Northeast State to join with Johnson County schools on GEAR UP TN grant 

The Johnson County School System has been awarded a $443,625 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to support college access and success efforts.

As part of the grant, Johnson County High School and Johnson County Middle School will join with Northeast State Community College and other community partners to design activities that cultivate a college-going culture for students and families.

The funding is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant program, which aims to increase enrollment and success in postsecondary education.

Johnson County is one of only 16 counties in the state to receive the funding and about 170 7th-graders and 170 seniors will take part in the program. The grant will span seven years.

Students who are currently seventh-graders will form a cohort that receives services through middle school, high school, and the first year of college. In addition, each senior class at Johnson County High School will participate in programs designed to help them with academics, career and college decisions, and navigating college enrollment. 

Johnson County, Northeast State, and other community partners will begin work immediately to map out initiatives, which will be approved by THEC. Cohort activities are expected to commence in January 2013. The grant also funds a site coordinator who will implement the programs and mentor students.

“Johnson County is unique in that there is only one middle school and one high school and this will allow the students and mentors to work very closely to build a college-going culture,” said Erika Adams, director of College Access Programs at Northeast State.

Adams also noted the early seventh-grade start will give students an edge on making college and career plans.

“Starting with a seventh-grade cohort gives us so much more opportunity to work with them on career development and defining their goals,” Adams said. “If we can do that kind of work in the seventh and eighth grades, they’ll go into their freshman year of college with a much more clearly defined idea of who they are and what they want to be.”

Increasing college attainment is central to the state’s Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, a statewide master plan with the goal of bringing the state up to the national average for undergraduate degree attainment by 2025. GEAR UP TN will provide support to the state’s public agenda for higher education through its targeted intervention and assistance approaches.  

GEAR UP TN will serve a cohort of 7,500 students in the Class of 2018, along with 5,000 graduating seniors each year through 2019. A total of over 37,500 students at 83 schools will be directly served during the seven years of federal funding. Each GEAR UP TN Collaborative includes at least one priority high school, one middle school, a higher education institution, the local board of education, and at least two community-based partners.

The collaboratives are located in the following 16 counties: Anderson, Bradley, Campbell, Claiborne, Davidson (Metro Nashville Public Schools), Grainger, Hancock, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Johnson, McNairy, Robertson, Shelby (Memphis City Schools), Union and Wayne.

The collaboratives were chosen through a competitive grant proposal process. Award amounts were determined by the number of students to be served in each direct service school.

GEAR UP TN, through the collaboratives, provides students with direct services, including mentoring, tutoring, college visits, and financial aid counseling. The collaboratives are required to fully match federal funds in the sixth and seventh year of the grant to ensure long-term sustainability of the local GEAR UP TN programs.

Tennessee was also the recipient of a 2005 GEAR UP grant and during the six years of that grant, college-going rates in targeted counties increased by 22.8 percent in nine participating districts.

The Billies return to Northeast State Nov. 1

Funky groove duo The Billies return to Northeast State on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Courtyard.

One of the most creative and exciting groups from this past summer’s “Hot Nights, Cool Music” series return to campus with their innovative vocals and rhythms. 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. Since 2006, the duo has played hundreds upon hundreds of shows in coffeehouses, wineries, farmers markets, restaurants, and college campuses. The duo is traveling to Nashville to record their new album.

For information, visit The Billies on Facebook or contact 279.7669 or e-mail jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.

Staff and faculty participate in campus security refresher

As a refresher course on campus security, Northeast State faculty and staff recently participated in a Clery Act workshop presented by Kae Carpenter, associate general counsel for the Tennessee Board of Regents, and John Edens, director of Police and Safety for the College.

 The Clery Act is a federal mandate requiring all higher education institutions that participate in the federal student financial aid program to disclose information about crime on their campuses and in the surrounding communities. Campuses that fail to comply with the act can be penalized with large fines and may be suspended from participating in the federal financial aid program.

The Clery Act is named after 19-year-old Jeanne Clery who was raped and murdered in her Lehigh University residence hall in 1986. Clery’s parents discovered that students had not been informed about 38 violent crimes on the Lehigh campus in the three years before her death. Clery’s parents, along with other campus crime victims, persuaded the U.S. Congress to enact the law in 1990.

