Category Archives: BCS

Pellissippi State offers five-day training to be solar photovoltaic installer

In only five days, students who enroll in the Solar Photovoltaic Training Series at Pellissippi State Community College will be prepared to enter the growing field of solar design and installation. Those who complete the course will also be eligible to take the optional North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners exam. The series is offered through the Business and Community Services Division.

Solar photovoltaics, the conversion of solar power to electricity, is a growing field in Tennessee. As of May 2012, Tennessee is second only to California in the number of solar photovoltaic installers employed. Approximately 670 individuals worked as installers in the state last year, according to the U. S. Department of Labor.

No specialized knowledge is required to take the class. Basic high school math is reviewed, and the foundations of electricity and electronics are covered. Students then go on to the design and installation portions of the coursework. Additional topics include photovoltaic history, market developments and safety.

The class is May 20-24, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Hardin Valley Campus. The cost is $799, plus a textbook fee of $175. The fee for the optional NABCEP exam is $125.

To register or to learn more about this and other classes, call (865) 539-7167 or visit The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Learn golf, sound investing, dulcimer and more at Pellissippi State

Greet spring’s arrival by learning something new in one of the many non-credit classes offered at Pellissippi State Community College. The Business and Community Services Division boasts options that range from sports-related and music classes to financial workshops, genealogy research, and writing courses.

Classes beginning soon include the following:

“Street Hip Hop” – Mondays, March 18-April 22, 5-6 p.m.; $65. Learn several styles of this dance, such as popping, waving, isolations and breakdancing. Hip hop provides great exercise and is not as difficult as one might think. Instructor Wojciech “V” Wiktor is an experienced choreographer and dance instructor.

“Rules of the Road for Sound Investing” – Tuesdays, March 19-April 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Blount County Campus); $65. This class gives students a better understanding of the key principles of saving and investing, while also providing tips on identifying and avoiding the most common investment mistakes.

“Beyond Basic Genealogy” – Thursdays, March 21-April 25, 6:30-9 p.m.; $75. Instructor Sam Maner, local author of several genealogical publications and previous worker, shares his years of genealogy expertise with class participants. Field trips include visits to the health department and a local cemetery.

“An Introduction to Golf” – March 25-28, April 8-11 or May 6-9, 6-7 p.m.; Target Golf, 5311 W. Beaver Creek Dr., Knoxville; $65, plus $10 facility fee paid to instructor at first class. This four-hour class over four consecutive days provides consistent practice in the basic mechanics of golf. Students will also learn course etiquette and golf cart operation, and they will play a hole.

“Making Money Writing and Selling Articles and Short Stories to Magazines” – Mondays, March 25-April 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $99. The emphasis of this class is getting written material published. Topics include best query practices, copyright protection and manuscript preparation.

“Tennessee Estate Planning – It’s Not Just Having a Will!” – Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 26-28, April 16-18 or May 21-23, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $49. Students will learn about the legal documents needed to plan for disability or death, as well as a brief overview of state and federal death taxes.

“Beginning Appalachian Dulcimer (I)” – Tuesdays, March 26-May 21, 5:30-7 p.m.; Blount County Campus; $95, plus $30 material fee paid to instructor at first class. No musical experience is needed for this popular nine-week class. Dulcimers required at first class. Instructor can provide sources, including inexpensive cardboard-body dulcimers. Limited to first 12 registrants.

“Intermediate Appalachian Dulcimer (III)” – Thursdays, March 28-May 23, 5:30-7 p.m.; $95, plus approximate $40 material fee paid to instructor at first class. Students who have already completed “Novice Appalachian Dulcimer (II)” can continue to develop their skills with instructor Rudy Ryan. Limited to first 12 registrants.

“Introduction to Scuba Diving” – April 6-7, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Ski/Scuba Center, 2543 Sutherland Ave., Knoxville; $212, plus $87.25 course material fee paid to instructor at first class. This weekend course introduces the fundamentals, as well as covers training needed for qualifying dives for SSI certification. All equipment is provided. Students must pick up a book and DVD for home study about three days before class.

