College commemorates National Disability Awareness Week Oct. 28-31 

Northeast State commemorates Disability Awareness Week Oct. 28-31 focusing on individuals who have battled and triumphed over disabilities.

The Northeast State Center for Students with Disabilities is sponsoring a week-long series of events where students and guests will discuss how they overcame challenges associated with their disabilities.

The week’s keynote speaker is Carson Waugh, a Northeast State alumnus and entrepreneur, who will share his story on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Auditorium (A202) of the Student Service Building on the main campus at Blountville.

A student panel discussion entitled, “In Our Shoes” brings together Northeast State students and faculty to discuss their own challenges with the disabilities that changed their lives and how they learned to manage them. This event begins at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 29 in the Auditorium.

Monday, Oct. 28 features a screening of the film “The Blind Side” at 11 a.m.  and “A Beautiful Mind” at 1:30 p.m. “The Blind Side” tells the story of NFL player Michael Oher while “A Beautiful Mind” chronicles the life of Nobel Prize winner John Nash. The week closes on Thursday, Oct. 31 with the showings of the films “Soul Surfer” (at 11 am.) about surfer Bethany Hamilton, and “Ray” (at 1:30 p.m.) recounting the life of the legendary Ray Charles. All films will be screened in the Auditorium and include free popcorn and drinks.

Informational displays about disability services at Northeast State are available at all the College’s teaching sites.  For more information, call 423.279.7640.


Gov. Haslam announces $843,000 grant for Northeast State

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced a workforce development grant of $843,000 for Northeast State Community College to enhance Advanced Technologies programs.

The governor proposed, and the General Assembly approved, $16.5 million in this year’s budget for equipment and technology related to workforce development programs at Tennessee colleges of applied technology and community colleges. The funding is part of Haslam’s “Drive to 55” effort to increase the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary credentials.

“Northeast State is truly grateful to receive supplemental funding that will support economic and workforce development. These funds will be key in providing state of the art equipment for our new Emerging Technologies Complex to be completed in 2016,” said Northeast State President Janice Gilliam.

These strategic investments resulted from the governor meeting with businesses and education officials across the state last fall to better understand workforce development needs.  One of the most common themes he heard was the lack of capacity and equipment at Tennessee colleges of applied technology and community colleges to meet job demand, so these grants are aimed at addressing those gaps.

“This money will be used for very specific programs where industry is telling us they need more graduates – that can mean everything from robotics to mechatronics to welding - all places where we have employers saying ‘if you’ll produce more graduates we have the jobs for them.’” Haslam said.  “That’s why it’s so critical we fund programs like this that are strategically important to our growth as a manufacturing state.”

Currently, only 32 percent of Tennesseans have certificates or degrees beyond high school, and studies show that by 2025 that number must be 55 percent to meet workforce demands. Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative is designed to address that workforce need on several fronts, including the funds for the state’s colleges of applied technology and community colleges.
“The equipment that will be made available through the workforce development grant will serve to further provide Northeast State students the capability and confidence to successfully enter Advanced Technologies related careers,” said Northeast State Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development Jeff McCord.

The grant will allow Northeast State to obtain state-of-the-art equipment that will provide students the opportunity to learn new skills consistent with the technology used in industry. The equipment will be an integral part of the College’s new $35 million emerging technologies complex, which is currently in the design phase.

According to Sam Rowell, dean of Advanced Technologies, Northeast State will acquire 10 robot training stations and a mechatronic training station. In addition, the College will upgrade surface grinders, prototype machines, and a cylindrical grinder, as well as replace a current metal shear.

The addition of this equipment creates an integrated training program that will impact about 200 students, who will be prepared for using similar equipment and systems utilized by some of the area’s largest employers.

“Today’s announcement serves as an example of how cooperation and partnerships among public and industry leaders provide an exciting future for our students, and as a result, a strong foundation for economic vitality,” said Northeast State Foundation President and Triad Packaging President Lee Shillito.   


