Pellissippi State plans New Student Orientation sessions

Preparing to attend Pellissippi State Community College during the spring 2014 semester? Make plans now to attend a New Student Orientation session.

The free sessions are required of all first-time degree-seeking freshmen. Orientation also is recommended for transfer students and those who have been out of school for a while.

The sessions give new enrollees the opportunity to meet with Pellissippi State students, faculty, and staff; learn strategies for college success; explore degree, major, and transfer options; and discover campus services and resources such as financial aid. Pellissippi State encourages parents, spouses and others supportive of the student to attend as well.

A total of nine sessions are offered. Students are urged to reserve their place in an orientation session as soon as possible. Dates, times and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 5-8 p.m. at the Hardin Valley Campus

Thursday, Jan. 9, 5-8 p.m. at the Magnolia Avenue Campus

Monday, Jan. 13, 10-noon at the Blount County Campus

Monday, Jan. 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Blount County Campus

Monday, Jan. 13, 2-4 p.m. at the Strawberry Plains Campus

Monday, Jan. 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Strawberry Plains Campus

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 1-4 p.m. at the Magnolia Avenue Campus

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 9-noon at the Hardin Valley Campus

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 1-4 p.m. at the Division Street Campus

Pellissippi State’s spring 2014 application deadline is Jan. 6. Classes begin on Jan. 16.

Visit www.pstcc.edu/orientation or call (865) 694-6400 to make your reservation. To request accommodations for a disability, contact Disability Services at accommodations@pstcc.edu or (865) 539-7153.

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Pellissippi State Community College is a member of Tennessee’s Community Colleges. Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate’s degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs, and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at www.tncommunitycolleges.org.

Pellissippi State, WordPlayers present ‘Junie B.’ holiday production

Elf legs with presents below

Pellissippi State Community College and The WordPlayers will present “Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” Dec. 13-14, in a theatre production that promises fun for the whole family.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. All performances take place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $8 for youth ages 12-17, and $5 for children under 12. Order tickets by visiting www.pstcc.edu/tickets.

Written by Allison Gregory and based on the extremely popular “Junie B. Jones” books by Barbara Park, this fast-paced play is filled with over-the-top characters, witty dialogue, and hilarious situations.

“Junie B. will learn to cope with her challenged holiday spirit, will struggle to find the right gift and will brighten your holiday spirits,” said Charles R. Miller, Theatre program coordinator.

“Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

The WordPlayers is a 501(c)3 company of Christian theatre artists based in Knoxville. For more information about the troupe, visit www.wordplayers.org.

For more about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts 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 honors couple on National Philanthropy Day

Group of older adults standing in a row, holding a framed award
Pellissippi State Community College honored longtime supporters Joe and Judy Johnson at a National Philanthropy Day celebration by the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Associate of Fundraising Professionals in November. From left are Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation; Joe and Judy Johnson; and L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

Pellissippi State Community College and the Pellissippi State Foundation honored Joe and Judy Johnson at a National Philanthropy Day celebration Nov. 14.

Joe and Judy Johnson are longtime supporters of Pellissippi State. Joe was chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2013, and the couple supports an endowed scholarship for Music students named in honor of Mary Costa.

“The Johnsons truly ‘walk the talk’ through their involvement with their church, higher education and other community organizations,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“We give not only to have the joy of giving but also to help our fellow man,” the Johnsons said.

Joe and Judy were honored during a luncheon of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Great Smoky Mountain Chapter (www.afpknoxville.afpnet.org), Nov. 14 at Cherokee Country Club. Other East Tennessee organizations and companies also recognized volunteers and fundraisers at the event.

For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation and Pellissippi State giving opportunities, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

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Pellissippi State Community College is a member of Tennessee’s Community Colleges. Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associates degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at www.tncommunitycolleges.org.

Pellissippi State: Popular Holiday Spectacular launches complimentary tickets to ensure seating

Group of ballerinas in white tutus
The popular Holiday Spectacular at Pellissippi State Community College features the talents of more than 140 Pellissippi State students and faculty in eight different musical ensembles, as well as other performers, such as these ballerinas from Holiday Spectacular 2012.

