TBR Approves Increased Fee/Tuition Rates

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Tennessee Board of Regents voted to increase tuition and fee rates today for the six universities, 13 community colleges and 27 technology centers it governs. The rates of increase are lower this year than in previous years.

The new mandatory and maintenance fee/tuition rates will result in a 4.2 percent increase for Northeast State Community College students. That translates into an extra $75 per semester. Total semester cost for 15 hours will be $1841.50 at the College.

Price increases ranged from 3.4 percent at Austin Peay State University to 7.2 percent at East Tennessee State University. Students at the University of Memphis will see a 7 percent increase in price and at Southwest Tennessee Community College will pay 4.8 percent more. Tennessee Technology Center students across the state will see a 6.2 percent price increase per trimester. (See a complete list of tuition and fee rate increases at each TBR institution in the chart below.)

"It is never easy to ask a student to pay more year after year," said TBR Chancellor John Morgan. "Today's actions reflect an unfortunate but expected continued shift of funding responsibility from the state to our students.

"At the same time we see state support in base funding continuing to erode, most of our enrollments continue to climb, and the money needed to operate continues to rise. Our campuses will use much of the revenue generated from these increases to offset funding shortfalls, but they are also committed to placing increased attention on helping students stay in school and earn credentials more efficiently," Morgan added.

Calculating the total price students pay
Students at each campus pay mandatory fees to support student activities, athletics, cultural opportunities, and other unique projects and programs. Those fees vary from institution to institution and are paid by all students regardless of the number of hours they take. Maintenance fees are the charges based on credit hours for in-state students. For example, a student pays a flat rate for the first 12 hours of class credits and a discounted rate for any additional hours. Most academic programs require students to complete at least 15 hours a semester to finish on time. Out-of-state students are required to pay tuition in addition to maintenance fees. The combined cost of these fees or tuition result in the total price a student must pay.

Last year was the first year universities other than the University of Memphis could request differential maintenance fee/tuition rates based on the unique needs and programs at each campus. This year several campuses required additional funds to provide student support programs to increase learning outcomes and student retention.

For example, UofM and MTSU will use much of their funds to convert temporary faculty positions to permanent posts to support increased student advising and counseling. ETSU will establish a salary pool to help attract and retain effective faculty and will fund graduate assistantships for students.

"The price increases will not cover all of our funding needs. On a per student basis, the amount of money our institutions have available to spend is lower than in 2009," Morgan said. "Even with the base proposed fee increases, the change in recurring revenue available at our institutions (adjusted for inflation) will be an average of 9.7 percent lower at our community colleges than in 2009, 5.1 percent lower on average at our universities, and 6.7 percent lower at the technology centers. So it's important to note that while the price is increasing, the cost – the amount we spend per student – remains lower than it was three years ago."

Over the past several years, state funding for higher education has declined by about 30 percent, including a more than 2 percent base budget reduction this year. Despite that, campuses are facing additional inflationary costs, including increased utilities, benefits, supplies, etc. that require funding to operate.

The proposed fee/tuition increases will cover that reduced state funding, only 80 percent of inflationary increases (utilities, etc.), the portion of the 2.5 percent salary increase for state employees that was not funded in the state budget, student success programs proposed by the campus, and a business intelligence program to help the system and institutions become more data driven.

Other business of the Board
In other business, the Board re-elected Governor Haslam as its chairman and Regent Greg Duckett as vice chairman for the 2012-13 term.

System and campus-level compensation plans were approved, and the Board voted to enhance the 2.5 percent across-the-board pay increase for state employees by providing the lowest paid workers in the system with a minimum $750 (or 2.5 percent, whichever is greater).

Northeast State will add $1,000 from local funds to be paid as a bonus in to qualifying employees in October. Last year, TBR provided a 1.4 percent cost-of-living raise for employees across the board, and Northeast State added 1.6 percent locally to make it 3 percent, then added an additional 1 percent raise to that in January 2012.

"While the increases are great and much appreciated, Northeast State is still behind on compensating our employees as compared to the market and other TBR institutions," said Northeast State President Janice Gilliam. "The College has employed Centre Group to complete a salary study over the next few months, with adjustments to be approved by TBR, and then implemented in 2013-14, if all goes as planned."

The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation's sixth largest higher education system, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers, providing programs in 90 of Tennessee's 95 counties to more than 200,000 students.


