Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome to Vol State!

The lazy days of summer have come to an end, and Vol State wants to welcome incoming students for the start of the new semester. Often new students feel overwhelmed at the prospect of starting their journey to higher education, but Vol State offers support to make this transition easier. Students who have overcome their first year offer some perspective for new students. Autumn Megar is a second year student. She said the advice she would offer new students is to take the easier courses first, so that you don’t become overwhelmed your first year and get discouraged.
Dusty Good, age twenty one, is the current SGA president. He has been involved with several different endeavors at Vol State, to include the student newspaper The Settler, The Vol State radio station, and the Vol State commercial music ensemble. Dusty enjoys playing music, watching C-Span, and meeting new people. Advice for new students would be, “Don’t let the process discourage you. Just remember we are here for academic purposes, and when an institution deals with a large number of people, mistakes happen,” Dusty said.

Another group of students who are here to help are the President’s Ambassadors, who can help direct new students, and give tours of the college campus. Kayla Barbee said, “Just don’t stress out. Take a deep breath, and pay attention.” Although students may be a bit apprehensive about speaking one on one with their professors, this is exactly what Melissa Hopgood suggests. “Build up a relationship with your professors, and let them know if you have problems. They really are here to help you.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

Get Ready for Classes - Tips for New Students

Welcome to Vol State! The start of fall classes is an exciting time, but also a really, really busy time. Here are a few tips for those first few days of classes:

1. Print up your schedule at home so you have it ready to go, before you get on campus:

2. Print up a campus map to help you get around those first few days:

3. Give yourself extra time to find classes.

4. Give yourself extra time for traffic and parking. It may seem a bit crazy the first couple of weeks, don't worry parking and traffic both calm down later in the semester.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for directions or help. The faculty and staff will be more than happy to help you. We understand that the first weeks of college can be hectic and we want to make it as smooth as possible for you.

6. Have and fun and enjoy college! We have lots of on campus events planned this year, so stay tuned to this blog and the calendar on the front page of our website for details:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Enrollment is up and classes are filling up fast

Enrollment is up significantly this coming fall semester and that means that many classes are already closed or are filling up quickly. We understand how frustrating this can be for students. So, why can't we just keep adding students into classes? There are two issues. The most important is quality of education. We pride ourselves on keeping our classes smaller to provide the best instruction possible...we may be able to add seats here and there, but quality of education remains a top priority. There are also physical limitations on seating in classrooms.

That given, the deans and faculty have been working hard all summer to add class sections and get students into the classes they need. It is important that students keep checking classes that may have filled up, because many students end up dropping classes at this time of the year. So a class that may be closed today may have space tomorrow. Also consider alternative sites and online classes. We have several class locations across the can click here for a list. Online class options are listed in Pride online with the traditional classes.

If you need help with all of this you can visit the Advising Center is the Ramer Building. But if you are just looking for a specific class be sure to check each day online.

It's important for students to register as early as possible for spring semester as we expect enrollment to increase due to the economy. The dates are as follows:

November 9: First day for currently enrolled sophomores to register.

November 10: First day for currently enrolled freshmen to register.

November 30: First day for new and readmit students to register.

Enrollment is up at community colleges and universities across the country. This presents many challenges. Vol State actually has one of the more manageable situations in Tennessee. Many schools are dealing with much greater enrollment issues. Be assured that our faculty and staff are doing everything possible to make sure you can get the classes that you need. Don't get frustrated. Consider other class options. And most importantly if you need help come and see us. The Advising Center is located in Ramer 174 next to Admissions.

Reaching the Goal to Make a Difference

When walking around the campus of Vol State, the idea of a student randomly playing their guitar isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind.

Josh Moore is twenty three, and this is his second year at Vol State. With a guitar strapped to his back, and playing a few tunes while waiting for his shift to start at the Publix across the street, he starts talking to me about his goals in life. Music is not his major, but it is something he enjoys. “Medical Engineering is my focus, and I would like to design prosthetics. I want to better humanity,” Josh said.

