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Nursing Track Added to ProjectGRAD Summer Institute

The University of Tennessee, College of Nursing has introduced a nursing track for the ProjectGRAD Summer Institute.

ProjectGRAD works to increase the high school graduation rate and increase the rate of postsecondary enrollment and graduation. ProjectGRAD works with Austin-East Magnet High School and Fulton High School to provide resources and support for students to secure a brighter future.

The ProjectGRAD Summer Institute began in 2001 as a collaboration between the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and ProjectGRAD. The institute, a week-long residential program, exposes students to academic expectations of college, and the personal dimensions needed to succeed in higher education settings.

There are eight academic tracks within the Summer Institute. A track is an introduction to a particular discipline, major, or career path, and students select their track based on their current career aspirations.

Kimberly Brown, clinical assistant professor and director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and Marcia McAllister-Spurgeon, clinical nursing faculty, developed the curriculum for the nursing track and will serve as the instructors for the nursing track.

“For me, ProjectGRAD nursing track is an opportunity for us at the College of Nursing to inform students of the options and opportunities available in the nursing profession, and also provide them with a taste of nursing,” said McAllister- Spurgeon.

Students will begin the ProjectGRAD Summer Institute in June. The classes will help to introduce students to the basics of their chosen track.

“The first exposure to nursing is an important step in career development.  Our goal is to accurately portray nursing so that students have the correct information when choosing nursing as a career,” said Brown.

Out of 115 scholars that will be participating in the Summer Institute 25 percent of them have requested nursing as their first choice of academic tracks.

“The immersive environment we are creating will help the scholars to see themselves in the role of a nurse. We want them to imagine themselves in the space, and work towards it,” said McAllister-Spurgeon. “The hands-on experiences will also provide them with life skills they will use even if they decided nursing is not for them. We are excited to be a part of this program and look forward to ongoing collaboration between the College of Nursing and the ProjectGRAD initiative.”



Kara Clark (865-9749498,