Category Archives: Students

Pellissippi State TRiO supports students, thanks to continuing grant

Yvette Satchel
Yvette Satchel, a Pellissippi State Community College Nursing graduate, utilized the college’s TRiO Student Support Services program.

At Pellissippi State Community College, every student comes with his or her own story: the single mother, the working professional, the high school graduate. And each student can find community in the college’s TRiO Student Support Services program. TRiO is part of a federal initiative that supports the unique needs of first-generation and low-income students and students with disabilities.

More than half of Pellissippi State’s students are the first in their family to go to college, and more than a third are from low-income households. An estimated 3 percent of Pellissippi State students have a disability.

“The students who come to TRiO aren’t less academically able or physically able necessarily,” said Mark Cotter, director of TRiO at Pellissippi State, “but many of them just didn’t grow up in a culture that’s familiar with college. TRiO is here to help level that playing field and show those students the ropes.”

Yvette Satchel, who graduated from the Nursing program in May, first heard about TRiO from another student.

“From the first day I stepped into the office, it felt like a home away from home,” she said. “TRiO helped me tremendously during my time at Pellissippi State. They were like family to me.”

Satchel acknowledges TRiO’s role in helping her earn her way into Phi Theta Kappa honor society, as well as in helping connect her to scholarships for tuition and study abroad.

In July, Pellissippi State’s TRiO Support Services Program received a federal grant for nearly $1.24 million over five years. The grant was awarded to only four community colleges in the state. The funds will pay to continue support services like tutoring, academic advising, career counseling and even financial literacy education. Each year, the grant will pay to enroll 160 students who demonstrate academic need in support programs that focus on improving students’ academic standing, retention rates and graduation or transfer rates.

“I’ll personally walk other students to the TRiO office so they know the support they can receive there,” Satchel said. “My motto for Pellissippi State has always been that there’s no way to fail here, because they give you all the tools you need to succeed. If you don’t do as you expected, then you didn’t use all the tools — like TRiO — at your disposal.”

This is the fourth time Pellissippi State has won the competitive TRiO Student Support Services grant. The college has operated the program for the past 15 years.

For more information about TRiO, visit www.pstcc.edu/trio or call (865) 539-7267. For more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Download this press releaseTRiO Grant

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Tennessee Promise sessions scheduled September, October at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College invites students entering college fall 2016 to attend one of the Tennessee Promise informational sessions the college has scheduled throughout September and October.

Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship and mentoring program that covers tuition and fees for community college students across the state. Although students who will be freshmen in 2016 won’t be eligible to receive funding until they begin school next fall, they should go ahead and apply now. The application deadline for Tennessee Promise is Nov. 2, 2015.

“It’s extremely important that students understand that they must meet this deadline to qualify to receive Tennessee Promise funding,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs at Pellissippi State. “If a student misses this deadline, there will not be another opportunity to take advantage of the Promise scholarship.”

The upcoming informational sessions will provide details about program requirements and deadlines, as well as highlight the educational offerings at Pellissippi State. The free sessions are offered at all five Pellissippi State campuses, 6-7 p.m.:

  • 14: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • 16: Magnolia Avenue, Community Room
  • 22: Strawberry Plains, Lobby
  • 24: Blount County, West Chevrolet Auditorium
  • 28: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • 30: Division Street, Educational Resources Center
  • 5: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • 15: Open House — Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • 22: Blount County, West Chevrolet Auditorium
  • 26: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium

 “Tennessee Promise is an excellent opportunity for students throughout the state,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services. “We hope the students in our region will take advantage of this scholarship at Pellissippi State.”

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/promise or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Download this press releaseTN Promise Info Sessions 2015

Potential students, community invited to Nursing Preview at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus

Students and others interested in learning more about earning a Nursing degree are invited to attend the Nursing Preview at Pellissippi State Community College’s Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike. The event is Aug. 15.

The preview includes tours of the college’s state-of-the-art patient simulation lab, as well as information sessions about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program and the admissions and financial aid process. Attendees may also participate in free vision, blood pressure and blood glucose screenings.

In addition, there will be a drawing for one $250 scholarship, to be given courtesy of the Pellissippi State Foundation. Potential recipients must be present to participate in the drawing.

The Nursing Preview is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The event is free, but attendees are asked to register online at www.pstcc.edu/nursingpreview.

