Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Time to Get Your Student ID and Parking Pass!

Vol State's time to get your student ID and parking pass. Doing it early can help you beat long lines and be ready for the start of school. Here's exactly what you need to do courtesy of our Student Life Office:

Students enrolled for Fall 2011 classes may now get their Student ID Card and Parking Passes and mark that off the fall to-do list. Please make sure you have completed the following steps before coming to the Wood Campus Center Suite 215 (Student Life and Diversity Initiatives) or Suite 217 (Student Services).

1. Register for Fall 2011 VSCC classes*.

2. Receive bill from Business and Finance for your Fall 2011 classes (check your email address).

3. Bring confirmation of Financial Aid award package (check your email address) or receipt of payment on your account (deferred payment plan stage 1 or full payment) to Wood 215 or Wood 217.

4. 2011-2012 ID Cards

a. New Students – bring a government issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, etc) to Wood 215 or Wood 217

b. Continuing/Returning Students – bring your current VSCC ID Card so we can update the expiration date with a new sticker

• If you have lost your ID card there is a $10 fee to replace it.

5. 2011-2012 Parking Passes

a. Students may have parking passes for up to three vehicles. To be properly displayed, parking passes should be affixed to the lower left corner of the back window (i.e. driver’s side, bottom corner).

b. For vehicles with clear back glass, the student may choose either a static cling interior sticker or an adhesive exterior sticker.

c. For vehicles with tinted back glass (factory tint or darker), the student will be given and adhesive exterior sticker.

d. For Jeep Wranglers and convertibles, the sticker should be displayed in the front window, driver’s side, bottom corner and the student may choose either the interior or exterior sticker.

e. Motorcycles do not need parking passes.

6. All students are required to have a current VSCC ID card, regardless of campus location, instructional delivery method, or number of classes. The cost for Parking Passes is already included in your fees from Business and Finance so there is no out of pocket expense when you get your ID card and Parking Passes.

Come in early to avoid lines closer to the start of the Fall semester.

Here are the hours and locations:

Livingston: Normal business hours (8am to 4:30pm) starting Monday, August 1. Livingston students need a parking pass and student ID.

Springfield - Highland Crest: Normal business hours (8am to 4:30pm) starting Monday, August 1. Highland Crest students need a parking pass and student ID.

Main Campus-Gallatin
Summer Hours through Friday, August 5

Wood 215: Monday through Friday; 8:30am to 4:30pm

Wood 217: Monday through Thursday; 12:30pm to 8:00pm; Friday 10:30am to 5:00pm

Monday, August 8 through Friday, August 19

Both Wood 215 and 217: Monday through Friday; 8:30am to 4:30pm

Monday, August 22 – Offices closed for ConvocationTuesday, August 23 through Friday, August 26

Wood 215: Tuesday through Friday; 8:30am to 4:30pm

Wood 217: Tuesday and Wednesday 8:30am to 5:30pm; Thursday 8:30am to 6:00pm; Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Saturday, August 27 during the President’s Picnic only

Wood 215 and 217 both; 8:00am to 1:00pm

Thank you for your patience this summer while we waited for supplies to arrive. Please come as early as you can to avoid long lines at the end of August and avoid warnings or citations from Campus Police once classes begin.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Sumner Schools Director Tours Vol State

The new Sumner County Director of Schools had his first tour of the Vol State campus earlier this week. Dr. Del Phillips took the helm of the school system in April. He will be working closely with Vol State through many initiatives, including the local P-16 group, which brings together secondary school administrators and the college to share information and develop partnerships in education. He toured the campus with Dr. Nichols and Dr. Scism.

According to the Sumner County Schools website Dr. Phillips’ career as an educator began at South Panola High School in Batesville, Mississippi where he taught Cooperative Education. He soon advanced to Assistant Principal Intern, Assistant to the Superintendent and ultimately Principal/Athletic Director of the 1,275-student high school. He was most recently superintendent of Columbus City Schools in Mississippi.

