Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Get Ready for CIT

What do you get when you mix 2500 people from colleges around the world, all the latest cutting-edge technology, nationally-recognized education experts, and a big dose of Music City USA? You get a convention with the very long name "League for Innovation in the Community College Conference on Information Technology." (We just say "CIT '07" for short.)

Each year this conference convenes in a different city with the goal of bringing together community college faculty personnel and industry leaders in the use of technology in higher education. The idea is to promote the best uses of technology to improve teaching and all other functions of a community college. 4 days of papers, presentations, exhibits, demonstrations, and networking allow this to happen.

In 2007, Volunteer State, along with the other community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, are hosting the Conference on Information Technology at the Nashville Convention Center November 9-13. It takes the efforts of over 220 volunteers (most of them from right here on campus) as well as several teams of experts to put this show on. But its worth it. Take a walk through the holographic classroom of the future, see the latest in "smartboard" technology, create a virtual network, learn to use iPods in class, meet colleagues from all over the country. You can do all this and more at CIT '07.

TBR and Volunteer State were asked to host the conference due to our porximity to Nashville, one of the best convention cities in the south, and our focus on technology use in the classroom. Many Vol State faculty and staff will be involved in the conference as presenters, organizers or volunteers. Just look for the bright red volunteer shirts. That's us!

Want to learn more? Visit the conference website to view the program, plan your visit, explore the opportunities the convention presents, and learn all about the night-time fun that Nashville offers after the exhibits close.

Q and A about Ophthalmic

Q: We have an ophthalmic tech program at Vol State? I never knew that!
A: Yes, we do. It was moved from Vanderbilt Eye Institute 6 years ago and has resided in Annex 400 Building ever since.

Q: What does an ophthalmic technician do?
A: There are three levels of technical personnel in ophthalmology - ophthalmic assistants, ophthalmic technicians, and ophthalmic technologists. They work under the supervision and direction of an ophthalmologist (an M.D.) to perform ophthalmic clinical duties.

They are trained to take medical histories, perform all the ophthalmologic tests necessary for preliminary and highly specific eye exams, take ophthalmic photographs, use ultrasound equipment and other diagnostic and testing technology, administer eye medications, instruct the patient in care and use of corrective lenses, assist in ophthalmic surgery, and maintain ophthalmic and surgical instruments.

Q: What type of person would enjoy or be qualified for this job?
A: Attributes of a successful ophthalmic technician are: a natural curiosity about medical science; a desire to be a hands-on health care worker and help people; critical thinking ability; computer aptitude and problem-solving skills.

Q: Which level of technical personnel does the Program at Volstate teach?
A: Our Program graduates are immediately able to sit for the technician level certification exam – in other words, they skip the assistant level by graduating from our Program. Certification examinations are given by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology.

Q: I know some Allied Health Programs here are accredited. Is this Program accredited?
A: Yes. The program has been granted full accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Ophthalmic Medical Programs (CoA-OMP). This means our Program is held to higher standards that must be monitored and maintained.

Q: How long is the Program and is it a certificate or a degree program?
A: Overall, it takes two years. This is how it is broken down: After successful completion of all prerequisites, which takes approximately one year, applicants are invited to interview for the Program. The formal Program is one year, and graduates are granted an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science – Ophthalmic Medical Technician Option.

Q: Are there jobs available after graduation?
A: The demand for ophthalmic technicians has remained strong over the past decade. An aging population who will require eye care and the technological advances in this field should keep demand at this level or higher. Our employment rate for graduates is 95-100%, and physicians who wish to hire ophthalmic technicians always outnumber the graduates who are available.

Q: How much money do ophthalmic technicians make?
A: In our geographical area of greater Nashville, the average starting hourly wage for our graduates is $15.50. After they complete their certification, most ophthalmic technicians can expect a $1 - $2 an/hour increase.

Q: After graduation, where do ophthalmic technicians work?
A: The work environment for ophthalmic technicians ranges from university medical institutions to one-physician private offices. Ophthalmologists often become subspecialists in cornea, retina, glaucoma and refractive surgery, and ophthalmic technicians increase their value by having knowledge of these special areas.

