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 www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: TSBDC receives $5,000 from First Tennessee Foundation

The Knoxville office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is administered by Pellissippi State Community College, has received a $5,000 grant through the Pellissippi State Foundation from the First Tennessee Foundation. The First Tennessee Foundation has given to the TSBDC’s First Tennessee Resource Center for more than 20 years.

“The funds from the First Tennessee Foundation over the years have funded a small library, upgraded the TSBDC training room, and maintained the First Tennessee Resource Center’s business software and support equipment,” said Larry Rossini, director of the Knoxville TSBDC. Upgrades to the training room include dual-screen technology for instructional programs like QuickBooks Reports and Google My Business.

“Without these generous funds from the First Tennessee Foundation, we could not provide the quality service we offer to the business community,” Rossini said.

TSBDC’s First Tennessee Resource Center opened in 1993 using funds from a $10,000 grant from the First Tennessee Foundation, along with matching federal funds. It is open to anyone, free of charge, and provides computer and Internet access, as well as printing and faxing capabilities and a library of business-related books. The Resource Center serves a broad spectrum of clients, including entrepreneurs, businesspeople and researchers.

Recent users of local TSBDC services include Bobby Nicholson, owner of Outliers Advantage In-Home Tutoring, who received help to apply for a government grant to tutor military veterans, and Umoja Abdul-Ahad, executive director of Project 2000 Inc.

“We appreciate the TSBDC staff and facility for this priceless service provided to the community,” said Abdul-Ahad.

“As a result of the generosity of the First Tennessee Foundation,” said Peggy Wilson, “the TSBDC has been able to continually upgrade the TSBDC Resource Center and classroom with the latest business-related hardware and software.” Wilson is vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the First Tennessee Foundation.”

The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve college facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

For more about TSBDC, visit www.tsbdc.org/pscc or call (865) 246-2663.

Haiti topic of Pellissippi State presentation by visiting Humphrey Fellow

portrait of a male in suitPellissippi State Community College welcomes Serge Michel, a Humphrey Fellow from Haiti, for a special presentation Wednesday, April 8.

Humphrey Fellows are mid-career professionals from other nations who travel to the U.S. and spend one academic year at a university or other higher education institution. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, was established in 1978. Professionals from 24 countries participate.

Michel’s presentation is “Haiti: Too Rich to Be Poor, Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Poverty.” It takes place 2-3 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The presentation is free and open to the community.

Michel is on campus the first full week of April, with several speaking engagements planned in the community. He will spend time shadowing Pellissippi State administrators to learn more about the community college model and how Pellissippi State interacts with its community.

Michel is a cofounder and vice chair of the board of GRAHN-Haiti, a branch of GRAHN-Monde, a think tank dedicated to the reconstruction of Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010. He also serves as a project coordinator in the United Nations Office Project of Services in Haiti. Michel has degrees in development management, business administration and computer programming.

For more information about the presentation and Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State offers path to engineering tech bachelor’s degree

When President Barack Obama visited East Tennessee in January, he introduced America’s College Promise and launched a manufacturing innovation hub—both with ties to Pellissippi State Community College.

“We’re launching these hubs around the country, and the concept is simple: We bring businesses, research universities, community colleges, and state, local, and federal governments together, and we figure out, where are some key opportunities for manufacturing in the future, how do we get out in front of the curve, how do we make sure everybody is working together,” Obama said during his speech at Techmer PM in Clinton.

Pellissippi State has provided workforce development training for Techmer PM in recent years. The College and Techmer PM also are partners in a $15 million U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to the Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium. The funding is directed toward helping workers who are displaced, unemployed or underemployed, particularly those in the manufacturing industry.

Pellissippi State has launched a number of programs and courses designed to meet those needs.

One of those initiatives is the College’s articulation agreement with Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. Under the partnership, a student can earn an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology through Pellissippi State, then a bachelor’s degree in either Manufacturing Engineering Technology or Mechanical Engineering Technology through Austin Peay—without ever leaving the Hardin Valley Campus.

“I think our partnership with Austin Peay is one that will help close the gap in manufacturing skills in the region,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “It allows our students to move seamlessly from a community college to a four-year university to earn an applied bachelor’s degree, then enter the workforce with much-needed job skills.”

The program’s first 15 students are set to graduate from Pellissippi State this year. They’ll enroll at Austin Peay in the fall as juniors.

Students in the program first earn an Associate of Applied Science degree from Pellissippi State, then continue on to earn a Bachelor of Science from Austin Peay. All four years of classes are taught at the Hardin Valley Campus, by both Pellissippi State and Austin Peay faculty.

The program is designed for working students, and it meets the demand for engineering graduates with a bachelor’s degree in East Tennessee.

“Other opportunities like this do not exist in this region,” said Pat Riddle, Pellissippi State’s Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Technology program coordinator. “Pellissippi State and Austin Peay provide local employers with trained, educated professionals with a bachelor’s degree credential.”

“It’s important that we deliver the academic portion and the follow-up: that our graduates are able to find meaningful job opportunities in the fields they’ve studied,” said William Cox, executive director of the School of Technology and Public Management at Austin Peay.

Registration for fall courses at Pellissippi State, including those in the Engineering Technology partnership with Austin Peay, begins in April.

For more information about the partnership program, contact Cindy Fowinkle, an assistant professor and program coordinator of Engineering Technology at Austin Peay at Pellissippi State, at (865) 694-7651. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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