Friday, October 30, 2020

First-Generation College Student Profile: Lori Martin


Vol State is joining in the celebration of First-Generation college students with profiles of students this week and a series of events next week.

A First-Generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor's degree and who is resilient, determined, driven, persistent, tenacious, hopeful, supportive, AND is a trailblazer who inspires others!

Here is another of our student profiles:

Lori Martin

Lori Martin is a Tennessee Reconnect student who appreciates the flexibility of online learning. “When I first saw about TN Reconnect I thought that this is a sign from God,” she said. “I had completed some of my college way, way back in California. But I didn’t have a lot of support from my employer in terms of my schedule. If I had the ability to do online classes when I first went to school, things would have been a lot different.”

She said that the biggest issue with being a first-generation college student is that while her family is supportive, they don’t understand what she is going through. “They’re really excited and I get a lot of moral support from them. But you can’t commiserate with someone when you are having problems.”

Being a first-generation college student means that you are often on your own when trying to navigate the system. “It’s complicated. Sometimes you’re not sure who to talk to.”

Lori says that she is enjoying college now, but going to school and working a full-time job is a real commitment. “Somedays I question my sanity, but it really has been great. Everyone has been so supportive at Vol State.”

First-Generation College Student Profile: Georgia Smith


Vol State is joining in the celebration of First-Generation college students with profiles of students this week and a series of events next week.

A First-Generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor's degree and who is resilient, determined, driven, persistent, tenacious, hopeful, supportive, AND is a trailblazer who inspires others!

Here is another of our student profiles:

Georgia Smith

Georgia Smith has a clear path in mind for her future career. However, as a first-generation college student, the higher education part of the pathway has not been as straightforward.

“My family is very supportive,” she said. “They just didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. They don’t have that experience. So, I’ve had to rely on other people to ask questions.”

That isn’t the only challenge. She also helps to support her family by working.

“Tackling the workload at school and managing my work schedule and studies and home life was the hardest part. My family hit a bump in the road with health issues last year. It was hard for me to juggle all of that. It was an up and down roller coaster. But when your family needs help, you need to step up.”

Things are going better for her family now and she has her eyes set on graduation from Vol State next spring. Her career quest is quite well defined.

“I’m going to transfer to MTSU. I’ve already been accepted to the equestrian team. My long-term goal is to become an equine journalist.”

In the meantime, she offers this advice to other first-generation college students: “Reach-out for help and try not to feel overwhelmed. You can only do so much. You have to handle what you can handle.”

One way to get that help is with the assistance of academic support programs here on campus. Georgia is part of the TRIO program this semester. It provides extra academic and mentoring support for first-generation college students and others who may need assistance. To learn more about TRIO visit www.volstate.edu/TRIO

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Join Us for these First-Generation College Student Celebration Virtual Events


A First-Generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor's degree and who is resilient, determined, driven, persistent, tenacious, hopeful, supportive, AND is a trailblazer who inspires others!

Vol State is joining in the national celebration of First-Generation college students with a series of events this week, marking the official First-Generation College Student Week.

· First-Generation student stories on social media.      

      Monday, November 2, 2020

·      Early Registration (Spring 2021) for students with 30 or more credits! Opens 8am.

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

·         Early Registration (Spring 2021) for all currently enrolled students! Opens at 8am.

·         SGA meeting - TRIO will speak about First-Generation and TRIO services.

o   All Campus Locations: Zoom, 11:15AM, Zoom ID: 326 397 332

 Wednesday, November 4, 2020

·         TRIO Virtual Open House - Hop on to learn more about TRIO. Students who are First-Generation, eligible for Pell Grant or who are registered with the Access Center could be eligible for TRIO services.  Applications are OPEN at www.volstate.edu/trio.

o   All Campus Locations: Zoom, Hop on Anytime between 10:00-11:00AM or 1:00-2:00PM

o   https://volstate.zoom.us/j/5054265318

 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

·         Grab-n-Go for Livingston and Springfield students. Information tables including The Well, financial aid, and The Feed.  Students can schedule Spring 2021 advising appointments. We will hand out t-shirts, goodie bags and provide First-Gen information with First-Gen Buttons, limited availability.

o   Livingston:  10-11AM and 3-4:30 pm

o   Springfield: 10-11AM and 3-4:30pm

 

·         Student Engagement & Support will host a Just In Time virtual Jobs Fair.

