Middle College Opens New Doors for Students

By Sara Keen

This semester at Volunteer State Community college, students may hear the term “Middle College.” The Middle College program began in the 2014- 2015 school year to bene t students in their junior and senior years of high school.

“The students who come to us are ready to give up traditional high school,” said Brad Schreiner, co-prin- cipal of Middle College, “we are not a program. We are a stand-alone high school.”

The typical Middle College stu- dent is ready to leave high school be- hind, whether it is for a more intense curriculum, nanciallybetterforthem ortheydidnot“ tin”atatraditional Sumner County public high school.

Students cannot come from home- school or private school. “They have to come to us from a Sumner County public high school, and that’s because Sumner County is paying for their tu- ition,” said Schreiner.

Students who enter Middle Col- lege are not able to participate in the sports or clubs at other Sumner County schools. As Schreiner explained, a stu- dent cannot come to the Middle College and expect to play football at Gallatin High School or participate in Student Government at Portland High School.

The packet for admission explains that any student who enters Middle College is required to take the ACT and score at or above the Vol State standard for admissions. They are also required to ll out an application, which includes a counselor recommendation, teacher recommendation and a 150 word essay explaining why they are interested in Middle College. In addition to this, students must have their parents sign a nancial obligation form. According to the form, any Middle College student who makes an F or D must repay Sumner County Schools the cost of tuition and books. Students must also understand that an F or two D’s will have them removed from the school and returned to their zoned high school. “In order to make it in this program, you

have to have a lot of perseverance. We lost a few people last year because they thought it would be easy breezy,” said Kelsie Piercey, a second year Middle College student. Middle college students are required to attend school the regular 180 days because they are in high school. They begin school when Sumner County does, and end when the county ends. “Some students come to us, and might not have had personal nance. That’s a graduation requirement for Sumner County High Schools that Vol State doesn’t teach. The rst few days they will take that class through the virtual school,” said Schreiner. Middle College students are also required to be on campus on Fridays. On those days, they may take College Success or do what Schreiner referred to as “Middle College stuff.” These may include tours, guest speakers, and seminars.The extra days are essentially used to help the students prepare for what they will experience in their college courses.

“It’s been really great, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to enrich myself and those around me in a way,” said Piercey. More students will be entering in the program this January for the Spring 2017 semester. Anyone who may be interested and meets the requirements is encouraged to put their applications in.

Pokemon Go! Provides Exercise Opportunity to Students

Pokemon Go Official Logo

Pokemon Go Official Logo

By Lillian Lynch
The app Pokemon Go has become a widespread game and a new pass-time for students here at Volunteer State Community College. With 12 total Pokestops, where gamers pick up prizes such as pokeballs and potions, and one gym, where anyone can battle to “take over” the gym and earn coins, there is the potential to gain experience in the game here on campus. Although it is popular for many, there are mixed feelings. “It’s a great game. I’ve actually lost a lot of weight playing,” says Alexis Thomas, a Vol State student. Being active is the point of the game, according to developers, which is exactly what Miss Thomas is doing. On the other hand, as there are three different teams in the game, Valor,Mystic and Instinct, conflicts arise. “I don’t like the way it has pitched people against each other based on their choices. It’s for people to get active and lose weight,” says student Tony Davidson. Whether on team Valor, Mystic or Instinct, there are still many ways to gain experience and maybe learn your way around the campus and that is by touring all 12 Pokestops. The rst stop is the Hal Reed Ramer Administration Building. The second is the sign in front of the Ramer Building which dedicates it to the founding President of the school, Dr. Hal Reed Ramer. The next stop is along the pathways that go between the Ramer building and Noble C. Caudill Hall. There is a white oak tree planted there in honor of Jim Moore, VolState’s first foundation director who worked to earn money for scholarships to give to students, according to the plaque placed there. Just a few feet from there, across the walkway, there is a Scarlett oak tree that was planted in dedication to John Arthur MacDougall who was an associate Professor of English from 1981 to 1995, according to the plaque in front of the tree. Following the paths, the next stop is the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center. Just outside of it, in the Duffer Plaza, is the next stop: the Ruins Bench in front of the gazebo. The next four are simply buildings on campus. The J. Howard Warf Building, T. Wesley Pickel Field House and the Wallace Health Sciences complex, both North and South, are all Pokestops. The second to last stop is another tree, a Bradford pear tree, in front of the E.G. Mattox Business Building. This tree is dedicated to Janice Sisk Nelson, “a true teacher,” as read from the plaque beneath it. The final Pokestop is the Vol State Garden, located behind the Mattox building and next to the greenhouse. It was established back in 2006 in collaboration with Lowe’s Hometown Heroes Project. The aforementioned gym is located at the Thigpen Library, where many gamers can sit together and battle. Pokemon Go has brought people of all types together and out into the world. Students can hunt here on campus and make their way to the Pokestops. The world of Pokemon awaits.