“Pellissippi State is about to enter its fourth year of operation at the Strawberry Plains Campus,” said Mike North, campus dean. “We are excited about the renovations that we anticipate at Strawberry Plains within the year, and we wanted to show off our facility to anyone interested in Nursing. Prospective students will also have an opportunity to hear about what life in the program is like from the dean, faculty and a former student.”

“This is our second year admitting a freshman Nursing class to the Strawberry Plains Campus,” said Lisa Stamm, dean of Nursing. “We’re pleased to bring this degree program to students across Knox and Blount counties.”

Each of Pellissippi State’s five campuses offers pre-nursing courses, and the Nursing program is offered at the Blount County, Magnolia Avenue, and the Strawberry Plains campuses. The program began in 2010 and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

For more information about the Strawberry Plains Campus, call (865) 225-2300. To learn more about the Nursing program and Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Adult students invited to apply for ‘last-dollar’ scholarship at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College welcomes adult students to apply for a new, “last-dollar” scholarship to cover mandatory tuition and fees.

The Pellissippi Adult Learner Scholarship is open to adults ages 24 and older. PALS, like Tennessee Promise, is last-dollar, meaning it covers tuition and fees once other financial aid, like grants or other scholarships, has been applied.

“With the implementation of the Tennessee Promise scholarship, students who come to Pellissippi State right out of a Tennessee high school have unprecedented access to affordable higher education,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs. “Pellissippi State wants to provide that kind of affordability to adult students. The creation of this scholarship is a step toward meeting that goal.”

The priority deadline to apply for financial aid is July 15. Individuals can apply for PALS online at www.pstcc.edu/adult. They must first complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

In order to qualify for PALS, applicants must meet the age criteria, must be first-time freshmen and must qualify for in-state tuition. Priority will be given to students with an expected family contribution to their college education of $3,800 or less, though other students are welcome to apply.

Students who receive the scholarship must maintain a 2.0 GPA, must submit a degree plan with an advisor, and must enroll in at least 6 credit hours each fall and spring semester. The scholarship doesn’t cover summer semesters.

For more information about PALS and other adult learner support and programs, visit www.pstcc.edu/adult. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Orientation sessions set for new fall enrollees

Students who have been accepted to attend Pellissippi State Community College for the fall 2015 semester should make plans now to attend a New Student Orientation session.

The sessions are required of all new degree-seeking students, both freshmen and transfer. Tennessee Promise students will have special orientation sessions in June and July. Reserve a space as soon as possible at www.pstcc.edu/orientation.

Orientation gives new students the opportunity to meet with Pellissippi State students, faculty, and staff; find out what they can expect in college and what the college expects of them; learn strategies for college success; explore degree, major, and transfer options; and discover campus services and resources such as financial aid, tutoring, and computer resources.

Students are encouraged to attend orientation at the primary campus they will be attending. For Tennessee Promise students who will attend class at the Division Street Campus, orientation sessions take place at the Hardin Valley Campus.

Locations, dates and times of general orientation sessions:

  • Blount County Campus: Aug. 10, 9-11:30 a.m. or 1-3:30 p.m., or Aug. 18, 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Division Street Campus: Aug. 13, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 2-5:30 p.m., or Aug. 18, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Hardin Valley Campus: June 16, 5-8:30 p.m.; July 28, 5-9 p.m.; July 31, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Aug. 4, 5-8:30 p.m.; Aug. 7, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Aug. 11, 5-8:30 p.m.; or Aug. 21, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus: Aug. 5, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., or Aug. 14, 1-4:30 p.m.
  • Strawberry Plains Campus: July 27, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., or Aug. 6, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 2-5:30 p.m.

Locations, dates and times for Tennessee Promise orientation sessions:

  • Blount County Campus: July 8, 9-noon, or July 9, 9-noon or 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Division Street Campus (scheduled at Hardin Valley Campus): July 7, 5-9 p.m.; July 10, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; or July 14, 5-9 p.m.
  • Hardin Valley Campus: June 19, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; July 7, 5-9 p.m.; July 10, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; July 14, 5-9 p.m.; July 21, 5-9 p.m.; or July 24, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus: June 18, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Strawberry Plains Campus: July 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Special orientation sessions also are available for transfer students — July 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; July 27, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; or Aug. 20, 1-4 p.m., all at the Hardin Valley Campus — though students are welcome to attend any general orientation.