o   All Campus Locations: 10:00AM-12:00PM

o   Participants RSVP to Student.Engagement@volstate.edu to receive the zoom link

 

·         Vol State’s 2nd Annual First-Generation Celebration, 1st Virtual event to celebrate First-Generation students, faculty, and staff. Everyone encouraged to wear First-Gen t-shirt or Vol State gear. Bring your lunch… Eat while Zooming.  Panel of First-Generation students, faculty and staff.

o   All Campus Locations: Zoom Webinar, 12:00-1:00PM

https://volstate.zoom.us/j/98054979565


·         National Joint Virtual First-Generation College Celebration by the Center for First-generation Student Success and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). You are welcome to participate by registering below. (You do not have to join to participate):

o   https://naspa.org/events/joint-virtual-first-generation-college-celebration 1:00PM-2:30PM 


Friday, November 6, 2020

·         Student Engagement & Support will provide The Well Tables and coordinate The Feed drive-thru.  We will hand out t-shirts, First-Gen wrist bands and provide First-Gen information.

o   Gallatin: 12:00PM, Wood Parking Lot

o   Cookeville: 11AM-2PM; Drive Thru T-shirt and swag bag

First-Generation College Student Profile: Keshawn High


Vol State is joining in the celebration of First-Generation college students with profiles of students this week and a series of events next week.

A First-Generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor's degree and who is resilient, determined, driven, persistent, tenacious, hopeful, supportive, AND is a trailblazer who inspires others!

Keshawn High

 

Fredrick “Keshawn” High is from Gallatin and he had a familiar path to Vol State. He graduated high school in 2017 and then attended Vol State in the fall. But getting there was a bit tougher for him, because he is a First-Generation college student.

 

“My parents didn’t really know what to do,” he said. “It was kind of a struggle at first to figure it out. But eventually we did. I also had a good high school counselor and some teachers helped me with the things I needed to know about financial aid and scholarships.”

 

And that’s the bottom line for Keshawn- get help from people.  “Get a friend who has been to college or other adults who have been to college to help you.”

 

It’s not just a matter of getting to college, of course, but doing well in college. Keshawn found help with that as well, through the TRIO program. It’s provides extra academic support for eligible Vol State students, including tutoring and mentoring. First Generation college students or students with other learning issues can apply to TRIO.

 

“I was struggling in some classes last semester. I had help in TRIO with math and some other classes I had problems with. I passed them thanks to TRIO.”

 

For more information on the TRIO Student Support Services program at Vol State visit: www.volstate.edu/TRIO

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

First-Generation Student Profile: The Gooch Family


Vol State is joining in the celebration of First-Generation college students with profiles of students this week and a series of events next week.

A First-Generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor's degree and who is resilient, determined, driven, persistent, tenacious, hopeful, supportive, AND is a trailblazer who inspires others!

Check out this student story:

The Gooch Family

Here’s a unique way to overcome the challenges faced by first-generation college students: have the whole family attend at the same time. The Gooch family of Sparta currently has six members of the immediate family in college. Barbara Gooch is the mom. She’s due to graduate from Vol State this spring. She says that being able to help each other is a real benefit.

“It has been incredibly helpful. I’ve noticed how much more I understand since the first one went to school. And I can understand what they are going through. When they’re feeling overwhelmed, I understand.”

Barbara’s two daughters were the first to attend college, but both of them stopped for a while. They went back and now everyone can offer support.

“I think I would have been overwhelmed if it was just me at first, but having the other two in school helped. You need someone to help you with the college lingo. It takes a lot to understand all of the terms and technicalities.”

The college process can be complicated. And then there is the matter of juggling life and college coursework. “My second daughter just had a baby. She had to balance having a newborn and going to college.”

And it’s not just Barbara and the kids going to college. Her husband, Russell, also attends Vol State. He works full time, as well as her daughter. “Seeing them be committed to coming home from work and then do college is great. Some people may not realize how hard it is for adult students.”

Barbara doesn’t just help her family navigate college, she reaches out to other people who need help. “Because of that experience I’ve helped several students apply to college.” She even started a Facebook group page where students can ask questions and share challenges with each other. “My heart is to advise students and so it’s another way of outreach. It’s been nice to be able to help other people, because it can be really confusing.”

