Monday, June 14, 2021

Christmon Named Health Sciences Dean

This is the news release announcing Kim Christmon as the new Dean of Health Sciences:

Volunteer State Community College has chosen Kim Christmon as the next dean of the Health Sciences Division. She was most recently associate professor and director of the Respiratory Care Technology program. She has taught at Vol State for 17 years.

“I wanted to take on a role that will allow me to serve the students, faculty, and staff in a different way,” Christmon said. “I aspire to continue moving the division forward while helping others reach their unique set of goals.”

Christmon also works as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy and a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction, both from Tennessee State University.

The Vol State Health Sciences Division has twelve programs, all designed to prepare students for direct entry to the workplace. “I’m looking forward to create new types of certificates for some of our programs,” she said. “They will be for graduates who are in the workplace but want to gain advanced experience in a specific area of expertise.”

Respiratory Care Receives National Award

COVID-19 showed the world what doctors have always known – respiratory care can save lives. Respiratory Therapists work under the direction of a physician and provide medical treatment to patients who suffer with lung problems from diseases such as COVID-19 and more traditionally, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. The Vol State Respiratory Care Technology Program trains students for the specialty. The program was recently honored with a national award for success in preparing students for board exams. The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care named Vol State a recipient of the Distinguished RRT Credential Success award. Programs are chosen for their success in student board exam pass rates. That accreditation is essential for students to enter the job field. In 2020, Vol State had a one hundred percent pass rate for the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exam. The school also had a one hundred percent pass rate for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam.

“Accreditation shows that our program is following a list of standards and procedures established by a recognized national organization,” said Health Sciences dean, Kim Christmon. “Students have a right to be taught the skills they need to be successful in their field. Not all Respiratory Care programs are accredited.”

“The integrity of the program over the years has been held to a high standard,” said program director Mallory Higginbotham. “That means students can pass their board exams on their first attempt.” Higginbotham was recently named program director for Respiratory Care. She was clinical director. Christmon is now dean of Health Sciences. She is the former program director.

The demand for qualified Respiratory Care Therapists remains high. Some graduates of the Vol State program are even taking traveling positions from city to city as contractors. The Vol State program has a 100 percent job placement rate. For more information visit

Pictured: Health Sciences Dean, Kim Christmon (left), taught in the Vol State Respiratory Care Technology program for 17 years. Mallory Higginbotham is the new program director. She has been teaching at Vol State for 10 years.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Addie Lange National Honors for Softball

Vol State softball stand-out, Addie Lange, was named to the first team All-American in Division 1 softball for NJCAA. She also signed with the University of Missouri. Way to go Addie!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Vol State in the News

Vol State Chief Information Officer, Kevin Blankenship, was recently featured in a business to business trade Journal called Toggle. You can check out the article here.

The new Medical Assisting program is receiving coverage in the media. This is the release in the Hartsville Vidette.

Recent Vol State graduate, Savannah Stover, received a prestigious national scholarship to continue her education at a 4 year school. The Portland Sun has the story.

English faculty member, Laura McClister, was awarded third place in the Emma Bell Miles Prize for her nonfiction essay “Requiem.” It's about the passing of her mother, and draws on her childhood in Appalachia and experiences with her mother in rural southwest Virginia. Congratulations to Laura.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Sumner County Middle College High School Graduation

Sumner County Middle College High School students were awarded high school diplomas during an in-person ceremony at Volunteer State Community College Saturday. Twenty-two of those students also received associate degrees from Vol State two weeks ago. Middle College High School students take classes on the Vol State campus, earning high school and college credit at the same time. It allows students to get a jump start on their college career, entering university with many college credits towards a bachelor’s degree. The Middle College is still accepting new students for the 2021-2022 school year. Pictured: Principal Brad Schreiner welcomes family and friends in the Wemyss Auditorium at Vol State.

Pictured below: Five Middle College students are graduating Summa Cum Laude. Left to right: Kayden Angell of Gallatin; Abigail Kelly of Cottontown; Dylan Midgett of Bethpage; Aysha Patel of Gallatin; and Divya Patel of Gallatin.

