Tuition going up 3.4% at Volunteer State

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved increases in tuition and fees Friday that are among the lowest on average since 1996.
The increase raises tuition an average of 3.3 percent across the six TBR universities, 13 community colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.
Students at community colleges will pay 3.4 percent more for tuition fees.

Students at Volunteer State Community College will pay $3,648 in maintenance/tuition fees, plus $277 in mandatory fees, beginning with the Fall semester, for the 2015-16 academic year.

Vol State has the second lowest tuition and mandatory fee ($3,925) among Tennessee community colleges, just $6 more than Columbia State Community College ($3,919).
In addition to maintenance fees/tuition, which are charged by the credit hour, all students pay a set of mandatory fees that are unique to each campus, like athletics fees, student activities fees, health services fees, etc.

“We are pleased that the tuition levels are the lowest they have been in decades, but we do understand that every time fees are raised, someone may be priced out of an opportunity to attend one of our institutions,” said TBR Chancellor John Morgan.

“Tennessee is fortunate to have state leaders who recognize the integral connection between an educated workforce with affordable access to post-secondary education and the economic growth of our state. Our Hope lottery scholarship, the Tennessee Promise last-dollar scholarship and the Tennessee Reconnect grant, along with other state and federal aid programs, make higher education a more realistic option for more people today than ever before, but for those who must cover the full cost of attendance, any increase is unfortunate,” he said.
“Our institutions are more efficient now than ever, and they continue to focus their resources on ways that support student success to help more complete their credentials faster and more effectively.

“We hope that in the coming years our state leaders will continue to find a way to make higher education a funding priority,” Morgan said.

How fees are calculated:


Maintenance fees
(often referred to as “tuition”) are the charges based on credit hours for in-state students. For example, a student pays a flat rate for the first 12 hours of class credits and a discounted rate for any additional hours. Only out-of-state students are required to pay tuition in addition to maintenance fees. Mandatory fees vary by institution, fund specified programs, and are paid by all students regardless of the number of hours they take.

Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Building under construction behind Wood Center

The Steinhauer, Rogan and Black Building is under construction behind the Wood Campus Center on the Vol State Gallatin campus.

The Steinhauer, Rogan and Black Building is under construction behind the Wood Campus Center on the Vol State Gallatin campus.

Volunteer State Community College’s main Gallatin campus is under construction for a new Humanities building. The building will be located between the Wood Campus Center and the Mattox Building.

The new building will be the Steinhauer, Rogan and Black Building.

It will be the largest building on campus at  88,345 square feet.

Specific criteria that is planned for the new building includes it having 23 classrooms, 18 labs, 11 collaborative study areas, 56 offices, adjunct faculty workrooms, an outdoor amphitheater, and a courtyard. It will also have a recording studio/ lab; drawing, ceramics and printmaking studios; instrumental art gallery, computer labs, and a large capacity of flexible instructional space.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity this will give to our students in the Humanities program. But it will also free up space for us to offer exciting and collaborative activities and classes for students in all programs,” said Alycia Ehlert, dean of the Humanities division.

Construction is said to be completed by the summer of 2016.

Traffic and parking changes and warnings will be e-mailed throughout the Vol State community via their student or faculty g-mail accounts.

Live streaming of the construction can be watched online at http://www.volstate.edu/construction/.

Completion Advisors to start in July

 Starting in the Fall, Volunteer State Community College will be introducing new advising help for the student body.

Dr. George Pimentel, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said the Funding is currently pending but the school plans to hire four completion advisors.

“Each division will have one, so there will be one assigned to Humanities, one assigned to Social Science, one for Business and Technology and one for Math and Science. We already have one in Allied Health,” said Pimentel. 

Pimentel also said the completion advisors will give students guidance.

“They will have an advising load just like the other faculty do but they are going to be there for a resource, they are going to help by doing more active advising . . . they will be trained as counselors as well,” said Pimentel.

If a student’s advisor is absent or unable to see the student right away, Pimentel said the completion advisors are who the students should go to next. 

“Say, your advisors not there, instead of you having to come back another day, that persons there in the division. You can go see them and they can take notes and send them to your advisor and help out the students.

“We are really looking forward to having them on board in July. We are relatively sure we are going to move July 1, so that’s our goal. I can’t guarantee it, but I feel good about it,” said Pimentel. 

Summer’s Campus Connect welcomes new students to campus and college

This summer, Volunteer State Community College is hosting a number of orientations for upcoming first-time Vol State students.

Among those students, are the ones who qualified for the Tennessee Promise program. 

Dr. George Pimentel, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said as a result of the increase in students, more orientations have been added. 

“All the students that are coming to Vol State who are on the TN Promise will be embedded just like the other students but because this is the first big push out for TN Promise, and a lot of students have applied, the Governor [Bill Haslam] has asked that we actually have some specific days [for them],” said Pimentel. 

According to Student Services, all first-time students will receive a letter in the mail with their orientation date and any additional information they need. 

Pimentel said orientation is a must in order for a student to be comfortable and successful in their first year. 

“One of the most consistent messages we’ve been telling everyone, as well as all the other schools, is that when we go to the mentor meeting to talk to the students that are going to be TN Promise students, [we tell them to] come to orientation, fill out your schedule, speak to your advisor because that’s all things that will help make them successful. There are just a variety of things like that, that will be going on all summer as a part of our normal orientation,” said Pimentel.  

Vol State considering two commencements to aid students

May 9, Volunteer State Community College hosted its 43rd annual graduation ceremony. According to the Vol State website, the event had the largest amount of participants in the college’s history, with more than 470 students walking.

With the increase in numbers, the Commencement Committee is deciding whether or not to add another graduation into the school year.

Dr. George Pimentel, Vice President of Academic Affairs and a member of the committee, said that it all depends on how many people walk.

“If we continue to grow like we have been over the next few years, we feel like it’s going to be necessary to have a Fall and probably a Christmas graduation.

“Right now, nothing’s official, but we’re going to be talking about it next year after this graduation to see if we need to go ahead and just expand to two of them. We’ll try to keep the same one for as long as we can,” said Pimentel.

Pimentel said besides the additional cost, there are a couple things they are working on.

“Number one, we have about 470 students who traditionally walk, but if that number grows to 550, then obviously you add all of them, plus everyone who brings five guests, and its really full. So we are right there at about the maximum number we can accommodate.

“We’ll have to meet this summer to talk about [if] we just want to split it and have the students that graduate in December, just have a ceremony for them at Christmas time and the ones who graduate [in the] Spring and Summer, we’ll do like we normally do in may. That decision will be made by the [Vol State] president sometime this year,” said Pimentel.