White Wright presents session on leadership and change

Northeast State's Expanded Executive Council was treated recently to a presentation about handling the challenges of change.

Dr. Brenda White Wright presented "Effective Leadership through the Challenges of Change," which examined the five stages of change: anticipation, letting go, disorientation, reappraisal, and recommitment.

"The thing you have to understand is the process of change is not an 'if' it's a 'when' and you need to know where you are in the process," White Wright said.

White Wright looked at each stage of change – which she likened to the grieving process – and noted typical feelings and possible behaviors of each stage. She said this helps leaders know and identify how employees are managing and dealing with change, and be able to step in and help them move through each stage.

"As leaders, you have to know the old saying 'People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care,'" White Wright said. "A leader's job is to move people through these stages – you have to help them identify where they are and help them move through the process."

White Wright said leaders would do well to understand that change is about action, which helps move people from anticipation to recommitment as quickly as possible. This makes for individuals who are energized, confident, productive, and ready to contribute value to the organization.

White Wright concluded by charging council members to identify key personal and professional challenges, acknowledge change stages, and develop plans to carry out change.

White Wright is a motivational speaker, storyteller, and diversity consultant with over 40 years of experience in a number of fields including business management, human resources, education, multicultural issues, and radio and television.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Business and Communications, a master's degree in Reading and Storytelling, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University. For more than 20 years she served as President and CEO of Girls Incorporated of Kingsport, a United Way agency that provides programs for at-risk youth ages 5-18.


Shaw & Shanks to design Northeast State at Johnson City renovations

Northeast State Community College has announced that Shaw & Shanks Architects, P.C., has been selected to design the Downtown Centre renovation. The facility at 101 E. Market St. is the future site of Northeast State at Johnson City.

Northeast State recently signed a five-year lease for the Downtown Centre with the Johnson City Development Authority. The college's plant operations personnel have been in the process of cleaning and landscaping the building's interior courtyard as well as preparing for sending out bids for painting and cleaning the facility.

Shaw & Shanks, a Johnson City-based company, will prepare design plans that will allow Northeast State to move ahead with renovations that will meet required building, fire, and city codes and create space for offices and classrooms. Northeast State officials expect to meet Shaw & Shanks representatives in the near future. JCDA has committed $1 million in funds for interior renovations.

Given the scope of the renovations, the center will likely open for classes in the spring 2013.


Northeast alums participate in McNair program

Four Northeast State alumni are participating in the Ronald E. McNair Program at East Tennessee State University will be presenting their research projects on July 20 from noon until 3 p.m. at Nicks Hall Appalachian Studies Conference Center on the ETSU campus. Northeast State graduates Cathy Blados '12, John Goad '09, Nancy Sarvis '10, '11, and Robin Walsh '12 were selected to the McNair Program.

The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program is named in honor of Ronald E. McNair, an astronaut killed in the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion in 1986. The program is one of the U.S. Department of Education's special initiatives known as TRIO that serve and assist disadvantaged students in their educational endeavors.

The summer pre-research internship is open to eligible undergraduate students from any accredited college campus; with priority given to local/regional students. The goal of the McNair program is to increase the attainment of graduate degrees; particularly PhD's by students from underrepresented segments of society such as students who are from low-income or first generation backgrounds.


Groove band, The Billies, to play at Northeast State

Northeast State welcomes funky groove duo The Billies on June 29 at 7 p.m. They will be performing in the Regional Center for the Performing Arts, located on the College's main campus in Blountville, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

The Billies are lead vocalist Chrisie Santoni, who also plays guitar and keyboards, and Craig Smith on percussion and vocals. Based in Lancaster, Penn., The Billies have coined a unique style they call Low Country Groove. Their sound is a musical gumbo with hints of folk, Americana, country, pop, rock and a little dash of chill. Since 2006, the duo has played hundreds upon hundreds of shows in coffeehouses, wineries, farmers markets, restaurants, and college campuses.

The Billies are part of the College's "Hot Nights, Cool Music" summer concert series. The series brings local, regional, and nationally known music acts to the College's center stage. The concert is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

For information, visit The Billies on Facebook or contact 279.7669 or e-mail jpkelly@NortheastState.edu. For a complete roster of the five remaining concerts in the "Hot Nights, Cool Music" series go towww.northeaststate.edu.


Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship deadline is July 1

Apply online now through July 1 for the Northeast State Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship that provides financial assistance to Tennessee residents.

Students can fill out an application online that will be submitted to the College.  A limited number of scholarships based on the cost of 12 hours of enrollment will be awarded for an academic year. The scholarships are designated for qualified first-time freshman and returning college students.

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria for underrepresented populations to qualify for Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship consideration:

  • Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander origin as documented by the Northeast State office of Admissions and Records
  • Receive Veterans Education Benefits and registered with the office of Veterans Affairs at Northeast State
  • Be registered with the Center for Students with Disabilities at Northeast State.

The Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship provides financial assistance to eligible students at Northeast State.  The Program assists recipients with funds to pay toward maintenance fees/tuition, required books and/or supplies.  Awards are competitive.  Students meeting criteria will be evaluated based upon academic performance, enrollment status, and unmet need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Applicants must complete the 2012-2013 FAFSA and their financial aid file by July 1, 2012, enroll in and complete at least twelve (12) credit hours each semester and maintain a minimum overall combined 2.75 grade point average inclusive of Learning Support coursework.  An applicant must not have earned any degree by the beginning of the 2012 fall semester.  Contact the Financial Aid Office at 423.323.0252 with questions about FAFSA. 

The program receives funding on an annual basis.  Awards are renewed on a semester-by-semester basis pending Financial Aid approval. Limited funding is available and no awards are guaranteed.

Please contact the Office of Scholarship Programs at ecblevins@NortheastState.edu or 423.354.2507 if you have any questions about applying for the Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship Program.


Summer no vacation for college maintenance crews

The summer season means vacation time for many. Summer usually means the beginning of a rigorous work season for the Plant Operations department at Northeast State Community College.


"We have several significant projects going on at the main campus and our teaching sites this summer," said Pete Miller, director of Plant Operations at Northeast State. "In addition to routine maintenance activities, summer traditionally gives us time to complete detailed and significant renovation projects at all our sites."

A renovation of the Atrium entrance connecting the James H. Pierce Building on the main campus in Blountville begins this summer as the design phase nears completion. When completed, the project will have constructed a new 'main entrance' to the campus, including a covered drop-off area, new finishes and HVAC system for the Atrium area.

Construction crews recently completed installation of new roofs on the Faculty Building and south end of General Studies Building. Several office and classroom spaces get new paint and carpet. The College grounds crew installed new picnic tables with concrete pads along the Allen Hurley Wellness Trail on the main campus and more improvements to the wellness trail are planned in the near future.

Miller also said the College had initiated a campus-wide project to create new signage, parking spaces, and building access points as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project addresses updated ADA requirements and will be completed in phases over the next few years.

The auditorium in the Student Services Building gets an update this year with new seating, acoustic panels, finishes, stage floor, and a wheelchair lift to access the stage. Still in the design phase, the auditorium renovation will begin later this year with a completion expected before year's end.

The College recently partnered with Sullivan County to put a community recycling center on the main campus. The College constructed an asphalt pad for the dumpsters at the gravel parking lot entrance at Aviation Drive at the northeast end of campus. Miller said the county planned to construct a fence and install pole lights.

"Once those things are done, the county will deliver the dumpsters and the recycling center will be open for public use – probably sometime later this summer," he said. "Most of our renovation projects should be complete by the time students return this fall."


CAMP COLLEGE gives students the skinny on campus life

Where is my financial aid check?! Technology fee? No one told me about a parking permit! These issues can frustrate new college students more than the most comprehensive chemistry final. 

Before a student sits down to his or her first composition class or biology lab, the business of college requires detailed attention. Fifteen new students experienced CAMP COLLEGE, an event sponsored by College Access Programs of Northeast State Community College this week to prepare them for every day college life as they work toward a degree.

"Our goal is to get the students more college ready," said Megan Charles, coordinator of College Transition Programs at Northeast State. "We want them to get that community feel on campus and feel like they belong before they start school."

Beyond the academic rigors of college, students face deadlines for financial aid, admissions, and class registration. The three-day camp introduced students to responsibilities of college life. Campers met with admissions representatives, counselors, tutors, and business office personnel to learn the details of maintaining status as a student. Campers also learned about the D2L online learning, how to access MyNortheast online services, and a tour of the main campus.

