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TTU Grads Tops in Loan Repayment in TN

Press Release from Tennessee Tech University, March 13, 2018:

Tech is ranked first in Tennessee among public colleges and universities, and second in the state overall once private institutions are considered, by both groups.

Nationally, Tech is ranked #83 by Student Loan Report and #121 by LendEDU.

“College is a significant investment,” said Tech President Phil Oldham. “Students and their parents need to consider the return on that investment. These rankings, along with numerous others, show that Tennessee Tech provides a strong return on that investment by providing a high-quality education at an affordable price.”

The only other public university in the top five of Student Loan Report’s rankings for the state is the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (#5/#226 nationally). Vanderbilt University is the top-ranked school in Tennessee (#1/#78 nationally). More than 1,000 schools were ranked in the report.

The annual Student Debt Repayment Success Indicator report uses a formula to determine graduates’ chances of successfully repaying student debt. The indicator includes early career salary, student loan default rate, and average student loan debt per borrower. Several datasets – including federal repayment data from the Department of Education, data from Peterson’s Financial Aid dataset, and early career data from PayScale – are used.

The study showed Tech’s early career pay at $51,000 with the debt per borrower at $19,363 and the default rate at 5.31 percent for an indicator rating of 2.49.

A similar index from LendEdu, the College Risk-Reward Indicator, also ranked Tech as the top public university in the state, second overall and #121 nationally. Tech is the only public university in LendEDU’s top five rankings for the state. Nearly 1,000 schools were ranked by LendEDU.

LendEDU compared the average student loan debt per borrower with the average early career pay, or the median salary for alumni with zero to five years of experience.

The Student Loan Report rankings are at https://studentloans.net/student-debt-repayment-success-indicator/. The LendEDU rankings are at https://lendedu.com/blog/college-risk-reward-indicator-2018.

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Historian Visiting Cookeville to Discuss ‘Rowdy Origins’ of U.S. Constitution

PRESS RELEASE from Tennessee Tech University, Sept. 14, 2017:

The 13th Annual Nolan Fowler Constitution Day Celebration at Tennessee Tech presents “After Philadelphia: The Voice of the People and the Rowdy Origins of the Constitution” with Lorri Glover Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. in Derryberry Hall Auditorium.

Lorri Glover, author of “Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of the American Revolutionaries”

Glover teaches at Saint Louis University, where she holds the John Francis Bannon endowed chair in history. She has written extensively about early America, from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth. Glover has published works concerning siblings and kinship in South Carolina, masculinity in the Early Republic, the seventeenth-century colonization of Virginia and its sister settlement Bermuda, the intersection of family and politics in the lives of leading American Revolutionaries, and, most recently, the contentious debates over ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1787-1788.

Her latest works include “Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of the American Revolutionaries;” with Craig Thompson Friend, “Death and the American South;” and “The Fate of the Revolution: Virginians Debate the Constitution.” Glover received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Alabama and her master’s degree from Clemson University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.

The Nolan Fowler Constitution Day Celebration, now in its 13th year, commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. Named in honor of Nolan Fowler, a retired history professor at Tech who taught history and constitutional law at the university from 1962 to 1979, the annual event is made possible by his financial endowment to establish the Constitution Day Celebration at Tech.

The event is free and open to the public.

Derryberry Hall is located at 1 William L. Jones Drive, Cookeville.

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Comptroller Releases Info on Student Data Privacy Law

Press Release from the Office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, August 17, 2017:

The Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) has released a report that answers some common questions about student data privacy in Tennessee. The Q & A provides information on state and federal laws that protect K-12 students’ privacy.

In general, student data privacy refers to efforts to maintain the confidentiality of information that identifies individual students. The term “student data” is broad, encompassing almost anything that a student creates in school or that identifies an individual student.

Student data is not limited to social security numbers or test scores. Student data can encompass school work, class behavior, or even a student’s location. A key question to ask is whether a piece of information identifies an individual student or uses personal information about an individual student – if the answer is yes, then that information can be considered “student data”.

