Northeast State at Kingsport has many facets

Northeast State Community College at Kingsport serves thousands of students pursuing dozens of diverse degrees and technical certificates. Northeast State staff members work behind the scenes to support them as well as faculty and administrative personnel as Northeast State at Kingsport continues to evolve as a destination for students seeking college degrees.

Kingsport Center for Higher Education
Northeast State manages KCHE and offer two years of college instruction. A staff of 12 Northeast State personnel manages the 54,000-square-foot complex that hosts more than 1,300 students for morning and evening classes six days a week.

KCHE Director Kathy Thacker, administrative assistant Cindy Christian, and receptionist Debbie Marsh manage daily operations at the center. Evening coordinator Jonathan Benton and secretary Shawna Shafer manage the center’s evening operations while hundreds of students fill night class offerings.

“The Kingsport Center for Higher Education’s success comes from a dedicated group of professionals working together to give students quality, accessible education,” said Thacker. “Our staff is dedicated to providing the most acces¬sible education resources possible for students around the region.”

KCHE staffer Karen Kidner operates the center’s library during day classes and Kelly Bond takes over services for evenings and Saturdays. Life science and physical science laboratories are managed by assistant professor Kim Stroud. Courses such as biology, physics, and chemistry include a laboratory component requiring detailed study models KCHE features a 250-seat auditorium, lecture halls, classrooms, and science laboratories.

The scope of KCHE’s classes and enrollment require information technology support. Northeast State IT staff Vickie Crawford, Anthony Adams, and Jason Phillips support the center as well as other Northeast State-operated sites in Kingsport. Northeast State police and safety also provide service at KCHE.

Northeast State staff provides ongoing support to faculty members from all participating institutions at KCHE. The University of Tennessee, King College, and Lincoln Memorial University offer courses for students pursuing baccalaureate degrees in specific majors.

Regional Center for Health Professions
The Regional Center for Health Professions hosts the Health-Related Professions Division featuring five academic programs and the College’s division of Nursing. The facility’s staff of 12 faculty members and secretaries serves students in some of the most popular and competitive academic programs at the College.

RCHP is administered by Donald S. Coleman, dean of Health Relation Professions. Division secretaries Barbara Brown, Teresa Mullins, and Sherry Talley, assist health-related professions faculty members and students on a daily basis.

“We have a wonderful group of teaching professionals who are highly skilled in their respective specialties,” said Coleman. “Our entire staff at RCHP is dedicated to providing students with a rigorous educational experience to prepare them for enriching careers in health care.”

Each academic program features a program director who also serves as professor and instructor.

Technology Program Director Connie Marshall and instructor Sharon Marshall prepare students with emphasis for work in catheterization labs and echocardiography labs.

Dental Assisting
Program Director Paulette Kehm instructs students on dental assisting including impressions and restorations, take x-rays, remove sutures, and apply topical anesthetics to gums or cavity-preventive agents to teeth.

Emergency Medical Technology
Instructors Darren Ellenburg and David Bryant guide students through emergency medical treatment in the field by EMTs and paramedics in the pre-hospital and hospital environments.

Medical Laboratory Technolog
Program Director Linda Lahr educates students in clinical laboratory testing to detect possible disease markers with tests on blood and human tissue.

Surgical Technology
This program prepares students to perform as surgical team members with surgeons and anesthesiologists. Students learn to hold retractors, cut sutures, and count sponges, needles, and instruments in a variety of procedures. The program director’s position is currently vacant but will be filled in January.

Only a few years old, the Northeast State Nursing program has made a formidable name producing prepared and successful nursing professionals.

Housed at the Regional Center for Health Professions the division of Nursing welcomed its first class of students in fall 2007. The program’s second class of students received their associate of applied science degrees in May 2010. Of those 52 graduates, 92 percent passed the NCLEX-RN national nursing licensure exam on their first attempt.


“We are dedicated to producing nurses who are ready to begin their careers with a high level of skill,” said Dr. Melessia Webb, dean of Nursing. “Our faculty and staff give their best effort to make our students’ educational experience valuable and practical as they begin their nursing careers.”

