Lowry, McQueen invited to attend Obama speech in Nashville

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L. Randolph Lowry
Candice McQueen

Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry and Candice McQueen, senior vice president and dean of the College of Education, are among a small number of community leaders invited to attend a speech given by President Barack Obama this afternoon at Nashville’s McGavock High School.

“I am honored to be a part of this select group who will have the opportunity to participate in President Obama’s visit to Nashville,” said Lowry. “There are a number of challenges facing our community and nation. Regardless of parties and politics, we are pleased to be at the table and to be a part of solving these problems.”

According to White House officials, the appearance is a private, invitation-only event. The audience will be composed primarily of McGavock High School students and staff but will include a select number of invited guests, including Mayor Karl Dean along with other government and community leaders.

Today’s event is part of Obama’s post-State of the Union tour. His remarks are expected to address issues such as economic disparity and helping the long-term unemployed. Obama has cited Metropolitan Nashville Public School’s Academies program in recent speeches as an initiative that is successfully helping prepare students for careers following graduation. Through these academies, students are exposed to a variety of careers and opportunities, technology literacy, critical thinking skills and mentoring relationship among other activities. McGavock High School is known for its successful Academies program.

“We recognize the importance of students completing high school,” said Lowry, who visited the White House in 2010 for a policy briefing on Iraq. “Education and preparing for a career are key factors in being successful in life. At Lipscomb, we also believe strongly in making a college education more accessible as we prepare students to be successful today and in the future.”

For nearly a decade, Lipscomb University has been committed to expanding the opportunity for traditional and non-traditional students to access a college education. Among the initiatives offered to help students meet their educational goals are

  • the Yellow Ribbon Program, which allows eligible U.S. military veterans to attend Lipscomb tuition free or at a greatly reduced cost,
  • community college scholarship program, which provides full scholarships for qualified community college students,
  • the three year degree program, which allows students to complete their degree a year early resulting in tuition savings,
  • a program for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities that offers a two-year academic certificate experience,
  • the adult degree program, providing working adults a way to complete their degrees at night and on weekends, and
  • scholarship program for students who are the first generation in their families to attend college among other programs.

Lipscomb University is also among a select group of universities across the country to explore an innovative competency-based learning model. A competency-based education model is an emerging concept in higher education that recognizes a student’s pre-existing set of college-level competencies, knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through work experience and other out-of-class learning experiences and assigns college credit based on an assessment of those attributes.

Lipscomb has also developed a number of new degree programs, which have been designed to meet specific workplace needs in pharmacy, education, conflict management, sustainability, civic leadership, information security, aging services and film and creative media among other disciplines, many of which are for jobs that did not exist just a few years ago.