Adult Education program at Pellissippi State offers free GED preparation

Thinking about earning your GED this year? The Adult Education program at Pellissippi State Community College can give you the help you need to succeed. Even better, GED support at Pellissippi State is free.

GED preparation is available both day and evening hours at several locations throughout Knoxville. Enrollment is open to everyone, and classes are taught by small-group or one-on-one instruction.

Even if you’ve been out of school for years, there’s no reason to fear the GED, says Joan Newman, director of Academic Testing and Adult Education.

“Approximately 70 percent of adults who take the GED pass,” she said. “Unfortunately, only about 1.5 percent of all adults who did not graduate from high school even attempt it. The odds really are in your favor, especially when you’re prepared.”

Pellissippi State also offers a free practice test that, according to Newman, provides a reliable predictor of actual GED scores.

Don’t put it off any longer. To find out more or to sign up, call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State offers fun children’s camps in June and July

Parents, here’s your chance to give the children a fun and educational summer experience! Enroll them in one or more summer camps at Pellissippi State Community College. Attending an exciting camp can open up a brand new world and provide a great sense of accomplishment.

Camps start in June and take place at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Here are the camps offered this summer:

  • Social Networking for Teens—ages 13 and up, $65
    June 4-5 and June 27-28, 10:30-noon
  • Manners Come From the Heart—ages 7-12, $65
    June 4-5 and June 27-28, 12:30-2 p.m.
  • Adventure Into the Digital Science Classroom—grades 5-8, $105
    June 11-15, 12-2 p.m.
  • The CSI Experience—grades 5-8, $105
    June 11-15, 9-11 a.m.
  • Basket Making—ages 8 and up, $89
    June 18-21, 10-noon
  • Adventures in Paper—ages 8 and up, $89
    June 25-28, 10-noon
  • Art—ages 8-15, $119
    July 9-13, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m.
  • Claymation—ages 8-15, $119
    July 9-13, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m.
  • CreACTivity—ages 8-10, $115
    July 9-13, 1-4 p.m.
  • ImaginACTion—ages 11-13, $125
    July 16-20, 1-4:30 p.m.
  • Photo-rrific—ages 12 and up, $115
    July 16-19, 9-noon
  • Webpage Design—ages 12 and up, 115
    July 16-19, 1-4 p.m.
  • Keyboarding—ages 10 and up, $115
    July 23-26, 9-noon
  • Microsoft Office Sampler—ages 12 and up, $115
    July 23-26, 1-4 p.m.

Parents may register their children by phone or online: (865) 539-7167 or www.pstcc.edu/bcs. For more information, contact the Business and Community Services office at 539-7167 or bcs@pstcc.edu.

Middle, high school students invited to Pellissippi State Young Inventors Fair

By the age of 6, Thomas Edison had managed to burn down the family barn. Luckily, his later experiments with electricity worked out better than his experiments with fire.

Parents with young inventors in the household have a chance to encourage their innovative spirits by bringing them to Pellissippi State Community College’s Young Inventors Fair.

The event, hosted by Pellissippi State’s student Science Club, is free for all middle and high school students. The fair takes place Saturday, March 3, 1-4 p.m.

Students may bring science fair projects or other personal projects to display in the Goins Building College Center at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“If your student has already participated in a science fair at school but didn’t score high enough to be sent on to the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair, here’s a second chance,” said Jerry Burns, chemistry professor and Science Club sponsor.

“We will give the students pointers on improving their inventions. We will send four students on to the SASEF, and will give certificate awards to the top three inventors.”

The event is in conjunction with the college’s 2011-12 Common Book activities. Those activities revolve around “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope,” by William Kamkwamba. The author of the New York Times bestseller was the keynote speaker at the President’s Convocation Sept. 1. He spoke about his experiences building a 16-foot-tall windmill nine years ago in Malawi.

It was the Common Book that inspired this event, said 23-year-old student Lee Beckner, president of the Science Club:

“When I read what William Kamkwamba could do without any support, I wanted to know what the children in the area could do with support. We hope that this will become a yearly event.”

For more information, 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 humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State offers sign language classes for children and adults

Teach your baby to communicate with sign language, introduce a child to a “new” language, or learn the basics yourself in upcoming sign language classes at Pellissippi State Community College.

