Category Archives: Degree Programs

Pellissippi State answers learning needs with help from TBR grant

Pellissippi State Community College faculty will seek to improve student success through a new course redesign, with the help from Tennessee Board of Regents Course Revitalization Initiative grants.

Two English courses and a math course will pilot the project at Pellissippi State.

In MATH 1530 Elementary Probability and Statistics, faculty will develop an “embedded remediation” component to enhance the class. In other words, students who formerly would have been placed in pre-college-level learning support at Pellissippi State will now take part in a standard, college-level course, but with extra support.

“There’s been a lot of data on success with embedded remediation, which is a type of just-in-time intervention,” said Brittany Mosby, project leader for the MATH 1530 course. Mosby’s team includes Math faculty Sue Ann Dobbyn and Claire Suddeth.

“Students who might have been placed into a learning support course will instead take a college-level class with their peers. As part of the embedded remediation component, these students will have additional classroom time to reinforce the material and be sure they understand the concepts.”

In the English Department, faculty will revitalize two gateway classes, ENGL 1010 Composition I—the only Pellissippi State course that all students are required to take—and its follow-up, ENGL 1020 Composition II. The revamped 1010 course will place more emphasis on regular, consistent writing and on sentence structure and grammar skills.

ENGL 1020, similarly, will be reworked to more appropriately continue skills learned in ENGL 1010, rather than spending the time reteaching or reviewing skills that should have been mastered in 1010. Revitalized 1020 will teach students more refined, advanced and specialized writing skills.

“Our faculty members have some exciting ideas about how to revise these courses to make them more effective,” said Kathryn Byrd, dean of the English Department. “Notably, their approach includes plenty of writing practice, clear communication of academic expectations and an emphasis on the student’s responsibility for his or her own learning.”

English faculty members participating in the pilot project are project leaders Alex Fitzner and Tara Lynn, with Casey Lambert, Teresa Lopez, Kelly Rivers, and Heather Schroeder.

The TBR Course Revitalization Initiative grants, awarded by the TBR Office of Academic Affairs, target high-enrollment gateway classes and encourage faculty to develop creative strategies to engage their students and teach critical thinking skills. TBR is the governing body for Pellissippi State.

“These grants will provide an opportunity for these faculty members to create an innovative class for students to review their prerequisite skills just in time for new college-level content,” said Nancy Pevey, dean of the Mathematics Department.

The pilot revitalized classes at Pellissippi State begin this fall. The effectiveness of those classes will be evaluated, and the pilots may be enlarged to include other classes.

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

Pellissippi State launches online ‘Career Coach’ for students, community

Pellissippi State Community College has announced a partnership with Career Coach, a free online tool that allows students and community members to explore potential careers.

Career Coach can be accessed at Pellissippi State’s website, www.pstcc.edu.

Career Coach provides real-time information customized to East Tennessee, including career prospects for certain degrees, detailed wage estimates and up-to-date job postings for nearly any career. Users also are directed to Pellissippi State’s program offerings when searching for specific jobs.

“We are excited to offer our students and our community this opportunity to identify careers they would like to pursue and the pathways that will take them there,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs.

On Career Coach, users can search for openings in their current field, or for similar jobs if their original search—or present job—doesn’t seem like a good fit. The site also shows the education required to move from one career to another. In addition, users can search for careers based on Pellissippi State’s top programs or the programs the users are most interested in.

Career Coach includes a resume builder to help students and job seekers quickly and efficiently highlight their key skills and job experience.

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

Pellissippi State hosts Computer Careers Open House for Knox-area women

Pellissippi State Community College is offering a Computer Careers Open House for Knoxville-area women Monday, April 7.

The event is 5:15-7:15 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The open house is funded through a $1,000 grant to help encourage women in computing and information technology fields. The grant is administered by the National Center for Women and IT Academic Alliance.

The Computer Career Open House is open to female rising eighth-grade and high school students, their parents, Pellissippi State and other college students, and other women in the community interested in learning more about careers in computing.

“We are excited about and grateful for the opportunity to share and be an influence on young women in their career choices,” said Christy Watson, a Computer Science and Information Technology student and chair of the student club that received the Symantec Student Seed Fund grant.

“In some of my Computer Science and Information Technology classes,” she said, “I’m the only woman or in the minority among mostly male students. I think women often relegate computers and technology to being the equivalent of ‘gaming,’ or they feel that they’ve outgrown their interest in computers.”

Presenters at the Computer Career Open House will include Pellissippi State faculty and students, as well as local professionals and employers in the computer science and IT industries.

After the open house portion of the event, an optional hour-long “Hour of Code” session will be offered to the first 50 people to register. Sign up by contacting Sharon Burlingame, CSIT program coordinator at Pellissippi State, at (865) 694-6588.

The NCWIT Academic Alliance includes more than 275 colleges and universities. The program is charged with implementing institutional change in higher education, particularly in providing access to leading-edge best practices for recruiting and retaining women. Symantec, a NCWIT sponsor member, is a computer security software corporation and Fortune 500 company.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu 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 announces new Automated Industrial Systems concentration

Automation is at the technological cutting edge of manufacturing. Now training in that technology is available at Pellissippi State Community College, and it’s linked to a degree.

In fall 2013, Pellissippi State launched a new Automated Industrial Systems concentration within the Engineering Technology program. Students who graduate in Engineering Technology earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“Manufacturing is now high-tech. I don’t know of any manufacturing job that doesn’t include automation,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries, dean of Engineering and Media Technologies.

