By Sara Keen// Editer-in-Chief
The new school year at Volunteer State Community College marks a time of change and beginnings for many. This fall is the beginning of Tennessee Promise, which has brought a flood of new students ready to tackle the challenges to come. Many of these students will also be experiencing new people they’ve never seen before with different backgrounds and opinions, some of whom will become great friends throughout the year. These friends are far more important than many would believe, as often freshman befriend upperclassman. Their experiences will be passed down to help their inexperienced counterparts. They will find themselves in need of guidance, joining a new realm of clubs, and inevitably having a better experience as a result of the friendships they will develop this year.
Often, new students will befriend Vol State veterans.They will be shown the “tricks of the trade” and shown around buildings. For veterans, this is an excellent opportunity to leave your mark on someone’s college experience in a positive way. For new students, take the opportunity to learn as much as possible about campus life and gain advice regarding classes. One may find that the knowledge gained from others may be helpful in many situations. For example, veterans can help new students learn who to go to for certain types of help, such as where the Writing Center is.
Involvement in campus clubs and organizations can also be helpful for new students. These will introduce students to others with similar interests. A student interested in politics may join the Student Government Association, for example. Students involved in organizations will be able to socialize and succeed more across their academics, both inside and outside of class.
The friendships created in college can help you academically. A student may receive help from others in the form of study groups or general guidance. These friendships may be carried throughout the rest of one’s life. Some people are able to use their friendships in future networking for certain careers. The friends you made here can hold a great impact over one’s life and overall will help succeed in college.
It is a great thing to make new friends, get involved, and succeed both academically and personally.
The Humanities Building was blue drafted fifteen years ago in 1999 by former Dean of Humanities, Dr. Mickey Hall. He created this building because thirty-four percent of classes each semester are Humanity related, making it the largest division on campus. The Tennessee Board of Regions placed the Humanities Building sixth for funding for ten years. Once Vol State received the funding they needed to begin, they jumped right into building the three-story building. Vol State received a lot of help from the community due to donations. Volunteer State Bank pledged $100,000, David and Diane Black pledged $1 million, and The Sumner Foundation pledged $300,000. “We want Vol State to be the cultural center of Sumner County,” said Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State. “This building is another addition to that commitment.” Before they could start the full construction they had to make a few changes to the campus. Roads had to be rerouted, the cafeteria added a service elevator in order to receive their packaged food and drinks, and more parking lots had to be created. The goal for adding this building is to make Vol State more of a walking campus for students.
The Humanities Building is slightly larger than originally planned, but this will help Vol State’s overcrowding dilemma. This building will include English, Communications, Art, Music, Theater, Philosophy, and Foreign Language departments. It is uniquely connected to the Library and Campus Center. The first floor of the Humanities Building will include Music-related classrooms. The second floor will include Communications, English, and Art Studios. The third floor will continue with English and then extend to Foreign Language, Philosophy, and Computer classes. “This is exciting because our students need more state-of-the-art facilities in order to be more marketable in the workforce,” said Humanities Dean, Alycia Ehlert. “We’ll have many special lab spaces and collaborative areas to allow for more group work.” Some special features include a large patio on the backside of the building where events can be held, a tear-shaped amphitheater adjacent of the building, and a walking bridge connecting to the Woods building. Glenda Godwin said, “The furniture will be bright and reflective like the creative talents that will be housed in that building.” Any students and faculty that attended the celebration this past Tuesday signed the last beam. The exterior of the building will most likely be finished before winter, making the interior the final project. The Humanities Building is right on schedule and should be ready by fall of 2016.
By Kalynn Meeker
Fall semester of 2015 at Volunteer State Community College is full of changes. One is an expected 20% increase of students. No matter if you are a student or a faculty member, freshmen or upperclassmen, traffic can be a challenge. In an interview with Angela Lawson, the Assistant Chief of Police, these changes were cleared up.
To aid the increase of traffic, there is an increase of parking spaces. The H Lot, which is convenient for anyone entering from the Greenlea Boulevard, has been extended to approximately 200 spaces. Also added on to is the largest parking lot, the E lot, by approximately 50 spaces. For anyone coming through the main entrance, this lot is most accessible. A new, real four-way stop can be used to enter into the parking lot; however, the spaces will fill up quickly for students and staff alike. Rebecca Flentge, a freshmen but not a newcomer to the Volstate campus, said, “I think that the new parking lot and the roads make it impossible to get anywhere and it makes getting to class a longer process.”
When asked how students and staff will know where they can park, Lawson explained that there would be signage placed in the spots where students can park and staff can park. Along with the signage there will be color indications: yellow lines are for students and white for general parking. Most general parking is located in front of the Thigpen Library.
“The mornings between 7:30 and 8:30 will be the busiest. Fridays will not be so bad,” Lawson said when asked about the peak traffic times. There will be a two or three-week grace period for all students and staff when it comes to parking in designated spots and decals. Additionally, for the first two weeks there will be heavy police presence to help those in need of guidance around campus, not to give citations.
In order to avoid getting a citation, decals will need to be on cars within two to three weeks after classes begin. To make the transition smoother into the new school year, Campus Connect is supplied all new freshmen with parking decals on August 22nd, during Welcome Day.
By Kalynn Meeker
Distribution Learning has taken on the task of teaching Volunteer State Community College’s course management system, eLearn. Andrea Scruggs, the Distribution Learning Coordinator, and her team have supplied all there is to know about the program. All upcoming students have the opportunity to trial run eLearn with the training course to better understand how the program works.
Scruggs relayed the way in to carry out the process. Logging on the Volstate website at “www.volstate.edu” is the first step. Under the “Current Students” tab, students will click on “eLearn”. When asked the username type in “VSGuest” and the password is “Guest123”. This will bring you to the guest account. On the right side of the screen is a link in the “eLearn Resources” module. Click on the first link in the module to take you to the homepage for eLearn Success.
The student is given step-by-step instructions on navigating through every facet of eLearn. There is also a quick-tip sheet of general information. The highlighted red words open in-depth tutorials about everything from classlists to quizzes. Understanding how to use different types of media like Youtube is demonstrated on the page. Kurzweil 3000/Firefly tutorials can be found as well to assist in on-the-go assignment success. When asked how this helps to understand eLearn, Rachel Effinger, first-time freshmen at Volstate, said, “I think once I start classes and I get in contact with someone else, it will help.”
There is also help for faculty in this endeavor. Scruggs has equipped instructors with step-by-step instructions on how to make the beginning of the courses run successfully on eLearn. It can be found on the Distribution Learning blog by visiting http://blogs.volstate.edu/distributededucation/.