Northeast State awarded $1.86 million Dept. of Labor grant

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Northeast State Community College a $1.86 million grant for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers.

The grant is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program, a multiyear, nearly $2 billion initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

“We are extremely pleased to be part of this highly competitive federal grant,” said Dr. Janice Gilliam, president of Northeast State. “The funds will be used for Northeast State faculty and staff, equipment, supplies, professional development, and other costs as related to welding, machining and manufacturing education.”

Northeast State submitted the grant as part of the Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium (SEELC), which includes five other community colleges in the Southeast: Pellissippi State Community College, Palm Beach State College and Polk State College in Florida, and Randolph Community College and Vance-Granville Community College in North Carolina.

The consortium received a total of $12.7 million for use in advanced manufacturing projects.

The consortium integrates a regional economic, workforce development, and education partnership approach to improving the skills and employment of individuals.

The colleges have been specifically chosen to represent economic and demographic location diversity, and all reside in states whose governors and community leaders are working together to further economic and workforce systems change.

The latest round of funding seeks to foster deeper partnerships between community colleges, employers and other community partners. Strong partnerships and work-based training will help ensure that curricula and training are aligned with the practical skills and competencies industries seek from workers.

According to the Labor Department, grantees will use these funds to transform the way they schedule, sequence and deliver education and training programs that can be completed in two years or less.
A variety of activities will be made possible, including: hiring or training instructors to expand capacity to offer in-demand courses or certifications, leveraging online learning to accelerate skills attainment, developing new curricula and training models to add additional classes and certifications, purchasing new equipment to ensure students train on what employers actually use, designing new programs based on the input and needs of local employers, and expanding career pathways in which stackable credentials are linked to industry skills and lead participants to higher-skill jobs.
For more information about the grant, contact Linda Calvert, Northeast State’s executive director of Grant Development at 423.323.0222 or lwcalvert@NortheastState.edu. To learn more about the grant program visit http://www.doleta.gov/taaccct.


Looking for a class? There's a map for that

Meandering hallways and large buildings can be daunting to first-year college students. Thanks to the Google Maps indoor mapping service at Northeast State students can access their smart phones and iPads to navigate Northeast State’s main campus and Kingsport teaching sites.

“If you have a mobile device, the Google indoor map opens up your ability to navigate through the buildings with room names and numbers,” said Russell Bowman, webmaster for Northeast State. “If you are in a campus building, the accelerometer follows you around to any room or office giving students their own tracking map of campus.”

The mobile device user can follow the indoor map to all buildings on the College’s main campus at Blountville and the five academic buildings of Northeast State at Kingsport. The map identifies by name and building number classrooms, the offices of business and admissions, computer labs, and tutoring sites. Students can use their smart phone or iPad devices as electronic maps to find rooms housing biology classes or the financial aid office.

The new Google indoor map operates via Droid as a built-in application with Google Maps. The map can be accessed via iPhone if the user downloads the Google Maps app to the iPhone operating system.

“New students can find any classroom or office using the indoor map application,” said Bowman. “We expect this map service to be active for all current and future teaching sites.”

Bowman said the College’s Information Technology department planned to include mapping of the Northeast State teaching sites at Bristol and Elizabethton in the not-too-distant future. He added that the Northeast State at Johnson City site would be brought into the fold once the facility opened for classes.

The Northeast State mobile app brings the College’s online services directly to students’ mobile devices.  Northeast State became the first institution in the Tennessee Board of Regents system to launch a mobile device application in 2011.

Google, Inc., took notice of the College’s forethought and contacted Northeast State’s Information Technology department with an offer to map the campus buildings.  Google representatives arrived at Northeast State this summer to map the physical space and details of the buildings at the main campus and at Kingsport.

“Google was very interested in doing this once they learned we were the first community college in the state with a mobile app,” said Bowman.  “They spent one week doing the physical mapping and approximately two months configuring the campus maps.”

So what if offices are moved or renamed?  Bowman said room names and numbers may change, but the building map retains its structural form in the application. If an office moves to a new area on campus, Northeast State informs Google of the changes which are updated and synchronized with the existing building map. 

“The footprint of any new building – the future Emerging Technologies building on the main campus for example – can be uploaded to Google,” Bowman explained. “The end user gets the updated indoor map service to navigate the new building.”


Nursing program unveils NURS Center for students

 First-year nursing student face the formidable subject matter of pharmacology and fundamentals while second-year students focus on mental health, pediatrics, and obstetrics. The summer days’ relaxing hours and free time becomes little more than a memory.

The newly created Nurses Using Resources for Success (NURS) Center of Northeast State’s Nursing division now gives students refuge from high-stress curriculum and offers a place to learn and relax.

The center’s acronym, NURS, was taken from the nursing course’s prefix, which is also NURS. Established to provide the students a dedicated area to study while also building peer-to-peer relationships, the center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and staffed by the Nursing faculty and the dean.

