Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse Watch Event Today - Avoid Campus for College Business

We're excited about our eclipse watch public event today. It is sold out. We expect several thousand people on the Gallatin Campus. Our offices are open, but due to the parking situation we advise potential students and current students to avoid the Gallatin campus for business today. However, you can call or email. Advising is 615-230-3702 and Admissions is 615-230-3688. If you just want to apply, you can do that entirely online at www.volstate.edu/apply

All Vol State offices, at all locations, will be closed today from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. so that our employees can enjoy the eclipse.

We hope you have a great eclipse day! And we're looking forward to having everyone on campus soon for the fall semester. Classes start August 28.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gallatin Offices Closed Friday Morning, August 18 for Convocation

The Vol State Gallatin offices will be closed for Convocation Friday August 18, until 1pm. The Cashier's Office and Bookstore will be open for normal hours all day. All other offices will open at 1pm for business. Other campus locations open for normal business hours.

Make Sure You Have Your Textbooks

Pierre is standing by in the Vol State Bookstore to help you find what you need
One of the most awkward feelings in the world is not having your textbook. It’s like being on the outside of an inside joke: everyone knows what’s going on, while you’re left out of the loop. Of course, there’s no reason for you to stay out of the loop. Not when there are plenty of options for you to get your textbooks for the semester.
If you can make it out to the Gallatin campus, the Vol State Bookstore is a fine place to get your textbooks. You have the option to purchase your books new or used, or rent them. There are also digital options if you prefer your textbooks that way.  There’s even a price match program should you find cheaper options somewhere else. “We aren’t just a bookstore,” says Dianne King, manager of the Vol State Bookstore,” We carry required, and optional, materials for class. We also carry general merchandise.” If you’re unable to make it to the bookstore, you can order your textbooks from their website and have them delivered to your home or the bookstore. From August 19th until the 24th, you have the opportunity to use your financial aid to purchase your books from the Vol State Bookstore. As far as the refund policy goes, a full refund is offered until September 5th
Aside from our own bookstore, there are other choices you have when it comes to getting your textbooks. Textbook Brokers sits across the street from the Gallatin campus, or can be reached through their website. They offer a deferred payment plan and full refunds up to 5 days after the start of classes. Amazon gives you the option to buy or rent your books (new or used; physically or digitally) through the mail. They offer a full refund within the first 30 days of your rental period. Whichever method you prefer, keep in mind that the semester starts on August 28th. Be sure to get your books before then so you can be prepared for classes.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Welcome Middle College Students!

Principals Brad Schreiner and Betsy Hunter are pictured here alongside a handful of Middle College students
Here at Vol State, we have a partnership with Sumner County schools to offer Sumner County Middle College (SCMC) to high school students. This program allows students to obtain their high school diploma while earning college credits. The fall semester has already started for these students, so what have they been up to this past couple of weeks?
Left to Right: Elise Piliponis, Ben Woods, Shelby Sweby and Carson Lowe
“They are learning how to be successful in college,” said Betsy Hunter, one of the two principals who oversee the SCMC program. In their first lessons, the students of SCMC are taught how to read their syllabuses and schedules, time management, and the importance of attendance. “This is the time we get to know them,” stated Brad Schreiner, the other principal of SCMC. “We get to spend a lot more time with students here than in a traditional high school because we get a lot more one-on-one time with them,” added Hunter.  

“It’s a really good alternative to high school if you can handle the workload,” said Ben Woods when asked about his feelings on SCMC. “It’s really nice to be able to move my schedule around to fit my needs,” said Elise Piliponis, who does theater outside of her studies. We welcome these Middle College students to Vol State and wish them the best this semester!

MyVolState System Down - Revised Fee Due Date

Update: MyVolState is back up and running.

MyVolState is still down this morning and may be for another few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience. Students can't register until the system is back up and running. Advisors also cannot access records. Because of this we are moving back the fall fees due date, from this Thursday to next Tuesday, August 22. Fall fees will be due on August 22. We will post here when the computer system is back up and running.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Please Avoid the Gallatin Campus on Eclipse Day

Please avoid the Gallatin campus on Eclipse Day, this coming Monday, August 21. If you need to take care of business on the Gallatin campus we advise students and future students to do that this week. We are holding a large public event on Monday, August 21 for the Eclipse and traffic and parking will be tough. However, we are staffing offices that day and you can reach us via phone or email. The other campus locations should be fine. Please be aware that all Vol State offices will close from 1pm to 2pm on Eclipse Day. Quite frankly, you should be viewing it yourself at that hour anyway. Enjoy everyone! And we look forward to having you on campus soon for the fall semester.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Important Info about CHEC Cookeville Phones

Update: phone service has been restored.

