Category Archives: Degree Programs

Pellissippi State earns prestigious Engineering Technology accreditation

Pellissippi State Community College joined the ranks of a select few when it recently received accreditation of its Engineering Technology degree program in six concentrations from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering.

A Certificate of Accreditation in Engineering Technology was presented for Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing, and Mechanical Engineering. Students who complete the two-year Engineering Technology program earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“The accreditation of Engineering Technology in these six concentrations distinguishes Pellissippi State as one of only 43 community colleges nationally to achieve ATMAE recognition,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs. There are approximately 1,700 public two-year schools in the U.S.

Accreditation became official late in 2013 and extends through November 2017.

“We are very pleased to receive accreditation from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “This accreditation will mean local industry and business leaders can be confident that our graduates have received relevant training and a quality education.”

“I am very proud of the faculty and leadership of our Engineering and Media Technologies Department in earning this accreditation,” said Lewis, who oversees all of the college’s academic departments.

“ATMAE accreditation,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries, dean of Engineering and Media Technologies, “provides confirmation to students, industry, employers and the community that Pellissippi State is dedicated to providing engineering technologies education that has met public scrutiny and evaluation.

“It certifies quality and denotes academic rigor. It ensures that our students graduate with a degree that meets nationally endorsed and recognized standards in their profession.”

ATMAE was founded in 1967 and is recognized as the premier professional association responsible for promotion of technology in industry and education, the accreditation of technology programs at higher education institutions, and the certification of technologists.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Engineering and Media Technologies programs and concentrations, visit www.pstcc.edu/emt or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Local students invited to compete in ‘Frame x Frame’ audio-video competition

All local middle school, high school and college students are invited to participate in Pellissippi State Community College’s inaugural “Frame x Frame” competition, an audio and visual media contest.

Students will participate in age categories to tell short stories in video productions between two and 10 minutes long. The competition is free to enter. The deadline for entries is end of day, Friday, March 7.

“This is an opportunity for all students to put together a short audio and visual media production that tests their creativity and introduces them to industry professionals,” said Katie Lovette, an instructor in Engineering and Media Technologies and planner of the event.

“These films are ‘shorts,’ presentations of a moment in time. They can be animated, video or even pictures set to music. The theme, ‘Tell Us a Story,’ is open to encourage creativity among entries.

“Everyone will get feedback on their work from our judges, who are video production industry professionals, so it’s a valuable experience and a way to get critiqued.”

The entries for middle and high school students should be 2-4 minutes long, and the maximum length of any video should be 10 minutes. Entries should be brought in person to the lobby of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Posted signs will direct participants where to leave their entries.

Each competition entry will be screened in the Bagwell Gallery during the “Frame x Frame” exhibit, March 17-26. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The entries will be judged on March 19.

Prizes will be awarded to each age category’s winner. Awards include a scholarship to Pellissippi State.

For more information about the competition, visit www.framexframecompetition.wordpress.com or email framexframe@pstcc.edu. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State, APSU partner to help working adults earn four-year Engineering Tech degree

Fifteen students at Pellissippi State Community College are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in Engineering Technology this fall. The new program, a partnership between Pellissippi State and Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, is designed to support working adults in earning a four-year degree.

Under what’s called a 2+2 agreement, a student may earn an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology, then a bachelor’s degree in either Manufacturing Engineering Technology or Mechanical Engineering Technology—without ever leaving the Pellissippi State campus.

“I think this is an example of a partnership that helps close the skills gap,” Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. said, “especially in terms of manufacturing skills in the Knoxville area. It creates a pathway for our students to move from the community college into a four-year university and earn an applied bachelor’s degree, and it offers working adults the convenience of staying at one location for all four years.”

When students complete the first two years of study, they will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree from Pellissippi State, historically a two-year school. The A.A.S. will be in Engineering Technology, with a concentration in Manufacturing Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. The final two years of the coursework will culminate in a Bachelor of Science degree from APSU.