Barbara’s son will graduate from Tennessee Tech in May and she plans to attend Tech after graduating from Vol State. She has gone to school part-time thus far, due to all of her family commitments, but she has told everyone that she plans to attend university full-time.

“I have to concentrate to get this done,” she said, laughing.

Weddings and babies certainly provide life challenges for the adult student. Barbara said she is proud of what her family has accomplished. “We may all have different paths, but we’re trying to better ourselves with education. With ReConnect, we became responsible for taking this opportunity that was given to us. We are loving this journey.”

Here’s Barbara’s update on where things stand with the family and their education:

Vol State Cookeville students in the family:

Barbara Gooch (94' White County High) - me- General Ed Associates with hopeful transfer to Tenn Tech for a degree in something higher ed. Also, current OpenStax national intern (OER Advocate). Open Education Resource publisher. May 21'

Russell Gooch (92' White County High) - husband- General Ed Associates or Business Associates

Kelsey Heathco (11' White County High)- Psych Associate's - Has a 4 year old and due in November. Fall 21'

Tallen Gooch (15' White County High) - Mechatronics AAS and Mechanical Engineering Associate's. Has an infant. May or Fall 21'

TN Tech students in the family:

Spencer Gooch (17' White County High, Top Ten #6) TN Tech May 21' Double Major in Accounting and Finance Tech Academic Scholarship. Aside from dual enrollment classes, Russell and I started at the same time as Spencer when he went to Tech full time.

Trinity Gooch (18' White County High) Move on When Ready Early Graduate. Graduated 1 1/2 years early. TN Tech May 22' BA Education -English Second Language Tech Academic Scholarship



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

First-Generation College Student: Kelle Boles


A First-Generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor's degree and who is resilient, determined, driven, persistent, tenacious, hopeful, supportive, AND is a trailblazer who inspires others!

Vol State is joining in the celebration of First-Generation college students with profiles of students this week and a series of events next week.

Kelle Boles

Kelle Boles was planning a traditional path to college. And then events intervened.

“I started college fresh out of high school,” she said. “I always had straight A’s in school. I was raised by my father. One month before I was supposed to start class he was in a tractor accident. He died. He was all I had. It was a struggle financially and I ended up withdrawing.”

There were a few more starts and stops in college and then she found out she was pregnant with her oldest daughter. “More than anything for my Dad, I wanted to go to school and be successful.”

Three kids and many years later she finally made the return to college by attending Vol State. She is a first-generation college student, with all of the challenges that entails. “The support part is a big issue. I know that none of my Dad’s family went to college or any of his cousins. I don’t know anyone who went to college.”

Kelle is studying again and things are going better, but that doesn’t mean it is any easier attending college. “It’s really overwhelming. I thought the break of being out of school so long would be a struggle, but it came back to me.”

Her goal is to graduate with a Vol State degree in elementary education and start a profession in the classroom. “I want to teach elementary school. I think the kids are more fun. I’m a big kid myself. I remember teaching my stuffed animals like it was a classroom. It’s been a lifelong dream.”

Details on Priority Registration for Current Students

Priority registration for current Vol State students is open now. Degree Works will list the classes you need for your degree path. Also talk to your academic advisor to make sure you are registering for the correct classes. Use priority registration to get the classes you need, at the times you want, and before new students.

Vol State will be offering courses in a number of different formats in Spring 2021, much in the same manner as we held Fall classes. To clarify some terms, we set up this graphic to help you choose. Most classes this semester will be Online: asynchronous, Virtual: synchronous, and Hybrid.  Check Schedule Planner for the details about meeting times and locations when you register. Here is some more info about course delivery methods: https://www.volstate.edu/coronavirus-disease/covid-adjustment

Here are some of the common codes we use:

Instructional Methods:

CON:      On-Site Face-to-Face

DVC:      Virtual Class: Synchronous

WEB:     Online: Asynchronous

RD1:       TNeCampus: Online Asynchronous

HYB:      Hybrid

Common Campus Codes:

63M:      Vol State Gallatin

V2J:        Vol State Cookeville

VA5:       Vol State Livingston

VB2:       Vol State Springfield

ZOZ:       Online




Monday, October 26, 2020

Vol State Story Slam - Watch and Vote


We invite you to participate in the 2020 Vol State Story Slam! It’s simple - just watch and vote. Students in Communication classes created amazing video stories of hardship and triumph. You watch the four finalists on You Tube and decide which is best: https://bit.ly/34t9UCB

Then vote at: http://bit.ly/votestoryslam

The Virtual Story Slam will run Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30 at 11:59 PM.