All phones at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus ( CHEC) are currently down as a new system is being installed. Communication is available through phone numbers listed below or through sending a direct message on this Facebook page. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we upgrade this part of the CHEC facility.
If you need to speak to a Vol State staff member, please call the main campus at (615) 452-8600. Email communication is open. Should you need to contact a staff member, please use the following:
Admissions and Records: Dustin Rawls - dustin.rawls@volstate.edu
Financial Aid: Sherrie Cannon - sherrie.cannon@volstate.edu
Facilities: Stephanie Voris - stephanie.voris@volstate.edu
Other questions: Lori Richards or Tammy Powell - lori.richards@volstate.edu, tammy.powell@volstate.edu
To reach the TCAT Livingston, call (931) 823-5525.
To reach the TTU main switchboard, call (931) 372-3101.
Notification will be sent once the phone lines are back up. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Important: New Step to Get a Parking Decal

If you haven't already received your Vol State parking decal, there is an important new step you need to take before you can pick it up. You must fill out an online form first. This step is new this year. It applies only to Gallatin, Livingston and Springfield. CHEC has it's own parking decal system.


New Steps to Obtain a Parking Decal:
1)   Complete the online form at least 24 hours prior to picking the decal up.  To request a parking decal  go to:  https://cesi.reportexecdirect.com/volstate/CESIReportExec/opr/  (pop up blockers must be turned off)
2)   Decals will be available for pick-up in Wood Campus Center, Suite 217 or at your campus front desk.
You can get a sticker for your old student ID or get a new student ID if you don't already have one, by visiting the same office as noted above.
Get this stuff done early...you can visit us during normal business hours - 8am to 4:30pm.  On Tuesday, August 22 & Thursday, August 24 Student Services, Wood Campus Center Suite 217 will be open until 7:00 pm for decal pick-up and student ID’s. 
Additionally, the first two weeks of class, Monday – Thursday (August 28-31, September 5-7)  Student Services, Wood Campus Center Suite 217, will remain open until 6pm to assist with decal pick-up & ID’s.

Vol State Eclipse Watch Registration Now Closed

The Eclipse Watch event at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin is now closed to new registrations. There was a limit of 3500 registrations that was reached Tuesday. The college created the registration limit for the August 21 event to ensure that registered visitors will have an enjoyable day. There are many other eclipse events and locations that people can attend in Tennessee and Kentucky. Vol State organizers say they hope that everyone has a memorable eclipse experience. People who have registered and want to see the activities for the day can visit www.volstate.edu/eclipse. They will also receive email updates about the event next week. Please check your junk email folder in case the email is treated as spam.


Monday, August 7, 2017

3 Things You Might Have Missed from Campus Connect


Heather Harper
Campus Connect is an important first step for new Vol State students. Not only does it help to get students get settled in on campus, it also provides freshmen with important information and dates to remember. Campus Connect may be over for the semester, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you couldn’t attend. I had the opportunity to ask Heather Harper, Manager of Student Engagement and Support, about the three most important things students should know if they missed out on orientation.

1. Fee Payment – August 17th

“If students don’t have their things handled, then their classes will be dropped and they will be purged from our system.” There are many ways to pay your fees if you haven’t already. Follow this link here for more information.

2. Parking Decal and Student ID

“Students would have to think something is up if they arrive during the first week of classes and see that their friends have stickers on their back windshields.” You can visit this page for more information about parking decals and student IDs.

3. The Bookstore

“Get your books in a timely fashion, not six weeks into the semester.” To purchase your books for the semester, you can either visit the Vol State bookstore located in the Woods Campus Center or simply order them online from their website.

Fall Tuition and Fees Due by August 17

Your fall tuition and fees are due by August 17. That's next week. If you have financial aid to cover what you owe, that will be processed on the 17th. If you owe money, there are several ways to pay. Details here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Still Time to Apply for Mechatronics

The hot new academic program at Vol State this coming fall is Mechatronics. Applications are being accepted now. Classes start August 28. Visit www.volstate.edu/apply to get started.
Mechatronics is the blending of engineering fields including mechanical, controls, electronic and computer engineering, to automate manufacturing, distribution and complex services through multiple industries. Mechatronics professionals are the experts who design, program, repair, and maintain state-of-the-art robotics and computer-aided equipment in today’s fastest growing industries. The Vol State program launches in Gallatin this fall, with a two-year associate of applied science (A.A.S) degree. 
Each step of the degree program also prepares students to test for Siemens Certifications. Siemens Certifications are internationally-recognized Mechatronics industry designations that are important to employers. Job prospects for students with Mechatronics degrees are much higher than average in Tennessee and the positions have a national median salary of $55,610 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Mechatronics-2-Jobs LEAP 2.0 Grant Project expands the Mechatronics A.A.S. program targeting potential students in Macon, Robertson, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson counties. The grant helped purchase equipment for the new Mechatronics classes in Gallatin and eventually the Highland Crest Campus in Springfield. Mechatronics classes are also available from Vol State at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus (CHEC).
For more information on a career in Mechatronics visit the web page at www.volstate.edu/mechatronics. People interested in learning more can call 1-931-372-5546. By email: tim.dean@volstate.edu

