Friday, December 18, 2020

Holiday Schedule for Campuses

Vol State staff are here to help you get ready for the spring semester. But you should be aware of some dates coming up. We are open to help you Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, December 21-23. All campuses will be closed starting December 24. We will reopen all campuses on Monday, January 4. During the holiday break, fall students can still register for spring classes on My Vol State. New and readmit students can apply online over the holidays. Visit

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Vol State Virtual Graduation Ceremony Dec. 12

Vol State Fall 2020 graduates will celebrate with a virtual ceremony on Saturday, December 12 starting at 10 a.m. It can be found at If you miss the premier, you can also watch the ceremony for the next several weeks at that same location. Congrats graduates!

Graduate Profile: Andrew Burgess

Andrew Burgess chose the Vol State Cookeville campus because of close proximity. But he said his decision to go into Computer Information Technology (CIT) was based on conversations with faculty members.

“I talked to professors Imam and Said about the CIT program. I could tell from our conversations that the program was about collaboration and studio thinking, where everyone brings something to the table.”

Burgess is due to graduate with a CIT degree this fall. It’s actually the second step in his IT education. He received a certificate from a CISCO Networking Academy in California nearly 20 years ago. “I went to Vol State to have a second chapter in my IT work and to focus on security and forensics.”

Cyber defense isn’t just an area of study for Burgess. He has personal experience as a victim. “My medical records were wiped out in a cyber attack this year. Cyber crime effects every American eventually. I wanted to be engaged as part of the solution.”

The TN Reconnect student said the support at the Cookeville campus helped him through some challenging times. “They had the same level of passion that I did. They never let me get to a place where I would give up. They advocated for my success at Vol State, from the beginning.”

Burgess is headed to Tennessee Tech next year to continue academic work for a bachelor’s degree.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Graduate Profile: Patrick Collum

Vol State has many students seeking a mid-life career change, but Patrick Collum’s past career and future calling make him stand out.

“My experience was a decade of emergency medical services. I was an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and Captain of the Sumner County Basic Life Support Division,” he said. “I was glad for my years of service, but I want to spend more time with my children.”

Normally, you would expect that someone with a background in emergency medicine would find another career in the Health Sciences. Collum chose a brand new path.

“Growing up my father was a police officer. Today, most cybercrimes go unsolved. People are paying large ransoms and the perpetrators can be operating from the other side of the world. It seems like a challenge.”

And thus the EMT is graduating from Vol State with a Computer Information Technology degree in CyberDefense.

“I just got hired with the Sumner County Board of Education in the IT department. The degree worked.”

His career change is a big milestone in his life. “This last year has been so hard for everyone in healthcare and completing my degree while serving the community has been challenging to maintain momentum toward graduating. My wife, three daughters, and my mother have continued to motivate and support me through this difficult time and encouraged me every step of the way.”

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Graduate Profile: Nyalat Bidit

College assignments can be tough, so imagine how hard it would be if English wasn’t your native language? That was the case for fall graduate Nyalat Bidit. The Ethiopian mother of four came to the United States in 2005 from South Sudan.

“I went to school in Ethiopia, but it was in other languages. I knew English, but don’t speak it that well. It was really hard. I appreciate all of the ESOL instructors. They lifted me up so I could learn to write a paper and do college level work.”

She went through Vol State ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes and then to college level courses. The road to a college degree wasn’t just hard because of the academics. “I live in Lavergne. I have to travel two hours a day. It’s a long commute.”

Bidit said many people helped her on her path to a degree in pre-nursing. But some Vol State faculty members went even further. “Karen Hutson was more like a mentor to me. She helped me through a lot. She would tell me- keep pushing, you can do it. I don’t know how I can thank her enough.”

Monday, December 7, 2020

Graduate Profile: Andrea Benson

Imagine attending two different colleges, three different times, over 30 years. Graduation for Andrea Benson of Westmoreland is a big deal. It’s especially significant because she had to drop two classes this semester and didn’t think she would graduate. The problem was one many people are facing- Andrea had several coworkers sick with COVID, which left her struggling with a 65 hour work week. She did the right thing, though, she contacted an advisor before giving up for the semester. They pointed out that with a major change she would have enough credits to graduate. The fifty-eight year old has been on a long journey to get that degree.

