In addition to the "priority school" designation, State Farm officials gave the university $75,000 to enhance TTU's master's of business administration program through the development of a risk management concentration. The honor was based on a review of the college’s academic programs, the number of students attending, alumni support and the diversity of TTU's student population.
“We are pleased to make this contribution to Tennessee Tech University,” said G. Ron Nichols, State Farm vice president of operations for Tennessee. “Part of our commitment to education excellence includes grants to higher education institutions. We are happy to have Tennessee Tech as the priority school for Tennessee.”
“State Farm's mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. We achieve our mission through the products and services we offer, as well as through our involvement in and commitment to the community. Through the Good Neighbor Citizenship program, State Farm commits resources to helping raise the levels of achievement of our nation's teachers and students,” added Nichols.
The initial funding will allow the university's College of Business to design, develop and implement a concentration of courses in the MBA program that focus on the insurance-related area of risk management. The concentration will allow students in the MBA program to build a focus on the risk management field, which will help those who are interested in working in insurance-related industries.
The gift will also allow faculty members to create the necessary courses and augment their expertise through training in specific content areas related to risk management, to purchase library and research materials for supplementing student research, and to market the new concentration.
The "priority school" designation was awarded based on the quality of TTU's academic programs and because a number of TTU graduates are employed by State Farm. Approximately 71 of State Farm employees in Tennessee are graduates of Tennessee Tech.
"This gift is beneficial in many ways," said Robert Niebuhr, dean of TTU's College of Business. "It allows us to enrich our course offerings, serve the insurance industry with trained professionals, and meet the needs of our students. We can't thank State Farm enough for recognizing the value of our program and helping make it even better."
TTU's College of Business enrolls almost 1,700 students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the highest level of accreditation for colleges of business worldwide. The MBA program is available in both the traditional on-campus and in a distance format, which allows students to take courses at their own locations and on their own schedules.
The types of grants available to State Farm priority schools include those for insurance studies, actuarial science, and business related fields; university scholarships and leadership training; and financial services centers that offer coursework and resources to students and professionals in the financial services arena.
For more information on TTU's MBA program, contact Niebuhr at 931-372-3372 or visit the college web site at www.tntech.edu/mba.