Carpenter said the act is based on transparency, accuracy, and timeliness. Institutions are required to issue campus alerts to students and employees for emergency or dangerous situations. In addition, colleges and universities must publish an annual security report documenting three calendar years on select crime statistics.

Major crime categories include criminal homicide, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Schools must also record weapon law, drug abuse, and liquor law violations, as well as hate crimes.

While praising Northeast State for Clery Act compliance, Carpenter noted that higher education still struggles with crime information disclosure, citing the recent conviction of Jerry Sandusky for sex crimes at Penn State University and Virginia Tech’s failure to provide timely warnings to students in 2007 during a shooting rampage by Seung-Hui  Cho.

The compilation of crime statistics is dependent on reports collected by individuals identified as Campus Security Authorities. Under the Clery Act, a crime is reported when it is brought to the attention of a CSA or local law enforcement personnel by a victim, witness, a third party, or even the offender. Carpenter and Edens urged faculty and staff to become familiar with those persons designated as CSAs.

The duo also advised employees to note the locations – campus, affiliated/non-campus, public property, and residences – for which the College is responsible.

“Your knowledge about what to do in a campus alert situation could be a make or break situation,” Carpenter said. “It may be you that has to make the call on what happens next.”
For information about Northeast State Annual Security Report and crime statistics, visit http://www.northeaststate.edu/SecurityReport/.


The dead walk at Northeast State

The Northeast State Theater Department presents the stage version of George Romero’s classic horror film Night of the Living Dead in what may be as close to zombie 3-D movie as a live audience can experience.

“The audience is held captive to the action on stage,” says Brad McKenzie, the play’s director and adjunct faculty member at Northeast State.  “Night of the Living Dead is a terror play, but it is also a period piece. I really wanted my students to have that experience.”

While not a scene-by-scene remake, the play stays true to Romero’s apocalyptic vision. A man and woman find themselves trapped in a house surrounded by zombies. They meet a family and another couple who argue, plan, and fight as the living dead descend upon them.

The first weekend’s performances run Oct. 25-27 at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Oct. 27-28 at Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the main campus at Blountville. The production’s second weekend continues Nov. 1 – 3 at 7:30 p.m. and matinee showings at 2 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 4.

Northeast State student Richard Jackson plays Ben, the level-headed leader who keeps his wits while trying to keep the group of survivors alive. He approached his role by suspending any disbelief of the plot.

“I felt like I was put into a totally different world,” he says. “You look the news today, the uncertainty of the times, and realize anything can happen. The play puts you in a world where everything has broken down, and humans must find a way to survive.”

A Science Hill High School graduate, Jackson performed in the high school theater productions of Miracle on 42nd Street and White Christmas. He also participated as a forensics competitor with the Science Hill Showstoppers team.

“Acting is where my heart is,” says Jackson. “My theater experiences have been some of the best times of my life. Once I got involved in acting I couldn’t get enough of it.”

Fellow student Anne Rowell plays the iconic character Barbara who meets Ben after she and her brother Johnny encounter a zombie in the cemetery. Rowell made her first stage appearance in Oedipus Rex. Her portrayal of Barbara demands fear, desperation, and strength.

“No matter how much you rehearse have to prepare for something unexpected,” says Rowell, a double major in Psychology and English at Northeast State. “Theater requires that you are there in the moment.”

McKenzie says that Night of the Living Dead transcends simple scares. Boiled to the bones, the production explores Man’s oldest and deepest fear – the inevitability of death and what lies beyond the grave.

“The relationships of the characters in the play are same dynamics we face with each other on a daily basis. The acting is based on how people would survive in a zombie apocalypse,” he says. “It is a play about people and how people from different walks of life interact in a crisis, and how they are able to handle it, or not handle it.”

McKenzie adds that the work’s lingering themes of war and class warfare remain as relevant today as they did in the 1960s. The actors praise McKenzie as an instructor and director who introduced them to the nuances of theater.

“He showed me a very young and innovative perspective of the art,” says Rowell. “Theater has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone especially with this character.”

Northeast State student and artist Richard Curtis once again brings his considerable talents to a theater production. Curtis is creating the zombie make-up and special effects for the actors. His work on last season’s Oedipus Rex earned him an award for Best Make-up at the Region IV National Allied Design Technology Award at the Kennedy Center Theater Festival.

