Rhodes, Vanderbilt announce collaboration to benefit students, faculty

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rhodes College and Vanderbilt University today announced an alliance that will increase time- and cost-efficiencies for Rhodes students seeking graduate education, enhance research options for faculty and open the door for other innovative partnerships that will benefit both schools.

The Vanderbilt-Rhodes Academic Partnership encompasses four programs designed to enhance opportunities for both students and faculty and lays the groundwork for future collaborations. Announced today were two “bridge” programs — the six-year Liberal Arts-Nursing Program and the Educational Master’s with Teacher Licensure Program — as well as a program designed to support faculty summer research and enhance instructional excellence.

“Tennessee is blessed with a number of outstanding institutions of higher education. Among them, Rhodes College and Vanderbilt University are two of the best,” said Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee. “We each have similarly high standards, illustrious histories, strong traditions of service, and we each attract highly motivated students who seek a challenging educational experience. This partnership will provide strategic benefits for both Rhodes and Vanderbilt.”

“Rhodes students will reap the benefits that an excellent small, liberal arts college has to offer while taking significant steps toward graduate education in two highly regarded professional fields,” said Rhodes President William E. Troutt. “For Vanderbilt’s part, its graduate programs will benefit from access to the highly desirable Rhodes students. The partnership will also allow our faculty to avail themselves of the scholarly and career enhancement services of a large research institution and will facilitate greater collaboration among faculty at both institutions.”

Under the nursing program, students will spend their first four academic years at Rhodes in a liberal arts program of study and the remaining two years at Vanderbilt studying one of the nursing specialty areas Vanderbilt offers. Students in the program will be able to complete certain prescribed nursing pre-requisites as a part of their bachelor’s degrees from Rhodes and will then enter the Vanderbilt School of Nursing and pursue a course of study leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree from Vanderbilt.

“A student who completes this program of study will have had the experience of dividing his or her academic career between the liberal arts environment of a small college campus and one of the nation’s top academic health science centers,” said Robert Llewellyn, dean of Rhodes College. “This unique combination of differing campus orientations will provide a student with a graduate nursing education, strongly complemented by extensive study in the humanities and social sciences.”

Colleen Conway-Welch, dean of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing, said, “This partnership is particularly important at this time of nursing shortage. We need to have more talented young people enter the profession. Arrangements such as this provide a unique opportunity for talented young people who wish to pursue nursing.”

Rhodes students interested in the Educational Master’s with Teacher Licensure Program will apply to Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development in the spring semester of their junior year. If they are admitted into the program, they will enroll in three prescribed Rhodes courses for which they may receive graduate credit that will be applied toward the Master in Education degree from Vanderbilt. Once they receive their bachelor’s degrees from Rhodes, they will enroll in the graduate program at Peabody College that will lead not only to a master’s degree but also state licensure in teaching.

“If we as a nation are going to make lasting and meaningful changes in our system of education, we must ensure that there is the necessary talent to lead these efforts,” said Peabody Dean Camilla Benbow. “This partnership will help widen the pool of teachers who are prepared to step into leadership roles and who will make a lasting difference.”

Both the nursing and education programs will be offered to Rhodes students beginning with the 2003-2004 academic year.

Faculty will also benefit from the Vanderbilt-Rhodes partnership. During the summer months, Vanderbilt will make available to Rhodes faculty and their families housing and services on the Nashville campus while the faculty member conducts research using Vanderbilt’s libraries and other facilities. Officials of the two institutions expect that a reciprocal agreement for housing Vanderbilt faculty and graduate students at Rhodes will begin in the summer of 2005.

Additionally, staff from Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching will offer consulting services to Rhodes in support of establishing a Center for Teaching and Learning at Rhodes.
Vanderbilt and Rhodes officials are currently exploring other avenues for collaboration including study abroad and opportunities for faculty professional development.
Rhodes, founded in 1848, is a private, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences. Its 1,550 students choose among 31 majors leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. The college also awards a Master of Science degree in accounting. Ranked in the top tier of America’s best national liberal arts colleges, Rhodes is governed by a student-administered honor code.

Vanderbilt University is a private research university of approximately 6,300 undergraduates and 4,600 graduate and professional students. Founded in 1873, the University comprises 10 schools, a public policy institute, a distinguished medical center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt, ranked as one of the nation’s top universities, offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development, and a full range of graduate and professional degrees.

Media contact: Elizabeth Latt, 615-322-NEWS, liz.latt@vanderbilt.edu

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