"CAMP COLLEGE saved me a lot of stress from taking an entire course about college life," said camper Caleb Ray, who plans on entering the Chemical Process Operations program this fall. "And it saved me a lot of money."

CAMP COLLEGE students ranged from recent high school graduates to non-traditional students. Fellow Camp participant Brandy Blevins plans on majoring in Dental Hygiene.

"I didn't know you could get tutoring for classes and how much help was available here," said Blevins. "You learn where to go to get help at the college when you need it."

CAMP COLLEGE also gives participating students one credit hour credit. The students earned an hour of college credit while getting prepared for the life stresses and potential problems outside the classroom. Students are required to participate in the College Access Programs to attend the camp.

Getting admitted to any college as a full-time student requires considerable work. Admission to Northeast State requires an applicant to forward a transcript of their high school record or GED score, submit an immunization record, complete an application, and pass any learning support tests needed. Participants had to be admitted as students to Northeast State to attend the camp and participants in College Access, WIA, or College Transitions programs.

Team building also puts students together as they will be in shared-learning exchanges in most all of their college courses. Individual work engaged campers in writing exercises about issues important to them and how to apply it to life. 

The final event divided students into three teams moving around the Quad sidewalk on a game board. Each team rolled a die to move around the Quad frequently landing on squares to face challenges such as lost scholarships or missed academic deadlines. Participants were judged on problems solving, teamwork, and adapting to challenges.

CAMP COLLEGE comes to the Kingsport Center for Higher Education June 25-27 and July 23-25 for GED students. The camp returns to the main campus July 9-11 and July 18-20. Charles noted college students juggled classes with part-time or full-time jobs, children, and other interests. Learning to establish life priorities was critical to being a successful student, she said.

"COLLEGE CAMP also teaches how to be an ongoing student such as getting a scholarship and keeping it," said Charles. "They also learn how to manage their health and deal with stress that comes with being a college student."

Funding for CAMP COLLEGE is provided through two grants; the Workforce Investment Act In-School Youth Grant supplied by the Alliance for Business and Training and the College Access Challenge Grant supplied by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Any student interested in more information about CAMP COLLEGE can contact the College Access Programs office at 423.323.0223 or by emailing CollegeAccess@NortheastState.edu.


Workforce Solutions schedules business/technology workshops

Workforce Solutions at Northeast State is offering various business- and technology-related workshops this summer and fall. Among the topics are combustible materials, robotics, project management, workplace violence, OSHA standards, and electrical safety. For more information, contact Cindy Tauscher at cmtauscher@NortheastState.edu or call 423.543.2570.

Any combustible material (and some materials normally considered noncombustible) can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, it can become explosive. The force from such an explosion can cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings. Such incidents have killed scores of employees and injured hundreds over the past few decades. As a result of a recent catastrophic accident involving combustible dust at a sugar refinery plant, OSHA is intensifying its enforcement activities at facilities where combustible dust hazards are known to exist through a National Emphasis Program (NEP). TOSHA is participating is this NEP and will be inspecting facilities in Tennessee that create or handle combustible dusts.
Materials that may form combustible dust include metals (such as aluminum and magnesium), wood, coal, plastics, biosolids, sugar, paper, soap, dried blood, and certain textiles. In many accidents, employers and employees were unaware that a hazard even existed.
A combustible dust explosion hazard may exist in a variety of industries, including: food (e.g., candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed), grain, tobacco, plastics, wood, paper, pulp, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dyes, coal, metals (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc), and fossil fuel power generation.

Class Date: August 8, 2012
Course Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Instructor: This course is offered in conjunction with TOSHA
Location: Blountville Campus
Fees: $175.00 per participant which includes books and all study materials
Please register for this course by July 21, 2012. 

Upon completion of this robotics course, participants will have gained both manufacturing and robotic technological skills. The concepts learned include mechanical, electrical and manufacturing. Participants will be well equipped to begin work within a general manufacturing environment and more specifically, in a robotic system's production environment, which is unmanned and intelligent. The labs in this program provide participants with a robot kit that ensures a hands-on experience. Upon completion they will have created a full functioning robot that uses the same concepts that the U.S. Department of Defense and commercial robots have. They will have a set of worker standards that qualify them to test for the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council's Certified Production Technician (CPT) and National Robotics Training Center's Certified Robotic Production Technician (CRPT), which is a nationally recognized certification.