Pictured: Mechatronics students work with robotics, hydraulics, machine programming, and assembly line automation. They are shown here at the Cookeville campus.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Caitlyn Ellis on Studying Abroad and Being SGA President

It’s not every day that you’re able to study in a foreign country. Recently, our SGA president, Caitlyn Ellis, was given that opportunity. Caitlyn traveled to Ireland with other students to study abroad for a few weeks. Now that she’s back, I sat down with her to ask about her trip and her position as President of the SGA (Student Government Association).
“Overall, the trip was amazing. It was fascinating to see stuff from, like, the ninth century; something old. The history and culture there was really moving.” I asked Caitlyn why other students should study abroad. “You learn about a culture other than your own. We took a World Lit class in Ireland and learned about Irish authors. We would read about a place, and then we would go and see it. It was a better experience than just sitting in a classroom.”
Caitlyn will be leading the SGA. “It’s a lot of responsibility, but I’m really excited to put my spin on things. I enjoy being an advocate for students, especially those that have no one to speak for them.”  Caitlyn had this advice to share for students looking to get the most out of their Vol State experience. “Get involved. Even if you don’t know anybody, put yourself into a situation where you can get involved.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What was Your Favorite PG-rated Activity this Summer?

One of the interesting parts of attending Campus Connect is talking to future Vol State students and getting to know a little bit about them. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to a few of these incoming freshmen. Although many students were busy trying to get things ready for the upcoming semester, I was happy to meet a few who were willing to sit down and chat.

What was your favorite PG-rated activity that you did over the summer?
Gary Davidson: “I did a lot of reading. I’m a major bookworm.”
Which class are you most excited for this semester? 
Gary: “I honestly don’t know (laughs).”
Which class are you least excited for this semester?
Gary: “Math classes. I’m really not looking forward to taking those.”
What was your favorite PG-rated activity that you did over the summer?
Harmony: “I went swimming. That’s about what everyone else does during the summer.”
Which class are you most excited for this semester?
Harmony: “Speech. I’ve never had anything like it, and I like to try new things.”
Which class are you least excited for this semester?
Harmony: “Math. All of them (laughs).”
What was your favorite PG-rated activity that you did over the summer?
Ashleigh Shay: “Going to Gatlinburg with my friends and family friends.”
Which class are you most excited for this semester?
Ashleigh: “Probably math, because I really like it. It’s been something that’s easy for me, being able to put 2 and 2 together and all that.”

Which class are you least excited for this semester?
Ashleigh: “Speech class because I hate talking in front of people I don’t know.”

Monday, July 24, 2017

Students, Come Watch the Eclipse with Us

How would you react to seeing the sky turn to night in the middle of the day? That’s what happens when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun, creating a total solar eclipse. While many places across the United States will only be able to see a partial eclipse, our campus has the luck of being able to experience a total eclipse. In celebration of this event, Vol State will be hosting an eclipse viewing party on August 21st, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

This date is a week before classes begin, so Vol State students will need to register for the event like everyone else.

The eclipse watch is free to attend, so bring your family. There will be educational activities that people of all ages can enjoy, from scientific demonstrations to arts and crafts. Personally, I’m most excited for the eclipse-themed writing and music that will be featured in the Wood Campus Center. If you’re interested in attending, we ask that you register with us here. It will give us an idea of how many people will be showing up, and will help us create a better event for you. Just a reminder that even if you are a Vol State student, you will need to register with us beforehand. Also, remember that this is an event outside of the fall semester, which begins on August 28th.

Everyone, from everywhere, is welcome to attend the Eclipse Watch event, it's not just for students or Sumner County residents. But please register.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Meet the New Faces of Vol State

Photographer Richard Suter goes to great lengths to get his shots.
Sarahi Villaseñor
They may not be supermodels, but the President’s Ambassadors at Vol State sometimes have to work like them. These students are given the task of making Vol State look good, whether they’re giving campus tours, or attending events and photo shoots. While it might seem like an easy gig, the President’s Ambassadors have to work hard to gain the position and even harder to keep it. After all, the Ambassador program is a competitive scholarship that can pay for a student’s full tuition for the rest of their time at Vol State.

Joshua Thompson
Recently, I attended a photo shoot for these new faces. It felt surreal taking pictures of a photographer while he shots pictures of students in a classroom setting. Afterwards, I had a chance to interview a couple of these students. A point they stressed was how difficult it was to become a President’s Ambassador. “It’s very challenging,” said Sarahi Villaseñor, “they kept saying how hard it would be and that one wrong word could take you out of it.”  It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however, as I asked them how it felt to have accomplished this goal. “I feel very blessed. Like I’ve accomplished a very big goal and I’m now one of the faces of Vol State,” said Joshua Thompson. I also asked if they had any advice for students looking to become President’s Ambassadors. “You have to be dedicated and have the heart to help and give back because they’re giving to you,” replied Joshua.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Free Math Help for Freshmen This Summer

Daniel Walker (second from the left) helps a group of Vol State students with their math assignments.
Let’s face it: math isn’t a good subject for a lot of students. That said you don’t have to struggle. The Learning Commons, located in the Thigpen Library, is open to all incoming freshmen looking for free help with their math courses before the semester begins.