Q: Is there a career path for ophthalmic technicians?
A: Yes. With additional training, an ophthalmic technician can take a higher level of certification exam to become an ophthalmic medical technologist. Technologists often supervise the technical staff. Areas of specialization include: an orthoptist who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of patients with crossed eyes and related muscle imbalances of the eye; a certified ophthalmic photographer, a surgical technician; or a low vision technician.

Q: How do I apply?
A: Go to home page. Click on Academics at the top; click on Allied Health under Academic Divisions; click on Ophthalmic Technician Program; then click on Forms to download and complete an application.

Applications may be submitted at any time but must be in by the end of April. Students are chosen for the Program in June and classes begin the 1st week of August each year.

Posted by Kathleen. Volunteer State Community College.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Text-Messaging Alert Service at Vol State

Sign-up Now!

On a community college campus, there are several ways to communicate with campus members about emergency-related events. In the past, the College has used the PA system, the website, and many other communication sources to make this campus as safe as possible.

In an effort to be more efficient with communicating emergencies, Volunteer State has acquired a text-messaging alert service to quickly communicate emergencies, such as school closings, to those campus members who choose to register in the system. The registration process is simple. You can visit to sign-up for message alerts by text-message, by e-mail, or both.

Your safety is a primary concern for the College, and this new text-messaging service is a great way to stay informed with up-to-date emergency information about the College.

Posted by Ken.

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tech Tip Tuesday

Greetings, I'm going to be writing about some of the fun web tools that are available to make your life easier (or at least more fun). I've been called the "digital social butterfly" by my colleagues, but actually I'm an Instructional Designer in the Distance Learning department at Vol State and one of the best parts of my job is finding fun and exciting new applications out on the web. I'll do my best to share something new on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Let me know what you are interested in and I'll be glad to share some sites.

Today I wanted to share two of my favorites: and Stumble Upon

I don't know if you work from multiple computers like I do- if you do, then you understand the frustration of having bookmarked a favorite site on one computer only to need it for class or work. It can be hard when you don't remember the exact URL. helps you remedy that. This is a web based application that not only allows you to save all of your favorites, you can also describe why you saved the site and tag the site (if your friends have a account, you can even share the site with them) just add them to your tag list. Finding your bookmarks is a breeze with the search feature. The tag feature also lets you search other users bookmarks to see what they are saving. Great when looking for a new twist for a paper...

StumbleUpon My StumbleUpon Page

My other favorite is Stumble Upon--if you ever wanted to just spend a few hours finding new and sometimes weird stuff, this application is for you. If you are using Firefox, you can quickly add your own Stumble Upon menu bar. Or you can just visit the site.

Happy Hunting!

The Internet - Not Just for Goofing Off Anymore

According to our web server logs, about 15% of the people visiting the Vol State web site are using Firefox. I won't go into all the details but as the web master here at Volunteer State Community College, that's good news for me.

One thing I really like about Firefox is all the extensions available. Some of them just look cool while others add stuff like instant messaging to your browser. Just remember, the more stuff you add to Firefox, the more resources it will need from your computer and the more sluggish it will get. So try to keep your extensions paired down to what you really need and from time to time clean out anything you notice yourself not using any more.

Some extensions can boost your productivity as a college student. I've personally been happy with Zotero, an extension for managing notes and citations when writing papers for class. Most teachers frown on citing online sources, and for good reasons. Most of the time citing a web page is a bad idea (with a few notable exceptions). Luckily, Zotero can handle dead tree based media as well as it can digital sources. Just pull up the book you want to cite on a site like or The Library of Congress Catalog Online and add it to your virtual library.

When you're done with your paper, you can publish a bibliography/works cited page directly from Zotero. Just keep in mind you'll still want to double check and edit the page before you turn it in. Saving time is great, losing a full letter grade on a paper because Zotero defaults to MLA style and your teacher wants APA style is not so great. And yes, I'm speaking from experience.