The military is a subject that Josh is very passionate about. His family has been in the armed forces, and he currently has a brother in Iraq. He gives to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and hopes that he can aid in helping those who need prosthetics due to war injuries. Josh is thinking of joining the United States Marine Corp when he finishes this year of college.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Newest Pioneer to Hit the Court

Name: Antwane Beach

Age: 18

Antwane came to Vol State for a basketball scholarship. He is taking 15 hours for his first semester.
"This is my first year at Vol State, and I'm not sure what I want my major to be. I will probably end up going into physical therapy or something," Antwane said. "I used to play with some of the guys from the team, and I will play the position of power forward and center this year," Antwane said. Look for Antwane on the court later this year.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Activities Abound

If you are a new Vol State student you may wonder what the campus has to offer besides classes. Although Vol State is a small college compared to some of the larger universities, there are plenty of ways to get plugged in.
Jamey Campbell is one of Vol State's newest members. He is the coordinator of student activities, and part of his job is approving new clubs. “My main goal in this position is to help students find extracurricular engagement to support learning, while finding a bit of release from their class work,” Jamey said.

Jamey recommends that new students attend the President’s picnic Saturday August 29th from 10am until 2pm. Welcome week is August 31st through September 3rd. There will be a student membership recruitment event going on in the Wood Campus Center that week from 9am -1pm. This will give all students the ability to see what clubs and organizations may interest them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Major Changes!

Vol State welcomes new students from all walks of life and situations.
Jennifer Shelton age thirty four, has always wanted to be a teacher, but went a different route with her career choice ten years ago. “I decided to become an LPN because my uncle was sick, and I wanted to help take care of him,” Jennifer said. Jennifer was an LPN for ten years, and is now embracing her dream of becoming a teacher. She said, “I’m ready to work with well people, and take on the change.” She is enrolled in the elementary education program through TSU, and is thrilled that she will be able to complete the entire program here at Vol State. Jennifer has a ten year old daughter, and will be juggling classes while spending time with her.

Steven Davis is another student going a different direction than what he first intended. Steven first came to Vol State with his passion for music burning, and started going through the music program. “I realized that this wasn’t getting me anywhere, and I have always been interested in medicine. I decided to take a more practical path,” Steven said. Since Steven almost completed the music program three years ago, he is starting fresh with his major in Biology and Pre-Nursing. He said that he chose Vol State again for the low tuition costs. “The teachers are also pretty cool,” he said. Steven still plays tunes on his keyboard in his spare time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Important Note about Office Hours Monday

On Monday, August 24 Vol State campus offices will be closed until 1pm due to Convocation. We advise anyone needing to visit the advising center or admissions to do so on another day as the closure could lead to long lines. Sorry for the inconvenience. Convocation is the first day back for the faculty and the President wants to make sure everyone is ready to go for the new school year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Ride Share Board for 2009-2010

If you want to find someone to help pay for gas or if you need a ride you've come to the right place. This will be the Vol State ride share board for Fall and Spring 2009-2010.
If you are looking to share a ride simply post in the comments section below. As the comments build up you may find someone going your way. One note of warning: The college cannot go through and screen the various riders who post. You'll need to be careful and do that yourself. Just because someone has posted here doesn't mean they are safe. Ask plenty of questions before you agree to share a ride. The comments take a few hours to be published, so don't worry if you don't see your comment come up immediately.
If you have any questions about the ride board call PR at 230-3570.

Disabilities-Support Is Here!

Everyone is faced with challenges, and for those with disabilities, Vol State is hosting The Resource Network Thursday August 20, 2009 in the Wood Campus Center. The Resource Network has the goal of aiding those with developmental and physical disabilities in finding the resources needed to have a productive life.

Anyone is welcome to attend and is encouraged to learn more about this subject. The tendency is to always brush this off if this isn’t something we normally deal with, but the fact is you never know when you may need these resources. There will be thirty six vendors to include different Autistic groups, ARC of Tennessee, and Faces of Hope.

Neil Laffely is the Transition to Work Consultant with the Sumner County Board of Education. Neil has been a music therapist since 1986. “Disabilities aren’t always caused by birth defects.” Neil said. Neil began telling me about a four year old little girl who was under water for ten minutes, and she was revived by CPR. She was a victim of a lack of oxygen to her brain. She was on life support for three years before she passed away. “This was when I was getting started in Music Therapy, and this particular case is what gave me my passion for this subject. I’ve seen a sixteen year old being discharged to a nursing home for the rest of his life because of drug use. When the brain loses oxygen it shrivels up,” said Neil.
Neil does presentations with his guitar and welcomes people to attend. You can find his information on the Sumner County education website. He will be available for questions and discussions at Vol State August 20, 2009.