State and federal laws protect student data privacy by governing the actions of either a school employee, a member of the public, or a third-party vendor or technology operator. The new publication explains state laws in Tennessee that protect student data privacy. One of the laws – the Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act – gives the state more control and oversight regarding Tennessee public school employees’ collection of student data, and strengthens parental rights with respect to student data privacy. The Tennessee General Assembly passed this law in 2014.

Another law is the Student Online Personal Protection Act, passed in 2016, which primarily addresses the actions of third parties outside of Tennessee schools and districts. This law regulates vendors/contractors or other third parties operating online services used by students. The three primary federal laws related to student data privacy are also covered in the Comptroller’s publication.

School districts may take steps to protect student data privacy beyond what the laws require. However, those additional protections are likely to cost more in time or money.

OREA is a division within the Comptroller’s Office that is charged with providing accurate and objective policy research and analysis for the Tennessee General Assembly and the public. To view the full report online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/OREA/

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Putnam Co. Library Hosting Acclaimed Author of Historical Fiction in Sept.

PRESS RELEASE from the Putnam County Library, August 2, 2017:

The Putnam County Library Friends proudly presents the 10th Annual Dinner With An Author. This year’s dinner will be held on Friday, September 15th at 6:30 p.m. at the Leslie Town Centre, which is located at 111 West 1st Street in Cookeville, Tennessee.

The guest author this year is Ruta Sepetys, the 2017 winner of both the Carnegie Medal (the UK’s most prestigious award for children’s literature) and the Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Literature from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Ms. Sepetys is a New York Times bestselling author of Out of the Easy and Between Shades of Gray. Her most recent book is Salt to The Sea.

Sepetys’ writing can be described as deeply researched historical fiction that appeals to both adults and students.

A movie adaptation of Between Shades of Gray entitled “Ashes in the Snow” is in production.

Her books have been published in over fifty countries and thirty-six languages. Prior to becoming a novelist, Ms. Sepetys enjoyed a career in the music industry. She now proudly calls Tennessee home.

Tickets for this event are $35 and will be on sale from August 14th – September 12th at both the Putnam County Library and at CPAC. This year, tickets may be ordered online through CPAC at http://www.cookeville-tn.gov/ls/cpac/.

The Putnam County Library Friends is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the use, services, and facilities of the Putnam County Library System. Proceeds raised by this event and other activities directly impact the Library. The PCL Friends is a proud and dedicated supporter of the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

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Cookeville Library Hosting Homeschool Planning Forum

The Putnam County Public Library in Cookeville is hosting a roundtable meet-up for regional homeschooling families on Tuesday, March 28 at 10 a.m.

The forum’s purpose is both to introduce homeschool families to one another as well as put them in contact with library staff. The intention is to “discuss ideas, challenges, and how the library can support home learning.”

The program isn’t limited to just Cookeville and Putnam County families. “It’s open to everybody — whoever wants to come,” said Chelsea Gifford, a children’s librarian who is organizing the event.

Parents who’re thinking about homeschooling but haven’t yet committed are invited to attend as well.

More and more homeschool families are using library resources, and they tend to possess “various levels of experience and expertise” with instruction and curriculum development, said Gifford.

The meet-up event is intended to “encourage idea-sharing to see how the library can improve to help them — and how they can better network with one another through their own homeschooling efforts,” she said.

The Putnam County Library hopes homeschool families utilize library resources in the most advantageous ways possible, and the staff are looking for input on how best they can help facilitate in that regard, she added.

“We feel like the library is a natural meeting place for homeschool families where they can get materials for their curriculum,” said Gifford. “We have the ability to offer them extra programs and other things for what they are already doing at home.”

You can contact Ms. Gifford at chelseagifford@pclibrary.org, or call the library at 931-526-2416 to let them know you’re interested in attending or want to know more about the event. The library is located at 50 East Broad Street.