McKenzie’s vision includes a vivid and occasionally funny look at the make-up of the long dead and recently deceased. The costuming includes a cross-section of living dead from a bride and a hillbilly zombie to a paperboy and kids. The play also involves a series of fight scenes requiring intense rehearsal by the actors during “fight call” where the director choreographs the actors’ physical confrontations.

Student Dianne Faustino plays the bride zombie.  She gets one of the most intense zombie roles and wears Curtis’s most terrifying mask/headpiece.

“It is a zombie play, and I thought it was a cool thing to do,” says Faustino, a Broadcasting major at Northeast State.

Daniel Lawson portrays the Gray Man, a recently deceased zombie terrorizing the living survivors on stage. Lawson brings previous experience in theater. He performed in high school musical productions of Oklahoma, Annie Get Your Gun, and Beauty and the Beast. He auditioned to stretch his experience beyond musical theater.

“The production is something old and new,” says Lawson, a Sullivan South High School graduate and first-year business management major at Northeast State. “We know the old zombies, but this puts a modern spin on the classic. The fact that Northeast State has the capability to put on a production of this caliber says a lot about the department and the college.”

The play also brings McKenzie full-circle as a director where his own passion for theater began. He graduated from Northeast State in 2001 before earning his bachelor’s degree at East Tennessee State University and his master’s degree of fine arts in Theater at the University of Southern Mississippi.

McKenzie says the entire production works off both fear and fun. Audiences should expect solid scares mixed with dark humor.

“Our play is like a drive-in movie where you come and have a good time,” says McKenzie.

The play is being produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois.

Tickets are $10 general admission. Performances are free to current Northeast State students, but they must pick up tickets at the box office. Tickets can be purchased online here or at www.NortheastState.edu or at the theater box office between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, please call Northeast State Theater at 423.354.2479 or emsloan@NortheastState.edu. You can also visit the Theater Department on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NSCCTheatre.

Northeast State makes plans for a mascot 

For the first time in its history, Northeast State Community College will pick a mascot.

The school is seeking a visual symbol that demonstrates college pride and provides a memorable, unique, and appropriate public identity. Currently, the College is surveying, students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members for suggestions. The mascot may take the form of a logo, person, live animal, inanimate object, or a costumed character.
The mascot’s job description is still evolving; however, it will most likely serve as a goodwill ambassador and/or as a marketing tool that will embody the spirit of Northeast State.
It’s the College’s hope that through a mascot, every student, alum, friend, and supporter will cultivate a strengthened connection to Northeast State's mission, values, and commitment to building a college-going culture.
To help Northeast State make history, visit http://apps.northeaststate.edu/survey/mascot/ and make a suggestion.


Northeast State nursing scores exceed state, national averages

Northeast State’s 2012 nursing graduates notched the program’s best scores ever on the NCLEX-RN national licensure exam with a 97.37 percent first-time pass rate. The rate exceeded state and national scores as well.

“We’re very, very excited over the 97.37 percent rate. The faculty has done a tremendous job with program improvement and working with students – those efforts have really impacted the outcome,” said Dr. Melessia Webb, dean of Nursing. “Also, retention numbers are up. Not only are faculty members working harder, but they also have more students. They have gone above and beyond.”

The Northeast State scores eclipsed the state of Tennessee's 93.77 percent average for 2012, as well as the national pass rate of 90.88 percent. The score is the best result yet for the program, which graduated its first class in 2009.

“Every group of students is different and special, but this group excelled throughout the program,” Webb said.

NCLEX stands for the National Council Licensure Examination. It is a standard exam used in every state. Graduates of LPN, LVN, and RN programs must pass the NCLEX exam to obtain a practicing license. The exam ensures public safety by testing the knowledge of future healthcare practicing professionals. Candidates who pass this exam possess the required knowledge for entry-level, safe and effective practice of nursing.

Northeast State nursing students follow a cohort-based, 65-credit hour associate of applied science degree program with 38 credit hours of nursing-intense course work.  The associate of applied science program is one of the most popular and competitive degree programs at Northeast State.

The College’s division of Nursing is housed at the Regional Center for Health Professions in downtown Kingsport.  For more information about the Northeast State Nursing program, call 423.354.5108 or e-mail nursingmail@northeaststate.edu.