“We felt the students needed an environment where they could study with peers and get assistance from nursing faculty and myself,” said Dr. Melessia Webb, dean of Nursing.  “We also wanted the student have a place to hang out and have someone to talk to about class or anything – connecting classroom with their peers.”

Northeast State Nursing hosted an open house this month at the NURS Center in the Regional Center for Health Related Professions in Kingsport. The resource center centralizes academic reference materials while creating a much-needed sanctuary for nursing students.

Along with the academic resources available to students, the center features several nooks with comfy chairs, tables, and wall art giving a relaxed, homey feel. The center serves as an ideal decompression chamber not only for study, but also a welcoming environment where students can find emotional support and physical relaxation.

“We want students to know we care about them,” said Laura Jones, nursing instructor.  “This is a demanding program. The NURS Center allows faculty to stay engaged, academically and personally, with students so they are not getting frustrated.”

As an extension to the NURS Center, the division is also hosting monthly recognition parties, called CELEBRATE monthly. These events were established as a method to continue encouraging the nursing students. CELEBRATE (Celebrating Educational Learning Endeavors By Recognizing Achievements Toward Excellence) focuses on positive outcomes or progressive milestones that have been achieved by nursing students, faculty, or administration within the division. 

The dean of Nursing and faculty recognized the importance of developing the NURS Center as well as the monthly CELEBRATE events in that all monetary needs have been and will continue to be provided by the faculty and dean.

The center is stocked with hardcover reference material. The College’s information technology department installed a computer bank providing online reference and search capability.  The center serves as an extension for collaborative learning and building a support network between students that faculty members strongly encourage for each nursing class.

“We may have classes in the building, but we are spending a lot of time here in the resource center,” said Summer Manganaro, a first-year nursing student. “We know we’re all in this as a family, and it has been a blessing to me.”

At least one faculty member staffs the center at all times to assist students. All Nursing faculty members – including Dr. Webb – dedicate four hours to the resource center each week with many going beyond that.

“We may spend 12 hours a day in this building for classes and research,” said Denver Moses, also a first-year student. “The center gives us that quiet, comfortable space where you can relax and fellowship with your peers.”

The program accepted more than 70 first-year nursing students this fall. They join more than 30 second-year students scheduled to graduate with their associate of applied science degrees next spring. While the first- and second-year classes are operating on different curriculum schedules, the second-year students help mentor the newbies.

“We also have the opportunity to talk to the second-year nursing students,” said Heather Clinton, a first-year student. “They are a big help to us with guidance and how to manage our time.”

Like many students majoring in a health-related professions program, Manganaro and Clinton have felt health-related issues hit close to home. Helping her young son battle a severe chronic illness moved Manganaro to join the nursing ranks. Since age 12, Clinton helped care for her grandmother. Both said the move into caring for others felt like a natural progression for them.

Webb developed the Resource Center concept by applying the notion of connectivity and learning for students. The division plans to apply for a federal grant to fund an additional full-time nursing faculty member to staff the center throughout the day.

“We wanted to have one environment that was not all about academics,” said Webb. “The faculty has truly made this project work.” 


Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship offers online application process

The Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application process has changed. Students can now apply for the scholarship directly through an online process. 

 Students can apply directly through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation web site if they meet the following criteria:

•Have a GPA of 3.5 or above
•Are enrolled at Northeast State with sophomore status by Dec. 31, 2013
•Are planning to transfer to a 4-year college or university for Fall 2014
•Have documented financial need

The application is a two-part process. The initial application must be submitted by Nov. 7, 2013 (closes at 12:00 p.m., noon, Central Time). This valuable, highly competitive scholarship has been awarded to two Northeast State students in the past five years.

A free informational webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m.  in Room L226 of Basler Library at the College’s main campus. All interested students are invited to attend.

For more information contact pmglass@northeaststate.edu or 423.354.2496.


Ivy Road brings party music to Northeast State on Sept. 27

Ivy Road, one of the region’s best party bands, visits Northeast State Sept. 27 for a 7:30 p.m. show at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts.

Consisting of Jason Lloyd and Lynda Laws, the band plays a variety of styles guaranteed to please an audience hungry for good-time soul, country, blues, and rock and roll. 

As a special feature, the stage will have a dance floor so fans can rave to the beat with the band.

The band has opened for Johnny Winter, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Black Oak Arkansas. Ivy Road has also played venues such as The Blue Plum Festival, the Abingdon Highland Festival, Speyfest in the U.K., and the Little Chicago Blues Festival. 

The concert is free and open to the public. The performing arts center is located at 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport. 

For more information, contact Jim Kelly at jpkelly@NortheastState.edu or 423.279.7669.


WGU Tennessee, Northeast State sign articulation agreement

Northeast State Community College and WGU Tennessee announced today the signing of an articulation agreement that allows Northeast State graduates and staff to receive application fee waivers and discounted tuition to WGU Tennessee.

“The relationship between Northeast State and WGU Tennessee is beneficial to both institutions and, most importantly, to our students,” Dr. Janice Gilliam, president of Northeast State, said. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that our students are successful in their education and careers and the benefits offered through our partnership with WGU Tennessee will put them on the fast track to success.”

