Category Archives: Degree Programs

Pellissippi State drives workforce development and innovation with AMP!

Pellissippi State Community College has a key role in the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee (AMP!), one of 10 public-private partnerships that will receive federal grant funding to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and create jobs.

The grant application for AMP! resulted in the largest award—a total of $2,391,778—and was the only one from the Southeast chosen to be funded. The regional consortium’s proposal was selected through a federal multi-agency grant opportunity called the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

The grant enables Pellissippi State to create a certificate program in Additive Manufacturing and update existing curricula. It also funds more than $250,000-plus in scholarships for students in Advanced Manufacturing courses. The college currently offers an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology, with concentrations in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering.

The certificate will be offered through the college’s Business and Community Services Division and the Engineering Technology degree program.

Pellissippi State’s partners include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services and Tech 20/20, the lead applicant on the grant.

“The way they created this opportunity at the federal level,” said Teri Brahams, “made us all come to the table to begin with and decide: how do we make the best impact? And I’m excited about that. I’m very excited about that.” Brahams is BCS’ Economic and Workforce Development executive director.

The purpose of AMP! is to lead the evolution of East Tennessee’s existing manufacturing cluster through the integration of advanced manufacturing process, equipment, programs and materials. That cluster comprises 20 counties around ORNL and within the East Tennessee Development District.

The partnership aims to connect resources and encourage collaboration, innovate and improve technologies, and develop a workforce that will drive that innovation and expand entrepreneurship.

“One of the things coming out of the effort,” said Brahams, “is a network of local businesses—small, medium and large—who are interested in exploring additive manufacturing and its applications within their own operations.”

Additive manufacturing describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material, whether it be plastic, metal or concrete. Using 3D printers, companies can create prototypes quickly, with less waste and cost than traditional methods. In addition, additive manufacturing is being used more and more to make finished products.

“Part of the technology that we’re going to be working with is well advanced of the marketplace right now,” said Pat Riddle, a Pellissippi State faculty member and Mechanical Engineering Technology program coordinator. “It’s had its infancy in what’s called rapid prototyping, and now it’s gone beyond that point, which was a natural progression.”

Pellissippi State was awarded $399,778 over three years through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. Displaced and unemployed workers, veterans, and first-generation college students are all eligible for the scholarships.

In addition to classroom learning, students will have the opportunity to do hands-on lab assignments in additive manufacturing at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, located less than a mile from Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

For more information about the Additive Manufacturing certificate at Pellissippi State, contact Teri Brahams, BCS executive director, at (865) 539-7167. For information about Engineering Technology and other Pellissippi State programs, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State students earn paralegal scholarships

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Two Pellissippi State Community College students have been named winners of scholarships that attracted applicants from across the state.

Daniel Ostrom, in his second year of Paralegal Studies, was awarded an $800 scholarship from the Smoky Mountain Paralegal Association. To be eligible for the SMPA funds, students must be enrolled full time in a sustaining member educational institution or be an SMPA student member. They also must have completed 6 credit hours in their major and be in good academic standing.

Kelli Canan, in her first semester, was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Tennessee Paralegal Association. The TPA scholarship is based on financial need, scholastic ability, leadership and extracurricular activities.

“I’m very proud of these students,” said Arlene Cleveland, a professor and the coordinator of the Paralegal Studies program.

“Danny is an outstanding student. This is Kelli’s first semester, and she’s showing signs of being an excellent student,” said Cleveland. “I expect both of them to make contributions to the legal profession.

“These scholarships are available to paralegal students across the state. It’s amazing that two of our students were chosen by two different organizations.”

Paralegal Studies is a two-year program that prepares graduates to work in a law office under the direct supervision of an attorney, doing legal work such as drafting legal documents, organizing files, conducting legal research and investigations, and managing the office.

Paralegal Studies enrolled 150 students fall 2012 semester. The program is approved by the American Bar Association and culminates in an Associate of Applied Science degree.

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

Pellissippi State begins offering Associate of Fine Arts degree with Music concentration

Thanks to a new program at Pellissippi State Community College, students interested in pursuing a career or four-year degree in music can now earn a two-year Associate of Fine Arts that concentrates in that area.

All credits will transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions—Pellissippi State is a member of the TBR system—and the University of Tennessee as part of the statewide Tennessee Transfer Pathways program.

Long regarded as providing one of the area’s top Music programs, the community college boasts an extensive and diverse group of faculty. Among the course areas they teach are conducting, ear training, piano, vocal and instrumental ensembles, and theory. Applied instruction is available in piano, voice, and guitar, brass, percussion, string, and woodwind instruments.

