Your degree is waiting … no classes or dollars required

So you went to college but didn’t graduate?

Well, get ready to be happy.  Graduation may be closer than you think!

If you are a former student of Northeast State Community College you may be eligible to graduate just by filling out a form! The Northeast State National Alumni Association invites all former Northeast State students to learn their status and how close they are to graduating.

The Tennessee Board of Regents reduced the number of credits required for an associate degree that may have blocked graduation for students when they were enrolled previously. Former students that earned 60 or more college-level credit hours at Northeast State without graduating may be eligible to graduate simply by submitting the Application for Graduation form.

In addition, the College eliminated the $25 fee for all graduation applications beginning this semester. Qualifying applicants can graduate with no out-of-pocket cost to Northeast State.

Students who have completed 45 or more college-level credit hours without graduating may be eligible to graduate if they transfer class credit back to Northeast State from another institution. Students can send official transcripts from the transfer schools to Northeast State, submit the Graduation Application by the published deadline date for each semester, and get that diploma.

Alumni with more than 60 hours and no transfer credit should contact Alumni Affairs for a referral to the Student Success Center. An academic plan to complete a degree can be arranged to meet the student’s needs.

An associate degree or technical certificate from Northeast State will enhance a graduate’s résumé. Participation in the annual May commencement ceremony is not required.

An Application for Graduation is available online at www.NortheastState.edu. An application can also be obtained from the office of Alumni Affairs, by calling 423.354.5120 or e-mailing gnwalters@NortheastState.edu, the Admissions and Records Office on the main campus or at a Northeast State off-campus sites.

Interested former students should complete and submit the Application for Graduation to Alumni Affairs by the spring deadline date of Jan. 30, 2009.  The student will be contacted with additional graduation information.

Some students may need to register for the MAPP graduation exit exam at the Web site or contact the Student Success Center at 423.323.0214 to schedule an exam at the Blountville campus Testing Center.

Contact 423.354.5120 or e-mail gnwalters@NortheastState.edu for more information or to refer a former student to the program.


Northeast State adjusting schedule to four-day week for spring semester sections

Northeast State students, your week just got shorter.

Northeast State Community College will reduce Monday, Wednesday, and Friday course sections from three days per week to two days to reduce student travel to campus. Under the new schedule, more than 400 course sections traditionally held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be moved to Monday and Wednesday with an extended time period matching the current one-hour-20-minute class periods of Tuesday and Thursday courses.

“We did not cut any offerings of classes from what we offered last spring,” said Dr. Xiaoping Wang, dean of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Division. “Our primary goal is for students to have the classes they need and progress in a timely manner in their education.”

In addition to the Monday and Wednesday option, the spring schedule also includes a greater number of three-hour classes on Fridays to complement the Weekend College offered on Saturdays. The new schedule allows students to take up to 12 hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

“We are trying to help students reduce their schedule obligations from three days to two days per week and possibly limit their overall trips to four days per week instead of five,” said William Wilson, dean of the Humanities Division. “Those students who have had to do a five-day week can now shorten that to four days or add the Weekend College option.”

The new class offerings add to Northeast State’s commitment to offering convenient and efficient alternative learning methods to students. The College offers distance education resources such as online courses, interactive television, Weekend College, the Regents Online Degree Program (RODP), and distance learning sites around northeast Tennessee. The schedule focuses on three-hour courses in the divisions of Humanities, Behavioral Sciences and Social Sciences, and Mathematics. The schedule changes also include developmental courses needed by students enrolling in college for the first time.

“We are trying to provide some different options,” said Lana Hamilton, dean of the Science Division. “This gives students more options to pick and choose their courses.”

In 2006, Northeast State implemented the four-day week for the summer term – a schedule change well-received by students. Students will be notified of the new schedule before the spring semester’s priority registration deadline of Nov. 10.

Dr. Wang said the college’s expansion into the Humanities Building opened up more classroom space that allowed flexibility in scheduling. With more than 50 adjunct faculty members teaching in the two divisions, respectively, she and Wilson agreed that the new schedule also eased travel obligations for adjunct faculty members.

“The schedule also gives us more time on task for students to absorb the subject matter during class time due to the longer class period,” said Dr. Wang, who oversees 17 academic disciplines in her division.

Recent enrollment statistics indicate college students are pursuing cost-saving, alternative distance learning methods to earn credits toward a degree. Northeast State’s current fall enrollment in RODP courses surged 88 percent over last year.