ALL members of the Vol State community are invited to vote (including staff, faculty, friends, and family).

Friday, October 23, 2020

Spring Class Registration Starts Soon - Meet with Your Advisor


Spring priority registration is coming up soon for all current students, so it is time to make an appointment to meet virtually with your advisor. They will help you decide what classes you should take for the spring semester. Email or call your advisor to set up an appointment.  As a reminder, your assigned advisor is listed in Degree Works. The spring schedule is out now.  Priority registration for current students will start Nov. 2 for sophomores and Nov. 3 for freshmen. Get the classes you need at the times you want- use priority registration! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Free Online Academic Support for all Vol State Students


It's crunch time in your classes...get free online academic support from Vol State: help with papers and speeches, math tutoring, online academic support coaches, and more. Visit:
https://www.volstate.edu/student-support-online

Monday, October 19, 2020

Cybersecurity Webinar October 21


The Volunteer State Community College Computer Information Technology Department is presenting a Cybersecurity Awareness Month Webinar on Wednesday, October 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Topics will include: If You Connect It, Protect It; Securing Devices at Home and Work; The Future of Connected Devices; and Volunteer State Community College Internet of Things (IOT)/Connected devices. The free virtual event is open to the public. Attendees will need to download Zoom software if they don’t already have it. Visit:
https://volstate.zoom.us/j/99778191948 . For more information call 615-230-3301.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Spring Schedule of Classes Now Available


The spring schedule of classes is now available on My Vol State. Degree Works is also up and running again. There are some new features in Degree Works. See your student email for details. Priority registration starts the week of November 2. Contact your advisor to get ready.

Cultural Connections Week and Fall Festival/Food Day

Cultural Connections Week/Fall Festival and Food Day 

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with ESL and English faculty, plan a week of fun programs to hopefully help us understand and learn about our different cultures and history.

 

Monday, October 19, 2020 
Immigration Reform: Where Do We Go from Here?   
James Cobb (Cobb Law Group)  
Presenters:  Attorneys James Cobb and Abigail Mabry  
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host the Cobb Law Group. Attorneys James Cobb and Abigal Mabry will help the community understand immigration law, the recent Supreme Court decision, and what may be in the future after the elections. Experienced immigration attorneys with extensive experience will help answer questions and hopefully unravel the often-confusing nature of U.S. Immigration policies and practices.  
Open to students, faculty, and staff. 

Time: 12:30 PM –1:30 PM  
Zoom Registration Link: 
https://volstate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMsdOGppzksGtcZEQ2NEopgaQgtx4D4H6JR 

 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 
Let’s Get to Know Each Other 
Presenter:  Prof. Shirley Gomez 

To celebrate the growing diversity in our Vol State community, we will host a 90 minutes event geared toward providing opportunities for the students on our campus to get to know each other. Let’s Get to Know Each Other will consist of 3 interactive, online activities which will hopefully help open lines of communication among the diverse student groups.  

Time:  1:00 – 2:00 PM 
Zoom 
Registration Linkhttps://volstate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEsceCppjgvHt1dV1y8gyOPasXn8rh-mk1h  

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 
American Stew: A Brief History of American Cuisine 
Presenter:  Professor Melanie Cochran, History Dept. 

One area in which Americans have lived up to the "melting pot" idea is with our food. In this talk, we'll examine how imperialism, slavery, immigration, technology, politics and popular culture have shaped a uniquely American cuisine. 

Time:  11:30 AM – 12:30 PM 
Zoom 
Registration Linkhttps://volstate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcvceirpzouE9cuy8B04kWdx2VpEUoE89l4  

 

Thursday, October 22, 2020 
Discussing Politics and the Elections – Part 2 
Panelists:  Profs. Melva Black, Nancy Blomgren, Len Assante, Scott McMillan, and Carole Bucy. 
As we are now less than two weeks from perhaps the most pivotal elections of our lifetime, where do we stand as a nation?  What did the debates accomplish?  Will we have a free and fair election and a possible peaceful transfer of power?  Join us for another riveting discussion with our panel of experts.  This discussion will be respectful, civil, and a safe place for differences of opinions. 
Open to students, faculty, and staff.   

