Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vol State in the News

Free Vol State dual enrollment classes, thanks to a new last dollar scholarship, have made the news in several papers, including the Tennessean.

Graduation is in the news as well...and these days we have several of them:

And speaking of High School Equivalency. June Spears received honors recently for being named Adult Education Teacher of the Month. The Macon County Times has the story.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Riding for Scholarships

The Vol State riders get ready for the Half-Metric Tour.
The Vol State Cycling Classic had 175 riders on Saturday for the second year of the event. Most of the riders participated in the Metric Century Tour (about 61 miles) that traveled all the way up to Portland and then back down to campus. It was a lovely day for a bike ride and we thank all of the riders for participating. We had a number of cyclists from Vol State who did the Half-Metric tour (about 33 miles). You can see Dr. Faulkner in the middle of this group of riders at the start.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dr. Faulkner: Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

It is hard to believe that the Spring semester is drawing to a close.  It seems just yesterday that Spring classes began.  And then we had the ice storm and the weather delays and closings.  I’ve attached some campus photos from those days.

In the midst of the winter, we wondered, “Will Spring ever come?”  As it always does, Spring follows on Winter and Summer on Spring and before you know it will be time to kick-off Fall semester.

We are looking forward to a great Summer session.  May-mester actually begins before graduation.  Many things are planned for the Summer including some activities to help TnPromise students with the transition.  We have multiple Campus Connect session scheduled and students are already signing up for orientation and registration.  If you are away during the Summer, just know that those of us here will be laboring effectively toward the Fall semester. 

I hope everyone has a great Summer.  Please be sure to plan some time for rest and recreation.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Vol State Leases Cottontown Land to Sumner Rugby Club

Vol State has entered into an agreement to lease land in Cottontown to the Sumner Rugby Football Club. The Gallatin-based group plans to eventually build a rugby pitch, parking and a field house on the site at 1000 Upper Camp Creek Road. Rugby is a form of football that began in England. It is now one of the most popular sports in the world.

“On behalf of the coaches and the Board of Directors we are thrilled to begin this initiative to benefit middle and high school students in and around the Sumner County area,” said Mike Lees, president of the Sumner Rugby Club. “Additionally, we would like to express our thanks to Dr. Faulkner for his work with numerous state agencies to bring this opportunity to fruition, as well as Anthony Holt for introducing us almost two years ago. Our initial sponsor, Rogers Group, has pledged time and materials to assist in the first phase of a parking area and the preparation of the first rugby pitch.”

The land was willed to the college by the Spurlock Family. The twenty-year lease still allows Vol State the option of using the land in the future. For more information about the Rugby Football Club visit

Pictured: Rugby Club President, Mike Lees, and Vol State president, Dr. Jerry Faulkner, trade jerseys to announce the lease agreement.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Vol State Graduation will be Streamed on Internet

The Vol State graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 9 will be streamed live on the Internet again this year for people to watch all over the world. Last year a family in India watched a student graduate. This year a student will have their family watching in El Salvador. The streaming video does not require any special equipment. People can simply visit the website The live video on the Internet will start at 10 a.m. The recorded video will be played at various times on Thursday, May 14 on Comcast Channel 19 in Gallatin and Hendersonville, and U-verse Channel 99 throughout Middle Tennessee. The speaker for graduation this year will be Emily J. Reynolds, vice-chairman of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

June Spears Teacher of the Month

June Spears of the Vol State High School Equivalency Adult Education Office has been named Teacher of the Month for Adult Education statewide. June teaches High School Equivalency classes in Macon County. This is from the announcement:

“June Spears is an exceptionally skilled, dedicated, innovative and knowledgeable teacher.”

The recognition places her in the running for Teacher of the Year for Adult Education (AE) in Tennessee. That announcement will be made at the AE annual Academy of Excellence in July. June will be presented a plaque and monetary gift by Jason Beard, the State Administrator of Adult Education this week. Congratulations to her!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Yarbrough Receives Lambda Award

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, director of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives at Volunteer State Community College, has been honored with the Terry Whitesides Ally of Diversity Award at the 2015 Lambda Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Plus (LGBT+) College Conference. The meeting, held this year at Middle Tennessee State University, brought together thirty colleges and universities from across the region, along with corporate and community leaders, to discuss diversity and inclusion issues impacting students and their future in the workplace. The Vol State student Spectrum club nominated Yarbrough for the award.