For students who choose not to pursue an A.F.A., Pellissippi State offers a variety of general music classes, including piano, both vocal and instrumental ensembles, music appreciation, and private instruction. The community college is known for having small classes and affordable tuition.

Many of Pellissippi State’s Music students take advantage of the college’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in 2010 with the goal of elevating the Music program to world-class status. The college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Scholarships are available for students pursuing the A.F.A. with a Music concentration. They are awarded annually to recognize excellence in musical performance and academic achievement. Auditions for scholarships are scheduled each spring, and recipients are required to perform in one or more of Pellissippi State’s ensembles.

Two ensembles, Concert Chorale and Variations, focus on vocal performances. Six are instrument-based performing groups: Bluegrass Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble and Studio Orchestra. can choose from among more than 30 majors, complete the required courses, earn an associate’s degree and transfer as a junior to a Tennessee public university. Some specific academic programs may have competitive admissions, but students are advised about requirements upon enrollment at Pellissippi State.

Students attending Pellissippi State in the TTP program can major in such subjects as accounting, art, biology, history, information systems, math, psychology and sociology. In addition to the new A.F.A., students also may graduate and transfer with an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree.

The spring 2013 application deadline is Jan. 7. Classes begin Jan. 17.

For information regarding Music scholarships, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6528 or visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation.

To learn more about the A.F.A. degree, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State launches machinist apprenticeship program with IAM union, Y-12

Pellissippi State hosted representatives of B&W Y-12 and the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers officials and apprentices for the onset of a new partnership apprenticeship program fall semester. From left to right: Tim Wright (IAM); Pat Riddle (Pellissippi State); Steve Passmore and Danny Lowry (IAM); Rick Heath (Pellissippi State); apprentice Rachel Henley; Bill Klemm (Y-12); apprentice Ryan Johnson; Mike Thompson (ATLC); apprentice Jason Brown; John Whalen (ATLC); apprentice Jonathan Bryant; Beth Green (Y-12); Steve Jones (ATLC); apprentices Rachel Bachorek, Rashaad Gibbs, Jeff Bryant, Justin Dupas, and Micheal Lovelady; and Robert Goins (Y-12).

Pellissippi State Community College welcomed its first class of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union apprentices from the B&W Y-12 National Security Complex this semester.

Thanks to a partnership that began early this year, Y-12’s IAM&AW workers are now receiving instruction in the classroom and hands-on training in the engineering labs at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The new apprenticeship program, which launched with 10 students, focuses on building the skills the workers need to succeed on the job: among them, machining, materials and maintenance print reading.

“Y-12 is a highly specialized and classified work environment,” said Rick Heath, solutions management director for the college’s Business and Community Services Division and a key player in the new partnership. “It’s logical and smart for them to grow apprentices from their own talent within the organization.”

“IAM is very committed to the apprenticeship training, but it doesn’t have the lab facilities or staff to train locally,” said Tim Wright, IAM District 711 business representative. The partnership between the college, Y-12 and the union makes training more convenient and saves Y-12, which pays for the apprenticeships, the expense of having to send workers out of town.

Beyond proximity and affordability, quality of programs factored into the IAM’s decision to choose Pellissippi State for the training contract.

“We have long been aware of the good work Pellissippi State does,” Wright said. “The training partnership is a win for everyone.”

The apprenticeship at Pellissippi State will take four years to complete. During that time, the machinists also have the opportunity to earn 45 credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. Since apprentices can finish the program only 15 hours short of earning a 60-credit degree, the college is also developing a 15-credit path to complete a General Education degree. The curriculum will be structured as a cohort, in which students proceed through their coursework as a group.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions, and Y-12 ultimately contracted with the division to offer the apprenticeship.

The effort is sponsored and the curriculum has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, says Heath. It also has the support of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council.

This is the first time Pellissippi State, Y-12 and IAM have collaborated on an apprenticeship program. Y-12 and union representatives initially met with Pellissippi State faculty and staff in early January. Curriculum development took place throughout spring and summer semester.

“They brought their experts over—the people who are doing the work,” said Heath. “They told us, ‘This is what you need to teach for our employees to be successful.’”

So far, the partnership seems to be working well for all parties, but there’s still plenty of room for fine-tuning.

“We’re going to analyze as we go along and see what’s working, what’s not working,” said Pat Riddle. Riddle coordinates and teaches in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. “We’ll meet with the IAM and Y-12 partners and see where we stand, see what they think we might want to change or reemphasize.

“This is a continuous improvement cycle that we’re working on, to make sure that the program meets the partners’ needs and still follows the academic guidelines set by the Tennessee Board of Regents.”

