West African drumming and dance concert set for Feb. 11

The high-energy Sogbety Diomande troupe will perform at Northeast State Community College Feb. 11 for a night of West African drumming and dance with colorful costumes, masks, and native rhythms and songs.

Sogbety Diomande was born in the village of Toufinga, a small African farming community located in the Northwest region of the Ivory Coast near the border of Guinea. He started his career as a drummer and dancer at a very early age. He has toured with Ballet National de Cote d’Ivoire; been a member of Kotchegna Dance Company, Mask Dance Company, and has been featured with many troupes in New York City and around the U.S.
Diomande moved to North America permanently in December 1997 and found his niche in New York City. He was featured as the lead djembe drummer on cult -egend Jimmy Buffett’s No Passport Required tour. He has also toured with Jim Donovan’s Drum the Ecstatic, which included performances and workshops at schools, universities, festivals, and other venues.

Diomande hosts the annual West African Celebration where he brings master drummers and dancers together in rural Ohio to teach and perform at his three-day drum and dance camp.

The free performance begins at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
The production is part of Northeast State’s commemoration of Black History Month throughout February. For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


Auditions set for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 

The Northeast State Community College Department of Theater announces open auditions for their spring production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Performers daring to step through the wardrobe and into Narnia are invited to two open auditions scheduled Jan. 28 and 29 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts (WRCPA) on the College’s main campus at Blountville. Auditions are open to all students, faculty, and community members ages 18 and up.

Performers are asked to gather in the lobby of the WRCPA Theater. All actors should be familiar with the story and are asked to prepare a one-minute monologue to be read at the audition. Callbacks will be made on Jan. 30 between 5 and 7 p.m. A list of performers invited to callbacks will be posted at the Theatre website.

The production was dramatized for the stage by Joseph Robinette from the story by C.S. Lewis. The play is being brought to the Northeast State stage courtesy of Dramatic Publishing. The production dates are April 3-6 and April 10-13. The play is being directed by Northeast State’s own Elizabeth M. Sloan.

For more information, contact Northeast State Theatre at 423.354.2479 or e-mail emsloan@NortheastState.edu.


SAILS math program achieving higher marks

A cooperative learning program piloted at Northeast State Community College enjoyed promising results last fall for area high school seniors preparing to enroll in college.

The Bridge Math Course and Project SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) Math identifies students lacking college-level math skills while still in high school. SAILS enrolled more than 500 students at 14 high schools in the College’s five-county service area.
“The program has been really exciting, the students have been very receptive and the high schools have been excited to offer this opportunity to high school seniors,” said Nancy Forrester, SAILS program coordinator and former dean of Mathematics at Northeast State.

Bridge Math and SAILS Math courses were implemented at 14 high schools in College’s five-county service area during the 2013 fall semester. The courses are competency-based, mastery-based and lab-based. Of those SAILS participants, 29 percent completed all five math competencies and 78 percent completed at least 3 competencies during the fall semester. Forrester visited the high schools every week during the fall semester to monitor student progress.
“The students have to do the work for every math competency they need,” said Forrester. “When they do the work, they discover that they can do the math.”

High school students who take the ACT college entrance exam during their junior year and score below 19 on math are required to take the Bridge Math Course during their senior year. The SAILS Program permits these students to take Learning Support math while enrolled in Bridge to prepare them for college-level math courses.  Students must complete five math competencies established in Bridge and SAILS to take college-level math courses such as Probability and Statistics. They earn high school credit and complete pre-requisites for college-level work.

Previously, students who enrolled at Northeast State with sub-19 ACT math scores typically needed two semesters to complete Learning Support math requirements. The Bridge and SAILS programs aim to shorten or eliminate that obstacle for high school students who complete the math competencies during their senior year.

“There’s much more one-on-one time between students and teachers because the computer program fulfills most of the lecture content,” said Forrester. “Having high school teachers who are dedicated to Bridge and SAILS methods has been the difference maker.”

Before Bridge and SAILS were introduced, students were required to enroll in and pass learning support math courses before taking college-level math. Learning support courses usually took two semesters and delayed a student’s ability to move through his or her program of study.

Instead of additional classes and semesters, first-year college students can enroll in classes needed for their majors. That means fewer semesters, money saved by taking fewer semesters, and a faster path to graduation.

SAILS participants use the Student Organizer created by the Northeast State Mathematics division faculty two years ago. The organizer tracks progress of each math competency. Students can continue working toward completing all five competencies during the spring final high school year.

“The high school teachers have been wonderful to work with,” said Malissa Trent, dean of the Mathematics division at Northeast State.  “The administrators and counselors at the schools have also been very supportive. The program would not be as successful without their support of students and the program.”