If you're already using Firefox, you can download the Zotero extension from their website. If you think you might want to try out both Firefox and Zotero, Firefox Campus Edition has it already built in.

Vol State Homecoming events coming November 9

It’s time to show off your Pioneer spirit! Homecoming will be November 9. Alumni and members of the public are invited to attend. Our basketball teams will be squaring off against Motlow State Community College in the gym. The women play at 6 p.m. and then the men’s game will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. The theme this year for Homecoming is “Hollywood”. There will be prizes and giveaways. The new Pioneer Dance Squad will also be performing for the first time. Admission is free for alumni, Athletic Association members, students, faculty and staff. For everyone else the admission will be $5.

On Wednesday, November 7 there will be a chili cook-off. It will be held at noon in the Wood Campus Center. Alumni are welcome to cook up a batch of chili or help judge the contest.

For information about any of the Homecoming activities contact Gina Garera at 615-230-3799.

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tennis, Anyone?

Every Thursday evening, a group of students, faculty, staff and friends of the college meet at the tennis courts for some informal tennis matches. Depending on how many people come out to play, you may see 2-3 doubles matches along with a singles match or two happening. This is not a competitive league and you certainly don't need to be a great tennis player (I know that I'm not!!!).

If you are looking for a good way to get some exercise in or meet new people, then come out and join us. We meet at the tennis courts (next to the Mattox building) at 4:30 every Thursday and play until dark. If you would like more information, just call Ron Timberlake 230-3245 or look for me (the one who is always missing the ball!)

see you soon--

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Drop by and see us

The weather has finally cooled off, and it looks like the much needed rain has moved away for a few days. It's time to take a trip Volunteer State Community College. When the cooler fall weather starts moving in, it's a great time to visit our campus. Hundreds of folks pass by on Nashville Pike every day and never stop in to see what all is going on. There's a lot more to campus than you can see from the street.

Visitors are always welcome, but if you'd like an official campus tour, give us a call in Admissions. We do tours most weekdays at 10:00am and 2:00pm.

Vol State Admissions

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This Week at Vol State

Another busy week is coming up at Vol State. On Wednesday, October 24 the Student Government Association holds an SGA Forum at 12:15pm in the Cafeteria. You can ask questions of Vol State administrators. If you haven't been to one of these yet you might want to check it out. It's your chance to speak out!

On Thursday, October 25 GMAC will hold two Financial Literacy sessions for students. The first is from 11am-12pm in the Cafeteria and the second session from 12:15pm-1:30pm in the Rochelle Center.

It will be pretty scary in the campus center on Friday. It's the annual African American Student Union Community Halloween Party. The AASU has been doing this for years. It's a great event for kids from the area, hosted by Vol State students. It's from 6-8pm and the public is invited to this free party.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Garden Work Day Saturday

If you haven’t seen the Vol State Community Garden yet, you should take a walk behind the Mattox building and take a look.. Despite the drought it’s really coming along. You can get involved. Saturday, October 20 will be the next Community Garden Workday. People can volunteer for one of two different times during the day, one from 9:00am-12:00pm and a second that would overlap with the first from 11:00am-2:00pm. Projects will include removal of invasive exotics from the creek-bed, landscaping using garden fencing and rock and perhaps some replacement planting of shrubs and trees lost due to weather this past year. Everyone is invited to participate. Contact Jeff Kent for more info 230-3730.

Still Time to Sign-up for Trip to Spain and France

Do you think eight days in Europe might be fun? Kay McClean says there is still time to sign up for the trip to Spain and France. It's being put together by members of the Vol State faculty and other faculty, students, staff and members of the public are invited. The trip includes stops in Barcelona, Paris and many locations in between. The deadline has been extended for a few weeks. Contact Kay for pricing information at 230-3385
or email

Hoops Season Coming Soon

Get ready for Vol State Basketball!!!!!