To find out more about the apprenticeship program and other contract training opportunities, email Rick Heath at rbheath@pstcc.edu. To learn more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Hospitality student awarded hotel/lodging scholarship

Lisa Grunwald is the first Pellissippi State Community College student to receive an American Express Scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation.

Grunwald, a student in the Hospitality concentration of the Business Administration degree program, competed nationally with other hospitality students from two- and four-year institutions for the $1,000 scholarship. She was one of the six recent awardees and the only student from Tennessee.

“Lisa is a terrific student and a hard worker,” said Tom Gaddis, head of the Hospitality concentration at Pellissippi State.

The first $500 check was applied to Grunwald’s tuition this semester. She will receive another $500 for spring.

“I was really just honored to be granted a scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation, since it’s such a prestigious organization,” Grunwald said.

Grunwald, the mother of two grown sons, says she lost her job when the company she was employed with sent all the production-line work overseas. She found a job at a local hotel and discovered she loved the environment. Grunwald decided to go to college for the first time and enrolled at Pellissippi State. She is now in her third semester.

“I hadn’t been to school for 30 years,” she said, “but once I got my study skills back, I’ve been doing really well. My first semester I was on the Academic Achievers list, and my second semester I made the dean’s list.”

For more information about Hospitality or other offerings at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 649-6400.

Pellissippi State awarded federal grant for manufacturing training and education

A $15 million federal grant awarded to a consortium that includes Pellissippi State Community College is earmarked to fund manufacturing job training for East Tennesseans and help local companies in search of more skilled workers.

The funding also could transform manufacturing education and training—an area in which Pellissippi State has emerged as a leader.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Sept. 19 that the grant had been awarded to the multi-state consortium. One goal of the 13-college partnership is to redesign teaching and delivery programs in manufacturing. Pellissippi State is the only community college in Tennessee to be a member.

“We’re honored to receive this grant and look forward to this collaboration,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

“Working with our consortium partners, we’ll be able to come up with innovative ways to train and educate workers in manufacturing. Our being part of the consortium benefits our community and the region’s manufacturers, and it better positions the U.S. to compete in the global market.”

The DOL grant awards a minimum of $760,000 to each consortium member during a three-year period. The funding will boost instructional capacity at each school, pay for equipment and technical support, and improve online delivery of the college’s Engineering Technology classes.

Pellissippi State offers a two-year associate’s degree in Engineering Technology. Students can concentrate in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering.

The grant-funded training is directed toward helping workers who are displaced, unemployed or underemployed. It also focuses on the needs of the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing employers and manufacturing instructors alike recognize a “disconnect” between the needs of industry and the content of manufacturing curricula in most colleges, according to Pat Riddle. Riddle is the program coordinator and a faculty member in Mechanical Engineering at Pellissippi State. He is also the co-leader of curriculum development for the DOL grant.

Manufacturing has changed a lot in the last 30 years, and with those changes have come the introduction of robotics and other technological advances that have reduced the need for manual labor. As a result, manufacturing now requires employees with more education and skills, says Riddle.

“What we’re starting to see now is a blend in the industrial environment of machinery and electronic communications,” he said. “In other words, we’re starting to see high-speed production environments that require workers who not only work hard but can think through problems on their own, to help their company find solutions to better and more efficient production.”

One example of how the grant will benefit Pellissippi State—and subsequently employees and employers—is that it will fund a software development tool called a fault simulator. A fault simulator allows users to introduce computer-application glitches that might occur in a real workplace.

“With it, we will have the capability to introduce problems that require troubleshooting skills,” said Riddle. “That is a major component that employers consistently ask for from us.  The equipment will provide the ultimate in state-of-the-art problem-solving development and skills development.”

Pellissippi State has a history of working with East Tennessee employers to find workforce development solutions, while creating more flexible pathways to education for the region’s residents.

In 2004, for example, Pellissippi State joined forces with several other colleges and the nation’s automakers on a new curriculum to train autoworkers. The partnership was the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative.

This August, AMTEC announced the release of a new general maintenance mechatronics curriculum and program, which Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services staff and Mechanical Engineering Technology degree program (now the Mechanical Engineering concentration) faculty helped create. The new program also is expected to benefit workers and employers in non-automotive manufacturing.

Pellissippi State can build on its work with the AMTEC partnership for the DOL grant project.

“This new multi-college collaboration is an offshoot to [AMTEC] and runs parallel to it,” said Riddle.

To find out more about the grant, manufacturing training and Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Nursing degree program receives full approval from state board

Pellissippi State Community College’s Nursing program has received full approval for its associate’s degree from the Tennessee Department of Health’s Board of Nursing.

The state board voted on the approval Aug. 22 in Nashville. The accomplishment sets the stage for Pellissippi State to pursue national accreditation for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing.

