them in college life and challenges.

Some goals for the program include the development of scholarships for first-generation students and a transportation system to assist students with accessibility to organizations to obtain SALT hours and access to internships.

At the first official meeting 1st G.E.A.R was decided as the official name for the program, standing for First Generation Educated and Ready.

“We want to encourage students to get involved with this wonderful opportunity to connect and develop skills to assist them in their journey at Johnson and for their future,” Estes said.

Students are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings. The next meeting will be Oct 31 at 5:30 p.m. in the EAC Student Center. The meeting will be a board game night with refreshments and all first-generation students are encouraged to come.

For further information, students may contact Kelly Estes at kestes@johnsonu.edu or call 865-251-2426.

 

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JUTN welcomes Rachel Nawrocki

KNOXVILLE – This semester JUTN welcomed Rachel Nawrocki as the Director of Business Administration and Nonprofit Administration.

Nawrocki is also an Assistant Professor in Leadership Studies within the School of Business and Public Leadership as well as a PhD candidate in Leadership Studies at Johnson University.

Nawrocki, who graduated from Warner University (formerly Warner Southern College) with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management and a Master of Science in Management, initially gained experience in nonprofit organization through working as the CEO of the nonprofit organization Samaritan’s Touch Care Center in Sebring, Florida. Samaritan’s Touch Care Center works to provide indigent healthcare services to those at or below 200% of the poverty level.

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Rachel Nawrocki and Johnson Graduate Jeryn Evers Talley

Nawrocki, who played an instrumental role in launching the Business Administration degree at Johnson University Florida, spoke of the events that led her to joining the JUTN faculty.

“I was asked by Dr. Alicia Crumpton to be a part of the design team to … build the School of Business,” she said. “I just believed so much in Johnson and just the heart of who we are as a University that I so wanted to be involved in this design committee.”

Dr. Alicia Crumpton, Ph.D. Program Director and Professor of Leadership Studies at JUTN, spoke about her reasoning behind the decision to reach out to Nawrocki.

“When it was decided to launch the new BA/BS in Business Administration on our JUFL campus, we had zero reputation relative to business education and a short timeline for recruiting new students.  As I strategized how best to accomplish the task, I knew I needed someone who embraced our ethos and passion for student care combined with superior networking and public relation skills. I thought of Rachel immediately,” said Crumpton. “She embodies our ethos and ethic of care for students and excellence in all things.  Rachel is a natural connector and ambassador for JU’s mission and for the SOBPL academic programs. Our successful launch of the BA/BS in Business Administration program in Florida is a testament to her hard work.”

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The Nawrocki family: Damian, 13, Zbigniew, Kylie, 8, Rachel, and Lissy, 11. 

In regard to the School of Business & Public Leadership, Nawrocki has high hopes for the impact  undergraduate, graduate, and PhD opportunities will continue to afford to Johnson students.

“I think it’s important to really spread the message of Christ-centered business and nonprofit. A lot of people view business and the business sector as completely separate from ministry and Christian calling and so on and that is just absolutely not the case. You have people who we’re equipping and preparing for life to go in and lead organizations and manage people and within their sphere of influence make an incredible impact on this world eternally,” Nawrocki said. “I think what’s exciting about this is that we’re not just another business school, there is differentiation in that it is Kingdom work.”

Apart from academia, Nawrocki and her husband, Zbigniew, have three children and enjoy traveling, competing in triathlons and races, coaching soccer, and anything involving the outdoors.

Nawrocki is also passionate about making an impact in the local community through  involvement in Board membership, missions, anti-trafficking efforts, youth and children’s ministry, domestic violence rehabilitation, and indigent care.

 

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Woodlawn offers ESL service learning opportunity

KNOXVILLE – Woodlawn Christian Church is offering service learning opportunities for volunteers as ESL teachers for international students on every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evening.

ESL classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7-9 p.m., Fridays at 7:30-9:30 p.m., and Sundays at 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.-noon.

On weekdays, the classes consist of group prayer, a short time of group singing, and sessions with international students and their teachers. On Sundays, the sessions involve a Bible study with leadership from Matt and Hope Hixson in the first session or Georgia Panya in the second.

The goal of the ministry is to point international students to Christ while assisting them with their English pronunciation.

“It’s really just a short-term mission on a Friday night,” Janice Kidd, a volunteer in the program, said of a recent meeting.

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International students and volunteers pray at the commencement of a meeting.

 

During their weekday sessions together, students orally read books that incorporate Christian themes while ESL teachers correct any pronunciation errors. Conversations about the spiritual subject matter are encouraged, which gives international students a chance to practice their spoken English skills and learn more about Christianity.

Currently, more volunteers are needed as ESL teachers, since the large number of international students in the program requires more teachers in order to maintain smaller-sized reading groups.

“We need service learning students here at the Woodlawn International Program,” Kidd said.

Volunteers are also needed for working with the children and youth of many international students, who often visit the United States for a year or two. Many are Chinese and are graduate students and visiting professors at the University of Tennessee.

“The parents come…because they have good teachers and because their children have good teachers,” Kidd said.

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Janice Kidd serves in childcare center during classes

Volunteers can come anytime classes are held and are not required to have previous experience as an ESL teacher.

The program began in 1989, and since then over 150 international people who have had contact with the program have accepted Christ as their savior and have been baptized. Since last October, four people have been baptized, one of whom is a former Muslim from Sudan.

The international program at Woodlawn provides an excellent opportunity to complete hours for Johnson University’s service learning requirement.

Kirk McClelland, Associate Professor of Service Learning and the new director of JU’s Quality Enhancement Program, is currently developing an expansion of the service learning program.

Anyone interested in Woodlawn’s International Program should contact Georgia Panya by phone at 865-609-0555, or via email at GeorgiaP@Reagan.com

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JUTN Templar School of Education awaits approval for new degree programs

KNOXVILLE – This semester the Johnson University Templar School of Education prepares to announce new degree programs and other advancements in the department.

Roy Miller, Dean of Johnson University’s Templar School of Education, commented on the changes that are soon to be in effect in the School.

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Roy Miller, Ed.D., Dean, Templar School of Education

“We are currently awaiting approval for a Special Education K-8 Interventionist major and that will be an undergraduate, bachelor’s degree program,” he said. “Also we are currently in the process of applying for an Educational Specialist program.”

The two majors under the Ed.S program will be Technology and Administration with licensure to be a school principal. Prospective students must attain a master’s degree to be accepted into either of the programs. Both programs are projected to begin by summer 2017.

The School of  Education is also awaiting approval for an Educational Doctoral degree.

“We are already in the process of creating an Ed.D degree and this degree will begin with SACSCOC approval in the fall of 2018,” Miller said.

Miller extended his welcome to Chris Henderson,as Adjunct Professor of Education and the new Consultant for proposed Ed.S and Ed.D programs on the Tennessee campus. Karen Eastep is now the Director of ECLC and supervisor of Undergraduate Field Experience.

“We have never offered a Special Education major and this is going to peak interest locally as well as across our church connections,” Miller said.”This major is going to be a great opportunity for Johnson to answer the calling to help the least of these. ”

Miller oversees the undergraduate program, graduate program, and international program. He also has a role in working with faculty and staff to ensure students are provided with assistance and the greatest possibility of graduation and employment.

“I’m excited about the direction of  Johnson University and Templar School of Education,”Miller said. “I am also excited about the opportunity to open our international center that will allow students to meet and advance the Kingdom through international missions.”

For more information on the Templar School of Education and the current degree programs offered at Johnson University, visit the Johnson University webpage .