New Elizabethton senior dual enrollment course to focus on college, life skills

Representatives from Milligan College, Elizabethton High School and the Elizabethton City Schools were present for the announcement.

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (May 23, 2019) — Beginning with the Class of 2020, seniors at Elizabethton High School (EHS) will be enrolled in a new course designed to teach post-secondary success skills. The course, “Success! Skills for Excelling in College and Life,” will be co-taught by EHS teachers and Milligan College professors. Students enrolled will receive three hours of college dual enrollment credit.

The college credit hours earned through this course may be used at most colleges and universities through a consortium agreement. These credits also count towards students’ success milestones outlined in Tennessee’s “Ready Graduate indicator accountability metric. If students have already met their “Ready Graduate metrics or have scheduling or other conflicts, they may opt out of the course.

The course will focus on developing and demonstrating skills that are needed to succeed in college, the workplace and life. Skills will include time management, professional communication, leadership, decision making, career management, fitness and health, and study skills.

“We always hear from employers that job applicants need to have better soft skills, and we know those skills are essential both in college and career,” said Dr. Corey Gardenhour, Elizabethton’s Director of Schools. “We really begin to focus on that during freshman year in “Cyclone Experience,” so what we wanted to do is bring those concepts full circle. Our focus on project-based learning and professional communication skills are taught across the curriculum and have had a profound impact on our school and community. Our goal is to keep that momentum going as our students continue into the next phase of life.”

The original idea for a senior course was part of the 2015 Bartleby School student grant proposal and consisted of a senior capstone course. Once EHS was named an XQ Super School, it began implementing elements of this proposal. Over time, the idea for this senior course has evolved, and it is now designed to complement the freshmen “Cyclone Experience” course in content and style.

Dr. Garland Young, vice president for academic affairs, speaks to students about the importance of developing life skills.

Throughout the development of EHS as an XQ Super School, Milligan has been a very engaged and supportive partner, among other colleges in the region. When school leaders began to consider what this course could look like, Milligan volunteered to help with the design. The college’s academic affairs department offered an indispensable perspective and several hours of collaboration with EHS staff during course development.

“We are excited to partner with Elizabethton High School to teach ‘Success! Skills in Excelling in College and Life’,” said Dr. Garland Young, vice president for academic affairs and dean at Milligan. “We believe that student success requires certain skills and dispositions regardless of whether students are college-bound or workforce-bound following high school graduation. These skills include interview, communication and leadership skills, in addition to time management. Students also need to cultivate personal dispositions such as self-awareness, emotional intelligence and resiliency in order to be successful in life. This course will guide students toward both sets of goals.”

Student Learning Outcomes were identified by EHS teachers and Milligan professors. These include:

  1. Students will develop and implement skills to increase their college and career performance.
  2. Students will develop an increased appreciation of their capabilities and attitudes toward life through assessments taken during the course.  Assessments will include a learning inventories checklist.
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of how their capabilities, strengths and interests can be used in a variety of jobs.
  4. Students will develop an understanding of how to conduct a job search and of materials needed to support a job search.
  5. Students will develop an understanding of the skills and behaviors needed to participate and succeed in various interview settings.
  6. Students will develop an understanding of personal branding and social media presence.
  7. Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate in a professional manner.
  8. Students will develop an awareness of mental health and fitness strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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