Keurig Green Mountain, Pellissippi State partner to train employees

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Row of males standing in front of a Pellissippi State Community College logo.
Keurig Green Mountain Inc. employees completed an industry-specific workforce development program at Pellissippi State Community College in late May. Pictured, in no order, are graduates Kevin Anderson, Marshall Boyd, Stanley Burgin, Robert Coleman, John Fronczak, Damien Kerr, John LaForge, Tim Mabry, Daniel North, Teddy Phillips, Rodney Reynolds, Josh Sicotte, Stephen Strader and Jeremiah Williams.

Pellissippi State Community College celebrated its first cohort of students completing an industry-specific workforce development program in late May.

The short-term certificate program was designed for Keurig Green Mountain Inc. employees to train them to install, troubleshoot and maintain industrial electrical systems. The curriculum was built through partnerships between Pellissippi State’s Engineering and Media Technologies department and Business and Community Services division with Keurig Green Mountain’s continuous learning department.

“We are pleased to work with our local employers to provide the training and education their employees need to be successful and productive,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development. “We can do that by either fully customizing a solution or packaging existing course offerings to accomplish the company’s workforce development needs.”

In this case, 14 Keurig employees earned 10 credits toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Electrical Engineering. The specialized Keurig certificate is based on Pellissippi State’s Electric Systems Technology certificate.

The Pellissippi State program serves as the model for similar partnerships Keurig Green Mountain is launching across the country with other community colleges.

The 14 graduates are Kevin Anderson, Marshall Boyd, Stanley Burgin, Robert Coleman, John Fronczak, Damien Kerr, John LaForge, Tim Mabry, Daniel North, Teddy Phillips, Rodney Reynolds, Josh Sicotte, Stephen Strader and Jeremiah Williams.

To learn more about the college’s workforce training opportunities, visit or call (865) 539-7167. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State ‘2+2’ alumnus named ‘Teacher of the Year’

Charlie ArpCharles Arp, a Pellissippi State Community College alumnus, has been named “Teacher of the Year” for Sweetwater City Schools in Monroe County. He teaches fifth grade at Brown Intermediate School.

Arp graduated through a teacher education partnership between Pellissippi State and Tennessee Technological University in 2012. Graduates from what is called the “2+2” program earn an Associate of Science in Teaching degree from Pellissippi State, then a Bachelor of Science degree in Multidisciplinary Studies and K-6 Teacher Licensure from Tennessee Tech.

Students in 2+2 attend the first two years as Pellissippi State students and the last two years as Tennessee Tech students—but they take all of their classes at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. A.S.T. is a cohort program, meaning the students go through the entire sequence together.

“Charlie was one of those students that you don’t forget,” said Barbara Jenkins, program coordinator of the A.S.T. program. “He knew what he wanted to do—to teach and make a difference with children in the elementary classroom—and he pursued his goal without hesitation.”

Arp says he was surprised and pleased to receive the Teacher of the Year recognition after teaching only three years. The honor is awarded through Little Tennessee Valley Educational Cooperative.

In April, he also earned Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ 2015 Extreme Classroom Makeover. The award comes with a $25,000 grand prize that funds new technology in the classroom.

Arp credits his success to Pellissippi State and Tennessee Tech and the partnership 2+2 program.

“Pellissippi State prepared me for nearly every aspect of teaching,” he said. “My students have had some of the highest possible science TCAP [Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program] scores in the state. I would say 75 percent of my teaching toolkit is from things I learned at Pellissippi State.

“The 2+2 program even helped prepare me for the interview for this job [at Brown Intermediate]. The only mistake I made was that I didn’t start the 2+2 program straight out of high school.”

Arp employs a number of distinctive techniques to teach his students, including using the Minecraft video game as a way of teaching mathematics and keeping children moving during math lessons by making use of a class-sized coordinate plane. When teaching reading and English lessons, Arp uses movie trailers based on novels to get his students interested in literature.

For more information about the A.S.T., 2+2 and other programs offered by or in partnership with Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Culinary Arts at Pellissippi State: pursue a career creating great food

Group of students in 2 rows in aprons and hats

Confit, crème brûlée, coq au vin. Gnocchi, pierogi, béchamel.

They’re more than just a tableful of fancy foreign foods—they’re what’s for dinner, and breakfast and lunch, when it’s prepared by students enrolled in the Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute.

Registration is now under way to launch an exciting culinary career through Pellissippi State Community College, with a new round of courses starting spring semester. The application deadline is Jan. 9, and classes begin Jan. 20.

 “Our students learn to cook to the sensory perceptions,” said Tom Gaddis, Culinary Arts program coordinator. “Before you even see fajitas, you hear them sizzling. Before you bite into them, you see the multicolored peppers. Culinary is truly an art.”

Students who pursue a two-year degree in Business/Culinary Arts learn about every aspect of the institutional kitchen: stocks and sauces (“There are five mother, or foundation, sauces,” one of them the creamy béchamel, said Gaddis); moist and dry cooking methods: blanching, braising, poaching, stewing, baking, barbecuing/smoking; equipment, safety; meats, from beef and fowl (coq au vin, confit) to rabbit and venison; seasonal vegetables; desserts (crème brûlée).

“Each instructor has his or her own specialty,” said Gaddis. “One chef is from Pittsburgh, and his specialty is Polish food like pierogi and gnocchi. Another specializes in Mediterranean, and another in Japanese.

“Students are able to pursue careers they genuinely love,” he said, “and Culinary Arts has maintained a very high level of job placement since its inception.”

Culinary Arts launched in 2010, part of a collaborative venture between Pellissippi State and the University of Tennessee. It’s a cohort, meaning students enter and complete the courses together, start to finish. Classes are at the Division Street Campus and in the laboratory kitchens at UT’s Culinary Institute off Neyland Drive.

Graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business with a concentration in Culinary Arts. They’re also certified through the National Restaurant Association in food production and sanitation, and they can apply to the American Culinary Federation to become certified culinarians, the first step toward professional chef certification.

For more information about the Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute, contact Gaddis at (865) 971-5246 or or visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Info meetings set for new Pellissippi State accelerated Business Administration pathways

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Prospective Business Administration students are encouraged to attend an informational meeting in November to learn more about two new accelerated cohort degree pathways—Business Administration/Management and Business Administration/Computer Accounting—to be offered spring semester at Pellissippi State Community College.

Students who successfully complete the coursework will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in either Management or Computer Accounting.

Two info meetings are scheduled: at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, on the Magnolia Avenue Campus and at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Hardin Valley Campus.

The accelerated pathway allows students to earn a degree more quickly than normal thanks to shorter-length courses. It’s an ideal choice for those who work during regular school hours, who have family or other responsibilities and/or who may have been out of school for a while.

In a cohort, students begin and progress through a program together, as one supportive group.

Both accelerated cohorts meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings, in mostly five-week courses, for 16 months. The Management concentration provides the skills necessary to effectively manage and lead.  The Computer Accounting concentration prepares students for entry-level accounting positions in business and industry.

For more information about accelerated pathways and cohorts at Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

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