The following courses are offered by Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division. They take place at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

  • “Beginner Sign Language”—March 1-29, Thursdays, 6-7 p.m.; $59

Open to children and adults, the course teaches the basics of this rich language and explores the culture and history of the deaf. Discussion includes an exploration of careers as an interpreter for the deaf or as an educator at a school for the deaf.

  • “Baby Sign Language”—March 3-24, Saturdays, 9:30-11 a.m.; $59

Reduce your baby’s frustration by teaching him or her sign language that can be used to clearly communicate thoughts, wants and needs before or after the development of speech. Research has shown that sign language also helps improve a baby’s motor skills and social development. Adult students will learn basic signs such as “eat,” “sleep” and “thirsty,” as well as finger spelling, in a fun, interactive setting.

Full class descriptions, along with a schedule of all courses offered by Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division, are available at www.pstcc.edu/bcs.

For additional information or to register, call BCS at (865) 539-7167.

Top Pellissippi State student musicians perform in March 1 recital

Slated for March 1, the annual Student Showcase Honors Recital at Pellissippi State Community College features only the best student performers taking private instruction in voice or instrument.

Each of 16 selected musicians will perform one piece, with musical styles ranging from bluegrass to classical. Selection by a panel of Pellissippi State faculty members is based on the talent and skill level of the students, as well as their academic achievements in traditional courses.

“Our goal is to showcase students who are excelling in every aspect of their educational experience,” said Bill Brewer, Pellissippi State’s Music program coordinator.

Singers will be accompanied by pianists performing on Steinway pianos, thanks to Pellissippi State’s status as an All Steinway School. The achievement of becoming an All Steinway School was reached last year as the result of a fundraising campaign begun in 2010 by the Pellissippi State Foundation in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. Pellissippi State now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Not only is Pellissippi State the premier All Steinway community college in Tennessee, but it is also the fourth All Steinway community college in the nation and one of only about 135 All Steinway schools in the world.

Like all events in Pellissippi State’s music series, admission to the Student Showcase Honors Recital is free. However, donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund. For the 2010-11 academic year, the Foundation awarded more than 100 music-related scholarships to more than 80 Pellissippi State students.

The 7 p.m. performance takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Parking is convenient and free.

For information on the Steinway Maintenance Society, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6529 or visit www.pstcc.edu/steinway.

For additional information, 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 humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State brings inventors to campus this Thursday

The potato chip. The paper clip. The microchip. Inventions can improve our lives in a thousand different ways.

Learn how to take your great idea through the patent process all the way to manufacturing at “Inventing the Inventor: Creative People Who Make a Difference” at Pellissippi State Community College this Thursday, March 1.

The community is invited to a panel discussion by local inventors, 12:25-1:40 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The panel of four will talk about their personal inventions and how they navigated the waters of patenting and marketing. They will take questions from the audience, and some of the inventions will be on display at the end of the presentation.

“Inventing the Inventor: Creative People Who Make a Difference” is in conjunction with the college’s 2011-12 Common Book activities, which revolve around “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope,” by William Kamkwamba. The author of the New York Times bestseller was the keynote speaker at the President’s Convocation Sept. 1. He spoke about his experiences building a 16-foot-tall windmill nine years ago in Malawi.

For more information about this event, call (865) 694-6400 or 694-6708. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts Caribbean Fest on Feb. 28

steel drum band
When it came time to plan Caribbean Fest, Pellissippi State Community College’s Access and Diversity Office relied on an in-house consultant and native of the southern Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago, student Roshni Joseph-Biles.

Pellissippi State hosts Caribbean Fest 4-7 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the Goins Building College Center of the Pellissippi Campus.

For Joseph-Biles, a student worker in Access and Diversity, the event is a chance to share the history and culture behind “carnival,” a week of revelry and feasting leading up to Lent throughout the world.

Joseph-Biles grew up on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where the annual celebration has taken place since the arrival of French settlers in the 18th century, evolving into one of the most imitated festivals in the world.

In the U.S., people celebrate Mardi Gras—French for “Fat Tuesday,” in reference to the Catholic tradition of eating richer, fatty foods just before the Lenten fast.

“People know about carnival; they know about Mardi Gras. They don’t seem to really know the history or why, what set it off, what the meaning behind it is,” said Joseph-Biles, who is studying philosophy and pursuing an associate’s degree at Pellissippi State.

