Monday, January 30, 2017

Free Online Tutoring for Vol State Students

You're in the thick of it now- deadlines for assignments and papers, and perhaps confusing concepts you need help with. Free tutoring is just a few clicks away. is a 24/7 online tutoring service. It’s free and available to all Vol State students. You will have Internet access to a live online tutor when and where you need one. You access via the eLearn page for each of your courses. You must access it through your eLearn page for it to work. Here are more details:

What can you do? Brainstorm ideas, develop outlines for papers, prep for tests, and get editing help with papers. You can talk to a live tutor or drop off a paper for review. You will usually have it back within 24 hours.
To get connected to a live tutor, follow these three steps:
-Go to your course in
-Click the “Connect” button in the box.
-A new window will pop open where you can enter your question. Click “CONNECT NOW” to be connected to a live tutor.
If you have questions or need assistance logging in to your account, please contact:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Successful Student Tips: Saying No

Why do some students succeed where others falter? Success isn’t a mysterious secret item that some people own and others don’t, but a series of habits and behaviors. So what does it take to be a successful student? In the Successful Student Tips series we explore some of the keys to success.

“This probably won’t come as a surprise, but I am stepping down as admin.” That was to be my last Skype meeting with the admin team of a busy family-friendly Minecraft server. I was just a few months into my return to college and had come to realize that the term “free time” no longer applied to me. I could have possibly still made it work – if only I had 48 hours in a day.

Fast-forward, and a year later I was resigning the role as officer of a club on campus and turning down numerous invitations for other extracurricular activities for the same reason.

The truth is that in order to succeed at something, you might have to say “no” to other things – even if they’re great opportunities. Taking on too much could mean settling for mediocrity, or even failure, where you could have otherwise excelled. I see these college years as a pause from regular life. My friends hardly see me and my son has gotten used to my door being shut in the afternoons. But good grades and the opportunities that come with them take a lot of long study hours. If it doesn’t bring in an income, give me an “A”, or I didn’t birth it, I usually say “no.”

Each of you will have different pressures and different priorities. Some of the things I turned down would be great opportunities to someone else, and vice-versa. Be sure to prioritize what will best achieve your goals, then cut out the excess. Saying “no” to the things that are eating up your time allows you to focus on what’s really important. 

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

Friday, January 27, 2017

How Vol State Handles Weather Delays and Closings

This a reminder of the Vol State delay and closing guidelines.

Weather notices from Vol State can call for a delay of classes or a closing of a campus. It is always specific to the campus, so what happens in Gallatin may be different from Livingston, Cookeville-CHEC, or Springfield.

-A delay means that classes start at that hour. For example- If we say delayed opening at 9:30am that means only classes that would be meeting at 9:30am or later will be meeting. Classes before that are canceled. Some classes last for several hours. Those classes will start at the opening time.

-Labs are handled differently for a delay. Students should check the eLearn page for each lab to see what the instructor had decided. If campus is closed, there are no classes or labs.

- Vol State closings are not based on public school closings. You'll find that the College doesn't close or have class delays nearly as often as the high schools, primarily due to the fact that we don’t have busses to consider.

-If the roads are dangerous in your area you have the right to decide if you want to attend class or not. If you can't attend let your instructor know so that you can make up work.
-If there is a delay or cancelation students should check their eLearn web page for each canceled class to receive updated assignment info from instructors.

-Students will automatically receive text alerts with closing or delay info if they have a current cell phone listed in My Vol State.

-The website will always be updated on the front page if there is a delay or cancelation:

-You can also monitor our primary Facebook page:

If you don’t receive a text use the website to double check. Any weather statement from the college will appear at the top of the home page.

We do send notices about delays and cancellations to the Nashville TV stations. However, TV stations should be a last resort to view closings. It sometimes takes an hour for the Vol State listings to come up on the screen due to the number of closings. The times the TV stations give us to choose from often don’t match our class times, so we have to approximate.