Time:  12:30 – 2:00 PM 
Zoom 
Registration Linkhttps://volstate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAude2pqT4oHd3viN7DMNVFByoKYcZbxmGv  

 

Friday, October 23, 2020 
Fall Festival featuring Food Day, Celebrating the 
75
th Anniversary of World Food Day 
The Annual Fall Festival and World Food Day celebrates Fall Semester with help from Student Organizations and info stations coordinated by Student Engagement and Support.  World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world in honor of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization through the United Nations.   The day is celebrated widely by many organizations and on college campuses concerned with food security. 
12:00PM-1:30PM 
Outside, Wood Parking Lot 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Livingston and Springfield Campuses Closing Until October 16 - Classes Will Continue


Volunteer State Community College will be closing two satellite campuses, in Livingston and Springfield, temporarily, to handle staffing issues tied to COVID-19. A Gallatin staff member tested positive for COVID-19, in an exposure not thought to be connected to the campus. However, staffing issues came about when the college put into place the usual quarantine protocols on the Gallatin campus. To handle that staffing loss, Vol State is pulling in staff from the Livingston and Springfield campuses, temporarily, to cover shifts on the main campus. The Livingston and Springfield campuses will be closed until October 16. 

The majority of Vol State classes are online this semester and all classes have the ability to do online work, so classes will be able to continue. There may be changes to on-site classes for Livingston and Springfield. Students should see their email for details. Classes and normal business operations at the main campus in Gallatin, and campus in Cookeville, will continue as usual. Students are being informed via text messaging 

Vol State is committed to keeping students, faculty, and staff safe during this pandemic. The college has tight COVID-19 restrictions on campus, including mask requirements and extensive contact tracing. 


Directory of Key Contacts: https://www.volstate.edu/coronavirus-disease/know-before-you-go

Virtual Appointments:  https://www.volstate.edu/appointments

Get Ready for Spring Registration - Make an Appointment with Your Advisor


Spring Priority registration is coming up soon for all current Vol State students, so it is time to make an appointment to meet virtually with your advisor. They will help you decide what classes you should take for the spring semester.  Email or call your advisor to set up an appointment after fall break.  As a reminder, your assigned advisor is listed in Degree Works. Priority registration for current students will start Nov. 2 and 3. Get the classes you need at the times you want- use priority registration! New students will have a separate system to get registered. Check your email for details coming soon.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Watch Vol State Student Compete on Netflix "Sing On!" TV Show


How far does Vol State student Seibreanna Alkinani make it on the new Netflix competition “Sing On!”? Pretty far, but you’ll need to watch to find out.

It started with a phone call. “I got a call while I was actually in class,” Seibreanna said. “She told me I was going to be on the show. I took the major here because I want to be an independent artist. It was fitting I got the call while on campus.”

It has been a whirlwind experience that took the Hendersonville singer to London, England, after a series of auditions and interviews. “It was crazy. I had never done anything like this before. For the audition I had to learn the song in two days.”

In the competition for the $60,000 jackpot, contestants had to sing well-known hits matching the original note for note. But personality was a big part of making the cut for TV. “I did a lot of goofy things and they liked it. They kept it in there.”

Seibreanna says her social media is getting busy now that the show has debuted on Netflix. That could help her decide the next step after she graduates in December with a degree in Music Business. “I’m an R and B and soul singer. My inspirations come from Gospel music. I just want to be a recording artist and travel.”

She says the Vol State Entertainment Media Production program has provided her with important tools to stake out her career. “As soon as I got to Vol State I felt relieved. Everything I have learned has been hands-on and I work well that way.”

And that’s a long way from her original views of college. “I did not plan on going to college. When TN Promise came I thought- well this is free, why not take advantage of the opportunity? The kids in the program here are so talented. It really inspires me. I’ve met great musicians and jammed at their homes.”

Her experience with EMP Director Steve Bishir has also had a big impact. “He’s super passionate about teaching. He really wants us to succeed. It’s amazing to have a teacher care about us that much.”

The six-time Grammy award winning Recording Engineer also helps his students make connections with people in the music industry. “The experience of networking has been great for me.”

In the meantime, Seibreanna is enjoying her moment in the spotlight. The show premiered in September. Tune in to Netflix to see how she does. Here's a link to the Netflix "Sing On!" web page: https://www.netflix.com/title/81024999

For more information about the Vol State Entertainment Media Production program visit: www.volstate.edu/entertainment