The Learning Commons is an area that hosts different classes, but it also has instructional assistants that can help you improve your math skills before the semester even begins. “College readiness is an area that we shine in,” says Kay Dayton, director of the Learning Commons. If you don’t know what to brush up on, they offer a pre-assessment test that can pinpoint your weaknesses. “We give a student what that student needs. It’s a flexible program; it’s flexible to meet every student’s needs,” says Daniel Walker, one of the Learning Commons’ instructional assistants. Want to know more? You can contact the Learning Commons at 615-230-3676

Monday, July 3, 2017

A New Space for Student Veterans

For those veterans who may not know it yet, there is a place for you on campus. The Office of Veteran Affairs has recently moved into the Ramer Administration Building, Room 150. I had a chance to sit down Ken Hanson, manager of the office, and ask him about the move, what it means for the veterans, and how it feels to help them out.

Tell me a little about the move to a larger office.

It’s given us so much extra space. We’ve got room for the veterans, we’ve got room for the adults that are going to be coming in here, and we’ve got space for everyone that’s working in this office. We’re all in one location, so in that respect, it’s awesome. We’ve already gotten some good compliments from our veterans that have come in here and hung out.

What kind of new services do you offer being in this larger office?

Really, the services aren’t changing any. It’s just consolidating everything. We already work with, of course, the veterans and the GI Bill for the veterans. We have the vet center itself so they’ve got a place to work on the computers, work on their classes, and hang out if they need to. A lot of times it’s really great for building-up comradery with other veterans that are coming through here. We also have a spot where the Associate of Vietnam Veterans of America donated some food, coffee, and different things for our veterans. This is now in one spot so we can keep track of it and they can come grab a snack if they want to, grab a cup of coffee in between classes, and those sorts of things.

How does it feel to help veterans?

It’s always a great thing because a lot of times it’s a difficult transition from military to civilian. You come from an environment where everything is so structured and you’re told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Quite a few of them have been into warzones, and it’s really challenging to go from that environment to a college environment. It’s really great to be able to sit down with that veteran and say, “Hey, we’ll help you get through your education. We’ll guide you along the way. We’ve got services that can help you out, whether it’s internal to the school or external, like with the VFW or the Sumner County Vets Council.” We can find resources for these guys. It feels good when you can watch a veteran graduate after about two/two-and-a-half years because you know you’ve helped guide them along their way.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gallatin Mechatronics Open House July 13

Volunteer State Community College is holding an open house event for people interested in the expanding job field of Mechatronics. Attendees can see the program equipment in action and ask questions of instructors. Mechatronics is the blending of engineering fields including mechanical, controls, electronic and computer engineering, to automate manufacturing, distribution and complex services through multiple industries. Mechatronics professionals are the experts who design, program, repair, and maintain state-of-the-art robotics and computer-aided equipment in today’s fastest growing industries. The Vol State program launches in Gallatin this fall, with a two-year associate of applied science (A.A.S) degree. Applications to the college are being accepted now. Each step of the degree program also prepares students to test for Siemens Certifications. Siemens Certifications are internationally-recognized Mechatronics industry designations that are important to employers. Job prospects for students with Mechatronics degrees are much higher than average in Tennessee and the positions have a national median salary of $55,610 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The open house will be held on July 13 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. The Mechatronics Lab is located in the back of the campus and can be reached best by using the Greenlea/Enterprise Drive entrance. Registration is not required.
The Mechatronics-2-Jobs LEAP 2.0 Grant Project expands the Mechatronics A.A.S. program targeting potential students in Macon, Robertson, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson counties. The grant helped purchase equipment for the new Mechatronics classes in Gallatin and eventually the Highland Crest Campus in Springfield. Mechatronics classes are also available from Vol State at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus (CHEC).
For more information on a career in Mechatronics visit the web page at www.volstate.edu/mechatronics. People interested in learning more can call 1-931-372-5546. By email: tim.dean@volstate.edu
Pictured: Mechatronics students work with robotics, hydraulics, machine programming, and assembly line automation. They are shown here at the Cookeville campus.

