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Pre-School
A.H. Roberts K-4

Allons Elementary
Hilham Elementary
Livingston Middle School
Rickman Elementary
Wilson Elementary

Corrective Learning (CLUE)
GED Academy
Literacy Program

Livingston Academy High School

Tennessee Technology Center

Volunteer State Community College

 

Overton County - The Educational Hub of the Upper Cumberland
Education Issue Published In September 2000
Provides Information on each school in Overton County


Pre-School

By Rachel Smith

In order to prepare their children for kindergarten, parents are encouraged more and more to enroll their children in a pre-school program of some sort. This allows the child an opportunity to learn the disciplines of not talking in class and paying attention to the teacher, as well as working on their academics.

Overton County has a variety of centers, group homes, and family day cares that provide these services for children.

The county's Board of Education operates a fee-based, year round Early Childhood Program for children ages 3 and 4 and is designed to prepare them for kindergarten. The program is not based on family income or the child's academic ability. The state certified and licensed facility has one classroom for 3 year olds, with a maximum enrollment of 15, and one classroom for 4 year olds, with a maximum enrollment of 20 children. It is staffed by 3 full-time instructors and 3 grandparent volunteers. For more information call (931) 823-4961.

Also available in Overton County is a head start program operated by the L.B.J. & C. Corporation. The Livingston center, which just moved to a new facility, and the Crawford center provide services for children ages 3 and 4. The program operates from August to April with classes 6 hours per day, 4 days per week at no cost to the parents, and is available to children from low-income families, including children with disabilities.

This program provides health and dental screenings for the children, along with mental health services, through partnerships with community agencies. Children are served two nutritious meals and participate in educational activities throughout the day.

Pam Rish, division manager for L.B.J. & C., said, "The head start program is more focused around the whole family through family partnerships. We work with the adults and set goals to further their job skills and education so they can get better jobs."

For more information on this program call (931) 823-1757.

In addition to these two programs, several state certified and licensed facilities are available throughout the county. Age requirements, fees charged, and services provided vary between facilities. A list of certified facilities can be obtained by calling the State of Tennessee Department of Human Services at 1-800-462-8261.

 

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A.H. Roberts K-4

By Rachel Smith

Founded in 1987, A.H. Roberts got its start as a result of a county-wide consolidation of elementary schools. Due to the sheer number of students being consolidated, Livingston Elementary School became a middle school only with K-4 grades going into the newly built A.H. Roberts.

The school embraces all the ideas and values of its namesake, the late Governor Albert Houston Roberts, 37th governor of the state of Tennessee.

Judy Roberts Long, first grade teacher and descendant of the late governor, said, "Governor Roberts was a fair man. Our school is also based on fairness and everyone in our school is treated equal.

I think that if he were alive today, Gov. Roberts would be so proud that a school of this magnitude was named after him."

The school has a current enrollment of approximately 600 and a faculty of 40, along with 32 staff members.

Teresa Johnson, principal at A.H. Roberts, said, "We are committed to excellence in education, providing the best education possible to every student."

A.H. Roberts is an accredited member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and holds the honor of being the only elementary school in Overton County with this accreditation.

The school participates in many state-funded programs, one of which is the Title I program.

Title I is a government program that channels money to local schools to enable them to help students meet state standards. A.H. Roberts will begin its sixth year as a school-wide Title I school when the 2000-2001 school year begins.

Through the Title I program, A.H. Roberts works to coordinate the services of other agencies that provide services to the students. The school provides direct student services by tutoring, providing extra instructional help for students considered to be at risk, coordinating the parent volunteer program, and coordinating a myriad of other programs and services that directly and indirectly affect the school and the students' performance.

Along with the Title I program, A.H. Roberts offers additional instructional help to students through its Intervention and Tutoring Lab. The lab is staffed by a certified teacher who provides extra tutoring help in any subject area to students who are referred by their classroom teacher. The students will work to make up on missed homework, make up work for days missed for excused absences, or for short-term behavioral intervention.

Joe Gore, Title I coordinator, said, "An integral part of the Title I program is the parent volunteers that work with the students on a daily basis providing help in reading and other subject areas. "Parents volunteer to listen to students read, help students with Accelerated Reader test taking and provide help to teachers by copying, putting up bulletin boards, and things of that nature."

The Library and Technology Program at A.H. Roberts will rival any modern-day school. Apple G3 and iMac computers can be found throughout the building.

The school had 180 computers during the 1999-2000 school year, and received two Goals 2000 grants, which enabled school officials to buy another 50 computers, according to Barbara Winningham, director of the computer lab. The library has 13,000 books with over 2,000 of these being Accelerated Reader books.

"We strive to teach students basic technology skills that they will need in middle school and high school. Students are given a great introduction to computers here at A.H. Roberts," Winningham said.

Technology is being incorporated more and more into the curriculum at A.H. Roberts. Each classroom is connected to a file server, which gives internet access to the classroom. Students can also read books and take Accelerated Reader tests that are on the file server.

Nancy McCormick, third grade teacher, said, "At A.H. Roberts, we believe in a structured curriculum, but with enough flexibility to allow for creativity. We encourage our students to be the very best they can be. We work hard to build their self-confidence. We recognize that this is a key factor in not only academic success but also success in life.

"There is an old saying, ‘Teachers that love teaching teach children to love learning.' This best describes the learning environment at A.H. Roberts."

