Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Download the Vol State App

What can you do on the free Vol State App? Check your courses via eLearn, check your schedule, map locations on campus and connect easily to Vol State social media...all from your phone. Here's a walk-through that we ran a few weeks ago with details:

Did you know that Vol State has a free app to help you keep track of class schedules, important announcements, and campus events? Though it's been out for a few months, I've just downloaded and started exploring the app, and I'm excited to have everything consolidated in one place. Having one more thing organized neatly makes my life a little easier!

So what does it do? I'll take you on a tour.

Want a quick check-in to see what's happening on campus? The Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram selections take you straight to Vol State's social media sites from inside the app.


There's also a link to the Vol State Virtual Community blog, which I particularly enjoy, but I might be a little biased.


You can also get a list of local Emergency numbers, check the athletics game schedules, or read up on the latest VSCC news without ever leaving the app.


My absolute favorite features, though, are the ones that link you to your own courses. Click the Dashboard icon in the upper right corner.


Now you can keep up with your assignments, grades, announcements, and discussions from Elearn on the go! No more waiting to get back to your home computer to keep up with your classes.


Speaking of classes, what's your schedule again? Select "Courses" from the main menu to get an overview of each semester.


The map icon  pulls up a map with pins denoting each of your class locations, and the calendar icon  will ask you if you want to add your schedule to your phone's calendar.

Start the new semester organized and in-the-know. The VolState Mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/volstate-mobile/id1011378892?mt=8https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dub.app.volstate


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.

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Online Tutoring Free for All Students

You have a lot of assignments coming soon…and we have a new 24/7 online tutoring service called Tutor.com. 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 Tutor.com via the eLearn page for each of your courses. You must access it through your eLearn page for it to work.

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:
1.       Go to your course in eLearn.volstate.edu
2.       Click the “Connect” button in the Tutor.com box.
3.       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 Tutor.com works in this How It Works Video


If you have questions or need assistance logging in to your account, please contact: studentsupport@tutor.com

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Why I Won’t Be Taking a Laptop to Class

Why I won't be taking a laptop to class

Like many students I have a lovely laptop computer. Several of my professors have already made sure to mention that laptops would be allowed in their particular classes for students to take notes. An attentive student with an open laptop during a lecture looks trendy and smart. But – though I use my computer for practically everything else – I’ll be leaving mine at home.

While taking notes by hand does mean that you may not get as many details on the page as you may by typing, the act of writing notes by hand helps to implant the lecture more firmly in a person’s mind.

A recent article in NPR explains why: "When people type their notes, they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can," says Pam Mueller, coauthor of a study published in the journal Psychological Science. "The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective — because you can't write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them."

Other studies have long shown that using more than one type of learning can benefit everyone. Writing by hand provides a tactile (touch) experience in addition to the audio experience of the lecture. This is especially good for students who are kinesthetic learners. A kinesthetic learner is someone who learns better through physical activity.

Is doodling in class good for learning?I’ll admit that in between note-taking I have the terrible habit of doodling in the margins. My elementary school teachers may not have loved this, but is it really a bad habit? More research from
2009 shows what I’ve known all along: doodling, also a kinesthetic hand writing activity, helps me concentrate on the lecture better, and recall it better later.

So leave the laptop at home. Pen and paper might be considered old technology, but it’s still the surest way to earn an “A”.


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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Connect with Vol State on Social Media: Links in Here

You can get connected to Vol State in several different ways. Our goal is to keep you up to date with important information and announcements. However, we also want to provide space for you to interact with other students, ask questions and even make new friends.