Pellissippi State encourages parents, spouses and others supportive of the student to attend New Student Orientation, too. They’ll receive special information in separate sessions.

The application deadline for fall semester is Aug. 12. Classes begin Aug. 24.

To sign up for an orientation session, visit www.pstcc.edu/orientation or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact Disability Services at accommodations@pstcc.edu or (865) 539-7153.

Pellissippi State students pass stage-fighting exam

Thirteen Pellissippi State Community College students recently passed a skills proficiency test for stage fighting through the Society of American Fight Directors.

Pellissippi State is the only school in Tennessee that offers the SAFD tests.

The students are Josh Bigwood, Carolyn Corley, Thomas Crout, Caroline Kat Darwin, Breland Lallie Donahoo, Julianna Meyers, Barrie Paulson, Donnie Peltz, Alex Riggs, Joshua Shelton, Steven Trigg, Debi Wetherington and Chad Collins Wood.

The 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 theatrical skills status in the world of professional theatre.

According to Girard, it’s rare for an entire class — like the one at Pellissippi State — to pass the exam. In addition, four of the college’s students earned a “recommended pass,” connoting an exceptional level of proficiency. Those students are Bigwood, Darwin, Paulson and Wood.

The SAFD examination was the result of more than a semester of instruction by Bob Borwick, Pellissippi State adjunct faculty member and certified SAFD instructor, and assistance from Charles R. Miller, professor and program coordinator of Theatre. Borwick is the only SAFD certified instructor in Tennessee, and he teaches exclusively at Pellissippi State.

The course to prepare for the SAFD skills proficiency test is THEA 2222 Special Topics (Stage Combat). Business and Community Services also offers a non-credit Stage Combat course.

The test was sponsored by the Theatre and the Pellissippi State Foundation.

For more information about this class, email Miller at cmiller@pstcc.edu. For more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Three-time Pellissippi State student finds promise in new degrees

Brenda Hale

Brenda Hale has probably experienced a heavier dose of work-world reality than most of Pellissippi State Community College’s 10,000-plus students.

The 54-year-old single mother is attending the college for the third time in nearly four decades, with a firsthand understanding of the fickleness of the economy and of employers’ needs for well-rounded, well-educated employees.

“I’ve been downsized and I’ve been laid off, but I know I can come back to Pellissippi State and update my education if I need to,” Hale said. “Pellissippi State reflects real life.”

Hale first graduated from Pellissippi State in 1980, only four years after the institution opened as State Technical Institute at Knoxville. She graduated with a degree in Construction Engineering Technology and was immediately hired by TVA. She went to work on construction at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, but when that phase of work was completed, TVA laid off the construction team.

So Hale returned to Pellissippi State. She earned a second degree, this time in Computer Integrated Drafting and Design, in 1990. She worked for businesses around East Tennessee using that degree for nearly 20 years — until her position was downsized during the recession in 2008.

“I took some time off then to spend with my son, who was young,” Hale said, “and I went back to work part time. But now my son is older, and I’m looking for full-time work again. Since the recession, the CAD [computer-aided drafting] workers that businesses needed before now need to know new programs, like SolidWorks.”

So Hale once again enrolled at Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State is familiar and it’s convenient, and I know that the education I receive here is going to be what employers are looking for. They need people who know how to use SolidWorks, so that’s what Pellissippi State is offering now.”

Hale is now in the Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering degree program. She’s also studying additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, while she’s here.

“I love what I do — I love drafting,” Hale said. “I’ve always been interested in houses and building things, and I’ve never been tired of this job. It’s wonderful to see what was manufactured from my drawings. Things like 3D printing are the new iterations of what I do.”

“Technology is pulling everything forward,” said Pat Riddle, program coordinator of Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering at Pellissippi State. “Continuing education or training on the job is going to be necessary in many fields in the future, as employees find they have to keep up with changing programs and knowledge.”

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

Regional, national Math Bowl wins garnered by Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College’s students have earned the college top spots in the 2015 regional and national Student Mathematics League competition.