“I’m very proud of our students and faculty,” said Larry Goins, Pellissippi State’s dean of Nursing. Receiving full approval, he says, is a testament to the hard work of the Nursing faculty, staff and students. It is also a reflection of the contributions of the administration and faculty beyond the program. All of them play a part in student success, says Goins.

Full approval by the board means that the program is providing a quality experience for the Nursing students, and that ultimately benefits the health of the entire community.

The state board’s action is the culmination of many successful steps that Pellissippi State has taken in implementing the program. In February, the board carried out a two-day campus visit and on-site survey. The board reviewer evaluated the program, curriculum, and degree and conducted interviews with faculty, staff, students, and nurse educators at hospitals where students engage in clinical training.

In May, Pellissippi State’s first class of Nursing students graduated. The students received a 97 percent first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses. Students who pass the NCLEX-RN are licensed to practice as registered nurses in the state of Tennessee.

Pellissippi State’s associate’s degree in Nursing requires 66 credit hours of coursework, taken over four semesters. Currently, there are 110 Pellissippi State students on track to become registered nurses. Those students attend classes at the Blount County Campus or Magnolia Avenue Campus.

In addition to state approval, the associate’s degree program has received Candidacy Status from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. The NLNAC has invited Pellissippi State’s Nursing program to complete and submit a written self-study in the multi-step process of achieving accreditation.

Once the self-study is completed, an NLNAC site visit will be conducted and a governing board review will take place to determine the program’s accreditation status.

To learn more about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State receives prestigious American Council on Education grant to benefit working adults

Pellissippi State Community College is the recipient of a $23,000 grant awarded by the American Council on Education for its Adult Education Demonstration projects.

The grant is part of ACE’s initiative to help more working adults in the U.S. earn college degrees. Pellissippi State is one of only six higher education institutions nationwide to be chosen for the award.

“We’re honored to partner with the American Council on Education on this initiative,” said Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State president. “This grant helps us reach a growing population on our campuses and contributes toward a more skilled, educated workforce in our region. It will also support our goals under Complete College Tennessee.”

Pellissippi State plans to use the grant funds to expand the process of awarding course-specific credits to adult learners who are in Department of Labor apprenticeship programs or the military. The college is already working with several area employers and will target its efforts on the Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology.

The Engineering Technology program offers concentrations in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering. Credits may also be used toward Pellissippi State’s General Technology program.

For Pellissippi State, this is not unfamiliar territory. The college has developed curricula for several local companies and is currently writing course content for a new general maintenance mechatronics program announced by the Automotive Manufacturers Technical Education Collaborative. The AMTEC curriculum takes into consideration skills employees have learned on the job, which can result in academic credit for those who make satisfactory scores on assessments and curriculum modules.

The institutions that won grants present their project results at the ACE Annual Meeting, March 2-5, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The other grant recipients are the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia, Eastern Connecticut State University, Campbellsville (Ky.) University, University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College in Ohio, and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Learn more about Pellissippi State at www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Accreditation of Pellissippi State Business and Computer Technology programs reaffirmed by national organization

Three academic degree programs offered through the Business and Computer Technology Department at Pellissippi State Community College recently received reaffirmation of accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The programs now accredited through 2022 are Administrative Professional Technology, Business Administration, and Computer Science and Information Technology.

The reaffirmation of accreditation from ACBSP certifies that the teaching and learning processes within the institution meet the rigorous educational standards set up by the organization. Established in 1988, ACBSP is the only business accrediting organization for both two-year and four-year institutions.

Pellissippi State is one of three Tennessee schools to have achieved ACBSP reaffirmation in 2012. The others are Nashville State Community College and Lipscomb University.

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

Pellissippi State earns top spot in Community College Week’s Top 100 edition

Pellissippi State Community College produced the second largest number of graduates nationally in “Communication Technologies/Technicians and Support Services” in 2010-11, according to Community College Week. The magazine announced the new rankings in June in its annual “Top 100 Associate Degree Producers 2012” edition. The analysis was based on U.S. Department of Education data.

Pellissippi State saw an increase of 29 percent in the number of associate’s degrees awarded in the category between 2009-10 and 2010-11. The college’s communication technologies program is Media Technologies. The college bestowed 81 degrees in Media Technologies in 2010-11, up from 63 the previous academic year.

The Media Technologies degree program offers four cross-disciplinary concentrations: Communication Graphics Technology, Photography, Video Production Technology and Web Technology.

Pellissippi State has five campuses in Knox and Blount counties, including the newest at Strawberry Plains. Fall classes began Aug. 25.

For additional information about what the college has to offer, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.