“’Hablando Español’ (Talking Spanish)” – Mondays, May 6-June 10, 7-9 p.m.; Blount County Campus; $110, includes book. Designed for those with little or no prior instruction in the Spanish language, this course provides a fundamental understanding in speaking, reading and writing basic Spanish.

“Living Single: Financial Strategies for Women” – Thursday, May 9, 6-9 p.m.; $35. This three-hour workshop is specifically for single women who wish to create a sound financial roadmap. Topics include the basics on investments, savings, debt reduction, insurance and planning for the unexpected.

Unless otherwise noted, classes are at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. For information on additional classes or to register, call (865) 539-7167 or visit The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Twelve-hour class offers immersion in Appalachian heritage

To say that the Appalachian region is a source of rich heritage is an understatement. From its distinctive history, language, and music to its varied folkways, geography, and wildlife, Appalachia has been the subject of numerous studies, books, films, and musical compositions. A non-credit class offered by Pellissippi State Community College distills that history into 12 hours of exploration geared both to lifelong residents and those new to the area.

“Our Appalachia: The Smokies and Beyond” offers students a sampling of the Great Smoky Mountains region of the Tennessee–North Carolina border, with special emphasis on Blount, Sevier, Graham, Monroe and Swain counties. Attendees will learn about Appalachian heritage, as well as explore possible connections between the mountains and their own families.

Instructor Mark Davidson is a retired Blount County social studies teacher who developed an Appalachian Studies program for students at William Blount High School. Depending on the interest of class participants, an optional field trip led by Davidson may be scheduled as part of the course. Additional costs associated with a field trip will be announced in class.

“Our Appalachia: The Smokies and Beyond” is offered at two Pellissippi State locations. Dates and times are as follows: Thursdays, March 14-April 18, 6-8 p.m., Hardin Valley Campus; Mondays, March 18-April 22, 6-8 p.m., Blount County Campus.

Class fee is $89. An additional materials fee of approximately $18 is payable to the instructor at the first class meeting.

The non-credit class is offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division. For information or registration, visit or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Clinical Medical Assistant program offered at Pellissippi State

Employment in all occupations is expected to grow by 14 percent through 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, with some areas experiencing more than double that rate. Health-care support occupations, for instance, are expected to expand by 25 percent, while the demand for medical assistants is expected to grow by 31 percent during the next seven years.

To meet the needs of area students seeking entry into the field, Pellissippi State Community College’s non-credit division is offering the Clinical Medical Assistant program, a series of Saturday-only classes that begin in March.

Consisting of 134 hours of classroom instruction and 160 hours of medical office externship, the total program is designed to be completed in only five months. Students who successfully finish the course are prepared to sit for national certification exams such as the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam offered through the National Healthcareer Association or the exam offered by the National Center for Competency Testing.

Pellissippi State is providing the program in collaboration with Boston Reed, a private educational institution based in California. Boston Reed, which has provided health-care training for more than 20 years, has 125 locations nationwide.

Students will gain practical experience in such skills as assisting with patient exams and minor surgery, taking patients’ vital signs, performing lab tests, administering medications, and conducting electrocardiography evaluations.

The series prepares participants to assist physicians in settings such as offices and clinics. The fee for the Pellissippi State offering is $2,995. Financial assistance, including payment plans, credit-based loans and scholarships, is available through Boston Reed:

The Clinical Medical Assistant program is being offered through Pellissippi State’s non-credit division, Business and Community Services. Early registration is encouraged.

Classes meet on Saturdays, March 9-June 22, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Hardin Valley Campus. Externship placement is guaranteed by Boston Reed and will be discussed with students upon enrollment.

For information or registration, visit or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Landscaping class offered by Pellissippi State

Instant flower gardens. It’s a tempting thought during the winter season. While the upcoming landscaping class at Pellissippi State Community College won’t give attendees a full-blooming garden-on-the-spot, it will give them plenty of design ideas and how-to information.

“Landscaping Made Easy and Fun” provides eight hours of instruction to those seeking to learn more. Instructor Valarie Huffman, expert landscaper and owner of Instant Flower Gardens, will guide students through basic design principles, materials selection, plant installation and maintenance. Topics include flowering shrubs, small trees, flowers, and grasses, as well as mulching, fertilizing, watering, and pruning.