The SAILS program was funded through the Northeast State Foundation, College Access Programs, the Niswonger Foundation, and the state via Gov. Bill Haslam. The SAILS program was brought under the umbrella of the Governor’s  “Drive to 55” campaign to raise the percentage of college graduates among Tennessee residents.
“The Northeast State Foundation and the Niswonger Foundation have really stepped up to make this happen,” Trent said.
Northeast State piloted the program with three other Tennessee Community Colleges in fall 2012. Forrester said once the governor’s office learned of their SAILS program they immediately wanted to pilot it around the state.

“If we are going to offer these options to the high school students, we want to be sure the program operates the way it is designed,” she said.
Funded by a grant through the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as part of Gov. Haslam’s Online Innovation Budget, twelve colleges in the Tennessee Community College System partnered with more than 120 high schools to offer the SAILS Math last fall. The competencies earned through SAILS are recognized by all two-year and four-year institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents system.

“They are learning math competencies early thanks to their teachers and the program,” said Trent. “That is turning out college-ready students who have a better chance of obtaining a degree.”


College Goal Sunday set for Jan. 26, 2 - 4 p.m.

Northeast State hosts the annual College Goal Sunday event on Jan. 26, from 2 – 4 p.m. in the General Studies Building of the College’s main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Northeast State hosts the annual College Goal Sunday event on Jan. 26, from 2 – 4 p.m. in the General Studies Building of the College’s main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

College Goal Sunday (www.collegegoalsundayusa.org) is a free, volunteer charitable effort to provide information and assist low-income and first-generation college students and their families.  Students planning to attend the workshop need to log onto the website to register to allow for efficient seating. College Goal Sunday helps families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) required to qualify for college financial aid nationwide.

Before attending the workshop, students should register for a personal identification number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov to serve as an electronic signature for the FAFSA account. Students must bring their PIN to the workshop.

Students and/or parents should bring the following items if available:

• 2013 federal tax return or other income documentation
• Social security numbers for student and parents
• Driver’s license
• 2013 W-2 forms or other records of income
• 2013 untaxed income records – social security, temporary assistance to needy families, welfare, or veterans benefits records
• 2013 bank statements
• 2013 business and investment mortgage information, stock, bond, and other investment records
• Alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen)

The FAFSA form, used at colleges, universities, and technical schools nationwide, should be submitted before March 1 to get the maximum aid available, even if the student has not selected a college. In addition to it being the application for federal aid, the FAFSA form also serves as the application for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship and the Tennessee Student Assistance Award programs.

For additional information, contact the Northeast State office of Financial Aid at 423.323.0252 or visit the College Goal Sunday website. 

Scholarship applications now being accepted

Students searching for financial aid to attend college need financial help now more than ever. It’s never too soon to submit a scholarship application to Northeast State for the 2014-2015 academic year.

ApplyNortheast State office of Scholarship Programs administers more than 160 Foundation-related scholarships to help students pay college expenses.  Foundation Scholarships may fund maintenance fees and even textbook costs for recipients. Northeast State also administers the Academic Work Scholarship, the Educate and Grow Scholarship, and the Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship programs.

The application deadline for Foundation and Academic Work scholarships is March 1.  Northeast State awards scholarships to qualifying applicants following a competitive review process.

The scholarship application qualifies a student only for Foundation and Academic Work scholarship consideration.  Separate applications must be completed for Educate and Grow (March 31 deadline) and Educational Access and Diversity (June 1 deadline) programs. Students applying for state or federal financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

To apply for available Foundation and Academic Work scholarships, visit  www.NortheastState.edu/scholarshipprograms, click Internal Programs and Apply for Northeast State Scholarships links, and complete the Online General Scholarship Application. For information, contact 423.279.7637 or e-mail scholarships@NortheastState.edu.


Northeast State programs earn ATMAE re-accreditation

Northeast State is proud to announce the Business Technologies and Advanced Technologies divisions have received re-accreditation from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) for programs in Computer and Information Sciences, Electrical Technology, and Industrial Technology.

ATMAE inspection team members conducted a site visit at Northeast State in spring 2013 to evaluate the programs. The degree programs were initially accredited in 2003. The new re-accreditation extends through November 2019.

Institutions that earn accreditation from ATMAE confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive review process.

The Computer and Information Sciences programs included Computer Programming, Internet and Web Development, Networking Engineering Technology, Personal Computer Management, and Information Assurance.

The Electrical Technology programs included Electrical Technology and Electromechanical.

Industrial Technology programs are comprised of Automotive Service, Engineering Design Technology, Machine Tool, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Mechanical, Motor Sports, and Welding/Metal Fabrication.

Founded in 1967, ATMAE is recognized as the premiere professional association responsible for:
• The promotion of technology in business, industry, education, and government;
• The accreditation of technology programs in colleges, universities, and technical institutes; and
• The certification of technologists and the recognition of their continued professional development.