Vol State Announces Eclipse Event Activities for Families August 21

The August 21 total solar eclipse will be a moment for families to share together. Volunteer State Community College has a free and educational eclipse watching event planed that day for kids and parents. Everyone, from everywhere, is invited, but advance registration is required. The total eclipse will only be seen in a narrow path across the United States. Gallatin will be one of the best spots in the country to view the total eclipse, with totality lasting two minutes and forty seconds. Educational presentations at Vol State will include an examination of the eclipse event in human history and culture and how viewing the sun can cause eye damage, if you’re not safe. There will be discussions with amateur astronomers who are traveling to Vol State from across North America to view the eclipse. Science activities for kids will include a scale model of the solar system; construction of pinhole cameras to view the eclipse; making a sun dial; and constructing a solar hot dog cooker for a contest. There will even be astronomically themed face painting. A science instructor from Mississippi will be doing fun eclipse presentations for younger kids that will include music and demonstrations. There will be a live narration during the totality and free viewing glasses for attendees. The activities will be held both outside on the Thigpen Library lawn and in air-conditioned buildings.
The Vol State event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eclipse viewing in the area will be from noon to 3 p.m. Totality will occur at 1:27 p.m. Viewing will be dependent on the weather. Attendees are encouraged to pack for a picnic, as seating will be on the lawn. Food and drinks will be available for sale at the event. There will be no smoking or alcohol allowed on campus. Attendance will be capped at 3500. While a ticket is not needed, registration is required. Click here to register. One person can enter one form for a group attending the event. Traffic in Gallatin is expected to be heavy on that day. Attendees are encouraged to car pool and arrive early. Registrations are already approaching 2000, so people should register soon. For details visit www.volstate.edu/eclipse. People with questions can also email pr@volstate.edu or call 615-230-3570.
Parking and entry
Campus officially opens at 8 a.m. Parking will be limited. We encourage carpools.
Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium
9:30 a.m. Auditorium Welcome by Vol State President, Dr. Jerry Faulkner
Eclipse viewing suggestions and warnings
9:45 a.m. “Image and Understanding: Overcoming Error through Observation and Reason" by Dr. Jeremy Shipley, Vol State Philosophy
10:45 a.m. “Eclipses in History and Culture” by Dr. Joe Douglas, Vol State History
11:45 a.m. Jonathan Pettus, Associate Director of the NASA – George C. Marshall Space Flight Center

12:45 p.m.-1 p.m. Eclipse video feeds from other parts of country
Pickel Field House Gym
7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Athletic Department Concessions open for breakfast and lunch
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Kid and parent activities by Vol State faculty and staff volunteers
“Solar System Scale Model” -a gym sized model to explore
“Construct a Pinhole Camera” -use it to watch the eclipse
“Make a sun dial and see it in action” -take it outside to track the sun
“Astronomical and Earth Science Face Painting”
10 a.m., 11 a.m. and Noon  Kid and family presentation and songs about eclipse phases and viewing an eclipse- Bob Swanson, Instructor of Physical Sciences / Geography, Itawamba Community College- Tupelo, MS
Thigpen Library Lawn
9 a.m. Day kick-off with light, fun, family Yoga and discussion of how astronomical events are used in Yoga- by Joanna Blauw, Vol State Health and Fitness
10:30 a.m. Lawn Welcome by Vol State President, Dr. Jerry Faulkner, and eclipse viewing suggestions and warnings
11 a.m. “Build a Solar Cooker Contest” -kids build sun powered cookers out of material we provide. It’s a race to cook hot dogs the quickest! Parents please attend with your child to participate.
11:15 a.m. What does it take to get good pictures of an eclipse? We talk to a Montgomery County Community College assistant professor of Physics, visiting from Pennsylvania. Kelli Corrado Spangler explains the Coronado Solar telescope.
11:30 a.m. Why travel for a total eclipse? A conversation with Starr Livingstone, amateur astronomer from Ontario, Canada and member of the Royal Astronomy Society of Canada.  
11:45 a.m.  “How the eclipse may or may not affect natural background radiation” by the Vol State Radiologic Technology Program
Noon Direct solar viewing can cause serious eye damage. There are some surprising people in history who damaged their eyes by looking directly at the Sun. We chat with Alisha Cornish, Director of the Vol State Ophthalmic Technology Program
12:30 p.m. Solar Cooker Contest winners announced
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Eclipse Narration before and after totality, Bob Swanson, Itawamba Community College- Tupelo, MS
Wood Campus Center – Nichols Dining Rooms
7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Vol State Café open for breakfast and lunch
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Eclipse themed art work on display in the Nichols Dining Room
11 a.m. Eclipse and astronomy themed poetry, story-telling and music
The Eclipse Watch event will end at 3 p.m.

The Vol State campus will close to the public at 6 p.m.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Campus Connect Experiences

One of the most exciting things about becoming a Vol State student is attending Campus Connect, an event where the faculty and staff of Vol State welcome new students to the campus. I can remember when I went to Campus Connect with my aunt, who was there to make sure I stayed focused and didn't become a nervous wreck. Not only did they give us valuable information needed to succeed as a Vol State student (things such as who to contact in an emergency, how many days we needed to attend and why, and how to access the online features available from Vol State), they also gave us a free lunch which is always a good reason to attend many events as a college student.

