Pellissippi State campuses to become HABIT facilities

students with dog
Pellissippi State Community College students interact with a HABIT dog during finals week.

Pellissippi State Community College, in partnership with Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee, is on track to make all five of its campuses official HABIT facilities.

HABIT is a program that sponsors visits from medically and behaviorally screened dogs, cats and rabbits to facilities like schools, retirement and assisted-living facilities, rehabilitation facilities and hospitals. For many years, Pellissippi State has hosted HABIT animals on its campuses during final exam weeks as a de-stressor for students.

Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus is the first among the college’s campuses to attain its HABIT facility designation. Pellissippi State is the first community college in the state to be named a HABIT facility.

“I have a Maine Coon cat who is a HABIT animal,” said Betsy Boyd, a counselor on the Blount County Campus. “I have been bringing him by campus to visit, and he became an immediate hit with our students, faculty and staff.”

HABIT facilities can host volunteers with HABIT animals at any time. For Pellissippi State students, that means that comfort animals can be available more than simply during finals weeks.

Elizabeth Firestone, director of Counseling Services at Pellissippi State, said, “We like the idea of promoting visits from HABIT animals to all of our campuses because our students have so much stress in their lives — from the simple stresses of the college workload to the fact that many of our students are juggling multiple roles at home and at school.”

HABIT, which is housed at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, promotes the benefits of human interaction with animals, including lowered stress and improved senses of wellbeing. More information about HABIT is available at

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

Pellissippi State, Carson-Newman partner on transfer pathways for students

Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr., right, with Carson Newman University Provost Paul Percy.
Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr., right, with Carson-Newman University Provost Paul Percy.

Pellissippi State Community College and Carson-Newman University are partnering to ensure transfer pathways are seamless for community college students who go on to earn their four-year degrees.

The partnership specifically targets certain transfer programs, which allow students to earn an associate degree and then transfer those credits to a four-year university. The Carson-Newman partnership will allow seamless transfer for Pellissippi State students earning an Associate of Fine Arts in Music and an Associate of Science in Teaching with a concentration for preschool through grade three, as well as the Tennessee Transfer Pathway degree in Business Administration. Students who earn those degrees from Pellissippi State can then transfer to Carson-Newman to complete bachelor’s degrees in Education, Music and Business.

Additionally, students who earn certain associate degrees from Pellissippi State can transfer to Carson-Newman and enter bachelor’s degree programs in general studies or in Pre-Nursing.

“Partnerships like this one allow community college students to more easily find their way along the path to a higher education,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State.

“We are proud to partner with Carson-Newman University to enable our students to successfully complete a bachelor’s degree in these programs,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs at Pellissippi State.

“This is a significant partnership between two great academic institutions that will benefit East Tennessee students by providing the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree. It’s a win-win all-around,” said Paul Percy, provost of Carson-Newman.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400. For more information about Carson-Newman, visit or call 865-471-2000.

Y-12 machinists complete classroom portion of apprenticeship program at Pellissippi State

Ten employees of Y-12 National Security Complex have completed three years of classroom training at Pellissippi State Community College as part of the second class of an apprenticeship program that grows talent from within Y-12.

The students — Russell “Rusty” Chambers, Charles Clinton, Ashley Dawson, Billy Farr, James Fielden, Randy Fields, Douglas Hamby and David Trexler — received classroom instruction and hands-on training at Pellissippi State on topics related to an advanced technological workplace.

As part of their classroom instruction, the apprentices built and donated an information kiosk to Norris Dam State Park and a trailer to Marble Springs State Historic Site.

“The apprenticeship program at Y-12 is paying CNS back in taking our employees and helping them grow their skills, as well as allowing them to work alongside our journey workers picking up on the tools of the trade,” said Beth Green, senior staff to the director of infrastructure at Y-12.

The apprenticeship program is a four-year investment: The apprentices still must complete a yearlong internship at Y-12 in order to finish the program.

Ashley Dawson, the only female machinist in this group of apprentices, said, “This is a big deal for me because it’s out of my realm of comfort. My bachelor’s degree is in business and finance, so this gives me the opportunity to change that and go more mechanical.”

The program allows students the opportunity to earn substantial credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree, plus the opportunity to finish additional coursework, including 15 credit hours of general education courses required to complete a degree in Engineering Technology in a concentration of the student’s choice.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services division developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions. For more information, visit or call 865-539-7167.

Alcoa, DENSO grant funds for equipment at Pellissippi State

Alcoa and DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee have awarded Pellissippi State Community College a combined $150,000 for the purchase of new equipment for Engineering Technology students.

Alcoa’s grant of $100,000 will be used to purchase textbooks and advanced programmable logic controllers, which are computers used for industrial automation processes. The $50,000 grant from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee will be used to purchase Elvis boards and multimeters, which are types of testing and learning equipment for electrical and electronic engineering technology.

The new equipment will be used by students enrolled in the Automated Industrial Systems and Industrial Maintenance Technology concentrations at Pellissippi State. AIS trains students to operate automated manufacturing equipment — including programmable logic controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment — which are now the industry standard in manufacturing settings. IMT teaches students how to maintain and operate advanced manufacturing equipment.

Funding for these grants goes through the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation also provides scholarships and emergency loans to students, improves facilities and secures new equipment for the college.

For more information about the Foundation, visit or call 865-694-6528. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400.


Download this press release: AIS Equipment Grants

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