Category Archives: Blount County

Pellissippi State Nursing degree program receives full approval from state board

Pellissippi State Community College’s Nursing program has received full approval for its associate’s degree from the Tennessee Department of Health’s Board of Nursing.

The state board voted on the approval Aug. 22 in Nashville. The accomplishment sets the stage for Pellissippi State to pursue national accreditation for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing.

“I’m very proud of our students and faculty,” said Larry Goins, Pellissippi State’s dean of Nursing. Receiving full approval, he says, is a testament to the hard work of the Nursing faculty, staff and students. It is also a reflection of the contributions of the administration and faculty beyond the program. All of them play a part in student success, says Goins.

Full approval by the board means that the program is providing a quality experience for the Nursing students, and that ultimately benefits the health of the entire community.

The state board’s action is the culmination of many successful steps that Pellissippi State has taken in implementing the program. In February, the board carried out a two-day campus visit and on-site survey. The board reviewer evaluated the program, curriculum, and degree and conducted interviews with faculty, staff, students, and nurse educators at hospitals where students engage in clinical training.

In May, Pellissippi State’s first class of Nursing students graduated. The students received a 97 percent first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses. Students who pass the NCLEX-RN are licensed to practice as registered nurses in the state of Tennessee.

Pellissippi State’s associate’s degree in Nursing requires 66 credit hours of coursework, taken over four semesters. Currently, there are 110 Pellissippi State students on track to become registered nurses. Those students attend classes at the Blount County Campus or Magnolia Avenue Campus.

In addition to state approval, the associate’s degree program has received Candidacy Status from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. The NLNAC has invited Pellissippi State’s Nursing program to complete and submit a written self-study in the multi-step process of achieving accreditation.

Once the self-study is completed, an NLNAC site visit will be conducted and a governing board review will take place to determine the program’s accreditation status.

To learn more about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State, Cherokee Millwright collaborate on apprenticeship program

Pictured from left, Cherokee Millwright’s Dalton Robinson, Pellissippi State instructor Tim Napier, and Cherokee’s Steve Smith and Brandon Waggoner. Four nights a week, Cherokee Millwright apprentices train at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus.

When Cherokee Millwright and Mechanical decided to redesign and improve its apprenticeship training program, the company turned to a trusted partner: Pellissippi State Community College’s Business and Community Services.

With home offices in Maryville and Morristown, Cherokee Millwright moves and installs equipment in factories and plants. The work is intense, takes place in a variety of industrial settings, and calls for employees with a broad range of on-the-job experience and sound technical skills.

“We provide [people] and labor to do jobs all over the country,” says Dave Bennett, CEO of Cherokee Millwright. “So we’re only as good as the people we have working with us.”

That’s where Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services comes in. BCS collaborated with Cherokee to develop a new curriculum for the company’s four-year apprenticeship program.

The courses have been delivered at the Blount County Campus’ Manufacturing Tech Lab since January of this year. The state-of-the-art lab has 2,500 square feet dedicated to workforce training and also features the Claude F. Moon Welding Center.

A Cherokee Millwright apprentice practices welding at Pellissippi State’s Claude F. Moon Welding Center at the Blount County Campus. The college’s Business and Community Services Division worked with the East Tennessee–based company to create a new four-year apprenticeship program.

BCS offers its services to area employers who need workforce training designed specifically for their needs. In addition to serving companies, the division offers affordable short-term continuing education to individuals for professional and personal growth.

Cherokee Millwright owner Randy Massey says he is pleased with the quality of the training provided by Pellissippi State instructors and the responsive service of the BCS staff.

“If we want our training modified, it’s a phone call,” said Massey. “Or if we want something added, it’s a phone call. And they have the expertise on site to add it to our training program.”

Cherokee Millwright first created an apprenticeship program with Pellissippi State in the mid-1990s. A few years later, the company decided to take over the training of its employees. Upon reviewing the program about two years ago, however, Cherokee officials realized that their top project leaders were those who had gone through the apprenticeship classes with Pellissippi State.

Now Pellissippi State instructors once again work with Cherokee Millwright apprentices. There are four separate apprenticeship training groups, and each apprentice class attends training one night a week. The training increases in difficulty and complexity each year as employees progress in the program.

The training is critical for a company that sees itself as a one-stop shop for industrial clients and looks to recruit and retain a range of skilled employees such as millwrights, the jacks-of-all-trades among technical workers.

“We’re very specialized, and it’s not training you can get just anywhere,” said Massey.