Be Involved in your Community

By Hope McKinney
Welcome back Vol State students, faculty, and staff. We here at your Settler newspaper hope you had a great summer. We at The Settler would like to be the first to welcome you to our campus whether you are a first time, or returning student.
The staff at The Settler have gathered before the first day of regular classes to ensure you are up to date on all the recent events and changes that have happened while some of you were taking summer classes, and some of you were vacationing and enjoying some time away.
Upon returning to campus you may notice a few things that have changed about the campus. The new humanities building is finished and ready for the 2016-2017 school year. The building not only includes The new home of The Settler, but includes a number of faculty offices and classrooms.
With a large amount of windows covering the entire building, you get a full view of Gallatin all the way to Station Camp. Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building is completely up to date with the newest technology including projectors, computers and furniture.
With the amazing privilege of using the new building, there comes responsibility. It is imperative that we take great care of the carpets, chairs and floors all over the building to ensure it is just as beautiful for the coming upcoming Vol State students as it is for this year’s students.
Keep a special look out around the newsroom to get a special look at the freshest news circulating.
Have a great school year and make sure you follow us online.We hope to become more interactive with you this semester on social media and on our online website.
I know college can be very stressful for many students and even staff, but a few words of wisdom I can provide for you are to always attend your classes, not attending can result in consequences, furthering your frustration with school itself, so just make sure you always attend and are active in the classroom. IF you find yourself with extra time outside of the classroom it is always wise to add some clubs and organizations to your college application, especially if you are planning on attending a four year university.
Some involvement with Student Government, NSLS, or The Settler can be the difference between a college acceptance letter and a rejection. Involvement in your community college or university will not only add to your own success as you further your education, it will enhance your people skills as you network yourself through the campus and meet new, and important people.
Networking makes a huge difference in your college experience as well. My family has always told me that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I have found that to be extremely true in my college experience and through out life in general since I started here at Vol State last year.
Any event that is being hosted at Vol State that you are able to attend, I encourage you to go and get your name out thee to people. There ate so many people, students,a nd staff, here at Vol State that can get you started in life, just by making a simple connection with them.
If you find yourself wanting to network through news media please contact me at rmckinney7@volstate.edu. The Settler is a great opportunity to do so!
Have a great returning, or first year here on campus and remember to commit to graduation. Each day you are getting closer to your diploma, don’t let anything stand in your way!
You can do it!