If you have questions please post them as comments to the Vol State Facebook page weather posting and we will answer.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Free Vol State Tutoring Help with Math, Papers and More

Get the extra help you need this spring semester with math, research assignments and papers. We list free tutoring services on the College Success Zone web page.They're available for all Vol State students and, once again, they are free.

-Online tutoring for everyone in many subject areas
-Assignment research tools and assistance

-Help with papers and speeches
-Math tutoring

 Check out the list here:

Events this Week at Vol State

Events this week at Vol State:
Jan. 24 Coffee with the Prez, Cafeteria, 9am-10am
Jan. 25 Unity Day speaker: William “Tipper” Thomas, Caudill Hall auditorium, 12:45pm
Jan. 26 CAB Welcome Back Bash, Wood Campus Center, 11am-2pm
Jan. 27 Movie Night: Finding Dory, Nichols Dining Room, 7pm

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thomas to Speak at Vol State Unity Day Event

William Joseph Thomas was an innocent bystander in a shooting that took place at Randallstown High School in Baltimore in 2004. As a result, the onetime three-sport athlete was left paralyzed. Now he is an advocate, an engineer, and a survivor. He said his personal mission is to tell his story with hopes of motivating people of all ages, races and backgrounds. He will be speaking at Volunteer State Community College on January 25 for Unity Day.

“There are times in life when it seems hard to actually affirm that you can make it; that you can actually overcome those obstacles and attain that new height,” Thomas said on his website. “However, if you decide that you want it, nothing will stop you from doing it - regardless of physical ability, level of education, or environmental circumstances.”

Thomas will speak at 12:45 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The event is free and open to everyone. For more information call 615-230-3461.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Importance of Showing Up

When I first attended college some (many) years ago, straight out of high school, the difference made my head spin. In high school my parents made sure I got to school. School officials, truancy laws, and strict teachers all made sure I stayed in line, went to class, and did my homework.

In college – well, to put it bluntly – no one cared. My parents were far away and building a new business. My professors barely knew my name, and vice-versa. My friends were mainly concerned with getting themselves through the week and to the weekend. For the first time in my life I was only accountable to myself.

When you’re used to being pushed and pushing back, college can be a big change. You’re a grown-up now. It’s your life, and it’s important that you show up for it. Some professors will drop a grade after too many missed classes (be sure to read the syllabus) but even if they don’t, your grades will slip regardless. Professors lecture over important material, go over what’s expected on tests, give out assignments and sometimes pop quizzes. Sometimes missing a day can’t be helped but don’t let it become a habit, and reach out to your instructor to make up what you missed.

You have a great opportunity, be sure not to waste it! Vol State is a doorway to a better future. Show up to learn and you could be surprised at the opportunities that will open for you.

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

New Look and New Website for the Pioneers

Hey Pioneers- we have a new look! This is the new athletics logo for Vol State. Look for it on merchandise in the Bookstore and online soon. Athletics also has a new website with all sorts of cool features to keep up with baseball, softball and basketball action. Check it out:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Vol State Text Messages for Students

All currently registered students are automatically signed up for Vol State text messages. You should have received two this week. If you haven't received a text from us, please update your cell phone number on your My Vol State page. Text messages will include weather closings, delays and emergency info. We also text about once a week with college tips and important info. If you don't want to receive the texts, just reply STOP to any text you receive. But once you cancel- you are out for good. We don't text very often. Have a great semester!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Financial Aid and Vet Tech Have Moved

Welcome back everyone! A couple of reminders- the Vet Tech program has moved to the old Fine Arts Building next to Wallace North and near the Pickel Field House. Financial Aid has moved to the Ramer will see signs for it in the main lobby. We hope everyone has a great semester!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tips if you are Still Looking for a Specific Spring Class

If you're looking for a specific class keep checking the spring course listings. New ones have been added in some areas and there are also second seven-week classes to consider. They start in March and end at the same time as regular classes in May. Same credit as a full semester class...but more class time and work time required.