Sumner County Board of Education Presents:
The Resource Network-Supporting People with Disabilities
Location: Volunteer State Community College
Building: Wood Campus Center in the Carpeted Dining Room
Date: August 20, 2009
Time: 6pm to 8pm

Vol State Business and Industry Fall Classes

The challenging economic climate makes training an even more important part of the business equation. Volunteer State Community College has Business and Industry classes that can help, coming up this fall through Continuing Education.

Quality Improvement can help any business boost the bottom line. ASQ certification review is available at Vol State, including Quality Improvement Associate Certification, Quality Engineer, Quality Auditor and Software Quality Engineer. Management development courses coming this fall include Situational Leadership, and Emotional Intelligence and the Power to Lead. Vol State Business and Industry also has a full range of Six Sigma courses throughout the year. For more information visit or call 615-230-3358.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Books and More

As a new student at Vol State, one might be a bit overwhelmed when the realization of writing a paper for class sets in. You may ask, “Where can I get significant sources and information?”

Vol State’s Thigpen library has an array of information that students may not even realize is available. The library is two stories, and has a large majority of books available for checkout. Of course the library has much more to offer than books.
Fifty seven computers are free to use for current students, and you can set up your free wireless connection now as well by going to There is an extensive selection of eBook collections, E-resources, and library tutorials all available with the click of the mouse. These can also be accessed at home. Flyers with access to the information are available to help students access these sites. There is a Tennessee History room with rare and out of print books available for access, and the microfilm room has New York Times articles dating back to 1851.
The library staff is here to help, and will try their best to direct students in the right direction. Phillip W. Hailey has worked for Vol State in the library for fifteen years. He graduated high school in 1971, and decided to go back to college in 1990. He started doing the work scholarship program. “I was in my leather jacket and I asked where I was going to be. When I was told the library, I laughed,” said Phillip. After he graduated, Phillip was offered a permanent position, leather motorcycle jacket and all! Phillip will be available at the circulation desk during the evening hours once school is in session again, and Anne M. Kirkpatrick will be available during the day.
A few of the people who can help you are pictured above from left to right. Phillip W. Hailey, Louise R. Kelly-Director of Library Services, and Ann M. Kirkpatrick.
Hours of operation:
Monday –Friday 8am - 4:30pm through August 28th
Saturday August 29th 8am-4pm
Fall hours resume August 31st
Monday- Thursday 7:30am-9pm, Friday 7:30am -4:30pm, and Saturday 8am-4pm

Monday, August 17, 2009

Doing It Again!

Volunteer State Community College has a diverse group of students from all walks of life with virtually the same goal of obtaining a degree in higher education.
Pablita Wood moved from the Philippines in 1992. “I got my Bachelor’s degree in elementary education in the Philippines, and I was a single mother at the time. My oldest child is eighteen now."
Sitting on the Vol-State lawn with her four year old son Chris, I approach Pablita and ask her if she is okay with a few questions. She is all smiles and begins explaining her reasons for deciding to go into the nursing program. “I decided to get into nursing for the challenge. My husband is also twenty years older than me, and in the event he needs to be taken care of I will have the ability to do that.” I asked her if he was sick, and Pablita replied that he is very healthy, but she realizes that with the age difference it may eventually become an issue.
Pablita moved to Tennessee from Louisiana in 1999. She is going to be taking online classes as well as classes on campus so that she can spend time with Chris.
This isn’t Pablita’s first time at Vol-State. She was taking classes in 2002 but took some time off after having her second son. She is looking forward to the challenge of diving into classes again along with keeping up with the responsiblities of being a wife and a mother.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Textbooks are a big part of the college expense, and now there is a new way for Vol State students to get renting instead of buying them. It's just a pilot program right now, so the classes involved in the program are quite limited. You'll find a complete list at the bottom of this entry.