The new AIS concentration will train students to operate state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment, including programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment.

“In order for students to be ready to go to work,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, “we must continue to integrate newer technology into our training programs.

“The cutting-edge equipment used in our AIS concentration courses also will be used for our new and existing engineering technology, workforce training, and STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] awareness programs.”

Much of the new training equipment was purchased through a $50,000 grant from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

“At DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, we specialize in robot design and programming and now have more than 800 robots on our production lines,” said Mike Brackett. Brackett is a DENSO Foundation board member and senior vice president of Corporate Services at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

“Automation will continue to be critical in the future of DENSO and our automotive customers, meaning we need talented and knowledgeable people in this area.”

DENSO is not the only local manufacturer that uses automated industrial systems.

“Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. utilizes advanced automation and robotic systems throughout our production process,” said Kennon Rollins, engineer manager for Green Mountain. The Vermont-based company has a manufacturing facility at Forks of the River in East Knox County.

“With the advancement of automated control systems, the need for proficient skills in computers and electrical, pneumatic, and mechanical systems and controls has only increased. It is an absolute necessity to have not only technical knowledge but also critical thinking skills that can be used for troubleshooting or getting to a root cause of a problem.”

For more information about Engineering Technology and other academic offerings at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State earns prestigious Engineering Technology accreditation

Pellissippi State Community College joined the ranks of a select few when it recently received accreditation of its Engineering Technology degree program in six concentrations from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering.

A Certificate of Accreditation in Engineering Technology was presented for Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing, and Mechanical Engineering. Students who complete the two-year Engineering Technology program earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“The accreditation of Engineering Technology in these six concentrations distinguishes Pellissippi State as one of only 43 community colleges nationally to achieve ATMAE recognition,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs. There are approximately 1,700 public two-year schools in the U.S.

Accreditation became official late in 2013 and extends through November 2017.

“We are very pleased to receive accreditation from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “This accreditation will mean local industry and business leaders can be confident that our graduates have received relevant training and a quality education.”

“I am very proud of the faculty and leadership of our Engineering and Media Technologies Department in earning this accreditation,” said Lewis, who oversees all of the college’s academic departments.

“ATMAE accreditation,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries, dean of Engineering and Media Technologies, “provides confirmation to students, industry, employers and the community that Pellissippi State is dedicated to providing engineering technologies education that has met public scrutiny and evaluation.

“It certifies quality and denotes academic rigor. It ensures that our students graduate with a degree that meets nationally endorsed and recognized standards in their profession.”

ATMAE was founded in 1967 and is recognized as the premier professional association responsible for promotion of technology in industry and education, the accreditation of technology programs at higher education institutions, and the certification of technologists.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Engineering and Media Technologies programs and concentrations, visit www.pstcc.edu/emt or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Local students invited to compete in ‘Frame x Frame’ audio-video competition

All local middle school, high school and college students are invited to participate in Pellissippi State Community College’s inaugural “Frame x Frame” competition, an audio and visual media contest.

Students will participate in age categories to tell short stories in video productions between two and 10 minutes long. The competition is free to enter. The deadline for entries is end of day, Friday, March 7.

“This is an opportunity for all students to put together a short audio and visual media production that tests their creativity and introduces them to industry professionals,” said Katie Lovette, an instructor in Engineering and Media Technologies and planner of the event.

“These films are ‘shorts,’ presentations of a moment in time. They can be animated, video or even pictures set to music. The theme, ‘Tell Us a Story,’ is open to encourage creativity among entries.

“Everyone will get feedback on their work from our judges, who are video production industry professionals, so it’s a valuable experience and a way to get critiqued.”

The entries for middle and high school students should be 2-4 minutes long, and the maximum length of any video should be 10 minutes. Entries should be brought in person to the lobby of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Posted signs will direct participants where to leave their entries.

Each competition entry will be screened in the Bagwell Gallery during the “Frame x Frame” exhibit, March 17-26. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The entries will be judged on March 19.

Prizes will be awarded to each age category’s winner. Awards include a scholarship to Pellissippi State.

For more information about the competition, visit www.framexframecompetition.wordpress.com or email framexframe@pstcc.edu. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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.

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.

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.

Pellissippi State Nursing program awarded accreditation

The Nursing program at Pellissippi State Community College has received official notification of initial accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

“This is a great accomplishment for our program and Pellissippi State,” said Larry Goins, dean of Nursing. “To earn ACEN accreditation for the A.A.S.N. [Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree] program within three years is an exemplary accomplishment.”

The college’s two-year Nursing program was launched in 2010.

ACEN accreditation couldn’t come at a better time, says Goins, since more students than ever are seeking opportunities for nursing careers. Nursing is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing occupations, the demand for nurses is at an all-time high, and the need for nurses is projected to continue to increase.

Nursing is offered at the Blount County and Magnolia Avenue campuses. Both facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art simulation labs, creating a strong learning environment for the students who will become tomorrow’s nurses.

Partnerships with other institutions allow Pellissippi State’s Nursing graduates to transfer seamlessly if they choose to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing.

Following an on-site evaluation in March 2013, the ACEN granted accreditation for five years, the maximum number available for initial accreditation. The program’s accreditation is effective until spring 2018.

Accreditation indicates to the community that Pellissippi State’s Nursing program meets national standards and guidelines for nursing education and that it is committed to the delivery of quality nursing education.

The program initially received full approval on August 22, 2012, by the Tennessee Board of Nursing after a two-day site visit in February 2012.

For more information about the Nursing program, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400.