“I started college at 28 years old at Nashville Tech. I transferred to Vol State in 2000, when the company I worked for closed up. We made NASCAR caps,” she said.

She stopped taking classes after a few more years, leaving the degree unfinished, until just recently.

“My daughter went back to school for a social work degree and she said – mom, why don’t you go back?”

And Andrea is taking the virtual graduation ceremony pretty seriously.

“Me and my grandchildren are planning to watch with a celebration party. We have invitations and everything,” she said.

Friday, December 4, 2020

New Performing Arts YouTube Channel

out Vol State musicians on the new Performing Arts YouTube Channel. They have created a Performing Arts 2020 Christmas/End of Semester playlist for everyone to enjoy. It’s a work in progress, so also check back next week for more additions. The songs are a variety of styles, some holiday and some other themes. And subscribe to get all of the playlist updates.

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

Monday, November 30, 2020

Virtual Holiday Celebration Tuesday

Holiday Virtual Festival of Lights
Tuesday, December 1st • 12:30-1:30 PM.
Zoom Link:

To ring in the holidays, we will have performances from several Vol State Performance Ensembles. Members from our campus community will also briefly share what this season means to them and how they will remember 2020 and look towards 2021.

Organized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Department of Performing Arts.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Student Food Giveaway Now Includes Community

Vol State is working to keep students and their families fed. A new program is expanding that effort to also help the community. The Gallatin campus will be a pick-up site for a Farmers to Families Program food giveaway each Wednesday through December 23. There will be approximately 400 boxes to give out each week. The distribution will start with Vol State students at 10 a.m. and then, if supplies allow, continue for the public starting at 10:30 a.m. Each box contains two packages of meat, a gallon of milk, cheese, yogurt, or cottage cheese, fruits, and vegetables. Vol State at Springfield is participating for student distribution only. Students should see their email for details.

This is part of an ongoing effort by the Vol State Office of Student Engagement and Support. They have operated the FEED student food bank for several years. Organizers say the need for food support has increased greatly with Covid-19 economic issues in the last year. The distribution will happen at the campus in Gallatin at 1480 Nashville Pike. Attendees should use the main entrance to the college, with the electronic sign, and look for the posted signs. For more information call 615-230-3492.

Vol State Virtual Events this Week

November 16: Study Abroad Student Information Session at 10 a.m. Zoom, 
November 17: “Nelson Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend – a virtual presentation and discussion with Christo Brand” at 11 a.m. Zoom,
November 17:    SGA Meeting, 11:15am-12:15pm, Zoom, Meeting ID: ID: 326 397 332
November 18: Faculty International Education Information Session at Noon, Zoom,
November 19: Study Abroad Showcase at 11 a.m. Faculty members talk about the experience of Study Aboard. Zoom,

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Apply Now for Spring Semester - Classes Start January 19

It’s time to apply for Spring 2021 classes at Vol State. The college will have hundreds of courses to choose from in more than 100 areas of study. New students can apply now at The semester begins January 19. 
Vol State online offerings come in three versions. Online asynchronous classes don’t have regular class meetings, allowing students to set their own schedule during the week, with due dates for assignments. Virtual synchronous classes have regularly scheduled online class meetings with instructors via Zoom or other video platforms. The third type, hybrid classes, offer limited in-person class sessions, combined with online coursework. Vol State will have limited on-site face-to-face classes this spring on all four campuses, primarily focusing on courses that feature hands-on class work.
Vol State students have a variety of free online academic support available, including math tutoring and help with papers, speeches and other assignments. Details here:

Monday, November 9, 2020

Vol State Virtual Events this Week

Honoring the Legacy of Our Veterans:  A Visual Tribute
November 10 • 12:30 PM
November 11 (Two showings)
11:11 AM
4:00 PM
November 12:    Study Abroad Student Information Session, 11:30am-12:30pm, Zoom, 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Veterans Day Week Virtual Events