Here's what we have available:

Facebook: The Vol State Facebook page is home to all sorts of information and tips to help you throughout the school year. Students chat with each other, sell textbooks and share information about favorite classes and professors. www.Facebook.com/VolState

Blog: The Vol State Virtual Community is our campus blog. It has stories about interesting people on campus, cool new programs, student activities and more. In fact, you're on it right now! You can set up an RSS feed to get regular updates or just look-in whenever you feel like it: www.volstate.edu/Blog

Twitter: We send info about campus events and happenings on our main Twitter page. Follow us: www.volstate.edu/Twitter
Instagram: Share your photos of life on campus and your accomplishments. We’ll post pics from around campus as well. Instagram: /volstatecampus. www.instagram.com/volstatecampus/
Web Page: The Vol State website is your primary hub for everything Vol State. You can use the A-Z index to locate specific programs or offices. The People Finder will help you look up instructors or staff. www.volstate.edu

My Vol State and Email: You'll be receiving important notices throughout the school year on your student email account. It's important to check this often. This is our way of reaching you individually with important information about things such as financial aid. You can access your email by using the My Vol State web page. My Vol State helps you connect to online classes as well. Keep an eye on the My Vol State page for other campus information, such as stories from the Settler student newspaper.https://portal.volstate.edu

Have a great semester and stay in touch!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Did you get our Vol State text message?

We sent out two text messages to all registered students today. They are welcome messages to let you know that you are subscribed to both of our two texting services. Vol State Text Alerts is how you will get info about weather cancelations or emergencies. VS Student Texts will have tips and important info about college. You can cancel either or both of these text services at any time by responding STOP to the text. We will only send a couple of messages a week...so we suggest you stay subscribed. If you did not receive a text today, please make sure your cell phone number is listed correctly in My Vol State.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Free Movie Night Friday: Captain America-Civil War

Captain America battles his fellow super heroes in “Captain America: Civil War” coming to Volunteer State Community College for the first of two free movies nights open to the public. “Captain America: Civil War”, rated PG-13, will be screened this Friday, August 26 starting at dusk. On Friday, September 16 the feature will be the animated movie “Zootopia”, rated PG. Both movies will be shown on a big screen outside on the Thigpen Library lawn, on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. People are encouraged to bring a blanket or chairs. In case of rain the event will be held in the Pickel Field House. For more information call 615-230-3461.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Commit to Completion


Commit to completing your college degree or certificate. You can show your resolve by signing a Commit to Completion banner today on  the Gallatin campus from 11am-2pm outside of the Thigpen Library. It only takes a moment or two. We'll post the banner in the cafeteria so you can remind yourself throughout the school year.

We know college can be tough. Here are just a few ideas to help you do well in your classes:

-Attend all of your class meetings. If you skip even one class you will get behind. This isn't high school and there is a different work expectation here.

-Talk to your instructor if you don't understand something or if you need help. They're not here to give you extensions or allow you to get out of work. They are here to help you learn and succeed. Don't be embarrassed about not understanding something....that's why you're here and that's why we're here.

-Get extra help. We have a number of free academic support services available to all students. Those services will really help you as the semester piles up with assignments and papers. We've collected the tutoring services in one list that we call the "College Success Zone." You can view the list of free services here.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tip of the Day: Recheck Your Schedule this Week

Tip of the day: Double check your classroom location before you head off to class. If you printed your schedule a while ago, you should re-check it. Your class may have moved, especially if it's in the SRB Humanities Building.

This Week at Vol State

Keep an eye out here on the blog each Monday and we'll highlight events happening on our campuses during the week. You can see everything going on by clicking on "More" on the website front page under events.
This week at Vol State:
August 23 Come I Wanna Meet You, campus clubs, outside or inside Wood, 11am-2pm
August 24 SGA Mixer event, Nichols Dining Room, 12:45pm-1:45pm
August 25 Lip Sync Battle, Cafeteria, 12:45-1:45pm
August 26 Movie Night: Cpt. America Civil War, free, Library Lawn or Pickel, dusk

Friday, August 19, 2016

Are you ready for classes? We have a checklist

Fall semester classes start on Monday, August 22...here is a check list to make sure you are ready:
-Double check your schedule online. Make sure you haven't signed up for an online class or a class on another campus that you didn't mean to sign up for.

-Main campus students should check out the Gallatin campus map to see what has moved this summer. New students should print the map to see where their classes will be held.

-The Gallatin campus has had many changes...arrive early for the first week to find the best parking and get acclimated.