Los Jibaros to play Northeast State Oct. 24

Northeast State Community College welcomes the phenomenally funky world music group Cosmic Jibaros on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. They will be performing a free concert in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts, located on the College’s main campus in Blountville, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Cosmic Jibaros have effectively changed the idea of the typical Latin rock band. The band builds its sound from Latin and Caribbean rhythms, Rock & Roll guitars and World Music influences for a sound that’s both cross-cultural and highly danceable. There’s an irresistible pull of traditional Afro-Caribbean beats, interplaying between the congas and timbales, and mixed with urban elements in the deep drum and bass and effects-laden guitar work. These songs are laced with social and political overtones, and are sung primarily in Spanish by charismatic front man Ricardo Reyes.

The name “Cosmic Jibaros” reflects the blending flavors of the music they make. In Puerto Rico, los jibaros would be something akin to the American ‘hillbillies’ or ‘mountain men’- historically known for a more simple and honest connection to the earth and the hard work of living, and with musical tradition to reflect that. The ‘cosmic’ part warns of a modern twist on the old traditions, taking cues from a cross section of World Music and creating an original, Latin progressive sound. The Cosmic Jibaros reflect that and their first album, Yo Soy Del Mundo (I Am of The World) tells that story.

The event is sponsored by the Northeast State Cultural Activities Committee. For information: 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@northeaststate.edu.



College Transfer Day set for Oct. 23

Northeast State students chart the course on their academic road map Wednesday, October 23 at College Transfer Day. Representatives from a variety of colleges and universities will be available to 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 Humanities Building (1st floor) at the main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. No appointment is necessary and there is no charge to attend the event.

Representatives from the following institutions are scheduled to attend: Austin Peay State University, Carson-Newman University, East Tennessee State University, Hiwasse College, King University, Lee University, Lincoln Memorial University, Lipscomb University, Maryville College, Middle Tennessee State University, Milligan College, Southeast Culinary & Hospitality College, Tennessee Tech University, Tennessee Wesleyan College, Tusculum College, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Tennessee (Kingsport Higher Education Center), Virginia Intermont College, University of Virginia at Wise, and Warren-Wilson College.

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 or visit http://www.northeaststate.edu.



Northeast State gears up for Fall Technology Career Fair

Northeast State Community College will host its third annual Fall Technology Career Fair on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 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 great 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.


The Billies return for concert and songwriting workshops

Northeast State welcomes back the grand groove duo The Billies for three days of “Eclectic Neo Soul” with not one, but two, songwriting workshops and a free evening concert.

The Billies will host two songwriting workshops on Oct. 21 and Oct. 23 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. in the Northeast State Auditorium (A202) on the main campus.  Singers and songwriters can get a fun opportunity to learn about creative songwriting and musical expression.

The duo will perform a full concert on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Northeast State Auditorium (A202) on the main campus, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

The Billies are 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 of shows in coffeehouses, wineries, farmers markets, restaurants, and college campuses.

The Billies are Northeast State favorites being featured for two consecutive years in the College’s “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer concert series. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the Oct. 22 concert.  For information about the workshops or concert, visit The Billies on Facebook or contact 279.7669 or e-mail jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


 No time like the present for GED test

If you’ve put off taking the GED test, it’s time to buckle down and get it done — especially if you’ve already completed some sections of the five-part exam.

The current version of the GED test – known as the 2002 Series – will expire at the end of 2013 and be replaced with a new high school equivalency test on January 2, 2014.

Those who have taken the 2002 Series GED test, but not passed all five parts, have until the end of 2013 to pass or they will have to start over again in 2014 with the new test in order to receive their high school credential.

“The GED test opens doors to college, better jobs, the respect adults deserve, and the satisfaction of earning a high school credential,” said Denise Walker, director of Northeast State’s Counseling and Testing Services.  “So we want to be sure that everyone is aware of this deadline. GED test-takers must act now to finish and pass before the current test expires.”