The non-credit course is being offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division. Classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, Feb. 25-March 6, 1-3 p.m. at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The class fee is $79.

For information or registration, visit or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists complete and current class schedules, as well as details on new course offerings.

Pellissippi State leads region in manufacturing education and training

Last year, Pellissippi State Community College enhanced its reputation as a leader in manufacturing education, marked the graduation of its first Nursing class, and achieved full state approval for its Nursing program. Nursing is offered at the Blount County Campus in Friendsville and the Magnolia Avenue Campus in Knoxville.

This year, the college is poised to build on its academic programs, as well as on its student participation in study abroad—already the highest of any U.S. community college.

Supporting students in completing college and increasing access to and placing graduates in good jobs serve as key priorities in 2013, said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

“We continue to focus on helping students complete their studies in both transfer programs and career/technical fields that lead to outstanding transfer opportunities and excellent jobs,” Wise said.

Pellissippi State also is reviewing its distance education program to find ways to provide additional pathways to degree completion.

“We’re going to change the way we use distance education—and this will certainly affect Blount County—to help students at our site campuses complete career and transfer degrees on those campuses,” Wise said.

Manufacturing education and training

At the state-of-the-art Manufacturing Tech Lab, the Blount County Campus has experienced an uptick in apprenticeship training through the college’s Business and Community Services Division and Engineering Technology degree program. For example, Cherokee Millwright revived its apprenticeship program with the consultation and expertise of BCS. BCS and Engineering Technology also developed curricula and training for Y-12 machinist apprentices at the Hardin Valley Campus.

This past year, the college played a key role in creating a national curriculum for the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative. AMTEC is a collaboration of colleges and industry to better prepare skilled technicians and manufacturing engineers for work in auto manufacturing and technology. The curriculum contribution helped Pellissippi State land two federal grants to fund manufacturing education, training and workforce development in East Tennessee.

“These types of advanced manufacturing programs, they really feed into what seems to be a growth in manufacturing in the local economy,” Wise said. “In terms of our career programs, that’s exactly where we need to be.”

The first grant came through the U.S. Department of Labor in September. The Labor Department awarded $15 million to an educational consortium that included Pellissippi State. The grant provides a minimum of $760,000 to each consortium member during a three-year period.

The award funds manufacturing job training to fill a shortage of skilled workers locally. The goal of the grant meets a long-term ambition, one that dovetails with Pellissippi State’s mission: to help transform manufacturing education.

The funding will boost instructional capacity, pay for equipment and technical support, and improve online delivery of the college’s Engineering Technology classes.

A few weeks after the Labor Department grant was announced, Pellissippi State learned it was the recipient of a second federal grant for manufacturing education.

The college plays a key role in the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee (AMP!), one of 10 public-private partnerships to receive a total of $20 million to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and create jobs. Pellissippi State’s partners on the grant include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services and Tech 20/20, the lead grant applicant.

The regional consortium’s proposal was selected through a federal multi-agency competition called the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

The grant enables Pellissippi State to offer a certificate in Additive Manufacturing and update existing curricula. It funds more than $250,000 in scholarships for students in Advanced Manufacturing courses.

Additive manufacturing describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material, whether the material is plastic, metal or concrete. Using 3D printers, companies can create prototypes quickly, with less waste and cost than traditional methods. In addition, additive manufacturing is being used more and more to make finished products.

The certificate will be offered through BCS and Engineering Technology.

International Education

Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades. During the 2010-11 academic year, 174 Pellissippi State students studied abroad, making the college the top two-year school in the U.S. in terms of the number of study abroad students.

The numbers come from the most recent Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

A key factor in Pellissippi State’s study abroad success is its robust scholarship program. Funded through the international education fee, study abroad scholarships at Pellissippi State total more than $300,000 each year.

“Our study abroad programs are designed to help students earn credits towards degrees and to develop a broader understanding of the world in which they study, live, and work,” said Wise.