Nursing students achieving this high percentage of success are being trained by nursing faculty members, many of whom have been with the program since its beginning. Full-time nursing faculty Christy Hall, Kim Harp, Jessica Isaacs, Dan Bembry, Jerry Naylor, Johanna Neubrander, and Cindy Phillips teach nursing lecture, laboratory, and clinical components to first- and second-year students. Staff and assistants Misty Jones, Debbie Lawson, Laura Jones, and Cathy Canody direct the logistics of faculty and laboratory use at RCHP.

Adjunct nursing faculty members JoAnne Coates, Anna Baker, Beverly Brown, Tracie Price, JoRita McMurray, and Alicia Gaddy taught classes this fall as more than 60 new students began the program.

“I am very proud of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Webb. “Our students continue to set a high standard among their peers in the program and across the state.”

Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing
The Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing opened more than 10 courses this fall in subjects of Electrical Technology, Electromechanical Technology, Mechanical Technology, and Welding and Metal Fabrication. Opened in fall of 2009, RCAM ranks as one of the most popular destinations for students attending Northeast State.

RCAM is operated by a support staff of 8 to meet the needs of the students attending the Kingsport facility. The 26,000-square-foot training facility provides high-tech labs, student computer/study labs, a testing center, and multiple classroom environments.



Northeast State at Elizabethton gets high marks from students

Students enrolled at the Elizabethton teaching site of Northeast State Community College enjoy the smaller class sizes and increased computer access provided by its recent expansion, according to an institutional survey of more than 300 students conducted this fall.

Conducted in October with results released this week, 95 percent of the 358 students surveyed reported they were mostly or completely satisfied with their overall experience attending Northeast State at Elizabethton. 

“The response was outstanding,” said Dr. Keith Young, executive director of the College’s oldest satellite learning site. “This fall had the largest enrollment we’ve ever had at the site, and these are the highest student satisfaction ratings that we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

More than 60 percent of students’ surveyed ranked individual attention from instructors and accessible computers labs as “highly important” to their experience at Northeast State.  The survey also found a whopping 98 percent of enrolled students would recommend the College to friends.

The Elizabethton site scheduled a record 105 course offerings this fall to accommodate a record enrollment of 667 students.  Young estimated that summer 2011 enrollment could rise significantly as 95 percent of students surveyed indicated they would enroll in upcoming summer courses.

The availability of research materials and smaller class sizes were ranked “highly important” or “somewhat important” by more than 80 percent of respondents. Students ranked individual attention from instructors, access to open computer labs, and access to quality research materials and technology as the items as the most important aspects of their experience.

Students did recommend changes to the help request more access to academic advisors and tutoring services, especially in math.  They also suggested establishing an on-site library area, increasing course offerings at Elizabethton, and an improving Financial Aid process from the main campus.

Northeast State at Elizabethton expanded last summer as the College added 15,000 square feet of space to accommodate surging student enrollment.  Expansion phases one and two were completed during summer with two new classrooms, one new Interactive Television (ITV) classroom, one new computer lab, additional restrooms, and new office space.

Phase three of the expansion is underway with two new lecture classrooms and a physical education classroom expected to open for the spring semester. Young was also optimistic the facility could accommodate anatomy and physiology classes as well as microbiology courses by next summer.    

“This is the highest number of responses and positive ratings we’ve had,” said. “It reflects what we are doing right in Elizabethton and how we must stay responsive to students as they pursue their degree at Northeast State.”


Gerhard & Mize return to Northeast State for holiday concert

They are back and better than ever. Guitar legends Ed Gerhard and Bill Mize return to Northeast State Community College for their annual Christmas concert on Thursday, Dec. 9 in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts. The duo will perform instrumental Christmas and holiday favorites as well as selected original works.

Gerhard is a multiple Grammy Award winner and released his eighth CD Sunnyland in homage to his early blues heroes. His guitar work can be heard on recordings by Arlo Guthrie and Jorma Kaukonen and in the Ken Burns film Mark Twain. He has released two critically praised holiday albums, Christmas and On a Cold Winter’s Night.

Mize is also a Grammy-winning guitarist and renowned instrumentalist. His music was recently selected for two documentary films: The Appalachian Trail: Past, Present and Future by Farrar & Ketelle Productions, Common Cents: Philanthropy Roundtables by YourStoryFilms.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show time is 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, visit billmize.com and www.virturerecords.com. For additional information, contact 423.279.7669.