In the Southeast region’s final standings, Pellissippi State finished third out of 25 schools. Nationally, the college was 43rd of 188. Of Pellissippi State’s student competitors, Shreyas Muralidharan took third place in the Southeast, with Joseph Allston 12th and Harrison Smith 18th.

“This was our second highest finish ever,” said Bobby Jackson, an associate professor of Mathematics. “This is a very challenging math contest, and we are proud of our students’ accomplishments.”

Pellissippi State had 138 students take part in the contest. In the first round of competition, the Southeast regional in October, the top five Pellissippi State students in the contest were Muralidharan, Allston, Chase Toth, John Simmins and Liana Hu. In the second round, the national in February, the top five from the college were Muralidharan, John Jones, Smith, Son Quang and Kevin Konopka.

Each year the contest consists of two rounds, one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester. Students are tested in many areas of mathematics, including geometry, trigonometry, algebra, probability and logic. Each round includes an exam of 20 multiple-choice questions. Students can use a calculator but no notebook or textbook.

Pellissippi State — thanks to a grant from Oak Ridge Associated Universities — awards its top finishers in each subject with additional cash prizes.

Pellissippi State has taken part in the Student Mathematics League Contest for at least 14 years. The contest is sponsored by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

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

Early Childhood Education program at Pellissippi State earns accreditation

Pellissippi State Community College’s Early Childhood Education program is now accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The college’s successful completion of the exhaustive accreditation process means that its two-year degree program has joined the ranks of the 170 programs in 32 states that are NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree accredited.

“For our students, accreditation means that our program is at a higher standard,” said Terenia Moody, Early Childhood Education program coordinator. “When they graduate, our students can know that they completed a degree program that is strenuous in its adherence to very high standards of excellence.”

The process of accreditation was three or four years in the making and included self-study and peer-review processes as the college expanded its program to adhere to the NAEYC’s 12 accreditation criteria.

Students can register now to begin the Associate of Applied Science degree program this fall. Registration continues until Aug. 12, and classes start Aug. 24.

“We have a very diverse student population, and to meet their needs we offer all types of classes: traditional day classes, night classes, hybrid courses that combine online and in-class, and accelerated cohorts for working adults,” Moody said. Cohorts allow a group of students to progress through a program together.

This fall starts the second year that Early Childhood Education has offered the accelerated cohort courses at the Magnolia Avenue Campus and the first year the college has offered an Early Childhood Education certificate at the Blount County Campus. The certificate includes four of the courses required for the Child Development Associate, serving as an interim step between CDA certification and Pellissippi State’s A.A.S. degree.

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

Culinary Arts at Pellissippi State earns accreditation

Pellissippi State Community College Culinary Arts student Alexis Meneese prepares signature desserts for a recent community event.
Pellissippi State Community College Culinary Arts student Alexis Meneese prepares signature desserts for a recent community event.

Bring out the hors d’oeuvres and fine wine!

Culinary Arts at Pellissippi State Community College recently gained accreditation through the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission. Enrollment for fall semester is now open.

Pellissippi State’s Culinary Arts Institute prepares students to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business with a concentration in Culinary Arts. The college’s culinary degree program is the only one accredited in Knoxville.

“When we first started Culinary Arts, we worked with an advisory committee to create a curriculum that was useful to local employers,” said Tom Gaddis, program coordinator. The Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute graduated its first class in 2012.

“Local employers want graduates who not only could cook fabulous foods but do it profitably. That’s why our program is a business program: we want them to learn to cook, but also to have that foundation in accounting, management and even marketing.”

Culinary Arts students are provided a unique education at Pellissippi State. They are trained in business and management practices, and they are taught practices of sufficiency and sustainability. Pellissippi State’s Culinary Arts students take classes at the college’s Division Street Campus and use the kitchen facilities of the University of Tennessee’s Culinary Institute.

Pellissippi State’s Culinary Arts/Business program had a 100 percent career placement rate, based on the latest figures, in 2013. Graduates have taken jobs in the hospitality industry, in restaurants and grocery stores, in bistros, at resorts, and in casual dining.

Graduates of the Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute can certify as cooking professionals through the ACF, progressing from certified culinarian to certified sous chef, all the way to certified master chef.

Enrollment for the fall semester is open until Aug. 12. Classes start Aug. 24.

For more information about the Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute and the degree program, visit www.pstcc.edu/culinary or call (865) 971-5246.