Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vol State in the News

We recently announced a preliminary schedule for our eclipse watch event on August 21. Several area news outlets picked it up and ran the schedule, including Fox 17 and News2. A reminder that faculty, staff and students who wish to attend the event, but who will not be working or volunteering, should register, so we can control how many people are on campus. It's easy and only takes a moment to register the whole family if you want. Those who are working or volunteering do not need to register.

Vol State is hosting a Mechatronics open house on July 13. The Tennessean has the story.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New Programs Help Adult Students Attend Vol State

New programs at Volunteer State Community College can help adult students who want to earn a college degree. There is an evaluation of life experience called a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).  It's designed to help students speed up their steps towards a college degree by evaluating the student's life experiences for possible college credit. Vol State also offers Academic Fresh Start.  This is an opportunity to disregard previous poor grades that were earned at Vol State.  Students can work to earn higher grades and increase their Grade Point Average (GPA). There is also much excitement about TN Reconnect, the newly approved scholarship program starting in fall 2018 that will provide a tuition-free community college education for most adults in Tennessee. But even with all of the new assistance, there is still the matter of a person making room in their life for college. One person that understands that situation is actually the president of Vol State, Jerry Faulkner. He dropped out of college as a junior at U-T Knoxville and spent years doing various jobs.

“I realized that what I was getting out of life was a paycheck and an ulcer,” Faulkner said. “If I was going to have a more meaningful career, I would need a college education.”

And so, just shy of his thirtieth birthday, Faulkner went back to college. “It was very scary. The job I left was pretty good paying. I had a wife and son. We made the decision that I should go to college full-time. The anticipation before I got in the class was the scariest part. I had a lot of anxiety because I knew I would be in a classroom with a lot of younger people.”

Despite the fears, academic challenges, and the major financial burden of balancing work and school, Faulkner went on to earn a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and then a Ph.D. When asked what advice he gives to adults considering college, Faulkner remembers what he felt as an adult student.

“Don’t let fear hold you back. You can succeed. The likely maturity you gained will make you a better student. Education is a great vehicle to get you where you want to go. The tassel is worth the hassle.”

Vol State is encouraging adult students to consider returning to college even before the TN Reconnect scholarship program starts in 2018. Adult students may be eligible for Pell Grants and Vol State scholarships now. Filling out the FAFSA form is the way to find out what kind of assistance is available. The college offers many evening and online classes and is piloting new classes that may provide an even better fit with adult schedules. The office of Veterans Affairs and Adult Learners provides help for adults in navigating the college process. Academic advisors help students set-up a plan for the degree they are seeking. For those still wondering about an academic major, the Advising Center at Vol State offers a personality inventory that can show the academic areas in which a student might do well.

In the end, it all comes down to graduating with a degree or certificate. There were many adult graduates in the audience at the recent Vol State spring commencement ceremony.

“I have new best friends and none of them are over 24 years old,” said Les Lyle of Lebanon. “The PTA (Physical Therapist Assistant) program has opened doors for me. I have several job opportunities available to me now.”

Vol State has a web page especially designed for adult students. They’re encouraged to visit www.volstate.edu/adult. Then students can use the website to explore the more than 90 degree programs the college offers. Help is also available on the phone at 615-230-3688 and in-person at the Vol State campus locations in Gallatin, Springfield, Cookeville and Livingston.


Pictured: Les Lyle came to Vol State after a layoff. He had been with the same company for 35 years. He now has an associate of applied science degree.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Carole Bucy in new NPT Documentary


Vol State History professor, Carole Bucy, is one of the experts interviewed for a new Nashville Public Television documentary- Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature. This is what NPT says about the show: “This month, Cheekwood completes a major renovation to return much of the house and gardens to their original glory. At this pivotal moment of rebirth, NPT’s original documentary, Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature, ventures behind the scenes for an in-depth look at the mansion and grounds. The 30-minute program premieres Thursday, June 22, at 8 p.m. Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature will also be available for online viewing at wnpt.org.

Vol State in the News

The SRB recording studio was featured in the national League for Innovation in the Community College newsletter.

