Support students with campus & community resources

Anne Pharr
Assistant Professor, English

In recent months, you’ve probably noticed a growing emphasis on connecting Pellissippi State students with campus and community resources to equip them in making progress toward personal and academic goals.

Pellissippi State’s academic support program is one of the primary channels through which we help students access resources. When a faculty member identifies a struggling student, s/he can notify the appropriate Student Success coordinator, who in turn will reach out to the individual, discuss any barriers s/he is facing, and guide him or her to the appropriate place for support. The program has served the College for many years and continues to help students find and utilize the many resources available to them.

This week, Pellissippi State is providing a great new way for students to make connections, by hosting the very first Sharing Our Area Resources event — initially at the Hardin Valley Campus, and eventually at site campuses also. You can read more about SOAR here.  I hope that you’ll not only encourage students to attend but that you’ll also come to learn about some pretty amazing campus and community resources.

Through initiatives like these, Pellissippi State actively provides opportunities for students to strengthen what’s known as “bridging social capital.” According to experts, such “bridging relationships” are vital to our students’ success, by serving as a “primary source of information and support.”

Did you know, though, that relationships between Pellissippi State employees and our students also qualify as “bridging relationships”? When “professors, advisors, mentors, [and] on-campus employers” are intentional about connecting with students, we’re doing our part to strengthen the bridging social capital that can “affect changes in their lives.”

This is one reason Pellissippi State has provided ongoing education for faculty and staff as well as events for students. In the past 17 months, the College has offered a dozen opportunities for employees to deepen our awareness about the students with whom we work. Whether attending an hour-long workshop, a daylong session, or a semester-long reading group, many faculty and staff have attended one of the “Bridges Out of Poverty” events offered at our College. The feedback has been positive, with participants describing the material as “very relevant to the work we do” by providing “a greater understanding of the challenges” that many of our students face.

If you’ve attended any of these events — or if you’d like to — please consider yourself an “official” member of Pellissippi State’s Partners for Student Potential, and make plans to join us at one of the following workshops open to all faculty and staff:

Under-Resourced Students: Their Needs, Our Services

This one-hour workshop will equip faculty and staff to connect Pellissippi State’s under-resourced students with campus resources. Participants will examine common scenarios faced by struggling students, discuss existing campus resources that help students navigate barriers and brainstorm services that might be added to more fully address the needs of under-resourced students. ​It’s facilitated by Sara Malley (Sociology), Ines Gibson (English) and Katie Morris (Sociology).

This workshop will be offered on all site campuses:

  • Magnolia Avenue — Thursday, 10/22, at 10:30 a.m., Room 109
  • Strawberry Plains —  Thursday, 10/22, at 2:30 p.m., Room 2610
  • Blount County — Monday, 10/26, at 3 p.m., Room 261
  • Division Street — Tuesday, 10/27, at 2:30 p.m., Room 118
  • Hardin Valley — Wednesday, 10/28, at 3 p.m., Goins 151

Do You Speak Student? Reinforcing the Value of Code-Switching by Practicing What We Preach

We all know how vital it is for students to demonstrate mastery of academic English in their speaking and writing. In the workplace, in higher education and throughout the middle class, standard American English is the language of choice. More important, anyone working with students can adopt practices that can allow them to hone their language resources. This one-hour workshop will begin with a brief overview of language theory before providing faculty and staff with practical ways to model code-switching with students both in and out of class, as well as with usable tools for allowing students to rehearse this skill in a variety of ways. It’s facilitated by Keri Withington (English) and Anne Pharr (English).

This workshop also will be offered on all site campuses:

  • Magnolia Avenue — Monday, 10/19, at 11:40 a.m. in Room 123
  • Division Street — Monday, 10/19, at 3:05 p.m. in Room 118
  • Hardin Valley — Thursday, 10/22, at 3:40 in Room TBA
  • Blount County — Wednesday, 10/28, at 11:50 in Room 164
  • Strawberry Plains — Thursday, 10/29, at 12:25 in Room TBA

In a recent issue of “Inside Pellissippi,” President Anthony Wise reminded us that our college — and each individual in the College — has the opportunity to impact the lives of our students in meaningful ways. I hope you will make the most of that opportunity by partnering with Pellissippi State and with our students as they strive to discover and fulfill their amazing potential.

Source of data: “Understanding and Engaging Under-Resourced College Students” by Karen Becker, Karla M. Krodel, and Bethanie H. Tucker.