Lecture focuses on why we love zombies

A foremost authority on the psychology of zombie culture visits Northeast State on Oct. 25 to deliver two lectures at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Dr. Brendan Riley’s lecture, “Zombies and Popular Culture,” explores how zombies help us think more deeply about the human condition and why hordes of walking dead have become so popular with modern society. Both lectures are being held at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the Blountville campus, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Brendan Riley is an Associate Professor of English at Columbia College Chicago, a liberal arts school for the performing and media arts. Riley may be best known around campus for his popular J-session class, “Zombies in Popular Media,” which has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Chicago RedEye, and CNN Online, among many other places.

When not examining the undead’s role in the modern world, he teaches Composition, New Media, and Media Studies classes, and he also serves as coordinator for the College English Department’s Technology and Pedagogy programs. He has been published on a wide variety of subjects. Among his recent published essays are: Zombie People: The Complicated Nature of Personhood in The Walking Dead and The E-Dead: Zombies in the Digital Age.

His lecture is free and open to the public.  For more information contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


Sound and Lighting Design workshops on tap at Northeast State

Two workshops teaching the details of live performances for sound and lighting design will be offered in November through Workforce Solutions at Northeast State.

The first workshop, Live Sound – Stage Setup & Mixing and Effects, will meet Nov. 6 & Nov. 13, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The first workshop session focuses on stage setup including microphones, cables, monitors, and basic acoustics. Students will learn how to design and implement stage sound schemes for individual speakers, solo musicians, vocalists, and small bands.

The second session details live audio setup from the sound booth using mixing boards, analog and digital concepts, effects, and audio signal routing.  Students will learn how to mix multiple sounds, trace a sound signal from board input to output speakers, and run a live show.

The second workshop, Artistic Approach and the Technical Approach to Lighting Design, meets Nov. 7 & 14, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The first class focuses on how designers and technicians see light.  Participants will learn the details of color selection and how to plan for angles based on research.

The second class will build upon the skills learned in the previous class, with in-depth technical breakdown of common types of stage lighting instruments. The class includes an overview of the physics of photometrics as well as instrument hanging safety and light board operation.

Both courses are being taught at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus at Blountville. Apply online now at www.NortheastState.edu and clicking on the “Workforce Solutions” link.

Each course fee is $125 per person and includes all workshop materials. For more information contact 423.354.2570 or cmtauscher@NortheastState.edu.


Do not argue with the Northeast State Debate Team

The College’s Debate Team began their fall break by competing in the 2012 Smoky Mountain Parliamentary Debate Tournament held at Walters State Community College on Oct. 13. They walked away with several awards including the first place team award for the tournament.

“I am extremely pleased with the effort of all the students and, of course, the results; I look forward to further competition,” said Dr. Rick Merritt, assistant professor of Speech and Debate Team coach.

Northeast State competed with 16 teams and 28 fellow debaters.  The Northeast State Debate Team of Britny Fox, Nicole Neilson, Jose Martin, Anne Rowell, and Rocky Graybeal represented the College. Debaters came from community colleges, four-year public and four-year private institutions from three states.

The event was held using the Parliamentary debate format modeled after the Parliamentary debates in England. In this format teams receive the topic 20 minutes before the start of the round.

The debaters argued topics such as the right to regulate soda size, creating a UN standing army, and the size of government. The tournament featured three preliminary rounds to determine who would participate in the semifinals.

Fox and Neilson earned a victory against an East Tennessee State University team with Neilson being named the second place speaker out of the four in the round. Martin teamed with Henry Mendoza a member of the Walters State team to form a hybrid team.  This is commonly done to give debaters an opportunity to participate. Martin and Mendoza bested a team from Middle Tennessee State University with Martin being named the 2nd Place Speaker in the round.

The team of Rowell and Graybeal earned victories in each of their three preliminary rounds defeating teams from ETSU, MTSU, Tennessee State University, and Berea College. Rowell nabbed two first-place speaker ratings in the first and second round. Because of her strong showing in the first two rounds, Rowell garnered the second place speaker award for the entire tournament.

Rowell and Graybeal won their semifinal round against a Berea College to face off with team from Walters State in the final. The topic was about sacrificing economic growth for the sake of the environment.

In the round there were four judges and the audience was given a potential tie-breaking vote.  After the round the judges made their decision and the audience was brought back into the room. A show of hands indicated the audience supported the Northeast State team’s position.This tie-breaking vote gave Rowell and Graybeal first place team honors for the tournament.


