Department of Education awards $1.9 million grant to Pellissippi State

posted in: Faculty and Staff, Grants, TBR | 0

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Pellissippi State Community College a five-year, $1.9 million grant to support student success and engagement through providing comprehensive professional development for faculty.

“Faculty development is often fragmented,” said Kellie Toon, Pellissippi State’s Quality Enhancement Program director and the grant lead. “But a comprehensive professional development program will strengthen our faculty, which will in turn strengthen our students — and that’s what it’s all about.”

The grant will fund a center for teaching excellence that will include pedagogical training programs and other professional development opportunities to teach faculty members the newest and best-practice methods of teaching in meaningful, engaging ways.

“Professional development opportunities through a center for teaching excellence will give faculty the ability to lead change through academics,” Toon said. “Through improved academic quality and teaching, we can strengthen student learning and retention.”

Pellissippi State’s Quality Enhancement Program, “Strong to the Core,” focuses on improving student learning in targeted academic courses, including writing, oral communication and mathematics. Pellissippi State’s QEP was first developed as part of the college’s accreditation renewal process in 2012 through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The QEP continues to support student success and engagement through promoting active learning techniques to faculty members — from a new faculty academy to online training and beyond.

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

 

Download this press release: Teaching Excellence Grant

Pellissippi State named to President’s Honor Roll for community service

posted in: Awards, Service-Learning, TBR | 0
Annie Gray
Annie Gray, Pellissippi State Service-Learning coordinator, harvests produce from the Hardin Valley Campus Garden, which is used to provide fresh food for a five-campus food pantry.

 

Pellissippi State Community College has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll 2015 for its Service-Learning program and community outreach initiatives.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions with exemplary community service programs that raise the visibility of effective practices in campus-community partnerships. The college was recognized in the general community service division of the 2015 awards.

“We’re honored and grateful that Pellissippi State’s deep and active commitment to serving the community has been recognized at a national level,” said Annie Gray, Service-Learning coordinator and English professor.

In the 2013-2014 academic year — the year for which Pellissippi State was evaluated for the 2015 Honor Roll — the estimated economic impact of all of Pellissippi State’s volunteer service hours in East Tennessee was $899,205. In the past 2015-2016 academic year, the value of Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning hours rose to $971,617.

At Pellissippi State, students who complete community service hours and submit them through Service-Learning can have their verified community service hours listed on their official college transcripts.

“Service-Learning not only helps our students in the classroom, it provides meaningful ways for them to give back to their community — and it demonstrates to future employers or four-year universities that our students are well-rounded,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

The Good Food For All initiative, which took place in 2014 as part of Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program, worked with community partners to address issues of food access, nutrition education and environmental stewardship. The initiative placed Pellissippi State students, employees and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers in community service positions with local community gardens, food banks and poverty alleviation organizations — including Pond Gap Elementary School, Knoxville’s Great Schools Partnership, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, the Center for Urban Agriculture at Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum and the Knoxville Permaculture Guild.

The Good Food For All initiative oversaw the Pellissippi State-sponsored community garden at Pond Gap and was the inspiration behind the new garden on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus this year. Produce from the Hardin Valley garden is used to stock a five-campus food pantry program for Pellissippi State students in need.

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

 

Download this press release: SL President Honor Roll

For 2nd year, Pellissippi State largest community college in state

posted in: Students, TBR | 0

For the second year in a row, Pellissippi State Community College is the largest community college in Tennessee by enrollment.

Pellissippi State has 10,244 students enrolled, which is the largest headcount enrollment among community colleges in the state.

“Even though we serve a large number of students each year, we work very hard to make certain that each student can find a pathway to their goals,” said President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “We do so with an outstanding faculty and staff, small class sizes and high-impact educational practices and programs geared toward student success.”

Enrollment among a number of educational pathways for students has grown in the past year as well. The growth rate at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus rose 34 percent from 2015 to 2016, while the growth rates for dual enrollment and online courses rose 6.5 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively, in the same time frame. From fall 2015 to 2016, the number of students who participate in the Volunteer Bridge program — which allows students who wish to attend the University of Tennessee to complete their first year at Pellissippi State — grew from 122 to 178.

This fall, Pellissippi State has approximately 2,705 first- and second-year Tennessee Promise students.

“No matter what pathway Pellissippi State students choose to follow, we work hard to ensure their college experience is meaningful and prepares them for the rest of their lives,” Wise said. “It’s all about our students.”

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

 

Download this press release: Largest College 2nd Year

Pellissippi State receives Tennessee Promise Forward grant

posted in: Grants, TBR, Tennessee Promise | 0

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has granted Pellissippi State Community College $144,460 as part of its Tennessee Promise Forward program.

This is the second year Pellissippi State has received a Tennessee Promise Forward grant.

Tennessee Promise Forward began in 2015 with the goal of increasing retention rates among community college students, or the number of students who complete their college education once they’re enrolled. The grants are tied to retention-based services for Tennessee Promise students.

Pellissippi State will use its Tennessee Promise Forward funding to continue an “intrusive advising” model that was piloted last year at the college’s Blount County, Division Street and Hardin Valley campuses.

In an “intrusive advising” model, advisors are in continual communication with students and respond proactively when students are considered at-risk — for example, if their midterm grades are low, or if they miss a certain number of classes. As part of the constant contact model, the Advising Center uses a two-way text messaging platform to reach students in their preferred mode of communication.

“While this text advising portion of this program can be used to provide information and set up appointment times, its greatest advantage is giving students access to someone at their fingertips who can answer college-related questions whenever they arise,” said Rachael Cragle, Pellissippi State’s director of Advising.

“What’s most important is that we’re emphasizing ongoing communication with students throughout the semester, when they need it,” she added.

This year, the text advising program will be expanded to include all of Pellissippi State’s campuses.

During the pilot program last year, Pellissippi State saw more than 50 percent engagement among students through the text messaging program. More than 90 percent of the students who had three or more contacts from their advisor were retained from the fall to spring semester.

For more information about Tennessee Promise at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/promise or call 865-694-6400.

 

Download this press release: TN Promise Forward Grant

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