Category Archives: Degree Programs

Band of stage fighters at Pellissippi State takes on Renaissance Festival

2 people fight with swords in Renaissance attire
In the photo, Steve Trigg, left, engages in a mock sword fight with Thomas Crout. Crout plays character Captain Pickle and Trigg plays Beryl Plectrum Codpiece Knackberry Folderol.

Stage-fighting students at Pellissippi State Community College took their unique combat skills to the next level when they performed recently for the East Tennessee Renaissance Festival.

“Our stage-fighting course is unique in Tennessee,” said Charles R. Miller, the college’s Theatre program coordinator and a professor of Liberal Arts. “We have one of the top two-year Theatre programs in the country.”

Students in the stage-fighting course learn the skills to perform mock combat for theatrical purposes. Participants are a mix of full-time students and people from the community enrolled only in the class.

The fighters from Pellissippi State—Greg Congleton, Jordan Cook, Carolyn Corey, Thomas Crout, Julianna Meyers, Steve Trigg and Debi Wetherington—worked as “street characters” at October’s Renaissance Festival in Harriman. Several also performed on stage twice a day in “In a Pickle,” a comedy stunt show, and all honed their skills in “Human Combat Chess,” featuring theatrical sword fighting.

“We were aiming for the highest level of quality and safety available,” said Barrie Paulson, vice president/manager and entertainment director of the East Tennessee Renaissance Festival. “These students from Pellissippi State were cast in lead roles. The word after the performances was that even though the student actors were new, they more than held their own beside other professional stage acts.”

Earlier this year, 10 students at Pellissippi State passed the skills proficiency test of the Society of American Fight Directors. It was the first time the test had been administered in the state in almost 20 years.

In the video, Debi Wetherington and Jordan Cook take part in the Human Combat Chess Match. Jordan plays William Black and Debi plays Mary Tailor, two characters who are engaged to be married, but pitted against each other in the chess match. The video shows their unwillingness to hurt each other even as they are forced to appear to battle.

The college’s stage-fighting course is taught by Bob Borwick, the only SAFD certified instructor in Tennessee. Borwick teaches exclusively at Pellissippi State. Paulson served as a volunteer fight assistant in the course. She, too, passed the SAFD exam earlier this year.

Miller, who taught the stage combat class for years, says he gladly stepped aside for Borwick’s expertise: “Bob has so much great experience, and the quality of our Theatre program comes first.”

“It turned out to be a great opportunity for me to keep current with my stage-fight skills and to scout quality actor-combatants for the Renaissance Festival,” Paulson said.

Paulson and the Pellissippi State students tested with Dale Girard, an SAFD fight master and director of stage combat studies at North Carolina School of the Arts. By passing the exam, the students earned a much sought-after skill status in the world of professional theatre.

The course to prepare for the SAFD skills proficiency test is THEA 2222 Special Topics (Stage Combat), and it will be available again in spring 2015. Business and Community Services also is offering a non-credit Stage Combat course.

“I would love to see Pellissippi State’s Theatre program become the place for stage combat training in East Tennessee, and the place talent scouts target for expertise,” Paulson said.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Early Childhood Education intro course hits record enrollment for fall

Female handing object to young child.
Hannah Wilson, an Early Childhood Education student at Pellissippi State Community College, interacts with a child through the program’s student club, “Club Ed,” which is devoted to community service and volunteerism. Students volunteer to provide children’s activities at community events such as Fantasy of Trees, Boo at the Zoo, and EarthFest and at Pellissippi State functions like the Festival of Cultures.

Enrollment in the introductory course of the Early Childhood Education degree program at Pellissippi State Community College is at an all-time high this semester.

Twenty-eight students signed up for Introduction to Early Childhood Education.

“These are great numbers for us. We’re so excited to have students interested in Early Childhood Education,” said Terenia Moody, Early Childhood’s program coordinator. “This semester, we’ve also introduced a new cohort program at the Magnolia Avenue Campus that is really taking off.”

An additional 21 students are taking the cohort courses offered at Magnolia Avenue. In a cohort, students begin, progress through and complete their coursework as a group. Cohorts encourage greater community and teamwork among students, as well as providing greater individualized attention from faculty.
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Pellissippi State gives students the opportunity to earn a short-term certificate, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education and an Associate of Science in Teaching Pre-K-3.

“These different certificates and degrees offer our students a wide range of options for their futures,” said Moody. “They can pursue a career in child care right away, or they can transfer to a four-year institution and finish their education. Our students might be entrepreneurs, wanting to start their own center, or they might wish to be a teacher or a teacher’s assistant.”
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The program also has an active student club, “Club Ed,” which is devoted to community service and volunteerism. Students often volunteer to provide children’s activities at community events such as Fantasy of Trees, Boo at the Zoo, and EarthFest and at Pellissippi State functions like the Festival of Cultures.