October blood drive is best ever 

The Oct. 9 blood drive held at Northeast State marked a record day of giving by donors. Northeast State had 121 people register to give blood with 91 good units being collected at the main campus.The Northeast State at Kingsport site registered 34 and collected 24 good units.

Student Club winners for recruiting the most donors for the drive are:

First Place – TRIO Club ($100 to their club fund)

Second Place – Art Club ($75 to their club fund)

Third Place – PTK Club ($50 to their club fund)

Currently, the College is in first place in the competition to be the college that collects the most units, but all three colleges have one more drive! The next drive is slated for Dec. 5.

Those unable to give blood on Dec. 5, may go to the most convenient Marsh Regional Blood Collection Center and donate, asking them to credit it to Northeast State. Marsh Regional Blood Center operates three collection centers in the area. 


College Transfer Day at Northeast State Oct. 18

Northeast State students get a look at their next step on Oct. 18 during College Transfer Day where more than 20 college and university representatives will answer questions about transfer opportunities, entrance requirements, course equivalencies, articulation, financial aid, scholarships, housing and much more.

College representatives will be available for students from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Courtyard at the main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. No appointment is necessary.

The event features representatives from the following institutions:  Austin Peay State University, Bethel University, Carson-Newman College, East Tennessee State University, Emory & Henry College, King College, Lee University, Lincoln Memorial University, Lipscomb University, Maryville College, Middle Tennessee State University, Milligan College, Southeast Culinary & Hospitality College, Sullivan University, Tennessee Student Assistance Corp., Tennessee Technological University, Tennessee Wesleyan College, Tusculum College, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Virginia Intermont College, and the University of Virginia at Wise.

The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation will also be available to provide information to students regarding the HOPE Scholarship as well as other programs administered by the state.

Northeast State’s university parallel associate of arts/associate of science degree programs are designed for students who intend to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program at Northeast State and then transfer to a four-year college or university to complete the bachelor’s degree. Northeast State has developed course-by-course equivalency tables and articulation agreements with many four-year colleges and universities.

For more information about College Transfer Day, contact TRiO Student Support Services at 423.354.2540.

College welcomes new members to Alpha Iota Chi

Northeast State welcomed 53 new members to the Alpha Iota Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society for the 2012 fall semester.

The new members were welcomed into Alpha Iota Chi during an induction ceremony held Oct. 14 at the College’s main campus in Blountville. The ceremony was led by Jane Honeycutt, the chapter’s faculty advisor.

The newest members of Alpha Iota Chi are:  Jared Allen, Scott Armstrong, Candace Anderson, Jaime Arnold, Jason Arnold, Rachel Baker, David Barlow, Sheri Blankenbeckler, Joshua Blevins, Perry Buckner, Amber Carr, Stephanie Cartozzo, Marissa Clark, Timothy Cline, Milton Coward, Timothy Crigger, Cornelia Durham, Greg Easterling, Charles Forstall, Dustin France, Angel Fugate, Julia Gonder, Tiffany Hall, Kiana Hagler, Nicole Horner, Ashley Howell, Megan Hyatt, Mary Johnson, Caitlin Jones, Nicole Kincaid, Sherri Lester, Christopher Martinez, Briona McCall, Kimberly Morris, Jordan Murray, Thomas Necessary, Marcus Noto, Andrea Osborne, Olivia Orten, Audrey Poore, Richard Robinson, Kimberly Rogers, Joshua Routh, Cassandra Scalf, Sharon Shelton, Tanner Smith, Nicholas Souders, Arminda Sparks, Nikki Sumner, Patricia Trent, James Wandell, Sarah White, and Julie Woods.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,200 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States and four countries. To qualify for membership, a student must be enrolled full-time in an associate degree program, have completed at least 12 hours of college coursework, and have a minimum 3.5 grade point average.

The Alpha Iota Chi chapter has achieved five-star status, the highest level of participation in Phi Theta Kappa activities.The society supports the four hallmarks of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship that are designed to give members opportunities for personal growth as well as service to others.


Northeast State to host Advanced Manufacturing Career Fair

Northeast State Community College invites students and community members to attend the Fall Technology Career Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) in Kingsport, 305 W. Main St.

The free and public event will provide opportunities to learn about job openings in advanced manufacturing and talk with area employers.