Pellissippi State’s customized training for local industry also meets a need in post-secondary education, as Gov. Bill Haslam looks to make higher education more effective in Tennessee and meet the growing demand for more skilled and educated workers.

Learn more about Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services at www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167.

Pellissippi State offers wide range of non-credit classes at Blount County Campus

Pellissippi State Community College has scheduled a variety of non-credit courses this fall at its Blount County Campus, and they are open for immediate registration. The fall non-credit course selection provided by Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division includes the following:

“Rules of the Road for Sound Investing”—Sept. 17-Oct. 8, Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $65. Learn the “rules of the road” to gain a better understanding of the key principles of saving and investing. Tips will be given to identify and avoid the most common investment mistakes.

“Crash Course—Not Your Typical Guitar Class for the Adult Beginner”—Oct. 2-16, Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m.; ages 13 and up; $65, plus $15 materials fee payable to the instructor at the first class. Students will pick up quick, easy methods of guitar playing without having to learn lots of chords. Methods require the use of one or two fingers, making this the perfect class for those with hand or finger limitations.

“Tennessee Handgun Carry-Permit Class”—Oct. 6, Nov. 3 or Dec. 1, Saturdays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; $65, plus $5 range fee payable to the instructor. Successfully completing this eight-hour course satisfies the requirement necessary for application for a state permit. About three of the hours are spent on the firing range (Location is to be announced). Students must furnish gun and ammunition.

“How to Thrive Financially in Retirement”—Oct. 9-16, Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $59. Designed for those who are retired or getting close to retiring, this course covers topics such as retirement investing, tax reduction, estate planning and IRA/401K strategies.

“Basic Digital Photography”—Oct. 10-Nov. 7, Wednesdays, 6:15-8:15 p.m.; $99. Participants will learn how to use a digital camera effectively. The course covers exposure, composition, lighting and color theory. Students must bring a digital SLR camera. A point-and-shoot camera may be used if it has a manual mode.

“Introduction to Using Herbs”—Nov. 8-Dec. 6 (No class Nov. 22), Thursdays, 6-9 p.m.; $65, plus required textbooks (Call for information). Susan Jane Fidler, a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild, teaches students how herbs work, safe preparation for different body systems and drug-herb interaction safety tips.

All of the classes are at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.

Non-credit courses also are currently being offered by Pellissippi State in Knox County. For information or registration, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Learn more about East Tennessee volunteer opportunities at Pellissippi State’s volunteer resource fair

Pellissippi State Community College will host a volunteer resource fair, Call to Service (C2S), on Sept. 12 to introduce members of the community and students interested in learning about regional volunteer opportunities to local nonprofit agencies seeking volunteers. More than 75 agencies have been invited to the free event. Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus is hosting the fair.

Potential volunteers will have the opportunity to meet with agency representatives to learn more about each nonprofit organization’s mission and the roles available to individuals wishing to become more involved in their communities. This marks the second year that the Magnolia Avenue Campus has hosted a volunteer resource fair.

Students at Pellissippi State are introduced to volunteerism through the school’s Service-Learning program and the student club Gnosis. Service-learning pairs community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

To date, Pellissippi State students have volunteered with Beardsley Community Farm, Ijams Nature Center, and Maynard Elementary School, all in Knoxville; Second Harvest Food Bank in Maryville; and a growing list of other schools and nonprofit organizations.

Event hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. C2S takes place in the Joe Armstrong Building at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave. Registration is not required. The event will also take place at the Blount County Campus on September 26 and the Hardin Valley Campus on September 28.

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

Register to vote at Pellissippi State

Are you registered to vote in November’s state and federal elections? If not, Pellissippi State Community College is making it easier and more convenient by offering voter registration at all five campuses Sept. 11-14. The activities are part of the college’s first-ever Civic Engagement Week.

At the Hardin Valley Campus, voter registration takes place in the Courtyard between the Goins and McWherter buildings and inside the Alexander and McWherter buildings. Registration is scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sept. 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Sept. 13, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sept.14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Also, on Sept. 25 the Knox County/Knoxville League of Women Voters will be on hand 10 a.m-1 p.m. to help with register voters. Weather permitting, the table will be set up in the Courtyard. If it rains, the table will be in the Goins Building Rotunda.

On Sept. 12-13 the Blount County Election Commission will have staff available at the Blount County Campus to answer questions and register voters. The event takes place 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Lobby.