For more information about Early Childhood Education, visit www.pstcc.edu/eced or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State introduces Sustainable Design concentration

At Pellissippi State Community College, “sustainability” is more than just a buzzword. It’s an educational pursuit.

This fall, students can enroll in the Engineering Technology degree program with a concentration in Sustainable Design. The curriculum is offered at the college’s Hardin Valley and Strawberry Plains campuses.

“Sustainable design practices seek to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings,” said Greg Armour, who teaches in Engineering and Media Technologies. “We can enhance living and working spaces while still reducing the consumption of nonrenewable resources.
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“Students will learn a holistic approach to design that considers life-cycle costs such as building efficiency and energy. The idea of sustainability, or ecological design, is to ensure that our actions today don’t inhibit the opportunities of future generations.”

Sustainable Design is open to all Pellissippi State students interested in pursuing Engineering Technology. It is also part of the curriculum at the new Knox County Schools Career Magnet Academy, which opened this month at the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus. Sustainable Design is one of eight pathways from which the high school students can choose.

The concentration is useful for students interested in the construction industry and in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification exam, as well as for students interested in fields as wide-ranging as business, consulting, and science. The curriculum includes topics such as passive solar design, construction techniques, site selection and design, building information modeling software, and LEED sustainability concepts.
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“The Sustainable Design concentration offers a great foundation of the most essential ideas for those who wish to be an agent of change,” said Armour, who is an architect and LEED accredited professional.

Students who complete the Sustainable Design coursework at Pellissippi State earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree. The 60-hour concentration includes classroom and open-lab time.

The Sustainable Design concentration checklist is available online.

For more information about Engineering Technology or other degree programs at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Blount County adds Automated Industrial Systems courses to fall offerings

3 people standing in front of wall with 2 shaking hands
L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State Community College president, left, accepts a check from Mike Brackett, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee’s senior vice president of corporate services and DENSO International America Inc.’s vice president of North American corporate planning and human resources, on behalf of the College and the Pellissippi State Foundation on Friday, Aug. 1. At right is Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

Pellissippi State Community College will offer courses in the college’s newest Engineering Technology concentration, Automated Industrial Systems, at its Blount County Campus this fall. Registration is going on now.

Automated Industrial Systems is one of seven concentrations in the Engineering Technology associate’s degree program. AIS prepares students to operate state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment, including programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment. The concentration launched at the Hardin Valley Campus in 2013 through a partnership with DENSO North America Foundation.

Pellissippi State is able to purchase equipment to expand the AIS concentration to Blount County thanks to a $48,500 grant from the DENSO Foundation.

“Because of support from the DENSO North America Foundation and our partnership with DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, we’ve often been able to keep our engineering technologies and workforce training programs on the cutting edge,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

The grant was awarded through the Pellissippi State Foundation. Funds will go toward the purchase of 20 soldering stations; five Allen-Bradley programmable logic controllers; and 10 National Instruments Elvis II Plus modular platforms. The platforms combine several tools, including oscilloscopes, digital multimeters and dynamic signal analyzers, into one device.

“This grant will provide a state-of-the-art environment for workforce development,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“It will support the education and training needed for manufacturing in the East Tennessee region—for new technologists, company employees, and students transitioning in their careers.”

The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For information about scholarships and grants offered through the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

To learn more about AIS and other Engineering Technology concentrations, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

 

About the DENSO North America Foundation
A registered 501(c)3 corporate foundation, The DENSO North America Foundation is dedicated to helping students advance their education in engineering, technology and other related programs. Founded in 2001, the Foundation provides grants to colleges and universities throughout North America, helping our communities prosper through the development of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. The Foundation also provides disaster relief grants through the American Red Cross to aid persons and communities in which DENSO operates. For more information, visit http://densofoundation.org

New ‘cohort’ programs available at Pellissippi State campuses this fall

Pellissippi State Community College is adding several new “cohort” options to its degree and certificate offerings this fall, with courses scheduled to be convenient for working adults, in particular.

Cohorts allow students to enter and finish college together, as one dynamic group. Pellissippi State offers two pathways—accelerated and traditional—for earning a cohort degree.

Students can earn a degree more quickly through the accelerated than the traditional pathway, thanks to shorter-length courses. Accelerated pathway cohorts are ideal for those who work during regular school hours, who have family or other responsibilities and/or who may have been out of school for a while. Both pathways offer opportunities to gain college credit for prior life and learning experience.

Cohort certificate programs are designed for working students who want to learn new skills or upgrade their abilities/expertise in a shorter amount of time than a degree would require. 

Here are the degree and certificate cohorts that are new in fall 2014 and the campuses where they are offered. All of these cohorts follow the accelerated pathway:

Magnolia Avenue Campus:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education degree. This degree program is offered two evenings per week for four semesters. The Early Childhood program leads to career opportunities in teaching, assistant teaching, and administration in Head Start and the field of child care.

