Category Archives: Strawberry Plains

Pellissippi State hosts open house at Strawberry Plains Campus

The public is invited by Pellissippi State Community College to attend an open house at the school’s new Strawberry Plains Campus on May 15, 4-7 p.m.

The event provides the community with an opportunity to tour the facility and learn which courses will be offered this fall. Prospective students attending the open house can get more information about dual enrollment, financial aid and academic programs. Faculty and staff will be on hand to answer questions.

The Strawberry Plains Campus is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike, just off Interstate 40.

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

Pellissippi State chooses veteran site dean as head of Strawberry Plains Campus

Mike North sitting at deskPellissippi State Community College has selected Mike North, an experienced site dean, to lead the new Strawberry Plains Campus.

North currently serves as the assistant dean and top administrator for Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus, a position he has been in since 2003. He began his career at Pellissippi State as a counselor almost 20 years ago and has worked at all of the college’s campuses.

“Mike brings experience to the position, which I think we need with the start of a new campus,” said Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise. “We’ll be adding new support staff positions, academic programs, and partnership programs in the community, and his experience as site dean at Division Street positions him well to lead Strawberry Plains.”

Pellissippi State acquired the Strawberry Plains Campus recently to expand higher education access to areas of Knox and surrounding counties that are traditionally underserved by colleges and universities. The 33-acre property is the site of the former Philips Consumer Electronics’ East Tennessee headquarters.

“It’s exciting to think about what the college could do at Strawberry Plains, and I feel very fortunate to be part of the process,” said North.

The Strawberry Plains Campus is scheduled to open fall semester for classes.

North’s introduction to Pellissippi State came in 1991, when he toured the main campus on Hardin Valley Road as part of a graduate class at the University of Tennessee. Coincidentally, he was in the midst of a decision about where to do the practicum for his master’s degree. The visit resonated, North says, and he ultimately chose Pellissippi State.

“I just loved the feel—it felt very comfortable here. I really liked the people I met. It seemed so hands-on, so accessible.”

North, 46, has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa. His master’s degree from UT is in college student personnel. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from UT as well.

The practicum at Pellissippi State in 1992 led to a full-time job at the Student Development Center as a counselor, a position North was in for a decade before being chosen assistant dean at the Division Street Campus.

North also served as the interim vice president for Student Success and Enrollment Management for Pellissippi State from February 2007 to June 2008.

During the summers, when the Division Street Campus closes, he has worked as site dean at the Magnolia Avenue and Blount County campuses whenever the current deans have been called to perform additional duties.

North says he will miss the staff, faculty and students of the Division Street Campus.

“However, it’s a good time for me to experience a change, and I am very appreciative of the opportunity to go to Strawberry Plains. I have served at Division Street as site dean for almost 10 years, so it will be healthy for the campus (and me) to have some fresh ideas.”

Pellissippi State has five campuses: Hardin Valley, Blount County, Division Street, Magnolia Avenue and, now, Strawberry Plains. The new site is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville.

Learn more about Pellissippi State by visiting or calling (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State purchases East Knox site for Strawberry Plains Campus

Pellissippi State Community College has purchased the former Philips Consumer Electronics’ East Tennessee headquarters for the site of its new Strawberry Plains Campus, said Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise today.

“We are very excited about the acquisition of the new campus at Strawberry Plains,” said Wise. “This project has been part of the college’s master plan for several years and will allow us to increase access to our programs and to work toward the fulfillment of the goals of the Complete College Tennessee Act.”

The 32.6-acre property is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike in East Knox County, off Interstate 40.

Pellissippi State bought the property for $10 million, an acquisition that required approval of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the college’s governing board, as well as the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the State Building Commission. A state program that funded community college capital projects contributed $8.5 million toward the cost. The Pellissippi State Foundation paid the remaining $1.5 million through private donations.
Pellissippi State plans to open the Strawberry Plains Campus fall semester.

The college has long recognized the need for more effective outreach in the east, north and south parts of Knox County. It’s a need driven in part by the area’s educational demographic. In West Knox County, 43.6 percent of residents have college degrees, according to a report the college compiled with U.S. Department of Census data. In the rest of the county, 22.9 percent of residents have a degree.

Pellissippi State became aware of the availability of the 223,000-square-foot facility in 2010. Philips constructed the building in 1980, a project that took two years, then completed a major renovation and remodel in 2002. The facility has been vacant since 2006 when Philips moved out.

The three-story main building is partially furnished and makes up most of the square footage on the property. The facility also has open office space, gathering areas, private offices, a full-service cafeteria and kitchen, a theater-style presentation room, a warehouse area with loading dock, and a design wing once used by company engineers.

“One of the reasons the property was attractive to us is that it already has the feel of a college campus,” Wise said. “It has large open office spaces that can be transformed fairly easily into classroom space.”

The addition of the Strawberry Plains Campus will give the college a total of five campus locations.

The Pellissippi Campus, which is the main site, is located on Hardin Valley Road in West Knox County. The Division Street and Magnolia Avenue campuses are located in Knoxville as well. The Blount County Campus is at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway (U.S. 321).

Learn more about Pellissippi State at