Follett, the national company that runs the Vol State Bookstore, calls the program Rent-A-Text. It began this week and they have already had a number of students choosing to rent instead of purchasing their textbooks. The rental fee is 42.5% of calculated new retail price, which could be a savings of over 55% to the students. Here are the details:

Student Requirements
• Students will be required
to provide a valid credit card
at the time of rental regardless
of how they are paying for the
rental fee. This is to charge
customer for book in case they
don’t return the book.
• Students will be required
to have a valid driver’s license
to rent. This is also to assist in
collections if student doesn’t
return the book.
• Students will be required to
have an e-mail address. This
is to send e-mail reminders to
students regarding when to
return the book.

What happens if a student doesn’t
return a book?

Non-return of a book will result in the
customer being charged the standard retail
amount (75% of new price) plus a penalty
(7.5% of new text price).
What happens if a student wants
to buy the book after he/she has
rented it?

Students will have the option of returning
to the store and converting their rental into
a standard sale during the period prior to
midterm exams (approximately 8 weeks from
class start date). The student will receive a
refund of their rental fee and be charged
regular retail price based upon the original condition of the
book rented (new or used).
Can a student return a book and get their rental fee
back if he/she drops a class?

Yes, rental refunds will be allowed during the normal refund
period for the store at which the title was rented. Standard (by
location) refund conditions will apply in regard to the condition
of the book, retention of the receipt, etc.
How much time is allotted to return the book at the
end of the semester?

The bookstore will implement a rental return date, by which
all rental titles must be returned. The last
day of classes and exams will be taken into
consideration when setting the rental return
date. Any book not returned by that date
will be charged to the customer at standard
retail amount (75% of new price) plus a
penalty (7.5% of new text price). Students
will receive at least three (actually, four total)
e-mail reminders prior to the rental return due
date. Any book returned after the due date
will only qualify as a buyback, with standard
retail and wholesale rates applied.
How long before classes start will
rental books be available?

Rental books will be available on the
same time frame as books for regular sale.
Typically, course materials inventory is
available (peak) 2-4 weeks prior to the start
of classes.
Will students be able to rent books
online via efollett?

While rental transaction functionality will not
be offered through the efollett channel during the pilot phases
of this project, students will have visibility to books that are
available for rental in-store.
How are rental eligible books determined?
Rental eligible books will be identified on a national basis
using Follett’s market research expertise. Rental eligible books
will be selected based on the likelihood of future use in the
market. Rental eligible books may not be consumable or
otherwise not resalable due to time dated materials or single
use components or access codes.

Here is a list of the titles available for rental at the Vol State Bookstore for the Fall semester:


Distance Learning Student Success Seminars Scheduled

Are you a new or returning student who will be taking an online or hybrid class this semester?

If you haven't taken an online class before, you may want to attend the Distance Learning Student Success Seminars. These are offered on:

  • August 27 from 1-2 p.m. in the Jim Moore Conference Room
  • August 28 from 1-2 p.m. online using the Wimba Classroom ( then select Wimba Training Room
  • August 29 from 9 - 10 a.m. or 10 - 11 a.m. in the Rochelle Center
During these sessions, you will be introduced to our online course management system MyVolStateOnline. You will be introduced to the following:

  • How to log in
  • How to submit homework
  • Tips for testing
  • Participating in online discussions
  • Time management for online courses
  • much more
To request more information contact Mary or Maxine in the Distance Learning Department.

You can register for a session here:

Online Student Success Seminar Registration Form

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fun and Informative Classes from Continuing Education

Vol State offers many non-credit classes through Continuing Education. There are classes for fun and leisure, and courses to help you develop new skills. Here are highlights of some courses coming up this fall. For the complete list and all the specifics please visit

Quick Draw and Sketching
Learn to create “quick sketches” that force the eye and hand to work together more effectively.
Techniques include contour line drawing, thumbnail sketches, focused work on shape, value, light, and shadow – and have fun in the process.
CEU 126 501 $65+materials 4 weeks
Tuesday, 630-930PM, 10/27-11/17

Instant Guitar for Hopelessly Busy Adults and Teens
Have you wanted to learn to play the guitar but just can’t fi nd the time? In just a few hours, you can learn enough about playing the guitar to give you years of musical enjoyment - and you don’t have to take private lessons to do it. This crash course will teach you some basic cords and get you playing along with your favorite songs right away. Bring your acoustic guitar. Ages 13 and older. Materials included.
CEU 112T 501 $60 1 day
Monday, 630-900PM 09/21

