Thursday, February 16, 2017

Vol State Student Social Media Writer Part-Time Job Opening

The Vol State PR Office has a paid part-time job opening for a Student Social Media Writer. Interested students must plan on being enrolled in fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 to qualify. Gaynell, our current social media writer, has done a fantastic job, but she is graduating in May. If you enjoy writing, are willing to check your facts, and like to meet people and find good stories, this position could be for you. We require three writing samples with the application, but those can be class papers or assignments. To apply visit the jobs page. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Free Math Help in Gallatin Learning Commons

Math can be tough...get some help. There is free tutoring available on the Gallatin campus in the Learning Commons. Check with the LC front desk for times. Offered for math classes and math-based science classes.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Vol State Events this Week

Vol State events this week: 
Feb. 14 Grab and Go Lunch for students, SRB first floor, Wallace North hallway, Mattox hallway, 11:30am
Feb. 14 Valentine Voice Recital, SRB 151, 2:30-3:30pm 
Feb 15. Black History Month, readers’ theater of poetry by African American poets, SRB 150, 11:15am-12:15pm
Feb. 16 Speaker: Ed Garnes, “Sweet Tea Ethics”, Caudill, 12:45pm

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Free Help with Papers in the Language Center

Get free help with papers and assignments at the Language Center. It's located in SRB Room 205 on the Gallatin campus. 

Tutors are available to help students with every aspect of writing, from homework assignments to class projects. The Center also offers speech outline and preparation assistance. Computers are available with word processing software. It's your opportunity to have a skilled editor look at your paper before you turn it in. That can mean a better grade.

Visit the website for hours and details on how they can help you:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Governor Announces Free Tuition Plan for Adult Students

Governor Haslam recently announced the expansion of the TN Reconnect program to provide free community college and TCAT studies for many adult students. If passed by the legislature, the plan would start in fall of 2018.

Vol State is excited by the program. We already have many adult students on our campuses every semester. We know that it's not just money that holds back adult students. It's also the time commitment; fitting school in with family and work; and even concerns about math. Yes, math. Many adult students are scared to death about taking math again...after 5 or 10 or 25 years. All these concerns are understandable.

Vol State has staff who have been helping adult students with these hurdles for many years. We offer flexible class schedules and tutoring help. Most importantly- adult students feel at home on the Vol State campus. Not just because they see many other adult students here, but also because our students and faculty respect the experience adult students bring to the classroom.

Here are the details on the expanded TN Reconnect Program, including who is eligible. And remember- you don't have to wait until 2018 to start college. That's when the scholarship will start, but we have other ways you can pay tuition if you would like to start classes now. Visit our Admissions web page to get started.

What is the purpose of the legislation?
This legislation creates a comprehensive grant, Tennessee Reconnect, as a last dollar scholarship for adults to attend a community college tuition-free.
Why is Tennessee Reconnect necessary?
Tennessee needs 871,000 degrees to reach our Drive to 55 goal, but only 645,000 high school students are expected to graduate between 2014 and 2022. We must bolster our focus on the recruitment, retention and completion of adults in higher education. At every public higher education institution in Tennessee adults earn a higher share of credentials, often because they return to education more focused on the challenge. Today, the state has a tremendous opportunity to attract more adults to higher education, with more than 900,000 Tennesseans having earned some college credit but no degree. Tennessee Reconnect provides an immediate payoff for Tennessee’s workforce and an investment in the state’s economy that will provide dividends for decades to come. Employers will get the skills and credentials they are seeking from the workforce, and employees will have new opportunities for career growth.
How does Tennessee Reconnect impact the workforce need?
Economic forecasts show that much of our increased workforce demand will be in skills provided at our TCATs and community colleges, and these institutions are cost effective and allow the state to offer last-dollar funds to all students. 55 percent of Tennessee jobs will require postsecondary education and training in 2020, and Tennessee Reconnect will add skilled and credentialed workers to the state’s workforce.1
1 Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce (2012).
How is Tennessee Reconnect different than the TCAT Reconnect scholarship?
The TCAT Reconnect scholarship program is a last dollar grant available to adults attending a TCAT, but the scholarship does not extend to community college. This bill seeks to expand opportunities for adults.
How is Tennessee Reconnect different than Tennessee Promise?
Tennessee Promise is the last-dollar scholarship for graduating high school seniors meeting requirements set forth in § 49-4-708. Tennessee Reconnect is for Tennessee adults who can claim independent status and who do not already have a postsecondary degree.
What are the existing Drive to 55 programs targeted at adults returning to postsecondary?
The current programs of Tennessee Reconnect directly focus on creating opportunities for adults to finish a degree or credential that they have started.
There are several ongoing programs under the overall Tennessee Reconnect initiative, including:
Tennessee Reconnect TCAT Grant: Passed under the Tennessee Promise Act of 2014 by making changes to the existing Wilder-Naifeh Grant, provides a last dollar scholarship for adults to attend a TCAT tuition free; Provided information to 95,173 unique users to date;
Ready to Reconnect: Grants to institutions to support adult enrollment and retention;
Reconnect + Complete: Statewide marketing campaign for recruitment of adult learners;
Community College Reconnect: Limited grant pilot in 2016-17;
Tennessee Reconnect Ambassador Program: THEC is working with other state agencies to train staff to be Reconnect Ambassadors, encouraging and providing adult employees and clients with information to return to complete a degree.

