Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Library and Learning Commons Computers Now Available for Current Students

The Thigpen Library and Learning Commons are now open Mon-Fri, 8:00am-4:30pm for current students and staff/faculty (no visitors at this time). 

The Learning Commons is open for student computer use. All tutoring is still being held online. You can do that by visiting: https://libguides.volstate.edu/cv19/lc

·       The library is open for student computer use (limited to the first floor) and materials pickup. The second floor remains closed at this time.

·       Students are encouraged to email their request for materials ahead of time to circulation@volstate.edu so materials will be ready for them upon arrival.

·       All students and staff will be expected to follow campus safety protocols - they must fill out the screening form, wear a mask, maintain adequate distance from others, etc. 

·       All visitors to the Library and Learning Commons must use the entrance across from the Mattox Building. The main entrance at the Library Lawn is closed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Vol State Fall 2020 Classes are Changing

Vol State Fall 2020 classes are changing. The adjustments will help us handle whatever comes up next in the COVID-19 health crisis. We will still have limited on-campus classes this fall, but to keep the number of students on our campuses at a safe level, where we can practice social distancing, we are utilizing the power of online learning to supplement classes.

Students who have already registered for classes should see the Schedule Planner on My Vol State to view the changes. We have a video and written instructions for how to identify class formats. Visit: www.volstate.edu/covid-adjustment

We want to acquaint people considering college with how we will deliver classes this fall. They will be offered primarily in four formats:

· Online – Fully online classes within eLearn, as we have usually done them. These are labeled Online: Asynchronous, meaning you can log in and receive instruction and do your work at any time. Asynchronous means there are no assigned class times, but there will be assignment due dates each week.

· Virtual Classes will use a videoconferencing service (for example, Zoom) to meet at an assigned time to deliver live instruction. eLearn will be used to submit assignments or access additional materials. These are labeled Virtual Class: Synchronous, which just means that they have assigned days and times for the online class meetings. Our videoconferencing services are free. Software may be downloaded directly from volstate.edu.

· Hybrid – A combination of online or virtual and an on-site, in-person component. The idea is to limit the number of class meetings.

· On-Site Face-to-FaceTraditional classes occurring at one of our campuses. This is primarily for classes that have a significant “hands on” component, such as some science labs, and Health Sciences, Art, and Music instruction, to name a few.

If you are new to online learning, that is not a problem, we will walk you through it. Vol State is ranked number seven in the nation, and number one in Tennessee, for online learning at community colleges, according to the review group College Consensus. We use an online system called eLearn. It’s a web page that will have your classes and assignments. Please take a few minutes to visit this explanatory web page and get acquainted with eLearn: https://www.volstate.edu/elearnsuccess

If you are considering classes this fall, but have not applied yet, we encourage you to do so now. The application is entirely online at www.volstate.edu/apply .

To meet with an Admissions Advisor online or on the phone visit www.volstate.edu/recruiter.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Interview With New Medical Assisting Program Director: Christina Nagy

Program director at Volunteer State Community College, Christina Nagy, explains the details about the new Medical Assisting Program at Vol State
Q: What will the program offer?
A: Initially, we will start off a little bit small and build from there. The program will only be offered at the Gallatin Main Campus. We are taking in a maximum of 12 students at the beginning. We hope to grow it to 24 students and offer it at the satellite locations as well.
Q: What will the students be learning in class?
A: In the fall, prerequisite classes will be taken and must be passed. Then, we will conduct an interview and look through references. Scores will be totaled on their performance to see who will be selected for the core classes in the spring.  They will learn about body systems and about all the different fields in the medical industry. It allows them to have an education that will offer them jobs in many different areas that they could potentially go to work in.
Q: How do the externships work?
A: Externships will be selected for them the following spring after they complete one year of core criteria. I watch them while they are in lab to see how they handle things and place them where I think they will individually excel. The idea of the externships is, if they do well enough, that the facility will hire them.
Q: What are the main benefits of this program?
A: It is a very diverse field to get into and one of the top growing fields in the health industry right now in the nation. One of the unique things about medical assisting is the diversity. The students are taught to participate in all aspects of a medical office. They work in front answering the phone and making appointments, but also work in the back getting vital signs and giving injections. Being cross trained makes you very marketable.
Q: What other aspects will these medical students be involved with?
A: We will actively take the medical students up to par and trained so they will be able to compete next year at Skills USA, representing Vol State. Skills USA is for high school and post-secondary students to compete within their degree program. There are a lot of different contests within the fields. It goes to the national level. A great part of this is that sometimes judges work in the industry and see your performance and offer you a job, especially on the higher competitive levels.
If you are interested in this educational opportunity, click here for more information and Christina Nagy's contact information: https://www.volstate.edu/academics/health-sciences/medical-assisting