Class Dates: August 15 - October 15, 2012 
Course Hours: Online 
Location: Blountville Campus
Fees: $300.00 per participant 
Please register for this course by August 1, 2012 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT COURSE - Professional (PMP) Exam Preparation
This course will be instructed by Cynthia West, a practicing project manager and Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Course structure is based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which consists of all the topics, subject areas and intellectual processes that are involved in the application of sound management principles to the administration of projects. 
This course covers the following topics: scope management, time management, cost management, risk management, procurement and subcontracts, quality management, communications, human resources management and a review of sample PMP certification exam questions.

Class Dates: August 28 - November 6, 2012
Course Hours: Tuesdays: 6:15 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. 
Location: Blountville Campus
Fees due by August 14: $325.00, includes all materials

This course provides successful participants with four days of information on current topics in occupational safety and health as enforced by Tennessee OSHA. It is the official OSHA 30-hour General Industry course. TOSHA trainers will conduct the classes. Course completion cards will be awarded from the OSHA National Training Institute to each person completing the course. Attendance at all four days of class is required to receive the card.

Class Dates: September 10-14, 2012
Course Hours: September 10-14 8:00 am - 5:10pm
Location: L106 in the Wayne Basler Library, Main Campus, Blountville, Tennessee
Fees: $399.00 per participant, which includes books and all study materials
Instructor: This course is offered in conjunction with TOSHA.

Workforce Solutions of Northeast State Community College is sponsoring a seminar on September 28, 2012 at the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Kingsport focusing on the requirements for compliance with NFPA 70E and the electrical arc flash hazard. 
Understanding the definition of arc flash, along with video footage of actual arc flashes, will help the attendee to gain a new appreciation of this hazard to employees. Arc flash calculations will be covered, as well as selection of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to allow qualified persons to safely work within the arc flash boundary. Insulating voltage-rated tool and glove requirements will be discussed. Training for electrical workers and the Energized Work Permit will be covered. Techniques and ways to "engineer out" the hazard of arc flash will also be discussed. 
The instructor, Bob Huddleston, is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Tennessee and serves on the NFPA National Electrical Code-making Panel 6 as voting principal member.

Class Dates: September 28, 2012
Course Hours: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Blountville Campus
Fees: $195.00 per participant which includes all materials
Instructor: Bob Huddleston
Please register for this course by September 10, 2012. 

Workplace Violence accounts for nearly 800 homicides and nearly 2 million non-fatal assaults each year in the United States. Learn what to do to make yourself, and those that you are responsible for, less likely to be a victim. This seminar will instruct how to make yourself and your workplace a harder target for those that would do harm. There are proactive steps that can be taken that will increase chances of survival in workplace violence situations including such events as active shooters. Fire evacuation plans at work are required, but the reality is you are more likely to lose your life to a human attacker than to a fire. The time to prepare is now. 
Topics that will be covered: 
·Definitions of Workplace Violence 
· History of Workplace Violence 
· Typology of Violence (Developed by the FBI) 
· Five main elements of a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (Recommended by OSHA) 
· Target Hardening / Situational Awareness 
· Personal Safety 
· Active Shooter – What to do! 
· Verbal De-escalation (Proactive ways to calm situations)

Class Dates: October 2, 2012
Course Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
Location: Blountville Campus
Fees: $250.00 per participant, includes all materials 
Instructor: John Rose, M. A.
Please register for this course by September 25, 2012. 

This seminar explores developing a Threat Assessment and Management Team (a multi discipline team to assess the behaviors of workers, clients, students, and visitors that may be pre incident indicators of workplace violence). The goal is to recognize these behaviors and stressors and take a proactive approach to head off those individuals on a pathway to violence and get them the assistance that they need, and then take the appropriate security measures to protect those in the potential path of the future violence. 
Topics that will be covered: 
·History of Threat Assessment Teams (Case Studies) 
· Typology of violence (Developed by the FBI) 
· Developing a Threat Assessment and Management Team (TAM Team) 
· Who Should be on the TAM Team 
·Assessment Tools Available 
·Table Tops and practice in completing mock case assessments

Class Dates: November 8, 2012
Course Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
Location: Blountville Campus
Fees: $250.00 per participant, includes all materials 
Instructor: John Rose, M. A.
Please register for this course by November 1, 2012