“The career fair is focused specifically on advanced manufacturing and technology, so it’s a very good opportunity for job seekers interested in those fields,” said Mary Beth Oxendine Woodby, Career Development Coordinator at Northeast State. “We want to emphasize that the event is for the public as well as our students.”
Employers invited to the career fair represent a wide variety of companies from around the region, including those manufacturers of automotive parts, chemicals, and paper, as well as companies involved in information technology and utilities. Oxendine said she expects more than 20 companies to be on hand for the event.

In addition, there will be information about Northeast State programs and virtual welding and robotics demonstrations.

Oxendine said job seekers are advised to bring along resume copies and dress appropriately. She said persons needing help with resumes or interviewing techniques in advance of the event should contact Northeast State’s Career Development Services Center to set up an appointment.

The center is located at 222 W. Main St. in downtown Kingsport. For more information, call 423.354.5100 or e-mail mboxendinewoodby@NortheastState.edu.


Seminar examines indicators of workplace violence

This seminar explores developing a Threat Assessment and Management Team (a multi-disciplinary 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, get them the assistance they need, and then take the appropriate security measures to protect those in the potential path of the future violence.

•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:
•Table Tops and practice in completing mock case assessments

Who should take this course?
Individuals seeking to better their knowledge on violence and safety in the workplace.

Class Dates: November 8, 2012
Course Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: L106 in the Wayne G. Basler Library, Blountville Campus
Fees: $250.00 per participant, includes all materials
Instructor: John Rose, M. A.
John Rose actively served in law enforcement for more than 18 years and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. John holds a M.A. in Criminal Justice and Criminology from East Tennessee State University, where he is an adjunct faculty member and instructs classes on Counter Terrorism and Workplace Violence. In April 2009, John was a presenter at the European Association of Threat Assessment Professionals annual conference in Berlin, Germany. In April and October of 2010, John presented a lecture on Workplace Violence at the Gavin de Becker & Associates Advanced Threat Assessment and Management Academy at Lake Arrowhead, Calif. John has developed this program and lectured on workplace violence prevention specific to health care, private industry, and higher education audiences.

Please register for this course by November 1, 2012.
For assistance with registration or additional information, please contact Diana Harrison:  dlharrison@northeaststate.edu or 423.354.5520.


College welcomes more than 6,400 students to fall semester

Northeast State Community College welcomed more than 6,400 students this fall.

While the College’s enrollment was similar to last fall 2011 when 6,478 students signed up for classes, other Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges averaged a 4.0 percent decrease in enrollment for the fall. University enrollments also decreased by 3.3 percent.

TBR has not finalized enrollment numbers yet and Northeast State is still enrolling students in mini-mesters, which start each month.

“While the enrollment has been flat these last two years, it was expected because of several factors. The economy has improved and more people have found jobs and gone back to work, and unemployment benefits have expired, for example,” said Dr. Janice H. Gilliam, president of Northeast Sate. “Unemployment often causes enrollment increases as people look to switch careers or increase their skills. In 2009 and 2010, enrollment jumped 25 percent due to the economic downtown, so as employment rates rise, enrollment rates flatten.”

Figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce development show the state’s unemployment figure decreased from 9.4 percent in July 2011 to 8.4 percent in July 2012. The unemployment rate for the combined statistical areas of Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol was 7.9 – a half-point under the state average.

Gilliam said it is important to keep in mind that the slower growth rate is coming on the heels of historic increases in community college enrollment. Northeast State’s enrollment grew 64.2 percent from 2000-2010, the second fastest rate in the state. Overall, Tennessee community colleges realized a 32.6 percent increase during that time.

While the college’s overall enrollment was flat, Northeast State at Kingsport saw an enrollment increase of more than 10 percent, which can be attributed to the opening of the Regional Center for Automotive Programs (RCAP) and continued growth in programs such as nursing. The College also added Personal Computer Management and Office Administration Technology programs.

Currently, more than 1,700 Northeast State students attend classes at Kingsport teaching locations.
“In addition to the opening of RCAP, the continued and growing awareness and accessibility of the programs offered through Northeast State at Kingsport were factors in the increase,” said Jeff McCord, vice president of Northeast State at Kingsport. “We also enjoy strong partnerships with the City of Kingsport, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, and the Kingsport Higher Education Commission, and our faculty and staff actively embrace educational initiatives within the greater Kingsport community.”

Monica Greppin, director of communications for the Tennessee Board of Regents system, said enrollments were expected to settle now that some sectors of job growth are improving. She said increasing tuition increases may also have played a role in the enrollment decline.

