Category Archives: Students

May 10 Pellissippi State graduates began college as high-schoolers

Portrait of a male with buzz cut hair, glasses, and wearing a white polo shirt.As graduates cross the stage May 10 at Pellissippi State Community College’s Commencement ceremony, some of them will have begun classes at the college while they were still high school students.

Jonathan Caylor began taking college classes through Pellissippi State’s Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program as a junior at Hardin Valley Academy.

“Dual enrollment let me get a head start into something I really enjoyed. I could test the waters and see how things were before I fully committed,” he said. “It was really valuable.”

Caylor became a full-time Pellissippi State student in 2010. He graduates with an associate’s degree in Media Technologies, concentrating in Communication Graphics Technology. He also takes away three certificates: Web Design Tools, Accessible Web Design and Mobile Web Design.

Spencer Joy, the college’s Dual Enrollment specialist, said Fast Forward provides many Knox and Blount county high school students the opportunity for an inexpensive jump-start on a postsecondary education.

“It is a huge savings to students,” Joy said. Students can take a dual enrollment class at Pellissippi State for less than $60. Eligible students also may qualify for the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Dual Enrollment Grant.

“Students who complete dual enrollment courses enter college ahead of others who didn’t start early,” said Joy. “It is also a transitional experience—students get acquainted with registration and what life is like on a college campus. Although still in high school, the vast majority of them succeed as college students, earning A’s and B’s.”

“The high school experience is nothing like the college experience,” said Caylor. “In high school, your hands are held, everything is planned, and everything is sort of in order. College is not exactly that way.

“Getting to do dual enrollment, even just a single class per high school semester, was a taste of college. I could experience the high school classes I had and merge over to this new college lifestyle.”

Following graduation, Caylor plans to seek employment in graphic design, perhaps eventually pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Kelsea Smith started in dual enrollment at Pellissippi State as a way to graduate early from Maryville High School. After graduating from high school, she elected to continue on at Pellissippi State.

“It’s the lowest price around, and it’s a really good college,” she said. “I like the professors and I like the environment: small classes where you get individual help, versus the larger universities and colleges.”

Smith graduates tomorrow with an Associate of Science in Teaching, with an Elementary Education option. Through a partnership between Pellissippi State and Tennessee Technological University, she plans to begin working toward a four-year degree in the fall.

For more information about the Dual Enrollment program, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

Two Pellissippi State cohort students to study in Scotland this summer

Portrait of a young, Caucasian male wearing a light blue shirt.
Jacob Johnson, a student at Pellissippi State, will study abroad in Scotland this summer as part of the new Communication Studies cohort. Students enrolled in cohorts enter college together and finish together as one dynamic group. Another Communication Studies cohort begins in August and is open for registration.

Enrolling in a cohort at Pellissippi State Community College means that students enter college together and finish together as one dynamic group. For two students enrolled in the new Communication Studies cohort, it also means studying abroad together this summer in Scotland.

From June 4 through June 24, Jacob Johnson and Bonnie Walker will take classes for college credit while in Scotland. They do so through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. TnCIS, based at Pellissippi State, coordinates study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

This summer, TnCIS is coordinating 18 different study abroad experiences for Tennessee students. Last year, more than 400 students and 50 faculty members from the state participated in TnCIS’ study abroad programs.

For Johnson, the 21 days in Scotland represent his first journey outside the U.S. A seasoned traveler within the country, Johnson says he looks forward to experiencing a different culture while developing skills such as public speaking. He also likes the “stateside” aspect of cohort studies.

“It’s pretty cool to see the same people in classes,” he said. “You already know people, and everyone can help each other to make sure you get what you need out of class. With Communication Studies, I have lots of options. I can get a job or go on for a four-year degree in business, communications or marketing.”

Portrait of a young, Caucasian female wearing a black shirt.
Bonnie Walker, a student at Pellissippi State, will study abroad in Scotland this summer as part of the new Communication Studies cohort.

Walker has previously traveled outside the U.S., but she is equally excited about her study abroad in Scotland. Her career plans include further studies in international affairs, and she hopes to land a job that involves work overseas.

Though her preference is to have a job based in Asia, Walker says that she is open to employment in a wide variety of locales. She, too, likes the cohort aspect of studying at Pellissippi State.

“By being in a cohort, you get to see the same professors on a regular basis,” she said. “That continuity is great, especially if you need help in your studies.”

First offered during the fall 2012 semester, the new Communication Studies cohort is for incoming students planning to enter a communication field such as journalism, mass communication, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, argumentation and debate, or speech writing or performance. The course of study is two years, including summer. Students enrolled in the Communication Studies cohort take 12-16 hours of credit classes during fall and spring semesters.

The summer semester of the Communication Studies cohort consists of 6 credit hours and is centered this summer on study abroad in Scotland. Faculty involved with the program conducted fundraising activities to assist cohort students with the study abroad fees. Those who did not wish to study abroad elected to take the summer classes on campus. The first group of Communication Studies cohort students graduates from Pellissippi State in May 2014.