Honoring the Legacy of Our Veterans:  A Visual Tribute

Tuesday, November 10th • 12:30 PM

Zoom Registration Link:

Wednesday, November 11th (Two showings)

11:11 AM

Zoom Registration Link:

4:00 PM

Zoom Registration Link:

For more information contact:

International Education Week at Vol State

International Education Week is coming up at Vol State. Learn about Study Abroad opportunities for students and how you can participate. And join us on Tuesday for a very special guest speaker.

Monday, November 16: Study Abroad Student Information Session at 10 a.m. Zoom, 

Tuesday, November 17: “Nelson Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend – a virtual presentation and discussion with Christo Brand” at 11 a.m. Zoom,

Wednesday, November 18: Faculty International Education Information Session at Noon, Zoom,

Thursday, November 19: Study Abroad Showcase at 11 a.m. Faculty members talk about the experience of Study Aboard. Zoom,

We’ll also have a drawing to award students a prize for participating in any of this week’s sessions.

Vol State Virtual Event Features Nelson Mandela Jailer

Christo Brand, former prison warden and friend of Nelson Mandela, will share a living testimonial of Mandela’s time in prison and his release. Brand is one of a select few who can offer authentic insights into Mandela’s thoughts, reflections, and hope for humanity. It’s part of International Education Week at Volunteer State Community College and the public is invited to attend.

Brand was Mandela’s warden for twelve years and became a close friend of his – right up until his death in 2013.  At Mandela’s insistence, Brand co-wrote his autobiography titled Doing Life with Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend.  Mandela chose the title of the book. The presentation features slides showing personal letters, notes, and pictures. Participants will then have the opportunity to ask questions. The free event will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, November 17 at 11 a.m. at The International Education program at Vol State includes student study abroad opportunities and special events.

Get Help Filling out the FAFSA- November 19

Current students and Future Students

Get help filling out the FAFSA-

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Drive-in Event

November 19 from 4:30pm – 6:30pm

Gallatin and Cookeville Campuses

Parking lots…look for signs

RSVP to:

Monday, November 2, 2020

Spring Priority Class Registration Starts this Week

Priority registration for current Vol State students starts this week. Degree Works will list the classes you need for your degree path. Also talk to your academic advisor to make sure you are registering for the correct classes. Use priority registration to get the classes you need, at the times you want, and before new students.

Monday, November 2 at 8am - First day for currently enrolled sophomores to register (cumulative earned hours of 30 or more).

Tuesday, November 3 at 8am - First day for currently enrolled freshmen to register (cumulative earned hours of 29 or less).

Vol State will be offering courses in a number of different formats in Spring 2021, much in the same manner as we held Fall classes. To clarify some terms, we set up this graphic to help you choose. Most classes this semester will be Online: asynchronous, Virtual: synchronous, and Hybrid.  Check Schedule Planner for the details about meeting times and locations when you register. Here is some more info about course delivery methods:

Here are some of the common codes we use:

Instructional Methods:

CON:      On-Site Face-to-Face

DVC:      Virtual Class: Synchronous

WEB:     Online: Asynchronous

RD1:       TNeCampus: Online Asynchronous

HYB:      Hybrid

Common Campus Codes:

63M:      Vol State Gallatin

V2J:        Vol State Cookeville

VA5:       Vol State Livingston

VB2:       Vol State Springfield

ZOZ:       Online

Virtual Events this Week at Vol State

All Week: First-Generation College Student Celebration Virtual Events. Details here.

Nov. 2             Sophomores can start registration for spring classes for Priority Registration at 8am

Nov. 3             Freshmen can start registration for spring classes for Priority Registration at 8am

Nov. 3             SGA Meeting, 11:15-12:15pm, Zoom, Meeting ID: 326 397 332

Nov. 4             Study Abroad Student Information Session, 1-2pm, Zoom,…