To further meet the needs of working adults, classes also take place in the evening and the program is arranged as a cohort. In a cohort, students move together through their courses, beginning to end, as a group. Pellissippi State has offered cohorts through its Accelerated Higher Education Associate’s Degree program since 2007.

Wise and Timothy L. Hall, APSU president, signed the articulation agreement earlier this year for the new partnership. The program kicked off when the fall semester began in August.

APSU and Pellissippi State both have well-established Engineering Technology programs. The 2+2 will cover curricula in advanced manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing. APSU offers a specialization in that discipline.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology degree program also allows students to concentrate in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering or Industrial Maintenance.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or contact Celeste Evans, who oversees Pellissippi State’s Cohort Programs, at clevans@pstcc.edu or (865) 539-7381.

Pellissippi State tops state in associate’s degrees in 2012-2013

Pellissippi State Community College led Tennessee in the number of associate’s degrees awarded by two-year colleges this past school year, and now the college has established its first winter Commencement ceremony next month to accommodate graduates and their families.

Pellissippi State awarded 1,265 associate’s degrees in the 2012-2013 school year, more than any other two-year college in the state, according to the Tennessee Board of Regents, the school’s governing body. The college also awarded 935 certificates, the second highest number in Tennessee.

“Since L. Anthony Wise Jr. became president [in 2011], he has said he wanted us to become the No. 1 producer of associate’s degrees in the state. We did it!” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs.

“We’ve been focusing on increasing graduation rates: from making the process for applying to graduate simpler for students, to implementing academic support programs, to increasing the number of cohort programs we offer, and even to changing our focus and message to students in advising.”

“It is generally advantageous to students to earn a degree, rather than to just take some courses and transfer,” said Lois Reynolds, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs, “because universities are more likely to accept all of the students’ credits with a complete degree.”

As the number of degrees awarded to Pellissippi State students has increased, the college’s annual Commencement ceremony in the spring has grown correspondingly larger. In May, 514 students walked across the stage at graduation.

“We’ve never had more than one graduation ceremony in an academic year,” said Ashford, “but at this past spring graduation ceremony, we had so many students and guests that we found we’d grown too big for our venue, and realized the ceremony has become less intimate.”

Pellissippi State’s administration responded by adding a second graduation ceremony: Friday, Dec. 13, the college will host its inaugural winter Commencement.

Any student graduating in summer or fall 2013 is eligible to walk across the stage at the ceremony. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

Ashford and Reynolds hope the ceremony will attract Pellissippi State graduates who earn their degrees in the summer or fall but otherwise would have declined to return for spring graduation.

Pellissippi State is among several of the state’s community colleges seeing gains in the number of degrees and certifications they award. This past school year, community colleges awarded 14,299 degrees and certificates—8,543 associate’s degrees and 5,756 certificates, according to TBR.

That number compares to 18,531 degrees and certificates awarded by universities, and the proportion of community college-to-university students who are graduating or earning certificates is increasing: in 2009, community colleges awarded only half as many degrees and certificates as universities.

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

Pellissippi State: Bridge to Registered Nurse offers LPNs fast track to higher degree

Pellissippi State Community College offers a fast track for licensed practical nurses to receive their registered nurse degree.

Through the Bridge to Registered Nurse program, Pellissippi State allows LPNs to enter nursing school following the successful completion of one summer transitional course. The Bridge program offers an advanced placement opportunity: a shortened 12-month, three-semester program—two semesters remain once the student finishes the transitional course—for an LPN to “bridge” to the RN level of nursing.

Upon earning the Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from Pellissippi State, the student is prepared to take the national licensure exam to become an RN.

“In this transitional course, Nursing 1170, LPNs validate the same knowledge they would have acquired had they been freshmen in the traditional, two-year Nursing program that we offer,” said Beverly Rogers, Pellissippi State’s interim dean of Nursing.

“They have to do clinical and laboratory simulations, and we cover all the content they normally would have had, but the transitional class allows LPNs to bypass the first year of the Nursing program.