For some students, a potential roadblock to attending college is the worry that scheduling classes around work, family, and other activities may be difficult and result in additional time spent in pursuing a degree. The cohorts offered by Pellissippi State are designed to take the worry out of students’ plans.

Not only do enrollees have the support of fellow students pursuing the same discipline of study, but they also have a predetermined set of classes mapped out over the course of four or five semesters. Cohort students do not have to be concerned that a required class will be full and, therefore, unavailable to them.

Class sizes for cohorts are limited to allow for more in-depth individual and group instruction. Students chosen to be part of a cohort will have demonstrated the maturity and self-motivation to work well in teams and manage their time effectively.

Other cohorts available at Pellissippi State: Associate of Science General Education Certificate, Associate of Science in Teaching, Culinary Arts and Industrial Maintenance. All of those cohorts are now enrolling students for fall 2013. Cohorts available for spring 2014 include Computer Accounting, Culinary Arts and Management.

Another Communication Studies cohort begins this August, with graduation slated for spring 2015. Upon successful completion, students may earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree in Speech Communication or in Mass Communication. They are then eligible to transfer to any state university as a junior.

Pellissippi State’s fall 2013 application deadline is Aug. 14. Classes begin on Aug. 24.

For additional information, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State hosts two summer New Student Orientation sessions

Summer semester begins at Pellissippi State Community College the end of this month, and those who plan to attend should reserve a spot in New Student Orientation. Only two sessions are offered, so accepted students are urged to save their space as soon as possible.

Orientation is required of all first-time degree-seeking freshmen. It is also recommended for transfer students and those who have been out of school for a while. Pellissippi State encourages parents, spouses and others supportive of the students to attend as well.

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. Summer orientation sessions are geared specifically to helping ensure students’ success in the faster-paced classes of summer term.

Both New Student Orientation sessions for summer take place in the Goins Building Auditorium at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The dates and times are Tuesday, May 21, 5:30-8:30 p.m. or Friday, May 24, 9-noon.

Prospective students need to keep in mind that summer classes often fill early. Other key dates to remember:

  • May 20—application deadline
  • May 21—entrance testing (if applicable) deadline
  • May 23—registration deadline
  • May 28—first day of classes (end of classes: July 24)

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

Pellissippi State exhibit features art of graphic design students

wall with framed artwork hanging on it in black frames. There are two younger females at the left side looking and pointing to some artwork.

Andy Warhol is arguably the most famous commercial illustrator-turned-artist. His iconic early images of Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles went on to become some of the most expensive art ever sold.

An upcoming student exhibit at Pellissippi State Community College celebrates the art of commercial design, displaying the real-world artistry behind communication graphics. Scheduled for April 22-May 10, the Communication Graphics Technology Student Design Exhibit is free and open to the public.

Just as Warhol earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design, students displaying their work in the exhibit are pursuing a degree—an Associate of Applied Science in Media Technologies with a concentration in Communication Graphics Technology.

Pellissippi State students who pursue the CGT concentration learn the visual fundamentals and visual/verbal concept developments for application in advertising, graphic design, and illustration. In addition to the CGT concentration, Pellissippi State’s Media Technologies program offers concentrations in Photography, Video Production Technology and Web Technology.

The exhibit is one component of Pellissippi State’s arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

The CGT Student Design Exhibit will be on display in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. Regular exhibit hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

The community is also invited to the free CGT Student Design Showcase on April 25, 4-8 p.m. During the showcase, Pellissippi State students completing their studies in Communication Graphics Technology display their portfolios for invited industry professionals. The event, also in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art, is like a graduation, celebration and potential job interview all rolled into one evening. Light refreshments will be served. For more information about this event, visit

For additional information about the CGT Student Design Exhibit or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

May 2013 graduates invited to celebration breakfast

All Pellissippi State students who are set to graduate next month are invited to celebrate their accomplishments by attending a Graduates’ Breakfast With the President.

Join other graduates and Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. for breakfast refreshments. All breakfasts are 9-10 a.m., and you can choose from the following dates and campus locations:

Wednesday, April 24, Magnolia Avenue Campus, Community Room

Tuesday, April 30, Hardin Valley Campus, Goins Building College Center

Wednesday, May 1, Blount County Campus, Dining Room

Friday, May 3, Division Street Campus, Dining Room

Graduates’ Breakfast With the President is sponsored by the Pellissippi State Alumni Association.

R.S.V.P. to Brooke Pannell, Alumni Relations coordinator, at (865) 539-7275 or

Pellissippi State to confer record number of degrees at May 10 Commencement

Pellissippi State Community College will once again confer a record number of associate’s degrees when this year’s Commencement program takes place May 10 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.

The two-year institution will confer 1,393 associate’s degrees during the ceremony. Approximately 938 students also completed certificates during the academic year. In 2012, another graduation record was broken when 1,166 students were awarded associate’s degrees.

Pellissippi State’s Commencement begins at 7 p.m. The Knoxville Civic Coliseum is located at 500 Howard Baker Jr. Ave.