This hands-on class explores the basic techniques of songwriting. You don’t have to be an accomplished musician to learn how to transform your ideas or themes into creative masterpieces. Learn the inside of the music business from how to publish and market a song to how royalties are broken down and distributed.
CEU 309 501 $80 6 weeks
Thursday, 600-800PM 09/17-10/22

Tasty, Healthy Meals on a Budget
This class will teach you about the use of a kitchen garden, a “ready” pantry, and a well equipped kitchen. Learn about the revised food pyramid, food colors, and nutrition. More importantly, you will come away with new cooking ideas for one meat dishes, one skillet wonders, cheap date lunches, and more.
CEU 067 501 $55 3 weeks
Thursday, 630-830PM 09/24-10/08

Reflexology, Iridology, and Acupressure
Join us to learn more about these three natural healing techniques. Reflexology can provide relief because the whole body is represented on the feet and hands through points that can be individually stimulated to produce a reaction in the corresponding body part. Iridology is an evolutionary natural health science. An iridologist analyzes the delicate structures of the iris. Acupressure is an ancient healing developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. Not a certification class.
CEU 457T 501 $75 6 weeks
Thursday, 600-800PM 10/01-11/05

Introduction to Ghost Hunting
This class is a guide to ghost hunting. Participants will gain basic skills and an understanding of investigations of ghosts, poltergeists, haunted places, and related psychic experiences. Learn how the scientific and psychic approaches can mesh together. Basic techniques of using an Electronic voice Phenomena will be demonstrated.
CEU 975 W41 $65 2 weeks
Thursday, 530-930PM, 09/17-09/24

Solving Sudoku
This mini-course teaches you how to solve the popular, logic based Sudoku puzzle. Key steps are described and numerous hints given. The course is hands-on and puzzles, ranging from easy to most difficult, will be solved.
CEU 355T 501 $30 4 weeks
Thursday, 600-700PM, 10/08-10/29

Write & Present “Like You Talk”
Learn how to write business proposals/presentations clearly and simply so that they are easily understood. Included is a lesson on how to present your material in a clear and concise manner.
CEU 308 501 $45 3 weeks
Thursday, 600-800PM, 10/08-10/22

Microsoft Office 2007 - New Features
Participants will learn about the Microsoft Office button, Ribbon tabs and Ribbon groups, galleries, contextual Ribbon tabs, Live Preview, the Dialog Box Launcher, the Document Information Panel, and the Mini toolbar. New features of Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Word will be introduced.
CEU 238T 503 $30 1 day
Wednesday, 600-900PM 10/07

Using Social Media Tools
By the end of this seminar, you will know what a blog is, how to choose a blog site, create content for a blog, use cool free web tools to make the blog more friendly, and how to let the world know you have your very own blog. Explore several open source (free) tools available on the web for your use including productivity, photo editing, photo sharing, communication, and video. Learn
how to use MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life and how it can benefit you. Basic computer knowledge is helpful.
CEU 238T 504 $65 3 weeks
Tuesday, 600-900PM, 10/27-11/10

Making the Most of Your iPOD
Geared towards users of the iPod touch and iPhone -- but all iPod users will learn some new tricks -- this session will demonstrate some of the other applications that are available besides just listening to music and audio books. Participants will learn about the App store, photo sharing, the note taking feature and much more.
CEU 238T 502 $30 1 day
Monday, 600-900PM, 10/12

Making the Most of Internet and Email
Designed for beginning Internet users, this course covers the effective use of web-based email (Web Access, Gmail, and Yahoo!). Learn how to scan and upload basic email attachments, documents, or photos, with safe sharing practices. Students are encouraged to bring print or digital photos or documents for hands-on learning.
CEU 238T W41 $40 1 day
Saturday, 900AM-100PM, 09/26

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wood Product Display for Fire Science Training

Wood product training display cases were developed as part of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) grant to American Forrest & Paper Association. The display case provides industry product samples that will be used to enhance the building construction curriculum taught in our program. Building Construction for Fire Protection is one of the required core courses for all students in the Fire Science Technology Program. The course was developed by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) Associate Degree Curriculum Committee, and became one of the six National Model Fire Science Program Courses. Presented at the annual Fire Science Advisory Committee meeting in August, this display case should help with the understanding of the basic products that are used today.