“Scholarship support allows our students to travel to places they might never have imagined. Very often they come back better students and citizens and with a much better sense of who they are and what they want to do.”

Electrical safety classes offered by Pellissippi State

NFPA 70E requirements. LOTO compliancy practices. PPE applications and care. To some, this may all sound like alphabet soup. For area professionals tasked with maintaining electrical safety in the workplace, however, these acronyms are crucial topics of study.

In January, those professionals can learn even more about their trade by taking one of three electrical safety classes being offered by Pellissippi State Community College.

“Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace” courses focus on the National Fire Protection Association’s 70E requirements. Originally developed at the request of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, NFPA 70E helps companies and employees avoid workplace injuries and fatalities due to shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blast.

The courses cover the requirements for safe work practices that protect personnel by reducing exposure to major electrical hazards. Included is information on topics such as lockout/tagout practices (LOTO) and personal protective equipment (PPE).

The non-credit courses are being offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division. Students may elect to enroll in any of three versions of the course: refresher, standard or train the trainer.

Early registration is encouraged. All classes meet at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

“Refresher Course” (4 hours)—Jan. 30, 8-noon; $249. Areas covered include but are not limited to safety-related work practices, flash and shock protection boundaries, training requirements, determination of LOTO compliancy practices, and NFPA 70E 2012 changes.

“Standard Course” (8 hours)—Jan. 31, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; $499. Areas covered include but are not limited to introduction to NFPA 70E and OSHA 1910.331-335, flash and shock protection boundaries, site-specific applications and work practices, determination of LOTO compliancy practices, PPE applications and care, and NFPA 70E 2012 changes.

“Train the Trainer” (32 hours)—Jan. 22-25, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; $3,000. This course is applicable for all supervisors, mechanics, engineers, safety personnel and management. “Train the Trainer” enables the student to train a workplace team. Areas covered include but are not limited to safe work practice programs, hazard recognition and mitigation.

For information or registration, visit or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists the latest class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Pellissippi State launches machinist apprenticeship program with IAM union, Y-12

Pellissippi State hosted representatives of B&W Y-12 and the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers officials and apprentices for the onset of a new partnership apprenticeship program fall semester. From left to right: Tim Wright (IAM); Pat Riddle (Pellissippi State); Steve Passmore and Danny Lowry (IAM); Rick Heath (Pellissippi State); apprentice Rachel Henley; Bill Klemm (Y-12); apprentice Ryan Johnson; Mike Thompson (ATLC); apprentice Jason Brown; John Whalen (ATLC); apprentice Jonathan Bryant; Beth Green (Y-12); Steve Jones (ATLC); apprentices Rachel Bachorek, Rashaad Gibbs, Jeff Bryant, Justin Dupas, and Micheal Lovelady; and Robert Goins (Y-12).

Pellissippi State Community College welcomed its first class of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union apprentices from the B&W Y-12 National Security Complex this semester.

Thanks to a partnership that began early this year, Y-12’s IAM&AW workers are now receiving instruction in the classroom and hands-on training in the engineering labs at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The new apprenticeship program, which launched with 10 students, focuses on building the skills the workers need to succeed on the job: among them, machining, materials and maintenance print reading.

“Y-12 is a highly specialized and classified work environment,” said Rick Heath, solutions management director for the college’s Business and Community Services Division and a key player in the new partnership. “It’s logical and smart for them to grow apprentices from their own talent within the organization.”

“IAM is very committed to the apprenticeship training, but it doesn’t have the lab facilities or staff to train locally,” said Tim Wright, IAM District 711 business representative. The partnership between the college, Y-12 and the union makes training more convenient and saves Y-12, which pays for the apprenticeships, the expense of having to send workers out of town.

Beyond proximity and affordability, quality of programs factored into the IAM’s decision to choose Pellissippi State for the training contract.

“We have long been aware of the good work Pellissippi State does,” Wright said. “The training partnership is a win for everyone.”