“We have to find out how children in Sumner County learn, how they accept information and how they give that information back to us so we can assess their progress,” said Dr. Phillips. “That’s where leadership comes into play; listening to principals, teachers and students. Often students are left out of that process. We need to ask them, ‘What’s working for you? What made last week’s lesson good? What helped? What didn’t?’ We must give validity to what students do and say about our schools. They are our primary customers.”

Pictured: Vol State Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Bruce Scism; Sumner County Director of Schools, Dr. Del Phillips; and Vol State President, Dr. Warren Nichols.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Unclaimed Scholarship Money

Living from paycheck to paycheck is common on a college campus.  A large number of students at Vol State work more than one job, and juggle daycare, school, and family commitments. Money is tight for most community college students.  There is unclaimed scholarship money every year that might make the difference in someone staying in school or calling it quits.  The College Foundation is your resource to find out if you might qualify for some of that scholarship money. This is the link for the application.

Scholarships usually have a performance requirement and other stipulations attached to be eligible. You won't know if you're eligible unless you check. Many folks don't bother and that's why some scholarship money goes unclaimed each year.
Karen Mitchell is not only in charge of the College Foundation, but she is also a graduate from Vol State. 
“When I first started, I came here thinking this is a great job working for the college I went to, and I met my husband here too.  I just didn’t have a warm fuzzy feeling about scholarships, but that changed one afternoon,” said Mitchell.  “All our recipients are required to send a thank-you letter to the donor.  One day I went in and read all of those letters.  By the end of the day I was literally in tears when I saw the difference it was making in their lives.  Ever since then I have been passionate about my job.  A great thing about this particular job is that the college pays our administrative costs.  So every dime that a donor gives goes directly to the students.  Just fill out one application on the Financial Aid website and you are pretty much in the pool for almost all the scholarships and grants.  Students may think they don’t qualify when in reality they might.  We have some that are need based for those interested in a particular field.  Some donors may want to help future nurses, musicians, engineers, or EMT’s.  While others may focus on the age of a returning student, or they might want to assist single parents.  The donor recognizes that these students may have many life commitments outside of school, such as work or children that pull from their time and energy so the likelihood of them maintaining a straight “A” average is going to be tough.  Donors are aware of this and want to help.” 

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Credit Card Fraud Warning

As you may have heard in the news, the Gallatin Police Department is investigating a number of credit card fraud cases. The technique believed used is most commonly referred to as Skimming, as of this date the number of victims will reach 100 with more complaints likely coming in today. So that you are aware, many of these cases may be connected to businesses around the Vol State campus, particularly in the Greensboro Village area. We advise students, faculty and staff to check their bank statements closely and to report any suspected purchases or withdrawals to the Gallatin Police Department. Gallatin Police have left forms with the Vol State Campus Police Dept. for victims to fill out. For your convenience, you may return the completed forms and supporting documentation in a sealed envelope to the Campus Police Dept. The investigators at the Gallatin Police Dept. are Detective Booth or Detective Helson at 452-1313 extension 243.

The process known as skimming is the theft of credit card information used in an otherwise legitimate transaction. The thief can procure a victims’ credit card number using basic methods such as photographing receipts, or more advanced methods such as using a small electronic device (skimmer) to swipe and store hundreds of credit card numbers. Common risk areas for skimming are restaurants, bars, ATM machines, convenience stores, gas pumps and anywhere that a card reader is used. A skimmer cannot be easily identified due to the variety of devices. An example: a strip of black electric tape attached to the side of a card reader could be a skimmer. However, it is typically an “inside job” by a business employee. The Campus Police Department is requesting that all areas on campus that utilize card readers examine their readers daily for any attachments or irregularities to their card reader equipment. If you have any further questions feel free to contact the Campus Police Dept. at extension 3595

To help identify the use of skimmers, please view the link below:

Thank you,

Campus Police Chief William Rogan

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We Will Miss You Dr. Wright

At our recent graduation Dr. Nichols, asked all the first generation college students to stand.  When hundreds of students rose to their feet, it was overwhelming to think that many may not have had this opportunity if not for a community college.  Dr. Monique Wright, Director of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, has been instrumental in helping students achieve their goals at Vol State, for almost seventeen years. She guided students in clubs and organizations and helped them excel through student academic leadership programs. Most of all she provided advice and support to thousands of students through the years.  Dr. Wright has accepted a position at Vanderbilt University as the assistant dean for student affairs at Peabody College.  Though sad to see her leave, students, staff and faculty stopped by today to congratulate her on this new role. 
“My emotions are bittersweet,” said Wright.  “I am excited about the challenge and the opportunity to work with students for a longer period of time, but I have had such exceptional students here, that it is hard to think that I could have better students anywhere else.  Many times they already had a lot of skills and a certain level of competence, but they just needed someone to push them to go a little farther.  I love helping students realize that even if they have made mistakes in life, they can get over them.  You can put them behind you or jump over those hurdles, you don’t’ have to stay stuck.  Work towards making everything brand new.”
Thank you Dr. Wright, I wish you the best of luck at Vanderbilt.  I know you will be equally encouraging to your students there as you have been to us here.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, July 15, 2011

Trio Can Help You

Counselor:   Do you have a graduation plan?
Student:   What’s that?
Counselor:   Let's get started by having you give me some basic information.  Have you chosen a major? Do you know your ACT scores?  Are you getting financial aid?  These are all things we need to find out.
Student:   Am I supposed to know all of that already?
Counselor:   Let’s start at the beginning.

Does this conversation sound funny?  Unfortunately, this is a common conversation for non-traditional students.  I am fortunate that someone told me about the Trio program.  Trio is a government funded program to assist non-traditional students with all of the pitfalls found when returning to school.
Carol Bazenet has participated in the Trio program for the last three years.  She graduated this spring as an English Major. 
“I found out about the program three years ago when I brought my daughter down to Registration Rocks,” said Bazenet.  “I had been thinking about going back to school, and I tried clepping [test-out of] a class to see if I could handle college.  It worked and I decided I could do it.  The Trio program helped me to figure out a graduation plan, scholarships, what classes I needed to take, and what order to take them in.  I would encourage anyone that qualifies to let them help you through every door.  They can help you get on board, stick with the program, and help you follow up with your goals.  They can even help you set up a goal planning system.”
As director of the Trio program at Vol State, Andrea Boddie has been able to assist many students fulfill their dreams of graduating from school with a degree. 
“We have about a 170 students that participate in the program each year,” said Boddie.  “2010 was our fifth year, and in the first cycle we had a graduation rate that doubled other programs.  The new grant is not only looking at graduation rate but also targeting students transferring to a four year university.  We have a variety of services to help students along.”
Trio has been a huge help to many non-traditional students.  For more information please visit the following link.
Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Interior for Art Students!

I am excited to see new construction taking place on the Vol State campus.  Last semester, I decided to explore my creative side, and I signed up for my first art classes.  On the first day, I drove out to the back of the campus and found the Fine Arts building, which looked like a thirty-year-old maintenance building.  Once inside, I was a little apprehensive, stained ceilings, poor lighting, broken desks did not seem to be the best environment to develop my creativity.  Though these poor conditions did not prevent my instructors from giving me quality guidance and direction, I am sure they will be able to take their skills to an even higher level with an all new interior for the building.

I stopped in to see Glenn Riggs who is the assistant director for Plant Operations to see how this construction came about.  He said this was just the beginning of a new initiative to assess the best way to keep buildings up to current standards. 

We are doing a total renovation” Riggs said.  “We have completely gutted the art building and started fresh.  Even though the outside is original, it is all new on the inside.  We can now concentrate on preventative maintenance and hope to prolong the life of each building.  We have been able to use internal help and involve almost all Plant Operations people.  We have used our guys for HVAC, our own electricians and carpenters. We even installed the fire alarm system and used our own IT people.  Pretty much the only thing we have not done is the flooring and the painting.” 