Vol State Launches Medical Assisting Degree Program

The need for trained medical assistants is quite high. You interact with these people when you visit a doctor’s office or a clinic. They do everything from checking vital signs, running EKG equipment, and helping with lab tests. Volunteer State Community College can prepare students for the field with the new Medical Assisting degree program. The Medical Assisting Program provides classroom and hands-on clinical education. The goal is for students to become multi-skilled health professionals.

“In medical assisting, there are a great variety of areas the student can go into,” said Amber Tinner. “If they want to just work in the front office, they can do that. If they just want to do clinical work, they can do that. Or they can do a bit of both.” Tinner is the recently hired director of the Vol State program. She comes from Chattahoochee Technical College in metro Atlanta, where she has been teaching for the last nine years.

“I get phone calls and emails from employers all the time looking for qualified people,” Tinner said. “I’ve had students start at $40,000 a year after graduating and passing their credentialing exams. It just depends on where they are job searching and what type of a facility is doing the hiring. Some smaller facilities may pay more like $25,000 to start. If someone is not credentialed they will start at a lower wage. The Vol State program prepares students to sit for the accreditation exams.”

The training is also a good platform for advancement in the medical profession. Students can go on to seek other certifications in the specialty areas to grow their skills. “Students need to possess integrity and have great teamwork skills,” said Tinner. “They also need excellent verbal and written communication skills.”

Vol State Medical Assisting offers an associate of applied science degree, a two-year degree program designed to get students directly into the workforce. The first group will begin in January. However, students are encouraged to start with general education classes this fall at Vol State. They can apply now at

Applications for the program will open in September. For more information visit or call 615-230-3330.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Lady Pioneers Runner-Up in Region 7 Tournament

Great run for the Vol State Lady Pioneers Softball Team. They are runner-up for the Region 7 tournament. They lost to Chattanooga State 6-0 last week. Congrats to the Lady Tigers, the Region 7 Champions. Kudos to the Athletic Department and Plant Operations for pulling off a last minute tournament that was complicated by changing COVID rules. Bobby Hudson and his colleagues pulled it off. Thanks to everyone who made the players, coaches, and fans feel welcome on our campus.

Vol State in the News

Channel 4 came to the Gallatin campus last week for a story about Cyber Security. The peg was the fact that the Colonial Pipeline company had been trying to hire a Cyber Defense Manager for two months before the hack occurred. We pitched a story about our Cyber Defense program as a way to help solve such staffing challenges.

The growth of the tech industry in Nashville is a tremendous opportunity for Vol State. This article in the Tennessean shows how our partnership with the Nashville Technology Council is important for training local people for the jobs with national companies.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

TCCAA Tournament Continues Today - Stream Details Here

The TCCAA Softball and Baseball Tournaments continue today at Vol State in Gallatin. The Lady Pioneers will take on Chattanooga State at noon. The winner of that game will go on to play tomorrow at noon. All of the action will be streamed live:

You can attend the games in-person. Fans are asked to social distance and wear a mask in bleachers. You can also bring a chair or sit on the lawn.

12:00- Vol State vs Chattanooga
3:00- Walters vs Dyersburg
6:00- Loser of first game against the winner of second game

1:00- Walters vs. Motlow
4:00- Dyersburg vs. Columbia

Monday, May 10, 2021

TBR Awards Vol State $20,000 OER Grant

Vol State continues to explore options for using Open Educational Resources (OER) to replace textbooks, saving students money. Recently TBR announced that Vol State was awarded a $20,000 grant for transitioning READ 0810 course materials from a commercial textbook to OER and low-cost course materials. This is from the grant application:

“The course materials currently cost approximately $95 so this will help the success of first-generation and low-income students taking this course. READ 0810 will be revamped with this new model and should be in use by all sections from Spring 2022 forward.”

Faculty members Jean Gorgie and Karen Hutson, and Instructional Design Specialist, Tracy Lampley, are leading the project. Congrats to all!