The agreement between the two institutions also allows for credits from Northeast State to seamlessly transfer to WGU Tennessee.

“The agreement between Northeast State and WGU Tennessee is an excellent example of higher education institutions working creatively and collaboratively to provide new opportunities for students,” said David Golden, senior vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary for Eastman Chemical Company. “I am honored to be a part of the WGU Tennessee Advisory Board, and pleased that students have this new avenue to achieve their education goals.”

Launched by Gov. Bill Haslam earlier this year, WGU Tennessee is an online, accredited, nonprofit university aimed at expanding access to higher education for Tennesseans. Established to meet the needs of working adults who need to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree to advance their careers, WGU Tennessee offers accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU Tennessee was created through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University.

“WGU Tennessee provides Northeast State graduates an inexpensive and career-focused opportunity to move easily from their associate degree to a baccalaureate degree,” said Dr. Kimberly K. Estep, chancellor of WGU Tennessee. “I am delighted that we can offer this opportunity to Northeast State students, faculty, and staff.”

WGU Tennessee uses an innovative learning model called competency-based education. Rather than earning degrees based on credit hours or time spent in class, students are required to demonstrate competency in degree subject matter. They advance by writing papers, completing assignments, and passing exams that demonstrate their knowledge of required subject matter. This allows students to move quickly through areas where they have prior work or academic experience and focus on the areas they still need to learn. Learning is individualized and guided by the one-on-one support of a faculty mentor. Degree programs are rigorous and challenging, but designed to allow students to schedule their studies to accommodate work and family obligations. Tuition is affordable at approximately $6,000 per year for most degree programs, regardless of how many courses a student completes.
About Northeast State Community College
Northeast State Community College is a comprehensive two-year community college under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. As a comprehensive community college, Northeast State provides university parallel programs designed for students desiring to transfer to another college or university, career programs for students planning to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, and continuing education and community service programs for professional growth and personal enrichment to the citizens of Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington Counties.

About Eastman
Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2012 pro forma combined revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of approximately $9.1 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 14,000 people around the world. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.

About WGU Tennessee
WGU Tennessee has been established by the state of Tennessee as an online, competency-based university to expand access to higher education throughout the state. Formed through a partnership with Western Governors University, WGU Tennessee is open to all qualified Tennessee residents. The university offers 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.

Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).*

In addition to WGU Tennessee, there are four other WGU state-based, state-endorsed universities: WGU Indiana, established in June 2010, WGU Washington, established in April 2011, WGU Texas, established in August 2011, and WGU Missouri, established in February 2013.

For more information, visit the WGU Tennessee website, or call 855.948.8495.

*Western Governors University offers nursing programs that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 5380, Washington, DC 20036, 202-877-6791).


Northeast State named military friendly school

Victory Media has named Northeast State to the coveted Military Friendly Schools® list.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“It is an honor to be included in this select group of colleges and universities for the 5th consecutive year,” said Pat Chandler, coordinator of Veterans Affairs at the College. “Northeast State strives to offer the best possible services to those who have already given so much.  We want these students to be successful.”

The Military Friendly Schools® web site, www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, features the list as well as interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. These schools have programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Northeast State’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, vice president at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran.

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for Veterans’ Administration tuition funding.


Constitution Week forum set for Sept. 19

You are invited to the Constitution Awareness Week Faculty-Student Forum scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. in the newly renovated Auditorium (A202) near the Bookstore.

Come join moderator Beth Ross and this year’s distinguished panelists Sherman Patrick, Steve Buttolph, Taby Garman, and Kelsey Smith as they discuss the enduring relevance of our Constitution and engage in a discussion with the audience.

Constitution Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness about the U.S. Constitution and encourage discussion in the interpretations and implications about one of the most important documents ever written.  


Register now for the Honors Glow Run 5K on Sept. 25

Get your Hump Day run in at the Northeast State Honors Glow Run 5K night race on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the College’s main campus at Blountville, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

The race starts at 8 p.m. with pre-race festivities beginning at 5:30 p.m.  The course is fairly flat with some medium hills.  Runners can get festively fluorescent with glow sticks, glow paint, and whatever it takes to make them glow in the dark!  Participants will also receive awards for best costumes and best glow-in-the-dark outfit.

Runners can register online now at www.werunevents.com. The entry fee is $20 through Sept. 24 and $25 on race day.  Electronic B-tag timing will be provided by We Run Events.  All proceeds benefit the Northeast State Honors Program.  Late registration and packet pick-up can be done on race day between 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. 


Nursing program sets open house Sept. 18

The Northeast State Community College's Nursing Division is holding an open house for its NURS (Nurses Using Resources for Success) Center Sept. 18 from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. in room 234 of the Regional Center for Health Professions (RCHP). Visitors may drop in any time and pick up information on the program. The RHCP is located at 300 W. Main St. in downtown Kingsport. For information, contact nursingmail@NortheastState.edu or 423.354.5108.