Pictured: Kenny Yarbrough and Blake Coker, the president of the Vol State student Spectrum club.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Scholarship Helps High School Students get Dual Classes for Free

Help us spread the word! A new program just announced by Vol State now makes it possible for many high school students to take up to four  dual enrollment classes for free thanks to a last dollar scholarship. The general education courses can transfer to universities and colleges across the country. Students can take Vol State dual enrollment classes at high schools in Davidson, Robertson, Sumner, Wilson, Macon, Trousdale, Putnam, Overton, Pickett, Smith, Jackson and Clay counties.

“We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity to the students in our entire service area,” said Vol State president, Dr. Jerry Faulkner. “The head start that students gain from dual enrollment sets them on a path for success. It enhances their ability to benefit from the TnPromise program once they finish high school.”

Students must apply for the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant program, which provides grant money for high school students taking dual enrollment classes. Vol State will now cover tuition costs not covered in the Dual Enrollment grant, so that many students can take four classes for free.

Students are limited in funding from the grant to two dual enrollment classes per semester. Scholarships for high school seniors, who have previously taken dual enrollment courses, will be handled individually, based on current scholarship guidelines.

The revised dual enrollment grant funding amounts will begin in the fall semester of 2015. High school students should meet with their school counselors to determine the process for enrolling in Vol State dual enrollment courses and applying for the dual enrollment grant. For more information students and parents can also call the Vol State Dual Enrollment Office at 615-230-3742

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vol State in the News

Congrats to Pioneer Softball coach Johnny Lynn on 800 career wins! The Tennessean has the story.

The push is on for summer registration. Here's a piece in the Hartsville Vidette.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Three R's Replaced by the Five C's

Last year there was a series of articles in the American School and University magazine exploring if the three R’s have been replaced by the five C’s.  The five C’s they proposed are Competence, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Choice.  Because the magazine is directed toward facilities and business decisions, the articles concentrated on how the built environment affects the five C’s but the acknowledgement of the shift in education is valid.

Competence:  Increasingly we hear more about competence based education.  Western Governor’s University, which is now operating in our state, advertises that they are about competence not just credit.  Some programs are offering badges to signify the attainment of competence.  SACS has even changed some of the accreditation principals to accommodate programs that emphasize competence.  We normally associate the term with career programs and mastery of skills.  But why can’t we apply it to what we usually think of as the liberal arts.  Is it possible to say that someone is competent to solve a quadratic equation?  Could a student be competent to write a research paper?  If a student can explain the factors leading up to the Civil War, is that a competence.  I would submit that all of our learning objectives whether associated with a career program or with general education should be demonstrations of competence.  Of course VP McGuire would want me to add that it doesn’t demonstrate anything till we record them and assess them and use the results of assessment to refine them.

Communication:  No man is an island and no one can exist without communication with others.  It is an essential part of life.  I’m reminded of Dr. Ruby Payne’s lesson to us about the different language registers.  Our task as educators is to move students from the casual register to the consultative and formal registers.  OMG and LOL are not acceptable in business communication.  We must continue to stress the competencies that are part of our written and oral communication courses and to be sure that there are communication components in all our courses.

Collaboration:  We consistently hear from employers that our graduates need to be able to work in teams.  Traditional education tends to emphasize solo efforts but we must transform to value group-thinking and interaction.  Group projects provide an opportunity for student to learn how to collaborate with others.  Also we know that research demonstrates that student cohort groups are more successful.  Assignments that promote collaboration also foster cohort groups that support one another.

Creativity:  A few years ago, Sir Ken Robinson was a key-note speaker at the SACS COC annual meeting.  He is the author of several books on creativity including Out of Our Minds.  He proposes that modern education is squeezing creativity out of our children.  Sir Ken offers that to be creative, you must be willing to be wrong.  His hypothesis is that the modern educational system stymies creativity by making students fear a mistake. Our challenge is to not restrict opportunities for creativity to just the arts, but to find opportunities for students to be creative in all disciplines.

Choice:  Finally, we must remember that students have many choices for their education.  The days when we were the only game in town are long gone.  And so we must be responsive to the changing climate.  Students are expecting more technology and more mobile devices to be part of their educational experience and so we must remain current in our pedagogy and our interactions with students.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner