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Providing Valuable Experience                                           Engaging in Relevant and
Through Experiential Learning@MGA                                                  Applied Research

    The topic selected for our Southern Association of Colleges and         When most people think university, they think research. Universities
Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Quality Enhancement Plan       have long been the places where bright minds test their hypotheses to
(QEP) - experiential learning - aligns with our mission and reinforces  find viable explanations for why our lives are as they are and to propose
the student-centered focus of the University.                           solutions aimed at improving our quality of life.

    Titled Experiential Learning@MGA, the QEP offers students experiential             As a state university, we value a broad spectrum of scholarly
learning opportunities reflecting the diversity of the students and     activities, from basic research to applying practical knowledge to the
communities we serve, the disciplines we teach, and the needs of        issues facing our community. While many of our researchers are more
our region. These include internships, undergraduate research,          apt to be collaborating with area employers than they are to be tucked
and service learning.                                                   away in labs wearing white coats, Middle Georgia State values faculty
                                                                        contributions ranging from artistic composition to the scholarship of
    In our first year as a university, more  First year participation   teaching and learning.
than 450 students earned experiential
learning credit and we hosted our first      452                            We are currently home to four research centers or institutes—each
Undergraduate Research Showcase.                                        focused on an area in which we either have unique expertise and
                                             students                   capabilities or where our region has a pressing need.
    Among the students presenting
research at that showcase was Elizabeth      106 INTERNSHIPS                The Center for Applied Research and Education (CARE) in
Cody Johnson, now a senior majoring in       215 RESEARCH PROJECTS          our College of Arts & Sciences, providing grant evaluations, needs
New Media and Communications. After          131 SERVICE PROJECTS           assessments, and satisfaction research
the spring showcase, Johnson submit-
ted her research on student blogging to                                     The Institute for Applied Aerospace Research in our School of
the ACP, the world’s largest and oldest                                     Aviation, fabricating hardware for NASA’s James Web Space
national membership organization for                                        Telescope and authorized by the FAA to operate
college student journalists.                                                Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

                                  Her proposal was accepted, giving         The Center for Economic Analysis (CEA) in our School of
                              her the opportunity to present her            Business, providing insight on economic and business trends
                              research this fall in a 50-minute
                              breakout session at the ACP National          The Center for Cybersecurity Education and Applied Research
                              Convention in Washington, D.C.,               (CCEAR) in our School of Information Technology, providing
                              which featured notables such as               education and research in information assurance, computer
                              Edward Snowden, Donna Brazille, Bob           network security, digital forensics, cryptography, risk assessment
                              Woodward, and Jose Antonio Vargas.            and mitigation, disaster recovery, security regulations and
                              Johnson’s experience exemplifies the          compliance, and information security management
                              kind of thinking Experiential Learning@MGA is
                              designed to foster in our students.

New Media and Communications
major Elizabeth Cody Johnson
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