“This is a good way for Northeast State to respond to the cost of living increases of the past year,” Wilson said. “The hope is students can realize a savings of time and money while maintaining their desired number of classes and level of instruction.”

For more information, contact the office of Admissions and Records at 1.800.836.7822 or admissions@NortheastState.edu.


Job placement survey finds 98 percent of Northeast State grads working in field of study

A survey evaluating the job placement rate of graduates from Northeast State Community College confirms the link between turning a college education into a career with potential.

Conducted by the College’s office of Student Services, the survey contacted 282 Northeast State graduates of 2007 and received 244 replies. Survey results found 238 respondents – approximately 98 percent – had found jobs in the career field of their major one year after graduation.

“We are constantly working to provide the skills that are needed to be competitive in our region’s workforce,” said Ron Smith, director of Student Services at Northeast State.

Graduates receiving associate of applied science degrees in Industrial Technology disciplines such as Automotive Service, Electrical Technology, and Machine Tool had a placement rate of 100 percent. Health-Related Professions majors from the Cardiovascular Technology, Dental Assisting, and Emergency Paramedic Technology programs also reported 100 percent job placement rates.
The survey found 95 percent of graduates who majored in Office Administration Technology program majors and 97 percent of Allied Health majors contacted were employed in their chosen career fields one year after graduation.

Survey contacts represent approximately 34 percent of the total graduating class of 841 students. The survey sampled a random group of graduates who earned degrees from 39 academic programs.

“The placement percentages reflect our continuous effort to provide students with a quality education to allow them to find employment,” said Pat Sweeney, special assistant to the president at Northeast State. “We want to monitor the job skills required in the 21st century workforce and adjust our curriculum to reflect the evolution of technology and skill.”

The College also surveyed regional employers who hired Northeast State graduates during the past year. Employers were asked to evaluate the new employees’ work ethic, adaptability, and leadership qualities. That study revealed Northeast State graduates were ranked excellent or good in all three categories by the 96 percent of employers surveyed.

The job placement survey is part of the commission’s 2007-2008 Performance Funding Report submitted earlier this year to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). All public colleges and universities in Tennessee are required to submit annual performance funding reports to THEC. Performance funding evaluates a variety of quality measures at an institution including job placement ratio, the number of nationally accredited academic programs, and alumni satisfaction.


Classic “tough guy” actor Danny Trejo visits Northeast State Oct. 27

You know Danny Trejo even if you don’t recognize his name.

His famous face and on-screen intensity rank him as one of Hollywood’s most prolific actors with roles in more than 150 films during his career.  Trejo visits Northeast State Community College on Oct. 27 to talk about his experiences and how he survived and succeeded through an adventurous life.

Whether parodying his tough guy image as Machete Cortez in Disney’s Spy Kid series, menacing Nicholas Cage in Con Air, or as a member of Robert De Niro’s crew of doomed thieves in the classic crime film Heat, Trejo carved out a career as one of the most sought after actors working today.

However, no character Trejo has ever played is nearly as incredible as his own true-life story. Behind the fearsome villains he portrays exists a tough, introspective man who overcame poverty, addiction, and prison to succeed as an actor and share a message of hope with anyone who will listen.

Born in the historic Echo Park section of Los Angeles, Trejo spent the latter part of his youth and early adulthood incarcerated in some of California’s most notorious state prisons.  After his release from San Quentin Prison, he became involved in programs aimed at helping those who, like him, battle drug and alcohol addictions.

Trejo’s movie career began when he went to the set of the film Runaway Train to offer support to a man he’d been counseling. He was immediately offered a role as an inmate boxer – hardly a stretch for Trejo who was the welterweight boxing champion of San Quentin.

Trejo has spent the last 30 years working with young people throughout Los Angeles to avoid drugs and pursue successful lives.  In 2000, he formed his production company “Starburst” where his first endeavors into producing was the award-winning short An Eye for Talent followed by The Animal Factory, directed by Steve Buscemi.

Despite his impressive list of credits, his roles as a devoted husband, father of three and as an intervention counselor bring him the most satisfaction. From imprisonment to inspiration, the name, face, and achievements of Danny Trejo are well recognized in Hollywood.

His lecture and question and answer session begins at 7 p.m. in the Northeast State Auditorium at the College’s main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
The event is sponsored by the Northeast State Cultural Activities Committee and is free and open to the public. For information, contact 423.279.7669.