Monday, November 11, 2019

Vol State Events this Week

Nov. 11           Veteran’s Day Meet and Eat Social, celebrate veterans, Nichols Dining B, 11:30am-1pm
Nov. 12          Education Career Fair, meet education employers, Caudill Hall, 10am-Noon
Nov. 12           Nursing Program Info Session, CHEC Cookeville, Room 227, 3:30pm
Nov. 12           Nursing Program Info Session, Livingston Campus, Room 155, 5:30pm
Nov. 13           Art Gallery Show: Regional Craft Artists, SRB first floor, through Dec. 10
Nov. 13           Stopping Gender Violence, Lamont Holley speaker, Nichols Dining B, 11:30am-1pm
Nov. 14           Nursing Program Info Session, Livingston Campus, Room 155, 3pm
Nov. 14           Nursing Program Info Session, CHEC Cookeville, Room 227, 5:30pm

Need Help Figuring Out a Career? Register for FYEX Courses this Spring

Has the transition to college been difficult or frustrating? Are you struggling to choose a major/career? If so, FYEX 1030 and 1040 can help. FYEX stands for First-Year Experience. The classes will be held during the spring Semester in seven-week segments. The first course covers interpersonal skills including self-awareness, self-management, and teamwork. The second course helps students to identify careers they may be interested in and set goals to help them develop the skills they will need to enter their desired profession. The class will include career assessments and exploration, resume writing, and interview skills.
Are FYEX 1030 and 1040 required classes?
No, neither FYEX 1030 or 1040 are required for any student in Spring 2020.
If I want to take one of the FYEX classes, do I have to take both of the classes?
Yes, in Spring 2020 FYEX 1030 and FYEX 1040 are only offered as co-requisites.  This means students will not be able to take just one of the classes; students will need to take both classes.
How many credit hours are the classes worth?
Each of the classes are worth 1.5 credit hours, so students completing both classes will earn a total of three (3) credit hours of general elective credit.
What campuses will have FYEX 1030 and 1040 classes?
In Spring 2020 FYEX courses will only be available at the VSCC campus in Gallatin and at CHEC. However, in Fall 2020 FYEX classes are expected to be offered at all VSCC locations.
Will financial aid pay for the course?
If you have three (3) credit hours of general education electives available to be completed in your program of study, yes, financial aid will cover the courses.
If you do not have three (3) credit hours of general education electives open to be completed, then you will have to pay out of pocket for the classes. Financial aid will not cover classes that will not be used in your program of study.
Will the classes transfer?
The FYEX classes are university parallel courses and are likely to transfer. Students will need to check with their transfer institution to see if the courses will transfer. Transfer institutions typically request course descriptions to determine the eligibility to transfer. Course descriptions are provided below:
First Year Experience I - FYEX 1030: This course includes strategies for college success. Campus resources, college culture and traditions, mindset, personal responsibility, self-motivation, self-management, interdependence, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence are emphasized.
First Year Experience II - FYEX 1040: This course includes strategies for career readiness and success. Career exploration, resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and soft skills are emphasized.
Do any of the FYEX courses have a special topic or focus?
Yes, one set of classes have a special focus. The special focus section of FYEX 1030 will examine cultural experiences in higher education, with special attention on experiences of students of color. FYEX 1040 in the special focus section will examine career exploration and readiness while juxtaposing cultural and diverse experiences and influences, with special attention to students of color.  The course will help students identify barriers and opportunities and build on some of the fundamental skills that lead to academic success. Students will need a permit to register for the special topic sections. Students will need to contact the Advising Center OR the Social Science and Education Division office for a permit to register.
How do I register for FYEX 1030 and 1040?
Students who are interested in taking the special topic section will need to obtain a permit to register for the special topic classes. Students can obtain a permit by contacting the Advising Center (615-230-3702 daytime or 615-230-3701 evening) or the Social Science and Education Division (615-230-3231). Once a student has a permit, they can register for the class as normal. ONLY students wanting to take the special topic section will need to obtain a permit. Students who do not want to take the special topic section WILL NOT need a permit and can register for the classes, as normal, using schedule planner or by entering the specific course CRN into the add classes function of the portal. 
When are the classes offered?
Four sections will be offered at the Gallatin campus and one class will be offered at CHEC in Spring 2020.
1.      MW 8 am – 9:25 pm
a.       FYEX 1030 CRN: 17687
b.      FYEX 1040 CRN: 17713
2.      MW 11:10 am – 12:35 pm
a.       FYEX 1030 CRN: 17688
b.      FYEX 1040 CRN: 17714
3.      TR 11:10 am – 12:35 pm *Special Topic sections. Students will need a permit to register. Students will need to contact the Advising Center or the Social Science and Education Division office for a permit to register.
a.       FYEX 1030 CRN: 17690
b.      FYEX 1040 CRN: 17715
4.      TR 2:20 pm – 3:45 pm
a.       FYEX 1030 CRN: 17689
b.      FYEX 1040 CRN: 17716

1.      MW 9:35-11:00 am
a.       FYEX 1030 CRN: 17740
b.      FYEX 1040 CRN: 17741

For more information contact Advising at 615-230-3702.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

First-Generation Student: Ethiopine Choping

With the end of the semester rolling around, graduation is so close- yet, so far away.  Being a first-generation student can make graduation seem so out of reach.  As an honors student, Sudanese refugee and civil engineer, Ethiopine Choping demonstrates the determination needed to overcome the challenges of being a first-generation student.  
Ethiopine Choping

Choping said, “[Being first-generation] makes everything really hard.  Only because you don’t have that person to ask who can give you immediate answers.  Being a first-generation student, you don’t have that much college guidance.  I come from a family of immigrants so I’m the first person the finish high school, go to college, so there isn’t anybody in my family that can give me guidance on how to approach college or how to get scholarships, things like that,” said Choping.
She said that she will be the first female in her family to finish high school, go into civil engineering and graduate college. 
“[Finishing college] is a lot of pressure to get it done, but it’s a journey where you have to pace yourself.  I’m really excited…. It all pays off, even though it’s crazy,” said Choping.