-Use the back entrance to the Gallatin Campus, off Greenlea, for quicker access to campus and parking lots.

-You will be able to get into your online classes starting in the early morning hours on August 22. You don't have to log in then, but we usually have some night owl students who want to. You do need to get into your online classes on the first day at some point...you may have assignments immediately.

-If you have been looking for a class that has been full, keep an eye out next week. There is a lot of change during the first week of class and a spot may open up.

-Go to all of your classes and keep going. We know that sounds obvious, but many students get behind in just the first month. This is college and expectations are higher for academic performance. Most importantly, get help before you get frustrated. Talk to your instructor if you don't understand something.

Have a great semester everyone!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Getting Familiar With the Changes at Vol State

One more week! Are you ready? As you may know by now, there have been a lot of recent changes to the Gallatin campus. While most of you have been off on summer vacation or excitedly (anxiously?) awaiting your first day at Vol State, the campus has been busy. Buildings have gone up, parking lots have been built, and trees have been planted.

View of the new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building at Vol State campus

What does this mean for you? Plenty! Even veterans of Vol State should pay attention as the map has changed. Here’s a link to the new Vol State campus map and I’ll briefly go over the important highlights.

Parking Lots
Parking lot C in front of the Woods Campus Center has been designated for staff. Parking lot E, however, now has a direct path to the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building and Thigpen Library.
Parking changes on Vol State campus

There are still some parking spaces in between Pickel Field House and Wallace Health Sciences Complex. This comes with a new “green” feature – an electric car charger.

electric car chargers on Vol State campus


Green space
Speaking of green, the parking lot directly behind Thigpen Library has been converted to green space. It already looks like it’s been there forever instead of only a couple of weeks, but I expect there might be additional features in the future (personally, I’m hoping for picnic tables under the trees.)

New green space, Thigpen Library, Vol State Community College campus


For new students or those not familiar with everything that Vol State has to offer, be sure to check out the Exercise Trail and the Community Garden. They’re great places to unwind or contemplate probability theory equations in between classes.

Community garden, exercise trail, Volunteer State Community College campus

The plaza between the SRB Humanities Building and Woods Campus Center promises to be “the” place to hang out. And the Woods patio is open again, for those who prefer to sit at the new tables and people-watch.


The new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building at Vol State campus

Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building
Many departments and faculty have been moved into the new building. In addition to the Humanities division SRB now houses the Music Department and recording studio, art studios, The Language Center (room 205), and the Honors Program.

Of course there has been a lot of reshuffling of departments and offices, but I’ve tried to cover the major changes. If you ever find yourself completely at a loss, make your way to the Information Desk still located in the lobby of Ramer and you’ll be pointed in the right direction!

Read also:
What's Happening? A Look Inside the Expanded Events Calendar

Be A Know-It-All: How to Stay Up-To-Date With Vol State

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.

Friday, August 12, 2016

What's Happening? A Look Inside the Expanded Events Calendar

When is Fall Break? Do we have classes on Labor Day? What's the deadline to apply for graduation?

I wish that Vol State had a calendar to answer all of those questions. Oh wait, they do? But I mean a detailed – oh really?



I wrote a few days ago about keeping up with all the latest news at Vol State (check it out if you missed it!) but did you know that you can keep track of school dates and deadlines months in advance?

While you may have seen the Events list on the VolState.edu main page, you might have missed the fact that you can click on it and open a whole new and expanded calendar. You can select your preferred “event type” in the menu on the left, but the default includes all of the school calendars.



Even more useful is the ability to set reminders! Sure, maybe you can remember that deadline two months from now, but we both know that two months worth of “life stuff” is probably going to push that date so far back in your mind that it’ll fall into the Jungian collective unconscious. Just select the event you want to remember, then choose how you want to be reminded.



So the next time you're wondering what's happening on campus, just check the calendar. It's that simple! This could have been useful to know on the day that I may or may not have shown up for classes on a holiday…


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.