Keeping In Touch this Semester with Vol State

The Spring Semester is upon us! Welcome Vol State students, both new and returning. After a much-needed break I’m ready to jump back into the fray. I’m sure you’re excited, nervous, or a mix of both. The awesome staff at Vol State go out of their way to help their students succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Which brings me to the purpose of today’s topic: keeping in touch. Vol State communicates with students through several platforms, and as a student it’s important to keep up with what’s happening on campus. Here are some ways to do that. 

Text Messages – Important school notices such as registration information or weather closings may be sent via text message. If you provided your cell phone number to Vol State when you registered you’re already subscribed to this system. If you need to update your cell number you can do that on your personal information page on My Vol State.

Facebook – We all know about (and some of us complain about) Facebook’s algorithms picking and choosing what you see in your news feed. Like our Facebook page then click on the “Follow” dropdown menu on Vol State’s page. You can choose “See First” to give priority to Vol State’s latest posts.

Twitter – If tweeting is more your style follow the latest here @volstatecampus.

Instagram – Snapshots of campus life and events show the fun side of Vol State. Follow @VolStateCampus.

BlogsThe Vol State Virtual Community and Adult Student Opportunities blogs cover everything from study tips to campus events and important notices.

Web Site – All of this and more can be accessed through The front page has a current list of the latest blog posts, news, and calendars as well as links to My Vol State (your personal Vol State account.)

Of course it’s also important to check your school email often. Don’t know how? Log into the My Vol State Portal and click the email icon in the upper right corner.

More helpful links:

 Vol State Has an App for That! - App Review

Be A Know-It-All: How to Stay Up-To-Date With Vol State

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Vol State Closed Monday, January 16

Vol State will be closed for MLK, Jr. Day on Monday, January 16. No classes will be held that day and all offices will be closed, at all locations. Spring classes will start on Tuesday, January 17 for all online classes and for people with Tuesday classes. Have a great semester everyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tips for New Students

We're getting ready for Spring Semester at Vol State. Classes start January 17. Here are some tips for new students:
-Double check your schedule to make sure you are taking the classes you think you are taking. If you see TBD listed as a location or time, and you have double checked recently in My Vol State and it still says that- you could be signed up for an online class. Nothing wrong with that if it is what you intended.
-Also check to make sure you didn't sign up for another campus without realizing it. CHEC-Cookeville, Highland and Livingston are campuses, not buildings in Gallatin.
-Print up a copy of the Gallatin campus map to spot your classes ahead of time. Print it to take with you for your first week of classes.
-Give yourself an extra half-hour or so the first week of classes to find your favorite parking place and your best route to class.
-Use the back entrance to the Gallatin campus off Greenlea, it's much less congested. Parking in those back lots is also easier.
-The Financial Aid Office moved to the Ramer Building over the holidays. Look for the signs in the main lobby of Ramer.

Taking an Online Class this Semester?

Taking online classes this semester? We have how-to videos about the eLearn online class system. Check them out at:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Financial Aid Move and Gallatin Campus Map

The Financial Aid office has moved to the Ramer building. You will see signs pointing to their location, just down from the Ramer lobby. We have updated that and a couple of other things on the map. Here is the updated map for the Gallatin campus:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Spring Class Fees Due January 9

Fees for your spring classes are due by January 9. You can pay in several different ways. Here is a link to the details:

Gallatin Campus Closed Friday, January 6 until 1pm - Business and Bookstore Open All Day

The Gallatin campus will be closed this Friday, January 6 until 1 p.m. Offices will open at 1 p.m. for business. The Cashier's Office will be open for payments and transactions all day. The Bookstore will also be open all day. All other offices will open at 1pm. 

Livingston will also be closed until 1pm. Highland and Cookeville will be open all day.

A reminder that you can apply to the college at any time at