It's about time for hoops action again...Basketball returns to the gym on November 1st. The Pioneers play tough and they need student, faculty and staff support in those stands. Remember that all games are free if you show your student, faculty or staff I-D. Here's what Athletic Director Bobby Hudson has to say about the season:

"The teams are working really hard. We have a tough schedule early on, so we're going to hit the ground running. Fans are really important for success. We're going to have some half-time giveaways this year. We hope everyone comes out!"
The women have a new coach this year. Jason Montgomery is taking the helm for his first season. Rusty Melvin will be leading the men, and he has some big new players to take the court. Check out the rosters and schedules:
For the men:

For the women:

Volunteer State Community College. Vol State.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

This Week at Vol State

It looks like fall is finally here. The cool weather means everyone is in the middle of classes and buried in books. Well, take a moment away from the studies to take in the ThinkFast game show at the Wood Campus Center Cafeteria on Wednesday, October 10 at 12:15pm. It's a fast paced, fun and interactive event that should take your mind off school for at least a few minutes.

Midterm papers and exams...whew, it sounds like you need a break! Well, don't forget that October 15 & 16 is Fall Break. No classes both days. Campus offices will be open for business as usual.


Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Student Trip to Spain and France

Dear Fellow Lovers of Travel,

Dr. Sanchez and I are delighted to announce our upcoming trip to Spain and France in May of 2008. Come join us in travel during this beautiful and mild time of the year. This trip will be open to VSCC students, faculty, administrators, staff, friends, and community members.

We will begin travel in Barcelona, Spain, and its environs. We will visit the Picasso museum and other wonders of the area. We will continue to the Loire Valley where castles, great food, and beauty abound. We will visit Giverny, Monet’s home. Finally, we will end our tour in Paris, France, City of Light, Love, Art and more.

You will experience history, art, culture, typical food, European train travel, and fun. We want you to know that this is not a “herd of travelers” trip. We have been very selective in choosing Casterbridge Tours above all others. We will be our own group escorted by our own guide who will meet us at the airport and travel with us the entire trip.

We have glossy brochures available. In the meantime, we have attached detailed day-by-day tour information. Brochures are available in the Humanities office, too.

There is a $250 registration fee that is due to Kay by Monday, October 15th. The next fee of $250 will be due in Nov. Final payment due on Feb. 1, 2008.

If you have questions, please contact me or Jaime Sanchez (ext. 3379).

Kay McLean
Humanities Division

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

College Night and Stories from Iraq

Two big events are coming up on Thursday. The first is called "Stories from Iraq", hosted by the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. Two soldiers, Joey Brent and Tray Combs, will be speaking about their experiences in Baghdad, Iraq. It will take place Thursday, October 4 from 7pm-9pm in the Rochelle Center of Thigpen Library. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be a complimentary reception afterwards. If you want more info contact Marie Kemph at or

The second is Sumner County College Night. 80 colleges and universities will be on hand to talk to students. If you're considering transferring or attending a four-year school after graduation, it's a great chance to ask questions. College Night will be held in the gym from 6pm-8pm on Thursday, October 4. Sumner County College Night is coordinated by the Sumner County high school counselors and co-sponsored by the College. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more info contact Admissions at 230-3688.


Volunteer State Community College. Vol State.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Check out Scholarships for Spring

Many students take advantage of the student scholarships that Vol State offers each semester. The Volunteer State College Foundation provided more than 160 scholarships last year worth $213,474. Did you know that some of those scholarships start in the spring semester? Perhaps you didn't think that you would qualify for a scholarship? You might be surprised. Here's one that you can apply for:

The Lynn F. Nystrom Recycling Scholarship provides $500 to a part-time degree seeking student who has an interest in recycling. You need a 2.75 GPA and the recipient must serve on the Vol State recycling committee. You can find out the rest of the requirements and get an application in the Financial Aid Office, room 100 of the Wood Campus Center.

While you're there check out the flyer that shows all of the scholarships that are available. This is a good time to start thinking about how you will fund college in future semesters, and the folks in Financial Aid will be happy to talk to you about it.

Posted by Eric

Volunteer State Community College.