Pellissippi State, MTSU promote smoother transfer paths for students

Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr., right, with Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee.

Pellissippi State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University are promoting new dual admission transfer pathways for students.

Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee signed an agreement Thursday, July 20, that would make transferring credits from Pellissippi State to MTSU seamless for students. This agreement allows students to earn an associate degree from Pellissippi State and then seamlessly complete a bachelor’s degree from MTSU in a related field, without losing credits in the transition.

The dual admission pathway applies to students who earn Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or Associate of Science in Teaching degrees at Pellissippi State. Students can enter these degree programs with the intent to transfer to MTSU, and then are admitted to both institutions simultaneously. When they complete their degree from Pellissippi State, eligible students are guaranteed acceptance to MTSU in Murfreesboro.

“Strong relationships with great universities like MTSU are critically important to our students,” Wise said. “Partnerships like this create clear pathways for students to earn degrees at Pellissippi State and then at MTSU so those students can enter the workforce in meaningful ways.”

“We are excited to initiate a partnership between Pellissippi State and MTSU that builds on what we have in common, particularly in how we prepare students for the workforce in Tennessee,” McPhee said. “MTSU and Pellissippi State have unique technical programs that will produce the skilled workforce the state needs as part of the Drive to 55.”

Drive to 55 is a state initiative that calls for 55 percent of adult Tennesseans to receive a post-secondary credential by 2025.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. For more information about MTSU, visit www.mtsu.edu or call 615-898-2300.

Pellissippi State earns TBR grant to expand ESL courses

posted in: Grants, TBR | 0

Pellissippi State Community College will expand its class offerings in English as a Second Language to Tennessee residents for whom English is not a native language.

This expansion of ESL courses is thanks to a Tennessee Board of Regents Student Engagement, Retention and Success grant. The $20,080 grant will fund an outreach initiative, called REACH, to non-native English speakers in Knox and Blount counties through civic and cultural organizations, places of worship, community gathering places and businesses.

Students register for ESL courses as they would for any other class at Pellissippi State. Students also can enroll in an academic program at Pellissippi State while taking three ESL courses during their first semester, before beginning their program-specific credit courses.

Although Pellissippi State’s international student population may also take ESL courses, this grant’s purpose is to encourage greater participation from Tennessee residents for whom English is a second or other language. Additionally, the grant provides for a partnership between Pellissippi State and Walters State Community College, which does not currently offer ESL courses. Walters State will encourage its eligible students to attend Pellissippi State for these ESL courses and then return to Walters State to enter their degree programs.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. For more information about ESL courses at Pellissippi State, email reach@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts open house spotlighting weekend classes

posted in: Magnolia Avenue Campus | 0

If you’re an adult interested in attending college, Pellissippi State Community College is hosting a Meet and Greet especially for you. The event will spotlight the college’s Reconnect Now free-tuition program, as well as the new Saturday courses and programs offered on the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The open house will be from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday, July 8, at the college’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Although the open house is free to attend, Pellissippi State asks attendees to register at www.pstcc.edu/admissions/marsvp/.

The Magnolia Avenue Campus will have special weekend class offerings to meet the busy schedule of adult students. This open house will give students an opportunity to meet and greet with professors and administrators. Students will find help enrolling and registering for classes at Pellissippi State, as well as learn more about the financial aid options available for adult students.

For more information about Pellissippi State, 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.

The Winding River Home: Pellissippi State researches the meaning of ‘Pellissippi’

posted in: Community, TBR | 0
One of the earliest references to the Pellissippi River in East Tennessee is a 1744 map that identifies what is now the Clinch River as the “Polesipi.”

 

For many decades, it has gone unquestioned that “Pellissippi” means “winding waters” in Cherokee, and that the word refers to the Clinch River that wends through East Tennessee and terminates near Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley Campus.

But in 2014, Pellissippi State discovered that this is not true.

Thus began a three-year journey, culminating in conversations with the Smithsonian Institution, to set the record straight.

L. Anthony Wise Jr.

“It is of extreme importance to us at Pellissippi State that we honor the diverse heritage of East Tennessee,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “It might be easy to say that a name is just a name, but to us at Pellissippi State, it’s crucial that we honor the truth about ‘Pellissippi’ and its importance in American history.”

At Pellissippi State, writer Heather Beck took up the search for just where “Pellissippi” came from and what the word might mean.

“Through this project, I learned that tracing the etymology of a Native American word isn’t simple, and it’s not always precise,” Beck said. “When Europeans traveled through North America, they encountered native languages that they transcribed — often inaccurately — based upon how the word sounded and how it might be spelled in their own native languages.”

Heather Beck

In historical research, Beck discovered that the Pellissippi River features prominently in a 1784 proposal from President Thomas Jefferson for new state names west of the Appalachians. Among the President’s proposed names was “Pelisipia,” in what today would be parts of Eastern Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. But Jefferson’s proposed name wasn’t a reference to what is today the Clinch River.

It was a reference to the Ohio River.

In early maps, the name of the Pellissippi River was expressed in various ways — from “Polesipi” to “Peleson,” “Pele Sipi,” “Pere Sipi,” “Pelisipi” and finally “Pellissippi” — and it also frequently changed locations. For about a decade in the mid-1700s, the name “Pellissippi” was used as a reference to two rivers, back and forth: the Ohio and the Clinch.

This phenomenon of names changing, and even moving, was common in early mapmaking. Maps often were copied by hand and commonly transcribed from one language to another in that process.

It appears that the Ohio River held the name “Pellissippi” first.

“Historically it was ‘Mosopeleacipi,’ ‘river of the Mosopelea,’ the Illinois name that was learned by La Salle for the Ohio,” said linguist emeritus Ives Goddard of the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of Anthropology.

The river took its name from a nearby tribe, the Mosopelea. When the Mosopolea migrated out of the Ohio River valley, Shawnee moved in. They seemed to have shortened the name of the river to “Peleewa-θiipi,” or perhaps “peleewa θiipiiki,” in which the symbol θ makes a -th­ sound.

Goddard suggests that, as the original name of the Ohio River evolved from “Mosopeleacipi” to a version of “Pellissippi,” it also was inadvertently moved or misattributed as the name of the smaller Clinch River to the south. For a while, the rivers swapped names back and forth.

The Ohio seems to have firmly settled on its modern name around the 1780s. The Clinch took its modern name in the mid-1800s.

“Pellissippi has a long history in America, sharing a connection with a U.S. president, early explorers and Native American tribes and, not least, the Ohio River,” Wise said. “Although its meaning will remain metaphorical, not literal, we must remember — it’s not every day that a word comes to us through history as a blank slate. It’s not often that we have the opportunity to craft what a word means.

“For those of us who work at the college, ‘Pellissippi’ means access, opportunity, hope and success. Knowing where our name comes from may not change the mission of the College or the day-to-day aspects of students’ education or our place in our community. But we are pleased that we have done our best to restore and memorialize a history that might have been forgotten.”

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/pellissippi or call 865-694-6400. Tell us what Pellissippi means to you on social media, using #pellissippimeans.

 

The Clinch River in East Tennessee
This 1664 map marks the explorations into America of Sieur de La Salle, who took down the name of the Ohio River as “Mosopeleacipi.”
The Clinch River in East Tennessee, from above.
This 1776 map garbles the name of the Ohio River into “Palawa Thepiki.”
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