Northeast State is a state-approved GED testing center. The GED test must be taken through an approved center to be valid. Currently, the paper and pencil exam costs $65. The fee in 2014 for the new test is estimated at about $75.

The GED diploma is required for all persons who do not have a high school diploma and desire to attend a college or university or who need it to increase their career opportunities.

The first step in obtaining a GED is for individuals to contact a local Adult Education Center. Adult Education Centers provide free classes in preparation for the official GED practice test. Once individuals are ready for the GED exam, the Adult Education Centers provide registration and testing information to the students.

Area centers are located in the following cities or counties:

Kingsport/Sullivan County – 423.378.4301

Carter County – 423.547.8356

Hawkins County – 423.272.8345

Johnson City/Unicoi/Washington County – 423.434.0206

Johnson County – 423.727.2654

The College has testing centers in Gray, Kingsport, and Mountain City. Proctors also travel to correctional facilities in Sullivan, Johnson, and Washington counties to administer the GED test.

A few important tips you should know about testing at Northeast State before the end of 2013:

Registration deadline for repeat GED® test-takers is December 2, 2013
Registration deadline for new GED® test-takers is December 2, 2013
Last day to take the current version of the GED® test is December 17, 2013

“To anyone who has already started the GED test, it’s time to finish,” Walker said. “You want to take advantage of the momentum you have before it’s too late.”


 Because of You Campaign reaches another milestone 

The Because of You Campaign continues to exceed expectations raising a record amount of scholarship money for students during the third annual fund-raising event held last week.

The campaign raised more than $210,000 during the week of Sept. 23-30 to fund scholarships for students through the Northeast State Foundation.  The amount exceeded the campaign’s goal of $200,000 and doubled funds raised during the 2012 campaign.  Thanks to the Because of You Campaign the participation rate of faculty and staff giving to the Foundation reached 70 percent this year.

“We exceeded our goal due to the amazing people of Northeast State and their desire to help students,” said Dr. Heather Cook, executive director of the Northeast State Foundation.  “It is an honor to work with faculty and staff that enjoy giving back to an institution that has done so much for them.”

Cook announced campaign results at a celebration event on Sept. 30 at the Northeast State Auditorium.  The campaign’s top individual donor was Erika Adams, director of College Access Programs.

Northeast State Foundation’s Because of You Campaign was created by Cook in 2011 to raise money for student scholarships.  The Because of You Campaign hosts a weeklong series of events sponsored by departments from across the College.  This year’s headlining events included the popular GLOW Run, the Northeast State’s Got Talent Show, the Vehicle Bash, and the Chili Cook-off.

Northeast State Alumni Affairs ranked #1 among individual departments collecting $38,000 during the week.  College Access Programs finished second place with $34,439 raised and the Student Needs notched third place with $22,762.

“Students, faculty, and staff you did an outstanding job,” said Lee Shillito, chair of the Northeast State Foundation’s board of directors. “I am really proud of every one of you.”

Students Needs also won the campaign’s Spirit Award for best department spirit and dedication to the campaign.  Cook presented Foundation board member Carol Ferguson with the Model Mentor Award for her work with Student Needs.

Sullivan County Mayor Steve Godsey also attended Monday’s celebration to praise the College and note that Sullivan County contributed $200,000 annually to Northeast State toward student scholarships via the Educate and Grow Scholarship Program.  The county’s contribution extends the total scholarship funding to $410,799.

“Sullivan County considers Northeast State to be our diamond in our county,” said Godsey.

Other first-place awards were presented to TRiO Club for the Field Day and Door Decorating events, Veterans Affairs Office for the Best Facebook Photo, College Access Programs for the Photo Scavenger Hunt, and the Honors Program for the First to $500 Award.

“This is so humbling,” said Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam, “to be part of such a wonderful group of people dedicated to helping students.”