Veteran Reconnect: Grants to institutions to increase services for student veterans and provide veteran-specific resources.
Tennessee Reconnect Communities: 66 counties supporting localized Reconnect efforts through outreach and supportive counseling; this program has the potential to expand to all counties to support the Tennessee Reconnect participants.

How will Tennessee Reconnect be funded?
Adults who meet all the requirements will receive a last-dollar scholarship, which is equal to the difference between tuition and fees and any gift aid (grants and scholarships) that a student receives, funded through the lottery for education account. Tennessee Reconnect will be funded through the lottery for education account and will cost approximately $10 million once fully implemented. There is no additional cost to taxpayers, and the statutory requirement of maintaining $100 million in lottery reserves remains the same.
Who is eligible for Tennessee Reconnect?
To be eligible for Tennessee Reconnect, the student must:
 Not already have an associate or bachelor degree;
 Have been a Tennessee resident for at least one year preceding the date of application for the grant;
 Complete the FAFSA and be deemed an independent student;
 Be admitted to an eligible institution and enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part time (6 semester hours) beginning with the 2018-19 year; and
 Participate in an advising program approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

At what schools can a student use Tennessee Reconnect?
Students can use Tennessee Reconnect at any of Tennessee’s 13 community colleges.
Who is an independent student?
An “independent” student is defined as one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.2
2 Please see for a complete list.
Are there continuing eligibility requirements once the student enrolls?
Yes, the student must maintain the following to keep the Tennessee Reconnect grant once enrolled in community college:
 Enroll in classes leading to an associate or certificate;
 Maintain a 2.0 GPA;
 Maintain continuous enrollment:
o Continuous enrollment means a student is enrolled in the fall and spring semesters of a single academic year. Enrollment in summer semester or inter-session terms is not required;
 Complete the renewal FAFSA;
 Enroll in at least 6 semester hours each semester during the fall and spring semesters.

How will the funds be administered?
After students meet all Tennessee Reconnect requirements and all other financial aid, with the exception of loans and work-study that has been exhausted, the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) will send the funds directly to the institutions. The process for payment will be very similar to the distribution of TSAA grants and lottery scholarships.
How will the advising program work?
The Tennessee Reconnect Community Network, which began in 2016, is based both on national best practices for supporting adult learners as well as the idea that the success of the Drive to 55 will be decided at the local level. Currently, there are 66 counties supporting localized Reconnect efforts through outreach and supportive counseling; this program has the potential to expand to all counties to support Tennessee Reconnect. Those adults utilizing Tennessee
Reconnect will be provided a variety of services in a college success program, including advising and career counseling, from a trained advisor through the Tennessee Reconnect Community Network. All students must participate in the program in order to be eligible for the scholarship, and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission will administer and oversee participation.
How long can a student receive the scholarship?
A student may receive the Tennessee Reconnect grant until the first of the following occurs:
 The student has attained a degree or certificate in an eligible program of study;
 The student has attempted the total number of semester hours necessary for completion of an eligible program of study as determined under Title IV satisfactory academic progress standards, including transfer credits; or

Five (5) years have passed since the date of initial enrollment as a Tennessee Reconnect student, exclusive of any approved leaves of absence. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Free Online Tutoring for Vol State Students

You're in the thick of it now- deadlines for assignments and papers, and perhaps confusing concepts you need help with. Free tutoring is just a few clicks away. is a 24/7 online tutoring service. It’s free and available to all Vol State students. You will have Internet access to a live online tutor when and where you need one. You access via the eLearn page for each of your courses. You must access it through your eLearn page for it to work. Here are more details:
What can you do? Brainstorm ideas, develop outlines for papers, prep for tests, and get editing help with papers. You can talk to a live tutor or drop off a paper for review. You will usually have it back within 24 hours.
To get connected to a live tutor, follow these three steps:
-Go to your course in
-Click the “Connect” button in the box.
-A new window will pop open where you can enter your question. Click “CONNECT NOW” to be connected to a live tutor.
Want to Learn More? See how works in this How It Works
If you have questions or need assistance logging in to your account, please contact:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Successful Student Tips: Saying No

Why do some students succeed where others falter? Success isn’t a mysterious secret item that some people own and others don’t, but a series of habits and behaviors. So what does it take to be a successful student? In the Successful Student Tips series we explore some of the keys to success.

“This probably won’t come as a surprise, but I am stepping down as admin.” That was to be my last Skype meeting with the admin team of a busy family-friendly Minecraft server. I was just a few months into my return to college and had come to realize that the term “free time” no longer applied to me. I could have possibly still made it work – if only I had 48 hours in a day.

Fast-forward, and a year later I was resigning the role as officer of a club on campus and turning down numerous invitations for other extracurricular activities for the same reason.

The truth is that in order to succeed at something, you might have to say “no” to other things – even if they’re great opportunities. Taking on too much could mean settling for mediocrity, or even failure, where you could have otherwise excelled. I see these college years as a pause from regular life. My friends hardly see me and my son has gotten used to my door being shut in the afternoons. But good grades and the opportunities that come with them take a lot of long study hours. If it doesn’t bring in an income, give me an “A”, or I didn’t birth it, I usually say “no.”

Each of you will have different pressures and different priorities. Some of the things I turned down would be great opportunities to someone else, and vice-versa. Be sure to prioritize what will best achieve your goals, then cut out the excess. Saying “no” to the things that are eating up your time allows you to focus on what’s really important. 

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.