For additional information regarding the ceremony or Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

Pellissippi State celebrates Earth Day with recycled-art exhibit, festivities

In celebration of April 22’s Earth Day 2013, Pellissippi State Community College is hosting a unique art exhibit that is available both in an online gallery and in Pellissippi State’s Bagwell Center for Media and Art. All artwork to be on display is crafted entirely from recycled materials.

There will also be Earth Day festivities at the Hardin Valley Campus on April 19. The exhibit and celebration are free and open to the public.

Pellissippi State students will be joined as exhibiting artists by students from the community who take part in the after-school arts programs of the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office.

The CLO works in conjunction with the Arts Academy and The Zone, both of which are funded by the East Tennessee Foundation, to offer after-school programming to local youth. Students explore various art forms, including art, dance, music, theatre and science. The complete exhibit can be viewed online April 15-19, with selected pieces on “traditional” display on campus during the same dates.

The April 19 celebration takes place 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s bluegrass ensemble, performs at noon. There will be information tables, light refreshments and a brief Earth Day welcome by L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of the college.

This year marks the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. It is estimated that more than one billion people will take part in Earth Day 2013 observances and events worldwide.

Founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin who was concerned about a massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., Earth Day is celebrated each April. The first Earth Day witnessed more than 20 million Americans staging rallies and demonstrations to encourage environmental awareness and reforms.

The exhibit is viewable online at and in the lobby of the Bagwell Center, located on the Hardin Valley Campus. Regular building hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

For information about the art display, email To learn more about other Earth Day activities, call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Community invited to Pellissippi State’s April 25 Student Design Showcase

A brunette female showing her portfolio to a man with red hair and glasses in a hallway.

It’s not often that graphic designers get to display their work and potentially receive multiple job offers during one four-hour event at one location.

That’s the scenario at the annual Communication Graphics Technology Student Design Showcase scheduled for April 25 at Pellissippi State Community College. Community members are invited to attend the free event, which showcases the work of Pellissippi State students completing their graphic design coursework this spring.

This year, 22 students present their portfolios for viewing and evaluation by invited area design professionals. Each student has his or her own table display, business cards and resumes for the industry professionals to view.

The event is like a graduation, celebration and potential job interview all rolled into one evening. This year’s theme is “Point to Point.”

The showcase is one component of Pellissippi State’s arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

The CGT Student Design Showcase is 4-8 p.m. in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. For more information about the showcase, visit

For additional information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.

Pellissippi State offers new classes focusing on the recording arts

No longer will students interested in the recording arts industry have to enroll in classes in Nashville or Florida, both of which are known nationwide as “go-to” markets for study of the industry. Thanks to new class offerings by Pellissippi State Community College, students will have the opportunity to enroll in recording-related courses locally.

Careers in the recording arts and sound industry are expected to see growth into the future, according to the current edition of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. Job growth for broadcast and sound engineering technicians, for instance, is predicted to increase at a rate of 10 percent through 2020, adding approximately 11,600 jobs to the 116,900 industry positions analyzed in 2010.

New recording-related courses at Pellissippi State include the following:

  • History of the Recording Industry (RATS 1042)
  • Audio Processing and Ear Training (RATS 1080)
  • Recording Techniques I (RATS 1400)
  • Special Topics in Recording Arts, Technology and Science (RATS 2000)
  • Dialogue Editing and Post-Production (RATS 2090)
  • Music Editing and Sound Design (RATS 2091)
  • Recording Techniques II (RATS 2400)
  • Recording Arts, Technology and Science Capstone (RATS 2910)

The new offerings are in addition to courses covering sound and recording that are already part of the Video Production Technology concentration. Those courses include “Pro Tools Intro” (VPT 2015), “Pro Tools Advanced” (VPT 2016), “Sound Production (Audio Fundamentals)” (VPT 1015) and “Special Topics: Recording Techniques” (VPT 2016).

Registration for Pellissippi State’s fall term begins on April 1. For a complete listing of and course descriptions for recording-related classes, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State invites parents, home-schoolers to open house

Area home-schoolers and theirs parents are invited to attend a special open house at Pellissippi State Community College that is designed specifically to address the questions of the home-schooling community. Attendees who are high school seniors have a chance to enter a drawing for a $250 scholarship.

The Thursday, March 21, event is open to all high-school-age home-school students, as well as their parents or guardians.

The open house gives participants the opportunity to meet with faculty and learn about Pellissippi State’s academic options and with representatives from Admissions and Financial Aid, who will be available to answer questions specific to home-schoolers.

In addition, students and parents can find out about the college’s Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program, which gives high school juniors and seniors the chance to earn high school and college credit simultaneously for select courses. Students who apply and qualify for a dual enrollment grant may be eligible to take a 3-credit-hour college course for as little as $38 plus the cost of textbooks.

“This semester we have about 100 home-schooled students who are participating in classes through the Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services at Pellissippi State.

The $250 scholarship at the open house is provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation supports student success by providing scholarships, new technology and equipment.

The open house is free, and event hours are 5:30-7:30 p.m. Activities take place in the Goins Building College Center and Auditorium at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Sarah Davis, admissions coordinator, at For additional information, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or