For more information about the programs offered by Northeast State and how to apply for admission, visit www.NortheastState.edu or call 800.836.7822.


Register now for spring term at Northeast State

The road to a college degree can begin at Northeast State with dozens of courses offered this spring  ranging from advanced technology, health-related professions, and university-parallel academic programs.

Northeast State will host open registration session on Jan. 14 at the main campus 2425 Highway 75, Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. Fees are due the same day class registration is completed.

The entire spring schedule can be viewed online at www.NortheastState.edu. Current enrolled students can register online now by clicking on the MyNortheast tab. Admission applications can also be submitted online or in person at the main campus.

Spring semester classes start Jan. 16. For more information, visit www.NortheastState.edu or e-mail admissions@NortheastState.edu.


Northeast State, Tusculum College sign reverse transfer agreement

GREENEVILLE – The presidents of Northeast State Community College and Tusculum College signed a reverse transfer agreement  Jan. 10, opening the door for students who transfer to Tusculum from Northeast State prior to completing their associate’s degree to use credits earned at Tusculum to complete that degree.

According to Dr. Melinda Dukes, vice president of academic affairs at Tusculum College, the Tusculum College-Northeast State Community College Reverse Transfer Program is available to students who have transferred to Tusculum College from Northeast State Community College without earning their associate degree.
“This program allows students to transfer course work from Tusculum College back to Northeast State while completing their bachelor’s program at Tusculum.”

Tusculum President Dr. Nancy B. Moody and Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam signed the agreement at the Tusculum College campus on Friday morning.  The agreement becomes effective immediately for students who transfer to Tusculum from Northeast State.

“We are very pleased to announce the new partnership and reverse transfer agreement with our friends at Northeast State,” said Moody. “This complements our existing articulation agreement and offers prospective students an opportunity to complete both their associate and bachelor degrees.”
The two colleges have maintained a general articulation agreement since 1995.

“We are pleased to further extend our relationship with Tusculum College with the signing of this agreement,” said Dr. Janice Gilliam, president of Northeast State.  “Our students, who transfer prior to earning an associate degree, now have the opportunity to acquire that credential based on credits completed at Tusculum.  This allows students to receive maximum benefit from their time spent at both institutions.”

According to the agreement, to complete requirements for the associate degree, 25 percent of the associate degree hour requirements, if greater than 60 hours, must be completed at Northeast State in order to be eligible to pursue the reverse transfer of credits from Tusculum to Northeast State to earn the associate degree. Students must also complete the exit exam at Northeast State in order to earn the associate degree.

In addition, Tusculum College will endeavor to provide Northeast State with information on transfer students to assist Northeast State officials in the identification of students who could benefit from reverse transfer credit of courses.

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 is accredited by the Northeast State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree.

Tusculum College, the oldest college in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the nation, is a liberal arts institution committed to utilizing the civic arts in developing educated citizens distinguished by academic excellence, public service and qualities of Judeo-Christian character. Approximately twenty-one hundred students are enrolled on the main campus in Greeneville and three off-site locations in East Tennessee.


Cook earns 40 Under Forty award from The Business Journal

Dr. Heather Cook, executive director of the Northeast State Community College Foundation, recently earned The Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty honor for 2013.

This is the 21st year The Business Journal of Tri-Cities, TN/VA has celebrated area professionals for noteworthy career and civic accomplishments. The group was honored at a gala in October and the December issue of the publication featured the recipients.

Managing editor Scott Robertson was quoted in the Journal: “This year’s class brings everything we’ve come to expect from the young professionals of the region. From entrepreneurs to young executives climbing the corporate ladders at the largest employers in the Tri-Cities, these 40 honorees exhibit, ambition, dedication, and a desire to bring their communities along as they grow their careers.”

Cook has worked at Northeast State since 2011 and been instrumental in raising more than $400,000 in scholarship donations with the College’s annual Because of You Campaign. In addition, faculty and staff donor participation has increased from 23 percent to more than 70 percent since 2011.

Cook earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University in 2012. She also has B.B.A. and M.B.A.  degrees from ETSU. She serves on the Kingsport Planning Commission and the Kingsport United Way communications committee, as well as working in leadership development with the Dobyns-Bennett High School Band. She is also a member of the Rotary Club of Kingsport.

"I am truly humbled that others nominated me for such an award,” Cook said. “I am honored to stand among some of the most talented people in our region."

According to the Journal, all honoree nominations were submitted by letters of recommendation from places of employment and service organizations. Nominees were required to be 39 years old or younger as of Oct. 3, 2013, live and work in East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia. Nominees were judged on community involvement and potential as a business leader in the coming decade.