Category Archives: Degree Programs

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.

Pellissippi State students earn paralegal scholarships

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Two Pellissippi State Community College students have been named winners of scholarships that attracted applicants from across the state.

Daniel Ostrom, in his second year of Paralegal Studies, was awarded an $800 scholarship from the Smoky Mountain Paralegal Association. To be eligible for the SMPA funds, students must be enrolled full time in a sustaining member educational institution or be an SMPA student member. They also must have completed 6 credit hours in their major and be in good academic standing.

Kelli Canan, in her first semester, was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Tennessee Paralegal Association. The TPA scholarship is based on financial need, scholastic ability, leadership and extracurricular activities.

“I’m very proud of these students,” said Arlene Cleveland, a professor and the coordinator of the Paralegal Studies program.

“Danny is an outstanding student. This is Kelli’s first semester, and she’s showing signs of being an excellent student,” said Cleveland. “I expect both of them to make contributions to the legal profession.

“These scholarships are available to paralegal students across the state. It’s amazing that two of our students were chosen by two different organizations.”

Paralegal Studies is a two-year program that prepares graduates to work in a law office under the direct supervision of an attorney, doing legal work such as drafting legal documents, organizing files, conducting legal research and investigations, and managing the office.

Paralegal Studies enrolled 150 students fall 2012 semester. The program is approved by the American Bar Association and culminates in an Associate of Applied Science degree.

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

Pellissippi State begins offering Associate of Fine Arts degree with Music concentration

Thanks to a new program at Pellissippi State Community College, students interested in pursuing a career or four-year degree in music can now earn a two-year Associate of Fine Arts that concentrates in that area.

All credits will transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions—Pellissippi State is a member of the TBR system—and the University of Tennessee as part of the statewide Tennessee Transfer Pathways program.

Long regarded as providing one of the area’s top Music programs, the community college boasts an extensive and diverse group of faculty. Among the course areas they teach are conducting, ear training, piano, vocal and instrumental ensembles, and theory. Applied instruction is available in piano, voice, and guitar, brass, percussion, string, and woodwind instruments.

For students who choose not to pursue an A.F.A., Pellissippi State offers a variety of general music classes, including piano, both vocal and instrumental ensembles, music appreciation, and private instruction. The community college is known for having small classes and affordable tuition.

Many of Pellissippi State’s Music students take advantage of the college’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in 2010 with the goal of elevating the Music program to world-class status. The college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Scholarships are available for students pursuing the A.F.A. with a Music concentration. They are awarded annually to recognize excellence in musical performance and academic achievement. Auditions for scholarships are scheduled each spring, and recipients are required to perform in one or more of Pellissippi State’s ensembles.

Two ensembles, Concert Chorale and Variations, focus on vocal performances. Six are instrument-based performing groups: Bluegrass Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble and Studio Orchestra. can choose from among more than 30 majors, complete the required courses, earn an associate’s degree and transfer as a junior to a Tennessee public university. Some specific academic programs may have competitive admissions, but students are advised about requirements upon enrollment at Pellissippi State.

Students attending Pellissippi State in the TTP program can major in such subjects as accounting, art, biology, history, information systems, math, psychology and sociology. In addition to the new A.F.A., students also may graduate and transfer with an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree.

The spring 2013 application deadline is Jan. 7. Classes begin Jan. 17.

For information regarding Music scholarships, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6528 or visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation.

To learn more about the A.F.A. degree, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State launches machinist apprenticeship program with IAM union, Y-12

Pellissippi State hosted representatives of B&W Y-12 and the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers officials and apprentices for the onset of a new partnership apprenticeship program fall semester. From left to right: Tim Wright (IAM); Pat Riddle (Pellissippi State); Steve Passmore and Danny Lowry (IAM); Rick Heath (Pellissippi State); apprentice Rachel Henley; Bill Klemm (Y-12); apprentice Ryan Johnson; Mike Thompson (ATLC); apprentice Jason Brown; John Whalen (ATLC); apprentice Jonathan Bryant; Beth Green (Y-12); Steve Jones (ATLC); apprentices Rachel Bachorek, Rashaad Gibbs, Jeff Bryant, Justin Dupas, and Micheal Lovelady; and Robert Goins (Y-12).