A College Success Fair was held inside the SRB Building. Vol State representatives were on hand to give incoming freshmen information on valuable resources, such as the Library and Language Center.
Now that I'm almost done with my studies here at Vol State, I can say it's been interesting to see things from the other side during Campus Connect. I saw freshmen followed by, or led by, their parents as they took their first steps onto campus. I got a chance to hear what people were going to school for and whether they had everything planned out or not. There was plenty of hard work put in by the faculty and staff, and they carried on despite the heavy rain. By the end of the day, the uncertainty that the students felt when they first set foot on campus had been washed away, replaced with excitement for the upcoming semester.

A new addition to Campus Connect is the Color War, a competition where students choose to represent either the Blue Team or the Red Team. Which team do you support?



Monday, June 19, 2017

Vol State Professors on Freshman Success


Believe it or not, your professors were once students too; they survived college and lived to teach about it. I interviewed a few of them, asking them about their time as freshmen and what advice they had for you. Here’s what the professors at Vol State had to say:

What was it like being a freshman, and how does that affect what you’re doing now?

Professor Leslie LaChance:I felt empowered by getting to choose my own classes and create my own schedule. I really liked how all the different classes created an intellectual synergy. I loved being in classes with a diverse group of students and faculty who challenged me to think for myself, to connect my own dots, and to synthesize what I was learning. That experience affects me now as a lifelong learner who is interested in interdisciplinary studies and as a teacher who wants her students to think for themselves and be empowered by their learning. Also, as an advisor, I like to encourage students to challenge themselves by taking classes on a wide range of subjects.

Professor Douglas Williams: “I had a lot of fun [laughs]. It was a fun experience and it taught me how to manage my time.”

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
Professor LaChance: I think the most important thing to understand is that once you get into college, you are in charge of and responsible for your own learning. Also it’s important to be an active learner. That means you’ll need to put away your distractions in  class (I see you Snapchatting over there!) and participate in discussions, take notes on lectures, do the in-class exercises and group work.”
Professor Williams: “Enjoy the college experience, but don’t lose focus of the learning aspect. That’s why you’re here.”
 
What is the most important habit a new student should pick up?

Professor LaChance:  “The best habit is to cultivate curiosity and imagination, to challenge yourself each day to learn something surprising, difficult, fun. Think of yourself not just as a college student, but as a lifelong learner.”

Professor Williams: “Use the library! I don’t want to just say ‘study’. Use the library and all available resources.”

What habits should a new student avoid?

Professor LaChance: “Avoid a negative and fixed mindset. If something goes wrong, for instance, if you fail a test or do poorly on a project or essay, don’t dwell on the negativity of that experience. It’s fine to feel angry or embarrassed, but don’t stay angry or embarrassed.  Move beyond that, and ask yourself what you can learn from the experience, how you can do better the next time.”
Professor Douglas: “Staying out late [laughs]. That was one my son who takes classes here had to avoid. More specifically, avoid staying out late on weekdays. Weekends are fine, but you’ll want to get in bed on weekdays.”

Professor Leslie LaChance is a member of the English faculty and director of Sigma Kappa Phi, the English Honors Society.

Professor Douglas Williams is a member of the Natural Sciences faculty.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Overcoming Freshman Fears

“When you get to college, you’re going to have a harder time. The professors there won’t let you get away with some of the stuff you do here.” I can’t attribute this quote to one single teacher, but I heard it many times throughout high school. The funny thing is that I remember this being said about high school when I was in eighth grade, and about middle school when I was a fifth grader. It’s true that college is quite a leap from high school, what with the different expectations and all, but I wouldn’t say it’s been all that bad. On the contrary, being a student at Vol State has been the best time of my life.

Like most students, I had a mix of emotions during my first couple of weeks as a college student. There was joy in having the freedom I didn’t have in high school, but there was also fear that I was in over my head. For those first few weeks, most of my time was spent in the library studying and listening to music. I figured it would be a good idea to stay on top of things. While I was right about that, I wasn’t having that great of a time. Eventually, I made friends with some of my classmates and we made a habit of hanging out a lot. As the months wore on, I made more friends and worked hard, even making it onto the Dean’s List and having one of my essays published. All it took was for me to overcome my fears. Now it is time for you to do the same.

Hello there, my name is Shannon. I create content for Vol State's blog and Facebook page. If you have any questions, email me at Shannon.Lamont@volstate.edu

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sumner Parents - Bring Your Family Here for the Eclipse August 21

Sumner County public schools will be closed on Monday, August 21 for the total eclipse of the sun. It's a huge event for the area. We're inviting kids and families to a free educational eclipse watching event on the Vol State campus in Gallatin that day. We'll have presentations, fun activities for kids, free eclipse watching glasses and a narration during the event itself. The goal is to share a love of science learning with kids and parents alike. It's a family event- no alcohol or smoking will be allowed. We will have food for sale. Families can picnic if they would like.