“To have the opportunity to share that, to show people who are going to participate what their actual connection is historically, is amazing.”

At Pellissippi State’s Caribbean Fest, participants can sample jerk chicken with rice, beans and a traditional dessert, Trinidadian black cake. Music will be performed by the Carib Sounds Band 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Vere Henry, a native of the Caribbean island of Antigua, directs Carib Sounds. Henry said that the music will move audience members into that “island attitude” with hot calypso and soca beats, reggae, and other arrangements.

Masquerade will be part of Pellissippi State’s Caribbean Fest as well. Traditionally, masks and costumes take center stage at carnival, with artists devoting much time and effort on their creations.

“The individual costumes are exceedingly expensive, and those take sometimes years to make,” said Joseph-Biles. “Those are the ones that are very elaborate; those are the ones that go on display from country to country every now and then. You find a display in the U.S. and it’s the carnival costumes from the year before.”

The public is invited to attend the free event, one of several that have taken place in February as part of the college’s Black History Month celebration.

The Pellissippi Campus is located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road, and parking is available in any lot marked “Open.”

For more information, contact (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Home-schooling families invited to Pellissippi State open house

Home-schoolers and their parents are invited to the Home School Open House at Pellissippi State Community College March 15.

At the event, Pellissippi State staff members will address the specific needs and questions posed by home-schooling families. Participants can meet with faculty and learn about academic options available at the college, and representatives from Admissions and Financial Aid will be on hand to answer questions.

One lucky senior will be the recipient of a $250 scholarship drawing. The scholarship is provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation.

In addition, students and parents have an opportunity to find out about the Dual Enrollment program, which gives high school juniors and seniors the chance to earn high school credit and college credit at the same time. Students may be eligible for a dual enrollment grant that allows them to take a college course for as little as $10 plus the cost of a textbook.

“Each year we have about 60-70 home-schooled students who are participating in classes through the Dual Enrollment program,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services at Pellissippi State.

The free event takes place 6-7:30 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center and Auditorium at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Reservations should be made by March 8 by calling (865) 539-7189 or emailing clfray@pstcc.edu.

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

Get active with outdoor, home repair classes at Pellissippi State

Spring officially starts less than one month from now, so why not get a jump-start on heading outdoors? Enroll now in one (or more) of the non-credit classes at Pellissippi State Community College.

Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division has a great selection of courses for springtime. Classes take place at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, unless otherwise noted. Here are just a few you can choose from:

  • Flyfish 101—Feb. 25 or April 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; March 24 or May 19 (Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.), 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $79 per single/$69 for each additional family member registering simultaneously

This is an introductory course geared to those who have never fly-fished or those who want a better understanding of the basics. Topics covered include fly rod and reel; line, leader and tippet; types of flies; rigging an outfit; finding fish; casting (demonstration, weather permitting). Instructor Marshall Hall is a guide, custom rod maker and member of the Foothills Craft Guild and Custom Rod Makers Guild.

  • Landscaping Made Easy and Fun—Feb. 28-March 8, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $79

This is a basic course covering the principles of landscape design for home enhancement. Topics include choosing and installing the proper plants; mulching, fertilizing, watering and trimming; and learning about the different varieties of flowering shrubs, small trees, flowers and grass. Instructor Valarie Huffman, owner of Instant Flower Gardens, is a landscape professional with extensive experience in East Tennessee landscaping.

  • DIY Home Improvement and Repairs for Women—March 10, 9-11 a.m.; $29

Learn how to do basic home repairs from someone who has done them herself. Instructor Lynda Tutko will show students how to complete many repairs without the assistance of a professional, as well as cover home improvements that can be completed with basic skills. Attendees will learn how to save money by using skills taught during class.

  • Simple Home Repairs—March 15, 6-8 p.m., Blount County Campus; $29

Completing home repairs may be easier than you think. Instructor Art Gall will share skills that build confidence in tackling projects. Learn how to troubleshoot problems and make repairs to electrical outlets and switches, leaking toilets and faucets, and more. Students also will learn how to install or make adjustments to door locks and deadbolts.

Full class descriptions, along with a schedule of all courses offered by BCS, are available at www.pstcc.edu/bcs.

For additional information or to register, call BCS at (865) 539-7167.

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN