Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Old and New Friends Enjoy the First Week Back to School

Students are buzzing from one building to the next.  Backpacks, books, and iPods can be seen in every direction. Various student clubs are busy recruiting new members in the Wood Campus Center, while over in the Ramer building the welcome crew is trying to keep the traffic moving and get those last minute questions answered.  It is nice to hear the sounds of laughter, it lightens the tension of everyone’s first week back to school.   

Rob Alverson looks into the ACE club with Brittany Bertoli and Maggie Lewis

Glad to see thier freinds, students lounge outside the Vol State Grill
In between Hacky Sack games, Justin Brown (Fire Science), Catherine Hooper (Nursing), Demos Thang, and Garret Miller (Communications) all try to stay cool under the Gazebo. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Welcome Back to Campus!

It's great to have the Vol State campus buzzing with activity again. We hope new students are getting settled in and that everyone is squared away with their classes. Getting started on the right foot and attending all of your classes are just a couple of ways to help you be successful this fall.  Here are some pics of the busy campus:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Correction: Hey RODOP students...important info here!

Online classes for RODP start Saturday, August 27 (tomorrow). You should log-on after 6pm. They sent a flier out to students with instructions on how to get started. If you didn't receive that flier for any reason you can get the information on the web page:

These are different from regular Vol State online classes. However, the regular Vol State online classes are open for log-in starting at midnight Saturday they are open now. Our apologies for the incorrect info previously.
Also, you can sign in to your Vol State online classes with the Vol State portal called My Vol State. For RODP classes you need to go to

Once again, we had incorrect info before. You cannot access RODP through the portal, you must use the direct site link above.

Good luck with your classes and have a great semester!

E-Textbooks Pros and Cons

The images and colors of a book can attract me from a great distance.  Picking up the book I lightly run my fingers across the spine exploring the texture and weight.  A gentle flip of the pages introduces my senses to the aroma and sounds that are unique to each book.  I have participated in this ritual for decades, and I would be lying if I said that there was not something intimate about the reading process.  However, now that I am attending college, I don’t have the luxury of courting my choice in literature.  Required textbooks, research materials, and my laptop have increased the weight of my backpack upwards of fifty pounds.  Now, faced with engaging e-readers, I feel as if I am being unfaithful to the tried and true relationship I have with paper, but I am doing it anyway.  I am buying every possible online book I can for this semester.

Kindle, Nook, i-Pad, and a dozen other e-readers have taken the market by storm.  Here are some of the pros and cons I have considered.

CONS:   Digital is new and therefore not all companies have published every title electronically 
                For the most part you need online access to read core material
                It is a different process to take notes
                There is a definite evolution, prejudice, and learning process that will be faced
                You must have a power-source or plenty of battery life
                Many textbooks have expiration dates after one to three years

PROS:    Two pounds of luggage vs. 50
                Volumes of additional resources included with e-reader for free
                The e-textbook I have investigated were half the price of the hardcopy
                Instant access to comments from others that have studied the text
                Instant availability and updates
                Ability to do homework at a remote location
There are many resources out there, but here are the top three that I have found for my classes.  The Vol State Bookstore recomends CafĂ© Scribe.  Most of publishers I investigated used  Course Smart, and Vital Source.

Overall, I won’t know until the end of this semester if this was a good choice or not, but if this digital relationship fails, I hope that paper will still be patiently waiting for me on my bookshelf.

Volunteer State Community College

Pick your favorite for Movies by Starlight

One of the most popular Vol State events every school year is when the Student Government Association and the Association for Campus Events sponsor the free "Movies by Starlight". They're first run features shown outside on the library lawn in nice weather and inside the gym if it rains. This semester "Movies by Starlight" is coming up on Friday, September 23.  They have given us the opportunity to participate in selecting the movies.  Jamey Campbell will confirm these numbers with other polls on September 1. 

Your choices are listed in the side bar. Go to the very top of the right hand side of this screen  Pick your movies and we'll announce the winners!

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Last Chance to Sign-up for a Cool Class

I was worried that my history and literature courses were going to be boring, but I found out about a secret class that did not show up on my radar.  It is a combo American History/Literature Honors class that was designed for people just like me.  The class is discussion based, so you won’t need a standard textbook. You'll read novels.  Many of the fall classes are already full, yet this one still has openings.  Is it harder?  Not really, but it does require critical thinking, reading, writing, and dialogue with others.  There are only two days left to register for this two hour class that counts for (6) credits.  You heard me right; this satisfies both a history and an English requirement. 
If you ask the instructors at Vol State who they personally recommend as teachers, most include both Dr. Bob Ruff and Associate Professor Nancy Blomgren at the top of their list.  For years this dynamic duo has inspired students with this unique class, provoking students to think outside the box and understand the elements that have shaped our nation.  You may not be able to register online, so if you are interested please contact your advisor immediately or email one of the instructors listed above.
The class meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 am to 10:00 am in a special room setup in the Thigpen Library. 
Volunteer State Community College

Vol State Mystery Finally Solved - 37 Years Later!

Picture yourself on a beautiful March day.  Spring is in the air, flowers burst forth with color, birds croon a melody to mother earth, the scent of freshly mown grass - and naked people are running around.  Garden of Eden?  Not hardly!  It's Volunteer State Community College thirty-seven years ago.

This tale comes from Financial Aid Director Sue Pedigo in a special edition of Volunteer Vision alumni magazine, commemorating the college for forty years of community service.  Published by the Foundation the article recalled an incident from 1974 involving a streaker on the campus. Wearing only a mask and tennis shoes a Vol State student ran across the campus to the gymnasium. On-looking students locked arms to form a line, preventing the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and local law enforcement from apprehending this individual. According to the 1974 May issue of The Settler, the Student Government Association (SGA) noted this as one of the most important accomplishments of the year. For almost forty years the streaker’s identity has remained an unsolved mystery. That is until now. 

When reading the article, 1976 graduate Mike Berkner laughed out loud, and contacted Pedigo confessing that he was the man behind the mask. I gave him a call and he seemed pleased to finally talk about it. “At first, there were five or six of us that were going to run,” said Berkner. “Word got out that they had called the TBI agents and the police, so, in essence everyone else chickened out. It wasn’t that I just wanted to show off my little body. I was a conscientious objector . So I thought I’d do it anyway. You know, it was kind of a political thing. ”

Pedigo tells how he ran from the area near the SGA offices to the back entrance of the gymnasium. “It was the biggest thing we ever had happen at Vol State. I didn’t get to see it but I heard about the excitement,” said Pedigo. “When Ray Stevens wrote that song The Streak, it was personal, and we could all relate because we had had our own. TBI was parked all around, but the students shielded the streaker from the police. They even maced a few kids because they wouldn’t let them through the line. You’ve got to remember that we had just finished Vietnam and there was a lot of rebellion going on. It was an exciting time.”

Berkner rushed into the women’s locker room to dodge pursuit. “When I got in there, they had my clothes waiting for me,” said Berkner. “The police and the TBI couldn’t come in, because the girls said ‘we’re in the shower and you can’t come in here.’” Later, while wearing the same ski mask for anonymity, Berkner gave an interview with Dan McDaniel from channel four. When asked why he did it, his response was “For freedom, man!”

After retiring from the Post Office, Berkner is now using his degree in forestry to work for the state of Georgia. His closing words to me were, “Tell everyone, I sing in the church choir now, and all’s well that ends well.”

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vol State New Student Checklist

If you're a new student at Vol State we have some tips for you.

-Get your student ID and parking pass:

-Know where your classes will be ahead of time. Check out your schedule and then visit the map:

-Figure out where you are going to park. Visit the map for parking lot details. Remember to park only in the unmarked spots, they are available to everyone with a parking decal.

-Get up to speed on the extra academic help we have available for free, including tutoring, help with tough classes and assistance with papers and research reports:

-Friend Us on facebook to connect with other students and get tips and information about Vol State:

-Sign-up for Vol State text alerts. We'll let you know when classes are delayed or canceled due to weather and keep you up to date in emergency situations. You can also click a box to get campus tips and info texted to you if you want:

Have a great semester!

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, August 22, 2011

Parking Tips and Getting Around Campus

Hello to all the new Vol State students getting ready for fall semester! We want to help you have a smooth start here. Classes start on August 27 and that means it's time to get acquainted with where things are on campus. We have a map showing the buildings, departments and programs on campus. We encourage new students to take a look before you get to campus, especially to figure out where your classes will be. You'll find the building and room listed on your schedule of classes. Taking a look at the map is also an opportunity to scout out the best parking location. As you may have heard, parking can be hectic on weekday mornings. You're advised to give yourself extra time for the first couple of weeks to find the best spot. We do have extra parking this year. The former gravel lot behind the Wallace building has been paved.

We'll be honest- traffic is often a real pain just before 8 a.m. classes on weekdays. The entrance at Nashville Pike gets backed up quickly. We suggest using the new entrance off of Enterprise Drive and Greenlea Blvd. It's close to Hwy 386 and allows you to park near Wallace or go up to the Wood Campus Center.

We hope you have a great semester!

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Help for New Online and Hybrid Course Students

The Vol State Distance Learning Department will be offering Student Success seminars for new Online and Hybrid class students on Friday, Aug. 26 from 1-2 p.m. and Saturday, August 27 from 9- 10 a.m. in the Jim Moore Conference Room on the second floor of Thigpen Library.

In addition, video tutorials for online students who can't attend the session can be found here:

Specific topics covered include:

• How to log-in

o The Difference between RODP and Vol State courses

o Time outs

• Email (D2L vs Student email)

• Using MyVolStateOnline

o Content

o Discussions

o Quizzes

o Dropbox

o Checklist

• Tips for successfully participating in an online class

For more information contact the Distance Learning Department at 230‐3665

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tips for Finding the Testing Center

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” -------Ben Franklin

The Vol State Testing Center is hard to find, so, plan to arrive early.  Here is a short video-blog showing one way to get there.
Did you ever know one of those kids that always did a great job when taking a test?  It’s probable that she or he knew the importance of planning ahead.  You don’t have to be a genius to apply simple test taking strategies.  There are some great tips found on the ACT website.  Most of these apply to all tests.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, August 12, 2011

Trevecca bachelor’s degree classes on the Vol State campus

This note about a new bachelor's degree program comes from our friends at Trevecca Nazarene University:

Are you ready to complete your B.A.?

Completing your associate’s degree with Vol State is a huge accomplishment! It means you’ve done something a lot of other people don’t often do. You have invested in your education. Are you ready to take the next step and earn your bachelor’s degree?

A bachelor’s degree goes beyond what an associate’s degree can do for you. A bachelor’s degree makes you more marketable, offers more career flexibility, and empowers you with more control over your life.

The Management and Human Relations (MHR) program offered by Trevecca Nazarene University can be completed in as little as thirteen months, with classes meeting only one night a week. This means that if you were to begin this month, then this time next year you would be staring at yourself in a mirror with a diploma nearly in hand! Imagine the pride and the sense of accomplishment!

Because of our partnership with Volunteer State we can quickly apply the credits you earn here towards your bachelor’s degree at Trevecca. Classes will meet on the Volunteer State campus so you will be working in an environment that is already familiar to you.

How can you enroll?

We are currently enrolling students for our September 20 start date, but seats are limited to the first twenty-five students. Go to to begin the enrollment process and reserve your seat for this fall!

If you would like to learn more about how to complete your degree in our MHR program, then on behalf of Trevecca I would like to extend a personal invitation to you to join us for an information meeting in the Thigpen Rochelle Center in the Thigpen Library on the campus of Volunteer State Community College. You can join us on either of two nights, Tuesday, August 23 or Thursday, September 1 from 5:30 – 7:30 on both nights.

Both meetings are designed to follow a come-and-go format. We will have experts on hand to answer your questions about financial aid and to talk with you about the specifics of the program. Refreshments will be provided and we encourage you to invite a friend to accompany you.

For more information contact:
Chad Maxson
(615) 230-4804

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Vol State Library: More tools for you than just books

Starting school can feel like trying to get a drink out of a fire hose.  The amount of information that blows past a student can be overwhelming.  Make sure you don't miss out on all of the cool things available to you at the Vol State Thigpen Library. They probably have more ways to assist you than any other place on campus.  They have both Mac and PC desktop computers, laptops, printers, staplers, books, access to scholarly articles, and a plethora of other online tools. 
Are you uncomfortable navigating the Vol State library website?  Library staff provide a friendly face just inside the main entrance to the library and they're waiting to help you.  As Director of Library Services, Louise Kelly wants to see each student develop the best learning strategy possible.  “A lot of times a new student won’t ask for help,” said Kelly.  “That’s what we are here for.  Stop by the reference desk and we will help you find the best sources.  We always have someone to assist with research.  Our computers are the most popular resource.  We hold training workshops at the beginning of each semester.  Many students do not realize that in addition to our physical books, we have over sixty nine thousand e-books that can be accessed remotely.”
If you have a group project and need a place to meet, there are seven private study rooms upstairs, viewing rooms for the academic DVD collection, and many textbooks for those that are still waiting for course material the first couple of weeks of class. 
New hours start August 27
Monday-Thursday 7:30 am - 9:00 pm
Friday      7:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday  8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Volunteer State Community College

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ride Share Board for Fall 2011-Spring 2012

Hey, do you need a ride to Vol State? Would you like to find someone to help pay for gas? This is the place for folks to meet and work out a deal. This will be the Vol State ride share board for Fall and Spring 2011-2012.

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.

Volunteer State Community College