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

We publicly affirm our identity as an anti-racist academic institution.

The tragic events, which led to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd laid bare the systemic racism, discrimination and violence that black and brown people face. These acts have reinforced our resolve at Volunteer State Community College to examine and act against the multidimensional nature of racism in the United States. Like our society at large, higher education has its own history of exclusion and marginalization of minorities. We acknowledge that. It is our intention as a college to combat that lingering legacy and foster an environment where students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds can learn and work free from the dangerous and devastating effects of prejudice, discrimination, and marginalization. Racism in all its forms is, by its very nature, opposed to this commitment. Whether intentional or unintentional, individual or institutional, racism is harmful and dehumanizing and has adverse effects on our community. Racial injustice will not end until the views endemic to it are rejected categorically. Vol State’s foundation is rooted in the communities we serve. As educators and leaders, Volunteer State must be out front in opposition to policies, procedures, and environments that foster racism. Let us all refuse to accept or tolerate the unjust treatment of our neighbors. Let us challenge those who attempt to justify, dismiss, ignore, or explain away mistreatment of Black lives or any persons of color. Let us demand change. To be in a position of power and be silent on this matter would be a disservice to our community and our mission. To be in a position of power and not use our voice to condemn oppression is to be complicit in the oppression of others. We are accountable to the students and communities we serve and have a moral obligation to value life. As such we affirm our commitment to the following:
· We publicly affirm our identity as an anti-racist academic institution.
· We seek to eliminate racial injustices in our communities. We are committed to empower our students, faculty and staff toward this collective goal.
· We are resolved to continue working together to develop and implement strategies that dismantle racism in the life and culture of the college through our policies, programs and practices. We recognize that we will never be “finished” with work that strives toward racial justice. As our diversity statement reads, “Volunteer State Community College is committed to respecting the rights and understanding the points of view of all members of the community and considers diversity an integral part of both the social and intellectual climate, on and off campus.” We seek a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus that prepares its students to ethically engage with local and global communities and creates a context for exceptional teaching and learning. A commitment to diversity and inclusion enhances our ability to fulfill the mission of the college. Diversity and inclusion are essential to creating a community where those of all backgrounds feel valued, respected, and recognized for their contributions to our campus and community. Let it be said that Vol State Community College will be at the front, leading the way towards a more just and equitable society.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Vol State Springfield Receives State Approval to Offer Degree Programs

Volunteer State Community College's Springfield campus has received approval from the Tennessee Board of Regents to offer complete college degree programs in Robertson County starting this fall semester. The college has offered classes at the Springfield campus since 2011. Thus far, students have had to combine the courses offered in Springfield with other courses held online or on the Vol State Gallatin campus in order to obtain a degree. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission approved a request to designate the Springfield campus as a “Center.” That means degrees can be awarded there and all classes needed for certain degree programs can be held on the campus.

“The offering of degrees in Springfield has been a high priority for both Vol State and the community. The work with city and county leaders in growing the campus has paid-off with this approval. We’re excited to expand our offerings in Robertson County. This is a solid base to build on for many years to come,” said Vol State president, Jerry Faulkner.

Beginning with fall classes in August, Vol State Springfield will provide all the coursework for the completion of an Associate of Science Degree in Teaching and the University Parallel Major. These majors are designed for transfer to a four-year institution. Associate of Applied Science Degrees, A.A.S, will also be offered for students planning to enter the job market immediately upon graduation from Vol State. Examples of A.A.S. programming are Computer Information Technology courses, including Cyber Defense, Programming, and Logic.