Greppin also noted that the recent Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, which is geared to degree completion, may have increased graduation rates, thus lowering enrollment levels.


Workforce Solutions sets electrical safety workshop 

Workforce Solutions of Northeast State Community College is sponsoring a seminar on Nov. 9, 2012 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 participants understand this hazard. 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.

Who should take this course? 
Individuals interested in furthering their electrical training

Class Dates: Nov. 9, 2012
Course Hours: 8 a.m. - Noon 
Location: Blountville Campus, 2425 Highway 75
Fees: $195.00 per participant which includes all materials

For assistance with registration or additional information, please contact Diana Harrison: dlharrison@northeaststate.edu or 423.354.5520.

Please register by Oct. 26, 2012.  


ETSU Day at Northeast State

Northeast State will host ETSU Day Oct. 10 from 9:45 a.m. to noon on the first floor of the Locke Humanities Building on the Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75.

This event is designed for students who are interested in continuing their education with East Tennessee State University after graduating from Northeast State.

ETSU will be bringing representatives from a variety of departments that will be eager to talk with students and faculty about transfer options. If you are a student with 45 or credits earned, you will want to come to this event although all students are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact Enrollment Services at 423.323.0243 or collegeanswers@northeaststate.edu.


Project Vote! invites area candidates 

As part of its Honors in Action Project entitled Project Vote!, Northeast State’s Alpha Iota Chi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has invited four local candidates seeking seats to the Tennessee House of Representatives to attend a reception and open forum on Oct. 3 in Wayne G. Basler Library Room L226 at 12 noon.

The honor society invited incumbent Matthew Hill (R) and challenger Nancy Fischman (D) who are seeking the state’s 7th House District seat. Candidates for the 2nd House District, incumbent Tony Shipley (R), and challenger Bruce Dotson (D), were also invited to attend the forum.

All four candidates have been provided with questions generated by students. The forum gives candidates the opportunity to discuss issues relevant to the student population including student debt and regional workforce development.

Phi Theta Kappa co-advisor and speech instructor Miriam Phillips will moderate the forum. This is an excellent opportunity for students to become involved in the political process and to see for themselves what the candidates plan to accomplish. Light refreshments will be provided.

Also, as part of this initiative, the chapter will be holding a Voter Registration Drive, with tables set up in the Locke Humanities Building lobby and the Courtyard. Let your students know that Oct. 8 is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.

For more information, contact 423.354.2596 or jbhoneycutt@NortheastState.edu.


Because of You Campaign raises $146,000 for scholarships 

Northeast State’s Because of You campaign concluded Oct. 1, raising more than $146,000 for new and existing scholarships. The campaign raised $54,000 in 2011.

The Northeast State Foundation orchestrated the campaign, which ran for one week with more than 20 groups and organizations putting on a myriad of fund-raisers, ranging from a mum sale, to a 5K road race, to a chili cook-off, to a benefit concert by the Spirit of Soul. Events were staged at Northeast State’s Blountville campus, as well as Northeast State at Kingsport.

The top three fund-raising groups were the Honors Program, the Nursing Program, and the Choral Program with totals of $15,688, $12,435, and $12,231, respectively. The Honors Program received an additional $5,000 from the Foundation, while Nursing received $3,000 and Choral gained $2,000.

Heather Cook, executive director of the Northeast State Foundation, said the campaign also increased faculty and staff participation by 4 percent over last year. Cook said 60 percent of Northeast employees donated funds during the campaign – the highest participation level ever at the College.

This year, the campaign invited community participation. Citizens Bank and J. Allen Hurley, president of Vision, LLC. each contributed $3,000 to the event, Cook said.

Departments or programs that reached 100 percent participation included Alumni Affairs, Art Club, Business Technologies, Choral, College Access, Gay-Straight Alliance, High School Transitions, Honors, Science, Theatre, TRiO, Veterans Affairs, and Workforce Solutions. This means all full-time faculty and staff members contributed to the campaign.

“What’s great about the campaign is that it lets individual programs publicize themselves and talk about what’s great in their areas,” Cook said. “And, of course, they are able to raise funds for their students. We are really, really excited about this year’s results.”

This year’s campaign featured a social media component with several groups utilizing Facebook pages to help raise funds. According to Cumberland Marketing, Facebook analytics showed that 581,526 people viewed and linked to the content published by the programs.