Being the first to do something can be really stressful without guidance, but Choping has used Vol State’s TRIO program to stay successful in school.

“I’m in the TRIO program, and the ladies there are just wonderful,” said Choping, “They’re like a home away from home.  They have all that college experience, so they can kind of guide me along the way.”

Outside of TRIO, Choping is one of the only civil engineering students she knows, and said she doesn’t have the same kind of support groups that other students have.

“It would still be nice to get that support, even though there’s not a super huge civil engineering group,” said Choping.

While the life of a first-generation student may seem a little lonely and challenging, it doesn’t have to be.  There are people and programs at Vol State that can help.

“Communicating with everyone just helps a lot,” said Choping, “If you think you have a ‘bad professor,’ communicating with them can normally change your mind.”

Any first-generation students interested in college support should check out Vol State’s TRIO program for more information about the success services they offer.

-Gloria Cortes

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Vol State Weather Delay and Closing Guidelines

This a reminder of the Vol State weather delay and closing guidelines. We put this out at the start of each winter weather season.
Weather notices from Vol State can call for a delay of classes or a closing of a campus. It is always specific to the campus, so what happens in Gallatin may be different from Livingston, Cookeville-CHEC, or Springfield.
-A delay means that classes start at that hour. For example- If we say delayed opening at 9:30am that means only classes that would be meeting at 9:30am or later will be meeting. Classes before that are canceled. Some classes last for several hours. Those classes will start at the opening time.
-Labs are handled differently for a delay. Students should check the eLearn page for each lab to see what the instructor had decided. If campus is closed, there are no classes or labs.
- Vol State closings are not based on public school closings. You'll find that the College doesn't close or have class delays nearly as often as the high schools, primarily due to the fact that we don’t have buses to consider.
-If the roads are dangerous in your area you have the right to decide if you want to attend class or not. If you can't attend let your instructor know so that you can make up work.
-If there is a delay or cancelation students should check their eLearn web page for each canceled class to receive updated assignment info from instructors.
-Students will automatically receive text alerts with closing or delay info if they have a current cell phone listed in My Vol State.
-The website will always be updated on the front page if there is a delay or cancelation:
-You can also monitor our primary Facebook page:
If you don’t receive a text use the website to double check. Any weather statement from the college will appear at the top of the home page.
We do send notices about delays and cancellations to the Nashville TV stations. However, TV stations should be a last resort to view closings. It sometimes takes an hour for the Vol State listings to come up on the screen due to the number of closings. The times the TV stations give us to choose from often don’t match our class times, so we have to approximate.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

First-Generation Student: LaBryian Scharklett

Older siblings are normally the first to do things in a family with children, and they can set the standard for their younger siblings.  As a first-generation student and the oldest of 10 children, civil engineering major LaBryian Scharklett is setting a collegiate example for his family.

While his dad has no college experience, his mom actually has some.  She briefly went to college after he was born, but was later convinced her to drop out and focus on taking care of her child.

LaBryian Scharklett
“From seeing [my parents] lives, and how not going to school turned out for them, it gives me the drive to want to go to school and see what it’s like on the other side,” said Scharklett.

He says since neither of his parents went to college, they don’t always understand or appreciate the work it takes to succeed in school.

“When I tell my parents- either one- things I accomplish in college, they’re not very appreciative or don’t reward me like how I would expect they should.  No, ‘I’m proud of you,’ or things like that because they don’t know what it is that I say.  A student hearing that they’re doing well can really help, change or influence them to do better in school,” said Scharklett.

As pessimistic as it may seem, that’s just the reality for some first-generation students.  Having parents that went to college is an advantage.

“Kids whose parents went to college have role models, and they already have a road paved to where they need to go, but we have to pave our own road….  Some students just have that perk of having parents who already know what college is like,” said Scharklett.

Although his parents may not be able to guide him, the TRIO program at Vol State has supported him through school.

“Not having all that stuff for some reason just makes me want to try harder.  It’s almost as if I can’t fail.  I can’t afford to fail college.  Some students have wealthy parents and inherit things, but I have nothing.  If I fail this, there’s nothing else I can go to,” said Scharklett.

Scharklett is now mentoring at TRIO, and says he is looking forward to graduation and planning to attend Tennessee Tech University. 

“[TRIO] has treated me very, very well.  I don’t think I would be where I am without them  They’ve helped with registration, planning classes, support, work study, all of that stuff,” said Scharklett.

Any first-generation students interested in college support should check out Vol State’s TRIO program for more information about the success services they offer. 

To show appreciation for first-generation college students, come to the First-Generation Vol State Celebration events planned throughout the week.

-Gloria Cortes

Basketball is Back - Home Opener Sat., Nov. 9

Get ready for Pioneer hoops! The home opener for the Vol State basketball season is this Saturday, November 9 at Pickel Field House. The Pioneer Women play at 2pm and the Pioneer Men tip-off at 4pm. All Vol State athletic events are free to everyone, so invite your friends and family. Come out and show your Pioneer Spirit.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Check Out Student Stories in the Story Slam Thursday, November 7

This Thursday, Nov. 7: The Vol State Story Slam, students tell stories for prizes, Rochelle Center-Thigpen, 11:10am.