Claire Hampton has been involved with the art program for thirty years.  Her eyes sparkled with excitement talking about all the work going on.  “When I first started working, we had no dropped ceilings, there was no air conditioner and the space heaters were hanging down out of the ceiling,” said Hampton.  “There was one bathroom so you had to knock before going in.  Then they came along and added a bathroom and dropped in heat and air. Since then, there have not been any renovations in the building other than rearranging the space.  That has been at least 25 years ago, but the building has worked well for us with the concrete floors and such, because we do tend to make a mess.”
Art instructor Sue Mulcahy was happy to hear about the remodel.  “We were due for a change,” said Mulcahy.  “This was not just cosmetic but some of this was for safety.  We now have better ventilation and we won’t have all the cords on the floor.  The fluorescent lighting was uneven and flickered. This was tiring on the eyes, especially for the teachers who are there all day long.  I'm glad we have new lights and I am looking forward to a cleaner, safer building.  I hope it will encourage students to take more art classes.”
Come out this fall to see the finished building.  Maybe you will be the next Leonardo DaVinci!

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, July 8, 2011

Vol State tools to help you do better in class

The Vol State College Success Zone features tools you can use to do better in your college classes. Get help with papers, online tutoring, special study sessions and more. The services are all free and available to most students. Check out the options at:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vol State has Gone Mobile

Vol State students want information at the start of a new semester, without sitting down at a computer.  Wouldn’t it be nice if your wireless phone allowed you to access a detailed Vol State map of where each class was located?  Well, now there is an easy way to do just that.  Vol State just launched a mobile optimized web site.  Just visit the normal page on your mobile phone browser and then click on "Mobile Optimized Site." You can bookmark it for easy access at any time.

Web programmer Mark Whitby has been involved in working out the details of this project. 

“The purpose of the mobile website is quick access for some of the information that people need fast,” said Whitby.  “Though the mobile site can be accessed from a regular browser, it is custom tailored for mobile phones with a touch screen in mind.  However, it does have a few features the regular website does not have. Let’s say you are looking for a classroom, if you go to the locations tab you can drill down and select a room number to get a map of where each room is located.  Unfortunately, the only map that our facilities department provided is from 2007, so some of the rooms need to be updated, but as soon as they are able to provide us with a revised map we will enter information for all of the buildings.  It is a work in progress.”
D2L-2-GO or Mobile eLearn is one of the links listed.  Mary Nunaley is a Distance Learning specialist. 
“It still has some bugs but you can still access some important information, even though it is limited,” she said.  “When we upgrade next spring everyone should be able to access the discussions and email.  Blackberry’s and Android devices are fine. One of the drawbacks is for Apple users.  The iPhone, iTouch and the iPad all read some of the data as if it were a phone number, preventing the phone from accessing some of the data.  This is something that D2L is working on but at least you can keep up with your calendar, news and events.”
There is a people finder allowing searches for teachers via a guess at first name or last name.  Once located you have their name, office location, extension, and email.  You also have quick access to all the Vol State social media links including updates from the student blog.  So, save the new mobile site as one of your favorite pages on your phone and see if it makes campus life just a little bit easier.
Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vol State Baseball Player Receives National Hitting Recognition

Congrats to Vol State baseball player Taylor Stewart! He's one of ten players to receive this national recognition.

COLORADO SPRINGS – Rawlings, in conjunction with the NJCAA, honors annually the top hitter in each of the NJCAA Division I Districts with the highest regular season batting average with the NJCAA Rawlings Big Stick Award. In order to receive this honor the player must be selected to their respective All-District team.

The following are the 2011 recipients of the NJCAA Rawlings Big Stick Award.

Name, College, Position, Average, District

Taylor Stewart, C, Volunteer State Community College (Tenn.), .440 – East Central District