Pellissippi State Community College welcomed its first class of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union apprentices from the B&W Y-12 National Security Complex this semester.

Thanks to a partnership that began early this year, Y-12’s IAM&AW workers are now receiving instruction in the classroom and hands-on training in the engineering labs at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The new apprenticeship program, which launched with 10 students, focuses on building the skills the workers need to succeed on the job: among them, machining, materials and maintenance print reading.

“Y-12 is a highly specialized and classified work environment,” said Rick Heath, solutions management director for the college’s Business and Community Services Division and a key player in the new partnership. “It’s logical and smart for them to grow apprentices from their own talent within the organization.”

“IAM is very committed to the apprenticeship training, but it doesn’t have the lab facilities or staff to train locally,” said Tim Wright, IAM District 711 business representative. The partnership between the college, Y-12 and the union makes training more convenient and saves Y-12, which pays for the apprenticeships, the expense of having to send workers out of town.

Beyond proximity and affordability, quality of programs factored into the IAM’s decision to choose Pellissippi State for the training contract.

“We have long been aware of the good work Pellissippi State does,” Wright said. “The training partnership is a win for everyone.”

The apprenticeship at Pellissippi State will take four years to complete. During that time, the machinists also have the opportunity to earn 45 credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. Since apprentices can finish the program only 15 hours short of earning a 60-credit degree, the college is also developing a 15-credit path to complete a General Education degree. The curriculum will be structured as a cohort, in which students proceed through their coursework as a group.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions, and Y-12 ultimately contracted with the division to offer the apprenticeship.

The effort is sponsored and the curriculum has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, says Heath. It also has the support of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council.

This is the first time Pellissippi State, Y-12 and IAM have collaborated on an apprenticeship program. Y-12 and union representatives initially met with Pellissippi State faculty and staff in early January. Curriculum development took place throughout spring and summer semester.

“They brought their experts over—the people who are doing the work,” said Heath. “They told us, ‘This is what you need to teach for our employees to be successful.’”

So far, the partnership seems to be working well for all parties, but there’s still plenty of room for fine-tuning.

“We’re going to analyze as we go along and see what’s working, what’s not working,” said Pat Riddle. Riddle coordinates and teaches in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. “We’ll meet with the IAM and Y-12 partners and see where we stand, see what they think we might want to change or reemphasize.

“This is a continuous improvement cycle that we’re working on, to make sure that the program meets the partners’ needs and still follows the academic guidelines set by the Tennessee Board of Regents.”

To find out more about the apprenticeship program and other contract training opportunities, email Rick Heath at rbheath@pstcc.edu. To learn more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Hospitality student awarded hotel/lodging scholarship

Lisa Grunwald is the first Pellissippi State Community College student to receive an American Express Scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation.

Grunwald, a student in the Hospitality concentration of the Business Administration degree program, competed nationally with other hospitality students from two- and four-year institutions for the $1,000 scholarship. She was one of the six recent awardees and the only student from Tennessee.

“Lisa is a terrific student and a hard worker,” said Tom Gaddis, head of the Hospitality concentration at Pellissippi State.

The first $500 check was applied to Grunwald’s tuition this semester. She will receive another $500 for spring.

“I was really just honored to be granted a scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation, since it’s such a prestigious organization,” Grunwald said.

Grunwald, the mother of two grown sons, says she lost her job when the company she was employed with sent all the production-line work overseas. She found a job at a local hotel and discovered she loved the environment. Grunwald decided to go to college for the first time and enrolled at Pellissippi State. She is now in her third semester.

“I hadn’t been to school for 30 years,” she said, “but once I got my study skills back, I’ve been doing really well. My first semester I was on the Academic Achievers list, and my second semester I made the dean’s list.”

For more information about Hospitality or other offerings at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 649-6400.