We're inviting people from across the area to attend. It should be a fun day. We already have 1000 people registered. We will cut off registration when we reach our limit for the event...so we encourage interested parents to sign-up now at this registration web page

Here are more details:

On August 21, 2017 there will be a total solar eclipse along a narrow path across the United States. A total solar eclipse occurs when the new Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth. The event creates fascinating lighting and allows viewers to see the corona of the Sun.

Gallatin, Tennessee will be one of the best spots in the country to view the total eclipse with totality lasting two minutes and forty seconds. Eclipse viewing in the area will be from noon-3 p.m. Totality will occur at 1:27 p.m.
Of course, viewing is dependent on the weather. Overcast skies may make eclipse viewing marginal.
Volunteer State Community College is organizing a free eclipse watching event on our campus in Gallatin. It is open to everyone. We will have educational presentations, live video viewing of the eclipse in other parts of the country, live narration during the totality, and fun science exhibits for kids and adults. The activities will be held outside and also in air-conditioned buildings.
We will have free eclipse viewing glasses available, while supplies last. You want to make sure to use such glasses or devices to view the sun during the partial phases of the eclipse. Viewing the sun directly is dangerous without the proper eyeware. Sunglasses do not block enough light to be safe.
Seating will be primarily open lawn. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. There will be room for picnicking. We will also have food and beverages for sale. The campus has plenty of bathrooms and heat relief zones (seating areas) in many buildings.
Parking is also free. Buses and RV's are welcome, but there will be no overnight parking, before or after the event. Parking lots open at 8 a.m. Once the lots are full, the campus will be closed to new entrants. Entry is first come, first served. The campus will close at 6pm on the day of the Eclipse. No alcohol will be allowed in vehicles or on campus. There is no smoking on campus. This is designed as a family event. To schedule a group visit with a bus please call 615-230-3570 or email eric.melcher@volstate.edu

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

3 Tips for Freshman Success


College may seem like a difficult time but it doesn’t have to be. Here are three tips to stay on top of your game.

 

1. Follow the Class Syllabus


The syllabus is given to you on the first day of class. This valuable document is your guide to the semester, giving you information about the course, important dates to remember, and ways to keep in touch with your instructor. Follow the syllabus closely and use it to stay ahead of assignments.

 

2. Make a Schedule


Balancing school, work, and life can be hard. A good schedule helps you use your time wisely and keeps you from being overwhelmed. Avoid staying up all-night if you can help it, and remember to set aside time for studying. I try to spend 2-3 hours each evening after school doing homework and studying, which works for me. Just find what works for you and stick with it.

 

3. Remember Your Campus Resources


We all need a little help sometimes, and there are plenty of useful resources on (and off) campus that can do just that. The Learning Commons has tutoring for math and math-based science classes. The Language Center on the Gallatin campus has people who can help you with papers and assignments. The Vol State library and its website are great for research papers, see the librarians for help. And tutor.com covers a variety of tutoring and it’s free to all Vol State students. You access it via the class eLearn page.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New Courses and Degrees this Fall

Volunteer State Community College is continually updating course offerings and degree programs to keep up with the demands of a fast-changing society. Students will find new courses and new degrees this fall, as part of 90 programs of study at the college. Fall registration is open now. New students will need to apply first.
The new Associate of Science Health Sciences degree is designed for transfer to a university bachelor’s degree program. People with the four-year degree can seek jobs as Community Health Workers, Health Services Managers and Health Education Teachers. Health Sciences bachelor degree programs are taught at Tennessee State University and East Tennessee State University. The new Vol State degree can also help people who don’t make it into specific Health Sciences specialties at the college, but still want a career in the health field. The degree is offered at all Vol State campuses, but some of the classes may need to be taken online. See your advisor for details.
New courses in Gallatin this fall include African-American Literature (ENGL 2055). Students will read poems, stories, novels, memoirs, and songs by African-American writers. It fulfills the literature General Education requirement. Mechatronics is also new to the Gallatin campus this fall. Mechatronics professionals are the experts who design, program, repair, and maintain state-of-the-art robotics and computer-aided equipment in today’s fastest growing industries. The Vol State degree program is taught for people with a high school degree or those with another college degree who want in-demand job skills.
Fall classes start on August 28. The fall schedule is available on the college website at www.volstate.edu. New students will need to fill out an application on the website at www.volstate.edu/apply . The Office of Admissions is located in the Ramer Building, Room 173, on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. Students with questions can also call 615-230-3688. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tell the Machines What to Do with Vol State Mechatronics

Employment analysts say that manufacturing jobs are at risk because of automation. Robots have become the new employees on the line. There is one way to stay ahead of technology: be the person who tells the robots and machines what to do. The field is called mechatronics. Volunteer State Community College is expanding its Mechatronics degree program to Gallatin starting this fall semester. Mechatronics is the blending of engineering fields including mechanical, controls, electronic and computer engineering, to automate manufacturing, distribution and complex services through multiple industries. Mechatronics professionals are the experts who repair, maintain, and design state-of-the-art robotics and computer-aided equipment in today’s fastest growing industries. The Vol State program is taught for people with a high school degree or those with another college degree who want in-demand job skills.