Enjoy holiday cheer and entertain your hopes for a white Christmas at Pellissippi State Community College’s hugely popular Holiday Spectacular musical concert, offered in two performances, 6 and 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5.

Part of Pellissippi State’s Music Concert Series, the Holiday Spectacular is free and the community is encouraged to attend.

Because space is limited, the college is asking that guests arrive 30 minutes before each performance to receive a complimentary ticket. Tickets will be issued at the door to the first 485 guests, and having a ticket guarantees a seat.

The Holiday Spectacular, centered this year around the hopes of many East Tennesseans for a white Christmas, takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. The concert features the talents of more than 140 Pellissippi State students and faculty in eight different musical ensembles.

“The choirs and instrumental ensembles will offer traditional holiday music coupled with some beautiful contemporary settings,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator.

“Besides the festive sounds of the season, the audience will experience a visual spectacle of lights and multimedia, along with graceful holiday dancers. Every audience member will leave the show with a taste of holiday cheer.”

The Music Concert Series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

While all events in the series are free, donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship fund.

For additional information about the Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State, APSU partner to help working adults earn four-year Engineering Tech degree

Fifteen students at Pellissippi State Community College are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in Engineering Technology this fall. The new program, a partnership between Pellissippi State and Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, is designed to support working adults in earning a four-year degree.

Under what’s called a 2+2 agreement, a student may earn an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology, then a bachelor’s degree in either Manufacturing Engineering Technology or Mechanical Engineering Technology—without ever leaving the Pellissippi State campus.

“I think this is an example of a partnership that helps close the skills gap,” Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. said, “especially in terms of manufacturing skills in the Knoxville area. It creates a pathway for our students to move from the community college into a four-year university and earn an applied bachelor’s degree, and it offers working adults the convenience of staying at one location for all four years.”

When students complete the first two years of study, they will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree from Pellissippi State, historically a two-year school. The A.A.S. will be in Engineering Technology, with a concentration in Manufacturing Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. The final two years of the coursework will culminate in a Bachelor of Science degree from APSU.

To further meet the needs of working adults, classes also take place in the evening and the program is arranged as a cohort. In a cohort, students move together through their courses, beginning to end, as a group. Pellissippi State has offered cohorts through its Accelerated Higher Education Associate’s Degree program since 2007.

Wise and Timothy L. Hall, APSU president, signed the articulation agreement earlier this year for the new partnership. The program kicked off when the fall semester began in August.

APSU and Pellissippi State both have well-established Engineering Technology programs. The 2+2 will cover curricula in advanced manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing. APSU offers a specialization in that discipline.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology degree program also allows students to concentrate in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering or Industrial Maintenance.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or contact Celeste Evans, who oversees Pellissippi State’s Cohort Programs, at clevans@pstcc.edu or (865) 539-7381.

Faculty exhibit photographic works this Thursday at Pellissippi State

Be inspired by the photographic talents of Pellissippi State Community College faculty during the Faculty Photo Gallery exhibit at the Bagwell Center for Media and Art, 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21.

“The Faculty Photography Gallery is an annual show of all the photography work of the faculty members who teach photography at Pellissippi State,” said Kurt Eslick, an assistant professor in Engineering and Media Technologies.

Faculty photographs will be on display in the Bagwell Gallery, located on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, Nov. 16-Dec. 13. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The event is free and the community is invited.

Participating faculty include Eslick, Fred Draper, Gene Forest, Ron Goodrich, John Edwin May, G.W. Meredith Jr., Julie Poole and Teresa Mabry Reed, showing a variety of photography subjects.

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

Pellissippi State tops state in associate’s degrees in 2012-2013

Pellissippi State Community College led Tennessee in the number of associate’s degrees awarded by two-year colleges this past school year, and now the college has established its first winter Commencement ceremony next month to accommodate graduates and their families.