Guns on Campus - Info for Students

You may have heard talk in the news media about the new guns on campus law now if effect at Vol State and other state colleges and universities in Tennessee. What does it mean for students?

The law commonly known as Tennessee Guns on Campus (T.C.A. § 39-17-1309(e)(9)) allows full-time Vol State faculty and staff who have a valid Tennessee gun carry permit to carry handguns on Vol State campuses. Students, visitors and those not registered with Campus Police cannot carry guns on campus, although guns can be stored in the locked trunk of a vehicle if the gun owner has a valid carry permit. Full-time faculty and staff who wish to carry must register with campus police before carrying a firearm on campus. Faculty and staff who have registered must keep the gun concealed and in their possession at all times if they choose to carry on campus. They also cannot disclose to anyone outside of Campus Police that they are carrying a gun. Certain events and locations on campus are now, and may be in the future, designated as “gun free” and even registered employees are not allowed to carry handguns in those places and at those events.

If you have concerns about someone on campus violating the particulars of the law, you are encouraged to contact Vol State Campus Police at 615-230-3595. This is a link to Vol State policy in regards to the law with details on implementations and requirements.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

SRB is the new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building

You may have noticed a building designation called SRB on the Gallatin campus. It stands for the new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities building. It's still closed for final preps, but it will be open to everyone on the first day of classes, August 22.

It's a beautiful facility with bright colors, tons of window views and high-tech classrooms. The folks pictured here are the Steinhauers, Rogans and Blacks at a recent donor thank-you event. We would like to thank all of the donors who made this building a possibility!

Most Gallatin Offices Closed 8am to 1pm Monday, August 15

Monday, August 15 is Convocation for faculty and staff at the Gallatin campus. Most Gallatin campus offices will not open until 1pm that day. However, the cashier's office and the bookstore will be open for normal hours.

We're looking forward to having everyone back on campus!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Be A Know-It-All: How to Stay Up-To-Date With Vol State

Now that classes are about to start again, keeping up with what’s going on at Vol State should be high on your priority list. Trust me! During my first semester I missed quite a few things that I needed to know or events I would have attended. Vol State has lots of ways to keep track, though, if you know where to look.

Facebook – I know, not everyone likes Facebook. But it’s one of the best ways to keep up with important school information. From due dates to snow closings, along with tips to help you get through your courses or new scholarship announcements; it’s all posted there. Your best option is to turn notifications ON so you can keep up with the latest and not miss a post due to random algorithms.


VolState.edu – From the website’s homepage you can access almost anything if you know where to look. From the top right corner “My VolState” tab you can access your student portal that has information about your classes, finances, and grants and scholarships awarded among other things. You can also find a link to your own student email which would look something like yourname@volstate.edu. Check that often!


Also from the VolState.edu homepage you can scroll down just… a little… bit… and see the latest Vol State news, blog posts, and events calendar. All of these are important to students!


The Blogs – We have The Vol State Virtual Community and Adult Student Opportunities for returning adult learners. Both of these blogs have an option to follow by email so you won’t miss a beat.

The Vol State app – keeps track of everything right on your phone. I talked about that last week here, so go check it out!

Whichever way you choose, it’s important to stay informed. Haven’t you heard that old saying? “Knowledge is power.” Finish strong.


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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

No Smoking or Vaping on all Vol State Campuses

A reminder for everyone:
Volunteer State Community College prohibits the use of tobacco on any campus property for all students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors. The updated policy went into effect January 1, 2016. The use of tobacco and vaping (e-cigarette) products is prohibited in college buildings and on college grounds, including parking areas, walkways and buildings.  This does include any vehicles located on campus property on campus locations in Gallatin, Springfield, CHEC and Livingston. 
Prohibited products include:
·         Cigarettes
·         Cigars
·         Tobacco Chew or Snuff
·         Clove Cigarettes
·         Electronic Cigarettes (Vaping)
·         And all other products that are smokable substances and/or use tobacco
The tobacco-vape-free policy is a part of Vol State’s commitment to creating a healthy and sustainable environment for all members of our campus community and is designed to be positive and health directed.  Individuals noticing violations of the policy should strive to be non-confrontational and respectful to tobacco or vape users when communicating our policy.  Additionally, tobacco or e-cigarette users are expected to adhere to the policy and likewise be respectful to the remainder of campus.  Enforcement of the policy will be achieved primarily through education, awareness and a spirit of cooperation.
Vol State is not requiring faculty, staff and students to quit using tobacco products; however, we do expect the policy to be followed while on Vol State property, and we are offering support to our students and employees who wish to stop using prohibited products.