You Have Options When it Comes to Textbooks

College is an expensive time in every students life. With college fees, tuition, and school supplies it can be a rather large and scary number. Textbooks tend to be a main component to the stress students face when paying for school. But what is the best route to saving a few bucks on textbooks? Is it better to buy brand new books, old used books, or to rent textbooks? Is it cheaper to shop for them in stores or on online on websites such as Amazon? Students are given many options when it comes to their academic career, but which one benefits them the most?
At Volunteer State Community College there is a bookstore you can find in the Wood’s center. After asking them a range of questions over their books, Dianne King answered them in confidence. King said that there was not an average price point of books in the bookstore, that some books could be around ten dollars and others around two hundred and fifty. She also confirmed that they do rent books in their store and they allow students to write, highlight, and take notes in the textbook they have rented out as long as it comes back in good condition. While asking her which one she thought was more of a money saver, renting or buying new textbooks she said in assurance renting. On top of that the bookstore also buys used textbooks off of students. King stated; “If there is a need for them in the store we will buy up to half of what you paid, but we will not buy workbooks that have work done in them and books that have had pages torn out, they must be in sellable condition.” This is helpful for students that may choose to buy textbooks, you can surely make a few bucks to save up for your new set of books for the next semester.
Nearby the campus there is a bookstore called Textbook Brokers. Michael Moghadam answered all questions with certainty that Textbook Brokers was the cheapest route to the school year. They sell a range of new and used textbooks and their average price point is about one hundred and twenty dollars for a full schedule student. Textbook Brokers allows students to rent books, in fact over 70% of what they do at their store is rentals. Moghadam stated; “Students can write, highlight, and take notes in our rental books, and they can rent the book out for the entire semester.” When asking Moghadam which did he think saved more money buying or renting he stated; “Renting definitely in most cases.” Textbook Brokers also buys used textbooks off of students as long as they are still current. Moghadam continued on saying that Textbook Brokers also price matches and checks daily market prices twice a day. “We don’t check campus prices anymore we check Amazon and Chegg so we are always the cheapest for students.” Moghadam expressed.
Another way students can get textbooks is on online stores such as Amazon, eBay, and Chegg. Chegg’s policy on the website boldly says; “Never pay full price for textbooks, save up to 90% on books.” On Amazon, you receive a range of prices depending on who is selling it. Prices can be between forty dollars and nearly one hundred dollars, but Amazon also offers “Your Rental Cart” through you Amazon account. Students may receive new textbooks or used textbooks from Amazon, but unfortunately Amazon does not guarantee all materials that may be needed with the textbook, such as CDs. Amazon also asks students to limit their writing and highlighting in the books so that they can reuse them for future customers, unlike the bookstore and Textbook Brokers. eBay is another online website that students can hunt for books. Most of the time eBay can be rather difficult when searching for a good deal. Prices may be higher then the actual price of the book itself, or they may have a good deal but the book may be in terrible condition. eBay is normally a fifty fifty chance, you either find a great deal or you don’t.
Overall, buying textbooks is completely up to how the student may want to do it. Sometimes it is best to rent books, and other times to buy. Either way students need to be wise about the decisions they make when buying textbooks, what will benifit them in the long run and what will benifit them now. Hopefully when so many options the stress of buying textbooks can be reduced and not so much a hassle, but a joy.

Thigpen Library Helps Students Study

The Thigpen Library at Volunteer State Community College offers study rooms to help students work on their assignments in many ways.
There are seven group study rooms available on the second floor, and four of the group study rooms offer Clear Touch Interactive Panels.
Mike Hitzelberger, Library Assistant, said that the Clear Touch Interactive Panels provides internet access and software applications and that the group study rooms have become very popular with students. “I think they like using the group study rooms because they enjoy using the touch screen, especially when they are drawing on the touch screen,” he said.
“The Clear Touch Interactive Panels also offers HDMI, USB, and VGA ports for students to connect their laptops to the touch screen and that the default operating system for the touch screen is Android.”
According to Julie Brown, Technical Services Librarian, the group study rooms are available for use in two-hour increments, and group projects are frequently assigned with technology equipped for students to work on their group assignments.
“These study rooms are utilized on a daily basis, and during midterm and finals, there’s a waiting list for students to use the group study rooms,” said Brown.
“Group study room keys are obtained by asking the circulation desk on the first floor,” said Sarah Smith, Director of Library Services and Learning Resources.
“Reservations for the group study rooms can be made on the phone at 615-230-3400 or by email at circulation@volstate.edu.”
The Thigpen Library also provides the Silent Study Room that is located at the second floor and is only used for individual study.
Brown said that when students are using the Silent Study Room, they should not talk, and that they should keep their phones and laptops silent, and also that they should keep their headphones low.
“The purpose of the Silent Study Room is to give a quiet experience to students who want to study without being disturbed,” she said.
Besides the group study rooms and the Silent Study Room, The Thigpen Library also has the Practice Presentation Room that is located on the second floor, and is used by students to record themselves and their group, and can hold up to about 5 students.
Hitzelberger said that the Practice Presentation Room offers a camera and a monitor for students to use on their group presentations.
“The monitor can be used as a prompter for students to memorize what they want to say on their presentations, and the camera can go into many angles for students to record their own presentations,” said Hitzelberger.
Brown said that the Practice Presentation Room is intended for group projects and presentations, and offers students options to assist them on their presentations.
“The speech classes use the Practice Presentation Room the most, especially when students from those classes practice on their speeches,” Brown said.
With the amount of options that study rooms have, it can help students improve on their studying.