Blount County Campus:

  • Industrial Automation certificate. This certificate program is offered two days per week for two semesters. It prepares students with the skills needed to troubleshoot and maintain programmable logic controller, instrumentation, and data acquisition systems.

Hardin Valley Campus: 

  • Associate of Science in Teaching degree. This two-year, five-semester, two-evening-a-week program includes a common core of courses for prospective elementary school teachers. Students who graduate with an A.S.T. degree can transfer to any Tennessee Board of Regents university, as well as Carson-Newman University, King University and Tusculum College. Students also have the option of completing their final two years of K-6 licensure at the Hardin Valley Campus through a partnership between Pellissippi State and Tennessee Technological University.

  • A.A.S. degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Industrial Maintenance. This two-year, six-semester degree curriculum prepares students for careers in large manufacturing companies working as multicraft, industrial machinery maintenance and repair technicians.

  • A.A.S. degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Civil Engineering Technology and a Construction Engineering Technology option. This two-year degree program is offered two evenings per week over six semesters. It prepares students for careers in the commercial, industrial or residential construction industry.

  • Medical Insurance Coding and Reimbursement certificate. This certificate program meets two evenings per week for two semesters, preparing students for employment in medical insurance and health-care claim processing.

  • Electronic Health Records Specialist certificate. This certificate program meets two evenings per week for two semesters. It prepares students for entry-level employment in a medical office. The certificate is offered jointly with the Medical Insurance Coding and Reimbursement certificate.

  • A.S. General Education Core certificate. This three-semester certificate program gives Associate of Science degree students the opportunity to complete the foundation courses (math, English, science, etc.) for a bachelor’s degree before transferring to a four-year school. This certificate program is available not only as a cohort but also in a traditional format.

For more information about cohort-structured degree and certificate programs at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/cohorts or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State graduate comes from behind the scenes to walk at Commencement

male wearing a blue shirtDaniel Mace has helped build the stage for Pellissippi State Community College’s Commencement ceremony each of the past seven years. This May, he’ll be walking across it as a graduate.

“I have seen many a Pellissippi State graduation,” said Mace. “Normally, I sit behind the stage. I’m looking forward to walking across the stage myself this year and receiving that diploma and shaking hands with the president.”

Commencement is at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Mace officially graduates in the summer with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology. He plans to return to Pellissippi State next fall to take additional classes before transferring to Austin Peay State University to work toward a degree in mechanical engineering.

The Austin Peay degree is offered at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, thanks to a unique partnership between the two schools.

“I love Pellissippi State—that’s why I want to keep coming here,” Mace said.

He attributes his success in school to instructors and administrators at Pellissippi State “who have been great to help me and to teach me new ways of looking at the world. I think differently, now, when I look at the world and my actions in it.

“I’m not sure what career path I’ll take, but I think this degree will open doors for me and be a great opportunity.”

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State answers learning needs with help from TBR grant

Pellissippi State Community College faculty will seek to improve student success through a new course redesign, with the help from Tennessee Board of Regents Course Revitalization Initiative grants.

Two English courses and a math course will pilot the project at Pellissippi State.

In MATH 1530 Elementary Probability and Statistics, faculty will develop an “embedded remediation” component to enhance the class. In other words, students who formerly would have been placed in pre-college-level learning support at Pellissippi State will now take part in a standard, college-level course, but with extra support.

“There’s been a lot of data on success with embedded remediation, which is a type of just-in-time intervention,” said Brittany Mosby, project leader for the MATH 1530 course. Mosby’s team includes Math faculty Sue Ann Dobbyn and Claire Suddeth.

“Students who might have been placed into a learning support course will instead take a college-level class with their peers. As part of the embedded remediation component, these students will have additional classroom time to reinforce the material and be sure they understand the concepts.”

In the English Department, faculty will revitalize two gateway classes, ENGL 1010 Composition I—the only Pellissippi State course that all students are required to take—and its follow-up, ENGL 1020 Composition II. The revamped 1010 course will place more emphasis on regular, consistent writing and on sentence structure and grammar skills.

ENGL 1020, similarly, will be reworked to more appropriately continue skills learned in ENGL 1010, rather than spending the time reteaching or reviewing skills that should have been mastered in 1010. Revitalized 1020 will teach students more refined, advanced and specialized writing skills.

“Our faculty members have some exciting ideas about how to revise these courses to make them more effective,” said Kathryn Byrd, dean of the English Department. “Notably, their approach includes plenty of writing practice, clear communication of academic expectations and an emphasis on the student’s responsibility for his or her own learning.”

English faculty members participating in the pilot project are project leaders Alex Fitzner and Tara Lynn, with Casey Lambert, Teresa Lopez, Kelly Rivers, and Heather Schroeder.