Community College Daily picked up our story about new programs for adults. It features the story of Dr. Faulkner, who returned to college at age 30.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Vol State Logistics Students Receive Scholarships

Vol State Logistics Management students were recently awarded Delta Nu Alpha (DNA) Transportation Society scholarships. Students Brian Beddoes, Adam Mamula, and William Stroud received their award checks at the annual DNA Scholarship Dinner. For more information about the Logistics Management program at Vol State visit www.volstate.edu/logistics.




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vol State in the News

The Tennessean has the story about our undergraduate research pipeline. It was also picked-up by the Chalkboard education newsletter/website.

A new health sciences A.S. degree and an African-American Literature class are new for fall and also in the Tennessean.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vol State Growing Research with a Student Pipeline

The numbers are stunning. There will be a need for one million more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals than the United States will produce in the next few years. There has been a 17 percent increase in job growth for STEM fields. That’s according to a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The question is- how do we produce more science professionals? Volunteer State Community College is teaming up with area high schools to grow a science research pipeline for students. Lebanon High School students gathered recently at Vol State to show off their laboratory skills. The partnership between the college and high school has big goals.

“The idea is to give students the ability to walk into a laboratory and know what they are doing,” said Math and Science Dean Phil Clifford. “That’s going to put them head and shoulders above other students in school.”

“These students will start their college career with a huge leg up,” said Lebanon High School teacher Melissa Bunch. “They’re doing molecular biology in my lab right now.”

Lebanon High School is now offering dual credit courses in key research areas. The classes are taught at the college level and provide both high school and college credit. Lebanon is also leading the way as the first high school in the state to have biotechnology program. “The pathway from high school to community college to university is a big selling point,” Bunch said.

That pipeline starts with science research and lab work in high school and continues it with undergraduate research at Vol State.  “We’re trying to grow our undergraduate research program by finding the right students,” said Assistant Professor of Biology Joe Dolan. “If we can reach into the high schools and find students, it will help us identify them for our undergraduate research at Vol State.”

The Vol State research then provides students a direct path to university research. “We are partnering with several local universities that are interested in accepting our students,” said Clifford.

“I’m hoping to pursue bio-chemistry or chemical engineering,” said Lebanon High School student Hunter Fugate. “I want to be at a lab bench wherever I go.”

“I love the hands-on part,” said student Melissa Crespo. “The career I want to go into is forensic science. There’s a lot of lab work in that. This will give me a real advantage.”

The Vol State and Lebanon High School partnership also reaches out to the business community with a nine week internship at a biotech company. “All of this gives students exposure to lab research, so they can make wise career choices down the road,” Clifford added.

For more information on science education at Vol State visit: www.volstate.edu/scienceresearch

This is a link to the 2012 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sign-Up Now for Free Educational Eclipse Event August 21

Are you searching for a fun and educational total eclipse watching event on August 21?
Volunteer State Community College is hosting a free eclipse event on the campus in Gallatin at 1480 Nashville Pike from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is open to everyone. We will have educational presentations, fun science exhibits for kids and adults, and live narration during the totality. Many of our pre-eclipse activities will be held in air-conditioned buildings. Registration is requested. Join us, but please sign-up soon. We will close registration when we reach capacity.
Visit our registraton page for details and to sign-up.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Student Foodbank Food Drive

Plans for a student food bank are moving forward. You may have seen or participated in the food drive to stock the pantry. The TRIO Office was just one of many offices participating. The TRIO staff and students brought in 203 food items for the cause, far surpassing their goal of 167.


The pantry will be called “The Feed”. Organizers say they hope to have it open for the fall semester. It will be located in the Ramer Building. We’ll have much more on the opening and how it will work later this summer.

A Big Career Expo Fair

Congrats to everyone who  participated in the 2017 Career Expo Fair recently. The event was held for 2,700 eighth graders from Sumner, Trousdale and Macon County schools. It's designed to help them explore career fields and figure out the educational pathway to get there. It was the biggest year yet for the event. Dozens of Vol State faculty and staff worked to make it happen.