The Division Street Campus will have registration forms available in Room 117 12:30-3 p.m. Sept. 13 and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 14. On Sept. 25 the Knox County/Knoxville League of Women Voters will be set up 10 a.m-1 p.m. in Room 117.

At the Magnolia Avenue Campus, voter registration will be facilitated by Iota Phi Lambda business sorority Sept. 17. The event is 10-noon in the Lobby. Again, on Sept. 25 the Knox County/Knoxville League of Women Voters will be on hand for voter registration 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Lobby.

At the Strawberry Plains Campus, registration takes place Sept. 11-14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., in the Lobby.

According to the Knox County Election Commission, to be eligible to vote in Tennessee, voters must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Tennessee and at least 18 years old on or before the next election. They may not have been convicted of a felony. If they have, their full rights of citizenship must have been restored or they must have received a pardon. As of Jan. 1, 2012, voters must present an acceptable photo ID at the polls.

For more information, call Pellissippi State at (865) 649-6400 or email faculty sponsors Annie Gray (ajgray@pstcc.edu) or Ann Kronk (aekronk@pstcc.edu).

Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus hosts Health and Wellness Fair

Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus puts the focus on health in the upcoming Health and Wellness Fair.

Scheduled 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 18 in the William “Keith” McCord Lobby of the campus, the event brings together a broad range of organizations committed to improving the well-being of community residents. The Blount County Campus Health and Wellness Fair is free and open to the public.

The community vendors this year include Alcoa Chiropractic, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Blount Memorial Hospital, Cornerstone Integrative Health Associates (acupuncture), Knoxville Rolfing Structural Integration, National Fitness Center, Keola Fit Yoga, East Tennessee Medical Group Sleep Center, Marino Bone Density, Blount County Eye Center (vision screening), Blue Ridge Family Dentistry, Tennessee Vein Center, Juice Plus, Pregnancy Resource Center, Vitamin World and Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center.

Pellissippi State’s nursing students will provide glucose and blood pressure screenings.

The Blount County Campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy. (U.S. 321).

For more information about the event, call (865) 981-5300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Medic hosts blood drive at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus in early April

Medic Regional Blood Center hosts a blood drive at Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus on April 2.

The Medic Mobile is scheduled to be at the campus, located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy. (U.S. 321), 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The community is invited to participate in the blood drive.

Medic, a nonprofit organization, supplies 27 area hospitals with volunteer donations.
Medic representatives say there is a need for all blood types. Potential donors must meet two criteria: They must be at least 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds.

Donors should not fast before arriving. Medic suggests that donors eat a meal and drink fluids approximately three hours prior to donating. Participants also are asked to present photo identification and a list of current medications.

For more questions about donor eligibility, please visit medicblood.com or call (865) 524-3074. For more information about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or go to www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State instructor helps students overcome fear of public speaking

When it came time to present her speech, Meaghan Marsh sang.

The Pellissippi State Community College student belted out the first line of “O Canada,” the national anthem of Canada, and that was enough to get her started.

In Larry Dearing’s public speaking class on Wednesday night at the college’s Blount County Campus, the speeches ran the gamut: travel, addiction, work, disease, health-care precautions, the dangers of texting while driving. Like Marsh’s humorous musical opener, the other students’ props and approaches were unique and creative.

Dearing, who has taught public speaking at Pellissippi State for more than a decade, sat in the back of the room listening, making notes. During the day, the adjunct faculty member works full time off campus, and four nights a week, he teaches public speaking for Pellissippi State.

That schedule can make for a long day, but when Dearing sets foot in the classroom, he gets a second wind.

“When I get in class, I’m energized. All that tiredness goes away,” he said. “The day job is work—the night job is not.”

One of the reasons Dearing likes teaching in the evening, he says, is the mix of students: Students returning to college to finish a degree after several years’ hiatus from the classroom. Younger students and adults who juggle jobs, family and school. Career changers who work at jobs in which they see little hope for advancement or growth.

Returning to school after a hiatus can be a struggle. And public speaking can be especially daunting. That was something Dearing and the class addressed early in the semester.

“When we first started, we each talked about how this class was going to be for us, or how hard it was going to be for each one of us, because a lot of people have a problem with public speaking,” said Marsh, a Pellissippi State freshman and 2010 Alcoa High School graduate who wants to teach art.

Dearing has had students step in front of the class for the first speech and grow so nervous that they shake and turn red. Sometimes they apologize for the way they sound. He remembers his first public speaking class at the University of Tennessee, where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in theater and speech.