The apprenticeship at Pellissippi State will take four years to complete. During that time, the machinists also have the opportunity to earn 45 credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. Since apprentices can finish the program only 15 hours short of earning a 60-credit degree, the college is also developing a 15-credit path to complete a General Education degree. The curriculum will be structured as a cohort, in which students proceed through their coursework as a group.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions, and Y-12 ultimately contracted with the division to offer the apprenticeship.

The effort is sponsored and the curriculum has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, says Heath. It also has the support of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council.

This is the first time Pellissippi State, Y-12 and IAM have collaborated on an apprenticeship program. Y-12 and union representatives initially met with Pellissippi State faculty and staff in early January. Curriculum development took place throughout spring and summer semester.

“They brought their experts over—the people who are doing the work,” said Heath. “They told us, ‘This is what you need to teach for our employees to be successful.’”

So far, the partnership seems to be working well for all parties, but there’s still plenty of room for fine-tuning.

“We’re going to analyze as we go along and see what’s working, what’s not working,” said Pat Riddle. Riddle coordinates and teaches in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. “We’ll meet with the IAM and Y-12 partners and see where we stand, see what they think we might want to change or reemphasize.

“This is a continuous improvement cycle that we’re working on, to make sure that the program meets the partners’ needs and still follows the academic guidelines set by the Tennessee Board of Regents.”

To find out more about the apprenticeship program and other contract training opportunities, email Rick Heath at To learn more about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

‘Home Inspection Licensing’ class offered by Pellissippi State

It’s a business with relatively low overhead, fairly quick licensing requirements and potentially high income. Beginning an entrepreneurial enterprise as a professional home inspector can be an especially good fit for those with previous experience in construction or home repair.

On Nov. 27, individuals interested in pursuing a career in home inspection have the opportunity to begin a state-approved “Home Inspection Licensing” class at Pellissippi State Community College.

The non-credit course is offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division. Students will engage in both classroom work and on-site inspections. Topics covered include tools, techniques, systems and fundamentals for roofs, exteriors, and foundations; structural problems; case studies; liability management; report writing; communications; business start-ups. The course also includes actual home inspections.

Instruction is provided by the Home Inspection Institute of Cincinnati. Students who satisfactorily complete the state-approved course are prepared to take the licensing exam required by Tennessee. According to the Home Inspection Institute, licensed home inspectors can expect to earn $250-400 for the typical inspection.

“Home Inspection Licensing” is a 90-hour class that meets over the course of nine days. Class dates and times are Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Dec. 7, 4-10 p.m.; and Dec. 8-9, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. The fee is $2,095.

Classes meet at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, with travel to on-site home inspections to be determined.

For information or registration, visit or call (865) 694-6400. The BCS website also lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Two-for-one special on handgun carry-permit class at Pellissippi State

Always a popular course, the Tennessee Handgun Carry-Permit Class at Pellissippi State Community College is sure to fill up quickly, thanks to special two-for-one pricing on the Saturday, Nov. 17, session at the Hardin Valley Campus.

The non-credit course is being offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division at the rate of $75 for any two students who register at the same time. Space is limited, and one person must register both students simultaneously in order for the two-for-one rate to apply.

Those who satisfactorily complete the eight-hour course earn a certificate to apply for a state carry permit. Completion of this or another training course is required before applying for a Tennessee handgun carry permit.

The Pellissippi State course covers handgun parts, function, and operation; safety, cleaning, and storage; legal responsibilities of carrying a handgun; course review and testing; and firing range exercises.

Included are four to five hours of classroom instruction and approximately three hours of range training. The person leading the class is certified both as a firearms instructor with the National Rifle Association and as a handgun instructor with the state of Tennessee.

The course meets at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, for classroom instruction. Range training takes place at the John Sevier Hunter Education Center, 2327 Rifle Range Road. Class hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Students must supply their own gun and ammunition. A $5 range fee for each student is payable to the instructor during class.

Two additional sessions of the course will be offered before the end of 2012 for those unable to attend the two-for-one class on Nov. 17. The regular rate of $65 per person applies to classes offered on Dec. 1 at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus and on Dec. 15 at the Hardin Valley Campus.

For information or registration, visit or call (865) 694-6400. The BCS website also lists updated class scheduling and information on new course offerings.