“As long as they have their pre-nursing courses complete, after finishing the Bridge transitional course, the LPNs can then earn their degree in only two semesters. Normally, students are in school for two to three years to get the A.A.S.N. and then are eligible to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse.” One year of training is typically required to become an LPN.

The first Bridge to Registered Nurse class began in May with 24 students. The program is a cohort, which means that students begin and complete the coursework together. Admission is highly competitive, with GPA, exam scores, and higher education degree requirements, in addition to current health-care licensures and certifications.

“Some fields in the health-care industry are moving away from the LPN certification,” Rogers said. “Some of our students have been given only a year to earn that Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree and take the exam to qualify for the RN in order to keep their jobs. This degree program is helping students who otherwise might be displaced.”

Pellissippi State’s Bridge to Registered Nurse program is among the shortest and most streamlined in the state.

“It’s a much more rapid program than most other community colleges in Tennessee can offer,” Rogers said.

The Bridge to Registered Nurse program is funded in part by an Rx Tennessee grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Rx Tennessee grants, totaling $12.6 million distributed among all Tennessee community colleges and technical centers, were awarded in September 2012. Pellissippi State’s roughly $600,000 portion of the funding is effective until 2016.

Rx Tennessee is designed to improve opportunities for Trade Adjustment Assistance eligible workers—those who have lost jobs or suffered reduced hours or wages as a result of work going outside the U.S.—and others in health-care training, Likewise, it also is meeting the need of the health-care industry and employers.

For more information about the Bridge to Registered Nurse program, contact Michael Burtch, Rx Tennessee program coordinator, at (865) 225-2334 or Brian Gilpin, Rx Tennessee completion coach, at (865) 225-2337. Both contacts are located at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu/department/nursing or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Nursing program awarded accreditation

The Nursing program at Pellissippi State Community College has received official notification of initial accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

“This is a great accomplishment for our program and Pellissippi State,” said Larry Goins, dean of Nursing. “To earn ACEN accreditation for the A.A.S.N. [Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree] program within three years is an exemplary accomplishment.”

The college’s two-year Nursing program was launched in 2010.

ACEN accreditation couldn’t come at a better time, says Goins, since more students than ever are seeking opportunities for nursing careers. Nursing is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing occupations, the demand for nurses is at an all-time high, and the need for nurses is projected to continue to increase.

Nursing is offered at the Blount County and Magnolia Avenue campuses. Both facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art simulation labs, creating a strong learning environment for the students who will become tomorrow’s nurses.

Partnerships with other institutions allow Pellissippi State’s Nursing graduates to transfer seamlessly if they choose to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing.

Following an on-site evaluation in March 2013, the ACEN granted accreditation for five years, the maximum number available for initial accreditation. The program’s accreditation is effective until spring 2018.

Accreditation indicates to the community that Pellissippi State’s Nursing program meets national standards and guidelines for nursing education and that it is committed to the delivery of quality nursing education.

The program initially received full approval on August 22, 2012, by the Tennessee Board of Nursing after a two-day site visit in February 2012.

For more information about the Nursing program, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400.

DENSO gift boosts Pellissippi State Engineering Technology program

The DENSO North America Foundation has presented the Pellissippi State Foundation with a $50,000 donation for new equipment and technology that enhances Pellissippi State Community College’s Engineering Technology degree program.

Providing students with the equipment and technology that they will use upon graduation is a key priority at Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State and DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee have collaborated since 1992,” Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. said. “This partnership has included training programs for DENSO employees, programmatic and curriculum recommendations for our academic programs, and donations from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee and the DENSO North America Foundation.”

DENSO’s gift pays for Mechatronics Training Systems, also called MecLabs, and thermography equipment for Engineering Technology, as well as for workforce training and STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—awareness.

Students enrolled in Engineering Technology and participants in Business and Community Services training will benefit from the new equipment and technology. Knox County and Blount County students will also be introduced to the new MecLabs.

“This equipment will be used to generate interest at middle and high schools by providing demonstrations and hands-on activities for students with the goal of encouraging potential careers paths involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Wise.