Anne-Marie McKee, who was named director of Vol State Springfield, has been associated with Vol State Community College for more than 20 years, and brings many years of higher education experience to the campus.

“I have been meeting with community and business leaders and everyone has made me feel so welcome,” said McKee. “I look forward to building those relationships and working directly with Vol State students in Springfield as we provide a high-quality education that can lead to so many careers and further educational opportunities.”

Students can use both the TN Promise program for graduating high school seniors and the TN Reconnect program for adults who do not already have a college degree, to receive free tuition at Vol State Springfield. The college has many Springfield and online classes available to university students who are taking a semester off. They are general education courses that can count for credit at many universities. New students should apply now at www.volstate.edu/apply

The Vol State Springfield campus is located at 150 Laureate Avenue, just south of NorthCrest Medical Center, off Highway 431 and William Batson Parkway. The campus offices are closed for now, but staff are assisting people online and over the phone. For more information visit www.volstate.edu/springfield or call (615)433-7030.

Pictured: The Vol State Science Lab in Springfield provides the facilities for many classes ranging from biology to anatomy and physiology.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Transition From Spring to Summer Semester

The transition from spring to summer semester has been difficult for most students 

From the turbulence of switching to an online format to having a two-day break between in between the end of one term and the start of the other, it has not been easy. 

With experiencing the uncertain times in both life and college alongside with you, here are some ways I was able to get through it, plus some advice from other fellow students. 

Stay Motivated 

There are a lot of common struggles that have been brought up within the student population. We are facing the challenges of trying to learn in a different method successfully and keeping our sanity at the same time. Here are a few tips to overcome your struggles when it comes to your classes during this time. 

  • Take Time to Breath 

It is important to focus your mind and body in these hard times. Having many stressors in your life, you can easily become overwhelmed. Take a few minutes to mediate to release those negative energies. I like to take five minutes between every hour off work to set beside my window and just breathe deeply. This has helped to calm my nerves. 

  • Power Hour 

Shane Johnsonsophomore at Vol State says, “Get as much as you can finished within the first few hours after you wake up. Power through that time and then you can have the rest of the day to do other tasks.” This will help you mind stay focused and clear. 

  • Have a Goal 

If you struggle with getting started on your tasks. Write down a list of goal to complete in a day. For example, if you have a paper coming up in a week, list a goal as completing one paragraph of that paper. Slowly inch toward you end endeavor by giving yourself enough time to accomplish the task in mini sessions. 

Be Prepared 

Preparation is something I believe college students struggle withrushing at the last minute. One of the main problems that we as students have faced with going from spring to summer semester in approximately two days is having all our stuff organized. These are some items to have into place before your semester begins so it can run more smoothly. 

  • Time Management 

Sofia Hernandez, Tennessee Reconnect student suggest that, “Make sure to manage your time by setting aside enough hours in the day to complete your work.” By doing your assignments ahead time, it can save you a lot of worry. 

  • Buy Textbooks 

This is one of the main struggles I faced in the transition from spring to summer classes. There was a two-day period from each semester, and it did not come to my mind to order my textbooks that I would need for the summer because I was so consumed with finals. By doing this, you can save your grades immensely. 

  • Supplies 

Another issues I had was not having the necessary supplies. My computer crashed and my cellphone was crushed on the last weeks of my spring classes. I was panicked and was not sure where to go from there. Through that process, I learned to not be afraid to ask for help and have a backup for everything whether it be a library or friend’s electronic device or other needed school supplies. 

With the transition from spring to summer, from in-person to online, and from normal to a whole new reality, we must do the best we can and keep a positive attitude. I hope some of these tips from Johnson, Hernandez, and I will help stay motivated, focused, organized, and positive. 

We must stick together during this process of adaptation and always look forward to new opportunities. Even though it is tough, you will be glad you stuck it out and put your education first. 

Vol State wishes you the best in your summer classes.