Pellissippi State awarded 1,265 associate’s degrees in the 2012-2013 school year, more than any other two-year college in the state, according to the Tennessee Board of Regents, the school’s governing body. The college also awarded 935 certificates, the second highest number in Tennessee.

“Since L. Anthony Wise Jr. became president [in 2011], he has said he wanted us to become the No. 1 producer of associate’s degrees in the state. We did it!” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs.

“We’ve been focusing on increasing graduation rates: from making the process for applying to graduate simpler for students, to implementing academic support programs, to increasing the number of cohort programs we offer, and even to changing our focus and message to students in advising.”

“It is generally advantageous to students to earn a degree, rather than to just take some courses and transfer,” said Lois Reynolds, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs, “because universities are more likely to accept all of the students’ credits with a complete degree.”

As the number of degrees awarded to Pellissippi State students has increased, the college’s annual Commencement ceremony in the spring has grown correspondingly larger. In May, 514 students walked across the stage at graduation.

“We’ve never had more than one graduation ceremony in an academic year,” said Ashford, “but at this past spring graduation ceremony, we had so many students and guests that we found we’d grown too big for our venue, and realized the ceremony has become less intimate.”

Pellissippi State’s administration responded by adding a second graduation ceremony: Friday, Dec. 13, the college will host its inaugural winter Commencement.

Any student graduating in summer or fall 2013 is eligible to walk across the stage at the ceremony. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

Ashford and Reynolds hope the ceremony will attract Pellissippi State graduates who earn their degrees in the summer or fall but otherwise would have declined to return for spring graduation.

Pellissippi State is among several of the state’s community colleges seeing gains in the number of degrees and certifications they award. This past school year, community colleges awarded 14,299 degrees and certificates—8,543 associate’s degrees and 5,756 certificates, according to TBR.

That number compares to 18,531 degrees and certificates awarded by universities, and the proportion of community college-to-university students who are graduating or earning certificates is increasing: in 2009, community colleges awarded only half as many degrees and certificates as universities.

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

Small Business Development Center names ‘Rising Star’ business excellence winner

Group of 3 males and 1 female.
(From left) Scott Schimmel and Lisa Sorensen, the winners of Tennessee Small Business Development Center’s Rising Star honor, accept the award honoring their businesses, Bliss and Bliss Home, from Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr. and Knoxville TSBDC Director Larry Rossini during an award ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 12.

In an award ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Knoxville office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is administered by Pellissippi State Community College, presented Bliss and Bliss Home as its 2013 Rising Star winner.

The Rising Star award is the highest honor TSBDC has to recognize growing small businesses in the Knoxville area.

“From start-up to success, Bliss owners Lisa Sorensen and Scott Schimmel took advantage of the services of the Knoxville Tennessee Small Business Development Center by participating in one-on-one consulting for budgeting, inventory control and financial projections,” said Laura Overstreet, TSBDC spokesperson.

Sorensen and Schimmel also completed the Strategic Management Learning System series of 12 business training modules, provided by TSBDC and sponsored by the Knoxville Chamber.

Bliss recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Today, the business operates at three locations with the support of approximately 40 employees.

“Our TSBDC counselor has been a phenomenal asset and a great sounding board for our business,” Schimmel said. “He always figures out a way to ask us the right questions so we can do our homework and make the right decisions for our business.

“There are business principles that go hand in hand with any business, and TSBDC counselors have a great understanding of those business principles. They’re able to shed light on the questions we have, able to apply those principles to our specific business ideas and issues. Their one-on-one counselors help us feel relaxed about our decisions.”

Sorensen and Schimmel first opened Bliss, a gift and accessory shop, on Market Square in 2003. In 2005, they followed that start-up success with the opening of Bliss Home, a furniture and interior design store, also on Market Square. In 2008, the partners opened another Bliss Home location in West Knoxville.