For more information and tips on how to stop using tobacco, please visit www.volstate.edu/tobaccofree

Monday, August 8, 2016

You Could Win a Scholarship With an Instagram Video


What can an Instagram video do for you? It might win you a $2000 scholarship!

I’ve just learned that Heads Up America is offering $2000 to one community college or technical college student who shares their community college story in an Instagram video.

The video has to be 1 minute or less, and entering the contest will give Heads Up America the rights to use your video. To enter, follow @headsupamerica on Instagram and click here for the official rules.

Vol State is not affiliated with this offer, I just wanted to pass on the opportunity. I’ll give you a little “heads up” though: I’ll be preparing my video as well!


Friday, August 5, 2016

New Gallatin Campus Map - See What's New


There's been a lot of construction work over the last year...and if you haven't been to the Gallatin campus in a while you will be pleasantly surprised. Most of the construction and landscaping work will be done for the first day of classes on August 22. The new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building will be open then (it is not open now). There is new grass and a walkway between the Thigpen Library and the Mattox Building.

The big change is that most Humanities faculty members have moved out of Ramer and to the new SRB Humanities building, as well as the Language Center and the Humanities Division Office. The SRB building won't be open for business until the first day of classes, so if you need someone before then please email them or call.

This is the latest version of the campus map. You can always find it on the front page of the website at the top right. You can print it or just view. We will have printed versions all over campus. Everyone is encouraged to take a look at the changes. It's also a good opportunity for new students to spot class locations.

We look forward to having new students and returning students on campus starting August 22.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Important Money Notes For You

A couple of money tips for students:

-Your deadline to pay fees for classes is coming up on August 11. A reminder that you will be dropped from your currently registered classes if your fees are not paid. Financial Aid students- your financial aid will be taken into account. It won't show up on your My Vol State until that day, so don't freak out. If you have enough money to cover classes you will be set. If you register for classes after August 11 you will need to pay when you register. There are a number of ways to pay. Click here for details.

What's the quickest way to get money back from Vol State? Direct Deposit. If you're expecting either a Financial Aid refund, or a refund for dropped classes, sign up here:http://www.volstate.edu/BusinessOffice/DirectDeposit.php

Monday, August 1, 2016

Vol State Has an App for That! - App Review


Did you know that Vol State has a free app to help you keep track of class schedules, important announcements, and campus events? Though it's been out for a few months, I've just downloaded and started exploring the app, and I'm excited to have everything consolidated in one place. Having one more thing organized neatly makes my life a little easier!


So what does it do? I'll take you on a tour.

Want a quick check-in to see what's happening on campus? The Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram selections take you straight to Vol State's social media sites from inside the app.


There's also a link to the Vol State Virtual Community blog, which I particularly enjoy, but I might be a little biased.


You can also get a list of local Emergency numbers, check the athletics game schedules, or read up on the latest VSCC news without ever leaving the app.


My absolute favorite features, though, are the ones that link you to your own courses. Click the Dashboard icon in the upper right corner.


Now you can keep up with your assignments, grades, announcements, and discussions from Elearn on the go! No more waiting to get back to your home computer to keep up with your classes.


Speaking of classes, what's your schedule again? Select "Courses" from the main menu to get an overview of each semester.


The map icon pulls up a map with pins denoting each of your class locations, and the calendar icon will ask you if you want to add your schedule to your phone's calendar.

Start the new semester organized and in-the-know. The VolState Mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/volstate-mobile/id1011378892?mt=8 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dub.app.volstate


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.