“Students with a natural curiosity and who enjoy working with their hands will do well in Mechatronics,” said Tim Dean, department chair of Mechatronics. “Folks with mechanical aptitude do well, but it’s not a requirement. As we go through the process of training, students can acquire the mechanical aptitude.”

There is plenty of technical equipment used in the program to give students hands-on experience in automation, hydraulics, machine controls and robotics. Students in the Cookeville Mechatronics program say it provides a great base for a new job or a promotion at a current workplace.

“Right now I’m a lab tech,” said student Joana Rhodifer, who works at Tutco Heating Solutions. “With this program I can do engineering jobs, like designing our heaters. Having a degree will increase my opportunity to get a better position at work.”

“I love the fact that this class is very hands-on,” said student Charles Little. “It turns into more of a conversation than a lecture in the classroom. It’s very animated and there is a lot of feedback.”

Job prospects for students with Mechatronics degrees are much higher than average in Tennessee and the positions have a national median salary of $53,910 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Vol State program will feature Work Based Learning opportunities, designed to get students plugged into the many companies that need Mechatronics professionals.

“Having the connection with industry gives students an idea of what will be expected when they get a job,” said Dean. It can also lead directly to jobs for students who fit in well with a company.

Vol State offers a two-year associate of applied science degree in Mechatronics. Each step of the degree program also prepares students to test for Siemens Certifications. Siemens Certifications are internationally-recognized Mechatronics industry designations. They are important to employers. Being Siemens certified gives Vol State graduates a real advantage in the field.

Classes start in Gallatin this fall with a new Mechatronics lab. However, the program will grow even more with a new facility as part of a renovation project to the Warf Math and Science building on the Gallatin campus. The Mechatronics-2-Jobs LEAP 2.0 Grant Project expands the Mechatronics A.A.S. program targeting potential students in Macon, Robertson, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson counties. The grant helped purchase equipment for the new Mechatronics classes on the main Campus in Gallatin and the Highland Crest Campus in Springfield. Mechatronics classes are also available from Vol State at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus (CHEC).

For more information on a career in Mechatronics visit the web page at www.volstate.edu/mechatronics. People interested in learning more can call 1-931-372-5546. By email: tim.dean@volstate.edu




Thursday, May 11, 2017

New TN Reconnect Scholarship for Adults Starts Fall of 2018

There is a high degree of public interest in the new version of TN Reconnect, which will be a last dollar scholarship, making community college tuition-free for adult students. It just passed the legislature and will be signed by the Governor.  It starts in Fall of 2018. This is a link to the TN Reconnect eligibility requirements. Please note that some of the most important eligibility info is in the notes at the bottom of the page, which explain who can be called an “independent student."

In the meantime, we are encouraging adults who want to get a degree to start this fall by applying for current Financial Aid, such as Pell Grants and scholarships.

To get started visit the Adult Learning web page.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Spring Grades Now Available


Spring grades are now available for viewing on your My Vol State page. Hope they turned out well!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Cap and Gown Bicycle Ride this Saturday, May 13

Volunteer State Community College is hosting a day of bicycling fun for the fourth year in a row, but now under the title “Vol State Cap and Gown Ride. The Cap and Gown Ride, like the former Cycling Classic, is a fun day of riding, with food and entertainment. The music and atmosphere are something riders point out as different from other rides in Tennessee.
“Many musicians and entertainers from Vol State’s Music Department performed, encompassing many different types of music,” said cyclist Tim Mullis of the 2016 ride. “It was actually one of the few times that I hung around after the ride, and after lunch, just to hear the music. All in all, a great ride.”
The Cap and Gown event features three different rides, depending on ability and interest. The routes travel through scenic roads across Sumner County. There will be a 15 mile Fitness Tour; a 33 mile Half Metric Century Tour; and a 63 mile Metric Century Tour. The tours will start and finish on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. There will be rest stops along the way for food, hydration, first aid and restrooms. The Metric Century Tour leaves at 8 a.m. The Half Metric Century will depart at 8:15 a.m. and the Fitness Tour will get underway at 8:30 a.m.  When riders finish, the college will have an event with barbecue, beverages and live music. Changing facilities and showers will also be available.
The ride cost is $40 for advance registration until Thursday and $45 on Friday, May 12 at the Pickel Field House 5pm-7pm or on the day of the ride at the Pickel Field House starting at 6:30am. Riders will get a t-shirt and a goody bag. Only riders who sign up by April 21 are guaranteed to receive a shirt in their size of preference. Route maps for each tour and a link to the registration page can be found at www.volstate.edu/cycling.

Business Credit Reports is the Metric Century Ride Sponsor for 2017. There are still opportunities for sponsorships. For more information about the ride and sponsorships contact the Vol State College Foundation at 615-230-3506 or email lynn.jones@volstate.edu.