Pellissippi State increases adult enrollment, sets new records

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L. Anthony Wise Jr.

“Finding out about the free tuition program at Pellissippi State — a year before everyone else had it — was the reason I came back to college,” said Lara Mechling, a newly enrolled adult student at Pellissippi State Community College. “I started college after high school, but the timing wasn’t right. Because of Reconnect Now, I can begin again.”

Mechling, a 29-year-old recent mother, and around 2,500 fellow adult students qualified for Pellissippi State’s Reconnect Now scholarship initiative this semester. Reconnect Now is a last-dollar scholarship, funded by the college, for qualified adults. It allows adult students to attend the college tuition-free.

Of the approximately 2,567 students who qualified for Reconnect Now funding, 1,598 students have received funding so far. Of those, 1,100 students are new to the college and 498 are students who were previously enrolled. In short, nearly 23 percent of Pellissippi State’s current student population are new adults who qualified for Reconnect Now, and students who received Reconnect Now funding make up nearly one-seventh of the college’s total enrollment.

Total enrollment of adult students is 3,464 this year, reflecting the highest adult enrollment at the college since 2013 and a reversal of a seven-year downward trend in adult enrollment.

This increase in adult students contributed greatly to Pellissippi State’s overall jump in enrollment. The official headcount enrollment for fall is 11,168 students — an increase of nine percent over last year and the highest headcount since 2011. The college remains the largest community college in the state.

Pellissippi State did realize a number of enrollment firsts this semester. The college saw its highest-ever population of first-time freshmen — those who have never before attended college. Online student enrollment was up nearly 45 percent, making Pellissippi State’s online “campus” second in popularity only to the college’s Hardin Valley Campus.

“We’re excited to welcome the largest freshman class in the history of the college,” said President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “We are committed to providing the support necessary to give each and every one of our students the best possible chance of success at Pellissippi State and beyond.”

Other record highs were seen among Dual Enrollment students, who can earn college credits while still in high school, and for enrollment at the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus.

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

Pellissippi State has record enrollment in fall 2017

Students in Courtyard

Pellissippi State Community College will see record enrollment this fall.

When classes begin August 28, approximately 11,571 students will walk onto Pellissippi State’s five campuses — which reflects an increase in enrollment of about 10.4 percent over the same day last year.

This fall, the college launched Reconnect Now, a last-dollar scholarship for qualified adult students that covers tuition and mandatory fees. About 2,706 students are eligible for Reconnect Now funding.

The college’s previous record high enrollment was 11,260 in 2011. Pellissippi State has been the largest community college in Tennessee since 2015.

“Our pilot of Reconnect Now has proven that adults in Tennessee have waited for an opportunity like this,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “Pellissippi State is proud to open the doors of education to everyone.”

Headcount enrollment is up at all five of Pellissippi State’s campuses in Knox and Blount counties, and is up almost 50 percent online.

“Covering the cost of tuition and fees does not meet all of the needs of adults with jobs, families and lives outside of school,” Wise said. “We have expanded the classes and programs we offer online, in the evenings and on weekends to fit adults’ schedules, and we’re pairing adult learners with support services like free child care for qualified single parents, credit for prior learning and even an academic fresh start if they’ve tried college before unsuccessfully.”

Pellissippi State’s Reconnect Now program will last through summer 2018. Next fall, qualified Reconnect Now students at Pellissippi State will transfer into the state’s Tennessee Reconnect scholarship program.

The official enrollment numbers for the semester will be determined and released on September 11.

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

Gene Haas Foundation awards $15,000 to Pellissippi State

The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded $15,000 to the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation to support the Engineering Technology program.

The grant will fund scholarships for students studying the Manufacturing concentration and pursuing the National Institute for Metalworking Skills machinist credential. The NIMS credential certifies the student’s skill against national standards. The credential commonly is used to recruit, hire or promote workers in the manufacturing industry.

This is the second time the Gene Haas Foundation has awarded a grant for scholarships to Pellissippi State. The grant goes through the Pellissippi State Foundation, which works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans and to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call 865-694-6528.

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

Watch solar eclipse, livestream from stratosphere at Pellissippi State

stratosphere
The stratosphere as visible from a high altitude balloon. Pellissippi State students, in partnership with NASA, will send a high altitude balloon into the stratosphere during the upcoming total solar eclipse. Watch the eclipse and livestream footage from the balloon at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus during Tailgating in Totality.

 

Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to enjoy a unique view of the total solar eclipse — from the ground and from the stratosphere — on August 21 at its Blount County Campus.

The family-friendly Tailgating in Totality event begins at noon and lasts until 3. Food trucks will be on campus, but attendees are welcome to bring their own food and beverages. Bring your own chairs, blankets, sunscreen and other supplies. Alcohol is not permitted on campus. Please do not bring pets.

Pellissippi State will furnish attendees with eclipse glasses until supplies run out. Parking is limited; arrive early.

Attendees will have a prime viewing spot for the total solar eclipse when it begins at approximately 2:30. The college will be streaming live footage from a high-altitude balloon of the eclipse as well. The footage, produced by Pellissippi State students in partnership with NASA, will provide a unique view of an eclipse from the stratosphere. Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s bluegrass band, will play from 1:15-2 p.m.

Enrollment and student services — including admissions, financial aid, advising and the bookstore — will be closed at the Blount County Campus all day, Aug. 21. These services will be open at all other Pellissippi State campuses.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

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