Pellissippi State: Dual enrollment registers record number of high school students

posted in: Dual Enrollment, Students | 0

The number of high school students taking classes in the Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program at Pellissippi State Community College this semester is at an all-time high, and overall enrollment for the group has jumped nearly 40 percent since last fall.

Dual enrollment allows high school juniors and seniors the chance to take college-level classes at their schools or at Pellissippi State and receive credit simultaneously for high school and college.

This fall, Fast Forward registered 1,128 students. That reflects a 29 percent rise in enrollment in Blount County, a 44 percent increase in Knox County, and a 35 percent jump in home school and other students.

“Fast Forward is a program that allows high school students who are ably prepared to complete college courses,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “We are very proud that those students and their parents and counselors recognize the quality of our classes and faculty.”

“This is what it’s all about: helping students reach their goals,” said Spencer Joy, head of the Fast Forward program. “Our success is attributable to more dual enrollment classes being offered at local high schools and to building new relationships with high school counselors and parents.”

A Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation grant pays for eligible high-schoolers to earn up to 12 hours of college credit, and dual enrollment students can take additional classes if they choose, at their own cost.

Fast Forward offered 39 classes at high schools in Knox and Blount counties this semester, up from 22 last fall, and dual enrollment increased at 13 of the 19 schools where the classes are offered. Among those with record enrollments: Bearden High School, with 103 participating students; Farragut, 115; Halls, 96; and Maryville, 82.

About half of all dual enrollment students are taking classes at their high schools, with the other half opting for classes on Pellissippi State campuses. Fast Forward students make up 10.5 percent of the college’s credit enrollment.

Pellissippi State is looking toward continued growth in the Fast Forward program, and it offers numerous options for parents and students to learn about dual enrollment opportunities. In early 2014, Pellissippi State will host Fast Forward information sessions as well as a home school open house. The free events—both of which are open to the public—will feature presentations and question-and-answer sessions.

“Dual Enrollment allows high school students to double up on their learning and take up to four 3-credit classes that count for college credit,” said Joy. “Those students then get a jump-start on their college education, entering college as freshmen who already have 12 credits under their belt.

“The academic experience is very beneficial, but in many ways, the best part of the program is that high school students find independence by taking part in the transitional process of becoming a college student early, by registering for classes on their own and pursuing other formative college experiences.”

For more information about Fast Forward, visit or call Spencer Joy at (865) 539-7349.

Pellissippi State students featured in Fall Choral Concert

posted in: Events, Music, The Arts | 0

Pellissippi State Community College’s Music Concert Series continues with the Fall Choral Concert Thursday, Oct. 24.

The Fall Choral Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to the free event.

“The annual Fall Choral Concert will feature the 50-voice Concert Chorale and the 40-voice Variations Ensemble,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. “These student choirs have been rehearsing since August on a variety of choral selections.

“Expect to hear beautiful Renaissance motets, the Baroque music of Handel, and a few American folk songs and African-American spirituals.”

The Fall Choral Concert is the second of nine musical performances in the 2013-14 concert series. It is followed by the Instrumental Concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7, in the same location.

The Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble are comprised of a cross-section of students from a variety of majors. Variations is preparing for a study abroad and concert opportunity overseas in May 2014, in collaboration with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

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. All piano performances and accompaniments are performed on Steinway pianos, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

All events in the Music Concert Series are free; however, donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund. Ample free parking is available.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series 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 at (865) 694-6607 or

National Day on Writing: Pellissippi State to host bestselling author Schoenewaldt

posted in: Events, Strawberry Plains | 0

Portrait of woman with glasses with bookshelves behind herUSA Today bestselling author Pamela Schoenewaldt will be at Pellissippi State Community College’s Strawberry Plains Campus Monday, Oct. 21, to promote the love of language and literature.

Schoenewaldt, author of “When We Were Strangers” and “Swimming in the Moon,” presents a reading of her works to celebrate the National Day on Writing. The event, sponsored by the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club, also features free refreshments and fun activities. The community is invited to attend.

“I felt that Pamela would be an incredible inspiration to our students, because she is such a skilled writer with such interesting works,” said Patricia Ireland, who teaches English and is the faculty sponsor of the Creative Writing Club. “We’re very fortunate that we have someone with such professional ability living right here in Knoxville.”

Schoenewaldt will read from “Swimming in the Moon” and answer questions from the audience during the event, which takes place at noon in the Lobby.

“I’ve written short stories, poetry, and now novels; taught creative writing; and done professional writing for years,” Schoenewaldt said. “I find many similarities. To move people with words is exciting, deeply challenging, frustrating and exhilarating when it works.

“But it is work and requires the same discipline as any other endeavor for which you want results. Particularly with novels, there is so much to attend to at once: plot, character, theme, imagery, pacing, sound, mood, historical accuracy in my case. You have to really want a book to happen, and it takes sacrifice and being there on the job. The angel of inspiration will come, but if she comes and you’re not there, focused, she’ll go away.”

On the National Day on Writing, the Creative Writing Club will sponsor free activities all day. The group will award prizes for a campus contest for best original fiction work, best poem and best artwork.

The organization is the first official club to be organized on Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus. Its members work to promote the power of the written word through readings, a published journal of creative writing and sponsorship of special events.

Schoenewaldt is a New Jersey native with degrees in English literature and film and television. She and her husband, physicist Maurizio Conti, lived in a small town outside Naples, Italy, for 10 years, and her short stories have been published in literary magazines in both the U.S. and Europe.

Schoenewaldt was writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee, where she wrote her first novel and taught fiction, rhetorical, and professional writing. “When We Were Strangers” is a USA Today bestseller, was a Barnes & Noble Great Discovery Selection and was short-listed for the Langham Prize in American Historical Fiction.

For more information, call the Strawberry Plains Campus at (865) 225-2300 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State: Non-credit right-brain drawing, pastels classes begin Oct. 16, 17

posted in: BCS, Community | 0

Discover your inner artist at non-credit classes being offered to the community this fall at Pellissippi State Community College.

“Our art classes have been popular in the past, and these two new classes are wonderful additions to our non-credit programming,” said Nancy Corum, a Business and Community Services coordinator.

“Right-Brain Drawing” is offered at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Oct. 16-Nov. 20. Cost is $119 and the instructor is Jennifer Austin Jennings.

“Right-Brain Drawing” is meant to help attendees who have the desire to draw—but don’t feel they necessarily have natural talent—to overcome typical challenges encountered when attempting to draw realistically. The class will teach attendees methods of rethinking how to perceive subject matter and how to translate that visual information into line, shape, and spatial arrangements.

Participants need to provide their own art supplies.

Jennings is a children’s book illustrator and artist who studied at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio. She has been featured in exhibits by the Dogwood Arts Festival, the Knoxville Arts and Cultural Alliance, and the National Juried Show.

“Drawing With Pastels, Pencils and Charcoal” is set for 6:15-8:45 p.m. on Thursdays, Oct. 17-Nov. 21, on the Blount County Campus. The cost is $105 and instructor is Mary Ruden.

The class will teach the basics of drawing with charcoal, color and standard pencils, and pastels, in addition to the art of composition and how to balance drawings.

Attendees will work from a still life set up in class or from photos of people or places. Participants provide their own art supplies.

Ruden is an artist and sculptor who has taught adult education art classes for many years. Her sculptures, which include large outdoor sculptures, have been featured in the Dogwood Arts Festival, at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and by the City of Knoxville.

For more information about these and other classes offered by BCS, visit or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email

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