“I see me up there the first time and recall how hard it was for me,” he said.

Dearing started teaching public speaking initially in 1978, in the evenings at the Division Street Campus. He taught part time for three years and then embarked on a career in business. Twenty years later, he was still thinking about the classroom.

Ten years ago, Dearing started again in the place he originally taught: Division Street. He returned as an adjunct faculty member, and it all seemed as familiar as his first teaching experience at Pellissippi State.

“You know, Thomas Wolfe was wrong,” said Dearing. “You can go home again.”

With the semester nearly halfway over, his students seemed to have overcome many of their initial fears and appeared relaxed on Wednesday night. Marsh opened with the song and made the transition into her speech about work. She is not shy, but beginning with the song helped her get over the first hurdle.

“Yes, it was kind of like breaking the ice,” said Marsh. “Also, [Mr. Dearing] tells us that we need to have an introduction that draws people in, so I always try to start with something that makes people pay attention.”

Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus hosts Feb. 16 open house

Whether you’re a prospective student or would just like to see Blount County’s newest college facility, you are invited to an open house at the Blount County Campus of Pellissippi State Community College Feb. 16, 4-6 p.m. The campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.

Opened in August 2010, the two-story, 70,485-square-foot building is home to the Nursing program (along with the Magnolia Avenue Campus in Knoxville), the state-of-the-art Manufacturing Tech Lab, an amphitheatre, and science and computer labs and classrooms, including one for distance education.

“It’s really an opportunity for prospective students and the community—particularly anyone who didn’t get to attend the grand opening—to take the time to see what Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus offers,” said Holly Burkett, assistant dean of the site.

Prospective students attending the event will get all the information necessary for a smooth entrance into college life, including how-tos on admission and financial aid and info on services for students with disabilities, dual enrollment and degrees offered. The community also can learn about educational and training opportunities offered through the college’s non-credit division, Business and Community Services.

To find out more, contact Holly Burkett at (865) 981-5300 or hlburkett@pstcc.edu. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State Foundation: Blount County Campus home to extensive artwork thanks to local collector

Ed Harmon
Ed Harmon

Step into the two-story lobby of the new Pellissippi State Community College Blount County Campus facility and one of the first things you will notice is an oversize scenic painting by local artist Ron Williams. Stroll throughout the rest of the building and you’ll see paintings by Sevier County native Robert Tino and Maryville resident Heath Claiborne.

The bridge between the artists and Pellissippi State is Ed Harmon, who has donated 20 paintings and prints in all to the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the community college.

Harmon, a native of Blount County and a retired Sevier County business owner, has been collecting art for decades. The Maryville resident has traveled around the world three times. With each journey, he returns home with more collectibles—a porcelain figurine from Italy, jade elephants from Africa, two lifelike wooden giraffes he had shipped to his house after a trip to Kenya, in East Africa.

But it’s the local art, especially the paintings of the Appalachian region and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, that are closest to Harmon’s heart. He knows Williams, Tino and Claiborne personally and admires their unique interpretations of the landscapes with which he is so familiar: Cades Cove, a Great Smoky Mountain sunset, the Little Pigeon River.

Harmon has one of Robert Tino’s first works, an oil painting of horses. The piece is displayed in the foyer of Harmon’s home.

“I served as the Key Club advisor at Sevier County High School,” said Harmon, “and met Robert Tino when he was an art student just starting out. It was obvious even then that he was extremely talented.”

Harmon recalls his own enjoyment of art in an educational setting, and he wanted to share that enjoyment with the Pellissippi State community.

“My first year out of college,” he said, “I taught in a school that hosted art shows and exhibited donated pieces. There was always art in the hallways. That added so much to the building and to the experience of everyone who attended school there or just visited.

“I wanted those who come to the Pellissippi State Blount County Campus to be able to enjoy that same experience. Blount County is so fortunate to have Pellissippi State.”

And the College, in turn, is fortunate to have supporters like Ed Harmon.

“Part of our mission is to provide opportunities for life, civic and cultural enrichment,” said Peggy Wilson. Wilson is vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. Donations to the college are coordinated by the Foundation.

“Thanks to Ed Harmon, those who spend time at the Blount County Campus now have the opportunity to be enriched by a meaningful art collection. We all appreciate his willingness to share such beautiful art with the entire community, and the Foundation would certainly encourage others to contact us regarding such gifts.”

To discuss the possibility of making a donation, call the Foundation at (865) 694-6528 or email foundation@pstcc.edu.