TSBDC offers a network of professional business consultants at 13 centers throughout Tennessee. For more information, visit www.tsbdc.org. For more information about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

‘Hoop: The American Dream’ author-photographer speaks here Nov. 14

Award-winning photojournalist Robin Layton visits Pellissippi State Community College this Thursday, Nov. 14, with a 3:30-5 p.m. presentation in the Clayton Performing Arts Center.

Layton is in Knoxville promoting her most recent book, “Hoop: The American Dream,” which captures more than 100 images of basketball hoops around the nation as it acknowledges basketball as a universal American experience and worldwide cultural touchstone.

Blonde female in front of a barn with camera in hand.
Photo by Shakti Chen of Robin Layton.

During her presentation here, Layton speaks about “Hoop” and her work throughout the years. In keeping with the theme of her recent work, “turning your passion to purpose,” she also will talk of inspiration.

Her art show at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame is 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 13 and 14. The show is free and open to the public. Layton also leads a photography class at the Hall of Fame 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, followed by a reception at 8 p.m. For more information about the events at Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, call (865) 633-9000.

Layton is the photographer of “A Letter to My Dog” and “Tom’s Big Dinners.” She is a photojournalist and fine artist, and her work has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, as well as been featured in the Smithsonian. One of her most iconic photographs is of Ken Griffey Jr. after his game-winning slide for the Mariners in the 1995 playoff against the Yankees.

Pellissippi State: Bridge to Registered Nurse offers LPNs fast track to higher degree

Pellissippi State Community College offers a fast track for licensed practical nurses to receive their registered nurse degree.

Through the Bridge to Registered Nurse program, Pellissippi State allows LPNs to enter nursing school following the successful completion of one summer transitional course. The Bridge program offers an advanced placement opportunity: a shortened 12-month, three-semester program—two semesters remain once the student finishes the transitional course—for an LPN to “bridge” to the RN level of nursing.

Upon earning the Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from Pellissippi State, the student is prepared to take the national licensure exam to become an RN.

“In this transitional course, Nursing 1170, LPNs validate the same knowledge they would have acquired had they been freshmen in the traditional, two-year Nursing program that we offer,” said Beverly Rogers, Pellissippi State’s interim dean of Nursing.

“They have to do clinical and laboratory simulations, and we cover all the content they normally would have had, but the transitional class allows LPNs to bypass the first year of the Nursing program.

“As long as they have their pre-nursing courses complete, after finishing the Bridge transitional course, the LPNs can then earn their degree in only two semesters. Normally, students are in school for two to three years to get the A.A.S.N. and then are eligible to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse.” One year of training is typically required to become an LPN.

The first Bridge to Registered Nurse class began in May with 24 students. The program is a cohort, which means that students begin and complete the coursework together. Admission is highly competitive, with GPA, exam scores, and higher education degree requirements, in addition to current health-care licensures and certifications.

“Some fields in the health-care industry are moving away from the LPN certification,” Rogers said. “Some of our students have been given only a year to earn that Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree and take the exam to qualify for the RN in order to keep their jobs. This degree program is helping students who otherwise might be displaced.”

Pellissippi State’s Bridge to Registered Nurse program is among the shortest and most streamlined in the state.

“It’s a much more rapid program than most other community colleges in Tennessee can offer,” Rogers said.

The Bridge to Registered Nurse program is funded in part by an Rx Tennessee grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Rx Tennessee grants, totaling $12.6 million distributed among all Tennessee community colleges and technical centers, were awarded in September 2012. Pellissippi State’s roughly $600,000 portion of the funding is effective until 2016.

Rx Tennessee is designed to improve opportunities for Trade Adjustment Assistance eligible workers—those who have lost jobs or suffered reduced hours or wages as a result of work going outside the U.S.—and others in health-care training, Likewise, it also is meeting the need of the health-care industry and employers.

For more information about the Bridge to Registered Nurse program, contact Michael Burtch, Rx Tennessee program coordinator, at (865) 225-2334 or Brian Gilpin, Rx Tennessee completion coach, at (865) 225-2337. Both contacts are located at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu/department/nursing or call (865) 694-6400.