To learn more about giving opportunities, email foundation@pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6528. For more information on Engineering Technology and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State offers new classes focusing on the recording arts

No longer will students interested in the recording arts industry have to enroll in classes in Nashville or Florida, both of which are known nationwide as “go-to” markets for study of the industry. Thanks to new class offerings by Pellissippi State Community College, students will have the opportunity to enroll in recording-related courses locally.

Careers in the recording arts and sound industry are expected to see growth into the future, according to the current edition of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. Job growth for broadcast and sound engineering technicians, for instance, is predicted to increase at a rate of 10 percent through 2020, adding approximately 11,600 jobs to the 116,900 industry positions analyzed in 2010.

New recording-related courses at Pellissippi State include the following:

  • History of the Recording Industry (RATS 1042)
  • Audio Processing and Ear Training (RATS 1080)
  • Recording Techniques I (RATS 1400)
  • Special Topics in Recording Arts, Technology and Science (RATS 2000)
  • Dialogue Editing and Post-Production (RATS 2090)
  • Music Editing and Sound Design (RATS 2091)
  • Recording Techniques II (RATS 2400)
  • Recording Arts, Technology and Science Capstone (RATS 2910)

The new offerings are in addition to courses covering sound and recording that are already part of the Video Production Technology concentration. Those courses include “Pro Tools Intro” (VPT 2015), “Pro Tools Advanced” (VPT 2016), “Sound Production (Audio Fundamentals)” (VPT 1015) and “Special Topics: Recording Techniques” (VPT 2016).

Registration for Pellissippi State’s fall term begins on April 1. For a complete listing of and course descriptions for recording-related classes, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State leads region in manufacturing education and training

Last year, Pellissippi State Community College enhanced its reputation as a leader in manufacturing education, marked the graduation of its first Nursing class, and achieved full state approval for its Nursing program. Nursing is offered at the Blount County Campus in Friendsville and the Magnolia Avenue Campus in Knoxville.

This year, the college is poised to build on its academic programs, as well as on its student participation in study abroad—already the highest of any U.S. community college.

Supporting students in completing college and increasing access to and placing graduates in good jobs serve as key priorities in 2013, said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

“We continue to focus on helping students complete their studies in both transfer programs and career/technical fields that lead to outstanding transfer opportunities and excellent jobs,” Wise said.

Pellissippi State also is reviewing its distance education program to find ways to provide additional pathways to degree completion.

“We’re going to change the way we use distance education—and this will certainly affect Blount County—to help students at our site campuses complete career and transfer degrees on those campuses,” Wise said.

Manufacturing education and training

At the state-of-the-art Manufacturing Tech Lab, the Blount County Campus has experienced an uptick in apprenticeship training through the college’s Business and Community Services Division and Engineering Technology degree program. For example, Cherokee Millwright revived its apprenticeship program with the consultation and expertise of BCS. BCS and Engineering Technology also developed curricula and training for Y-12 machinist apprentices at the Hardin Valley Campus.

This past year, the college played a key role in creating a national curriculum for the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative. AMTEC is a collaboration of colleges and industry to better prepare skilled technicians and manufacturing engineers for work in auto manufacturing and technology. The curriculum contribution helped Pellissippi State land two federal grants to fund manufacturing education, training and workforce development in East Tennessee.

“These types of advanced manufacturing programs, they really feed into what seems to be a growth in manufacturing in the local economy,” Wise said. “In terms of our career programs, that’s exactly where we need to be.”

The first grant came through the U.S. Department of Labor in September. The Labor Department awarded $15 million to an educational consortium that included Pellissippi State. The grant provides a minimum of $760,000 to each consortium member during a three-year period.

The award funds manufacturing job training to fill a shortage of skilled workers locally. The goal of the grant meets a long-term ambition, one that dovetails with Pellissippi State’s mission: to help transform manufacturing education.

The funding will boost instructional capacity, pay for equipment and technical support, and improve online delivery of the college’s Engineering Technology classes.