The TBR Course Revitalization Initiative grants, awarded by the TBR Office of Academic Affairs, target high-enrollment gateway classes and encourage faculty to develop creative strategies to engage their students and teach critical thinking skills. TBR is the governing body for Pellissippi State.

“These grants will provide an opportunity for these faculty members to create an innovative class for students to review their prerequisite skills just in time for new college-level content,” said Nancy Pevey, dean of the Mathematics Department.

The pilot revitalized classes at Pellissippi State begin this fall. The effectiveness of those classes will be evaluated, and the pilots may be enlarged to include other classes.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State launches online ‘Career Coach’ for students, community

Pellissippi State Community College has announced a partnership with Career Coach, a free online tool that allows students and community members to explore potential careers.

Career Coach can be accessed at Pellissippi State’s website, www.pstcc.edu.

Career Coach provides real-time information customized to East Tennessee, including career prospects for certain degrees, detailed wage estimates and up-to-date job postings for nearly any career. Users also are directed to Pellissippi State’s program offerings when searching for specific jobs.

“We are excited to offer our students and our community this opportunity to identify careers they would like to pursue and the pathways that will take them there,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs.

On Career Coach, users can search for openings in their current field, or for similar jobs if their original search—or present job—doesn’t seem like a good fit. The site also shows the education required to move from one career to another. In addition, users can search for careers based on Pellissippi State’s top programs or the programs the users are most interested in.

Career Coach includes a resume builder to help students and job seekers quickly and efficiently highlight their key skills and job experience.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State hosts Computer Careers Open House for Knox-area women

Pellissippi State Community College is offering a Computer Careers Open House for Knoxville-area women Monday, April 7.

The event is 5:15-7:15 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The open house is funded through a $1,000 grant to help encourage women in computing and information technology fields. The grant is administered by the National Center for Women and IT Academic Alliance.

The Computer Career Open House is open to female rising eighth-grade and high school students, their parents, Pellissippi State and other college students, and other women in the community interested in learning more about careers in computing.

“We are excited about and grateful for the opportunity to share and be an influence on young women in their career choices,” said Christy Watson, a Computer Science and Information Technology student and chair of the student club that received the Symantec Student Seed Fund grant.

“In some of my Computer Science and Information Technology classes,” she said, “I’m the only woman or in the minority among mostly male students. I think women often relegate computers and technology to being the equivalent of ‘gaming,’ or they feel that they’ve outgrown their interest in computers.”

Presenters at the Computer Career Open House will include Pellissippi State faculty and students, as well as local professionals and employers in the computer science and IT industries.

After the open house portion of the event, an optional hour-long “Hour of Code” session will be offered to the first 50 people to register. Sign up by contacting Sharon Burlingame, CSIT program coordinator at Pellissippi State, at (865) 694-6588.

The NCWIT Academic Alliance includes more than 275 colleges and universities. The program is charged with implementing institutional change in higher education, particularly in providing access to leading-edge best practices for recruiting and retaining women. Symantec, a NCWIT sponsor member, is a computer security software corporation and Fortune 500 company.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State announces new Automated Industrial Systems concentration

Automation is at the technological cutting edge of manufacturing. Now training in that technology is available at Pellissippi State Community College, and it’s linked to a degree.

In fall 2013, Pellissippi State launched a new Automated Industrial Systems concentration within the Engineering Technology program. Students who graduate in Engineering Technology earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“Manufacturing is now high-tech. I don’t know of any manufacturing job that doesn’t include automation,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries, dean of Engineering and Media Technologies.

The new AIS concentration will train students to operate state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment, including programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment.

“In order for students to be ready to go to work,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, “we must continue to integrate newer technology into our training programs.

“The cutting-edge equipment used in our AIS concentration courses also will be used for our new and existing engineering technology, workforce training, and STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] awareness programs.”

Much of the new training equipment was purchased through a $50,000 grant from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

“At DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, we specialize in robot design and programming and now have more than 800 robots on our production lines,” said Mike Brackett. Brackett is a DENSO Foundation board member and senior vice president of Corporate Services at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

“Automation will continue to be critical in the future of DENSO and our automotive customers, meaning we need talented and knowledgeable people in this area.”

DENSO is not the only local manufacturer that uses automated industrial systems.

“Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. utilizes advanced automation and robotic systems throughout our production process,” said Kennon Rollins, engineer manager for Green Mountain. The Vermont-based company has a manufacturing facility at Forks of the River in East Knox County.

“With the advancement of automated control systems, the need for proficient skills in computers and electrical, pneumatic, and mechanical systems and controls has only increased. It is an absolute necessity to have not only technical knowledge but also critical thinking skills that can be used for troubleshooting or getting to a root cause of a problem.”

For more information about Engineering Technology and other academic offerings at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.