Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vol State, McGavock and the President of the United States

McGavock Pike was a busy place in Nashville yesterday and several Vol State faculty and staff members were part of the excitement. President Obama visited McGavock High School as part of this post-State of the Union tour that included several states. The White House chose McGavock primarily to highlight the high school career academies that have become quite popular in Nashville public schools. The academies are special academic programs and facilities at the high schools.  Partnerships with businesses and higher education institutions put high school students on a path to specific careers.
The Entertainment Media Production (EMP) program partners with a McGavock academy called the CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication. EMP director Steve Bishir, who attended the speech, says that McGavock students have come to Vol State to work on projects and he works closely with the McGavock academy in other partnership ventures. You may have seen the high school students working on a live sound project during a concert in the fall. Bishir says that more McGavock academy media partnerships may be coming soon.

Vol State is also closely involved with another of those academies.

“I serve on the board for the Health, Science and Law academy,” said Kevin Cook, director of Criminal Justice at Vol State. “We meet regularly to discuss the program there and how we can better partner with them.”

Vol State is an official partner with that academy, allowing McGavock students to earn dual credit for certain criminal justice classes, if they attend Vol State. Cook was invited to the President's speech.

We have many long-standing partnerships with McGavock High School, including holding Vol State evening classes held there (it’s a degree-granting center) and high school dual enrollment classes. That brought invitations to the President's speech to Off-Campus director Yolanda Ellison and Dr. Michael Torrence, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs. 

While attending a Presidential event is an experience of a lifetime for many, it can be arduous getting there. Our folks report that they had to arrive just after noon, went through extensive security and stood for more than four hours before the speech began.

Here is a photo of Kevin Cook shaking the hand of the President.

Here is the Vol State crew at the event.

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