A few weeks after the Labor Department grant was announced, Pellissippi State learned it was the recipient of a second federal grant for manufacturing education.

The college plays a key role in the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee (AMP!), one of 10 public-private partnerships to receive a total of $20 million to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and create jobs. Pellissippi State’s partners on the grant include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services and Tech 20/20, the lead grant applicant.

The regional consortium’s proposal was selected through a federal multi-agency competition called the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

The grant enables Pellissippi State to offer a certificate in Additive Manufacturing and update existing curricula. It funds more than $250,000 in scholarships for students in Advanced Manufacturing courses.

Additive manufacturing describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material, whether the material is plastic, metal or concrete. Using 3D printers, companies can create prototypes quickly, with less waste and cost than traditional methods. In addition, additive manufacturing is being used more and more to make finished products.

The certificate will be offered through BCS and Engineering Technology.

International Education

Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades. During the 2010-11 academic year, 174 Pellissippi State students studied abroad, making the college the top two-year school in the U.S. in terms of the number of study abroad students.

The numbers come from the most recent Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

A key factor in Pellissippi State’s study abroad success is its robust scholarship program. Funded through the international education fee, study abroad scholarships at Pellissippi State total more than $300,000 each year.

“Our study abroad programs are designed to help students earn credits towards degrees and to develop a broader understanding of the world in which they study, live, and work,” said Wise.

“Scholarship support allows our students to travel to places they might never have imagined. Very often they come back better students and citizens and with a much better sense of who they are and what they want to do.”

Pellissippi State drives workforce development and innovation with AMP!

Pellissippi State Community College has a key role in the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee (AMP!), one of 10 public-private partnerships that will receive federal grant funding to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and create jobs.

The grant application for AMP! resulted in the largest award—a total of $2,391,778—and was the only one from the Southeast chosen to be funded. The regional consortium’s proposal was selected through a federal multi-agency grant opportunity called the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

The grant enables Pellissippi State to create a certificate program in Additive Manufacturing and update existing curricula. It also funds more than $250,000-plus in scholarships for students in Advanced Manufacturing courses. The college currently offers an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology, with concentrations in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering.

The certificate will be offered through the college’s Business and Community Services Division and the Engineering Technology degree program.

Pellissippi State’s partners include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services and Tech 20/20, the lead applicant on the grant.

“The way they created this opportunity at the federal level,” said Teri Brahams, “made us all come to the table to begin with and decide: how do we make the best impact? And I’m excited about that. I’m very excited about that.” Brahams is BCS’ Economic and Workforce Development executive director.

The purpose of AMP! is to lead the evolution of East Tennessee’s existing manufacturing cluster through the integration of advanced manufacturing process, equipment, programs and materials. That cluster comprises 20 counties around ORNL and within the East Tennessee Development District.

The partnership aims to connect resources and encourage collaboration, innovate and improve technologies, and develop a workforce that will drive that innovation and expand entrepreneurship.

“One of the things coming out of the effort,” said Brahams, “is a network of local businesses—small, medium and large—who are interested in exploring additive manufacturing and its applications within their own operations.”

Additive manufacturing describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material, whether it be plastic, metal or concrete. Using 3D printers, companies can create prototypes quickly, with less waste and cost than traditional methods. In addition, additive manufacturing is being used more and more to make finished products.

“Part of the technology that we’re going to be working with is well advanced of the marketplace right now,” said Pat Riddle, a Pellissippi State faculty member and Mechanical Engineering Technology program coordinator. “It’s had its infancy in what’s called rapid prototyping, and now it’s gone beyond that point, which was a natural progression.”

Pellissippi State was awarded $399,778 over three years through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. Displaced and unemployed workers, veterans, and first-generation college students are all eligible for the scholarships.

In addition to classroom learning, students will have the opportunity to do hands-on lab assignments in additive manufacturing at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, located less than a mile from Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

For more information about the Additive Manufacturing certificate at Pellissippi State, contact Teri Brahams, BCS executive director, at (865) 539-7167. For information about Engineering Technology and other Pellissippi State programs, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.