The playground, computer lab, and library are just three areas that show proof of the parental involvement at A.H. Roberts. The Parent-Teacher-Organization (PTO) at the school has completed several projects during the past few years with the goal of enhancing the learning environment at the school by reaching as many students as possible.

Donna Elder, former PTO president, said, "We are fortunate to have many supportive parents who volunteer their time and talent to make the school an exciting and positive place for our children to learn. Working together as a joint partnership with parents, teachers, and the community, we can continue to provide a positive learning experience for the children."

As with other schools in the county, A.H. Roberts has been linked to an area business that acts as the school's adopt-a-school sponsor. American Savings Bank has filled that role for A.H.Roberts for the past few years. ASB provides incentives to students, and performs various activities throughout the school year.

"Just last week, they brought over hand-held fans for the teachers to use when they take the students outside to play. It's just so hot out there in this heat. It's the little things they do that mean so much to us," Johnson said.

 

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Allons Elementary

By Rachel Smith

The community of Allons has long been known as Hawk Country, mascot for the school. Black and white were the school colors for many years, until the school consolidation in the mid-80s.

Several students from the Independence school were added to the enrollment at that time. Because Independence colors were black and gold, school officials decided to add gold to Allons' official school colors.

Allons Elementary has an enrollment of approximately 300 and is located in a small rural community about five miles from the county seat of Livingston. The school has been in existence for many years and has a very rich heritage, with several generations of the same family having attended.

The faculty and staff at Allons are very dedicated and constantly strive to work as a team, knowing that teaching is done not only with words, but also by example.

Dolphus Dial, principal, said, "For any school to be successful, everyone must work together, no matter what their job may be. The goal of the teachers and staff at Allons is to provide the best education possible for the students in a safe and secure environment."

The original building has seen many improvements and additions over the years, with several more improvements planned in the next few years. As part of a county-wide building improvement program, Allons is scheduled to receive 8 new classrooms, along with a new gym, library, kitchen, cafeteria, and school offices.

Teachers and staff at Allons coordinate several state supported programs, one of which is the Title I program. Allons began its sixth year as a school-wide Title I school when the 2000-2001 school year started. The school-wide program is designed to provide help for all students in all subject areas, especially reading and math. Each student attends the Title I Intervention Lab at least twice per week.

Like many other schools throughout the country, Allons has entered into the "computer age", having 35 IBM and 89 Macintosh computers in-house, 47 of which have internet access.

All students attend computer lab twice per week and visit the library at least once. Visits to the library provide access to over 6,500 books with 1,000 of these being Accelerated Reader books. Eighty percent of these books have been placed in service within the last three years, making the library very up-to-date. The library also has approximately 125 instructional videos that teachers may use to supplement their lesson planning.

The computers have entered almost every phase of the instructional process. Kindergarten and first grade students use them for a Writing to Read program, in which they learn 40 phenomic sounds that help in their learning to read and write. The program is designed to help students write complete sentences on their own. At the end of first grade, each student is to have gone through all 40 sounds, and should be able to write anything they can say.

These same students also work on the computer using a program called "Little Planet Series." This program is designed to help students make up stories using sequences of events. As the students are having fun with their stories, they learn an important process without realizing they are doing so.

Eula Garrett, former kindergarten teacher, said, "I taught at Allons for 26 years, and saw lots of changes made, but I believe that our school just kept getting better and better with each passing year, thanks in part to the technological advances we've seen."

Another program used at Allons that utilizes technology is the Windows on Science program. The program uses a laser disc player and bar code reader, allowing teachers to supplement textbook lessons with graphics. Topics such as plants, animals and Our World are covered by the program, which is grade-level specific.

Foundations of technology, a course designed to show students what is available in the way of careers in technology without actually preparing them for the career, is taught to upper-grade classes in the form of 11 modules. Each module has reading lessons, computer lessons, video lessons, pre-test and post-test exercises, as well as an actual hands-on project. Students learn many processes throughout the course, from building a bridge to producing a commercial.

Students at Allons are encouraged to participate in the athletic programs, as try-outs are held at the beginning of each school year. Boy's and girls basketball teams represent the school throughout the county, as well as around the region, both in regular season and tournament action play.

Richard Melton, boy's basketball coach, said, "We (coaches and students) take the most pride in being complimented by people outside the community on our sportsmanship and being professional in the way we represent the school and community."

The school is supported both by a very active Parent-Teacher-Organization (PTO) and area businesses in the various projects that are undertaken each year. Also supporting the school is its adopt-a-school sponsor, Union Bank & Trust Company, both in monetary awards and honor-roll incentives for those students who show academic excellence.

 

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Hilham Elementary

By Rachel Smith

Hilham Elementary is a rural K-8 school located about 7 miles from Livingston. It has a staff of 19 who provide an elementary education for approximately 250 students.

The school began as Fisk Female Academy in 1806. It was the first institution of it's kind in the South and the third in the U.S. The community-based school was built on land donated by Moses Fisk, a man dedicated to learning.

Shirley Myers, principal of Hilham Elementary, said, "Fisk Female Academy began a long tradition of learning which is continued still today at Hilham. We firmly believe that education is the key to success. We're convinced that our students at Hilham will succeed."

Hilham Elementary was awarded the State of Tennessee Incentive Grant for the 1999-2000 school year. This grant is based upon the school's students achieving minimum standards in three areas: 100 percent on TCAP achievement tests in the areas of math reading, language arts, social studies, and science; attendance of 95 percent or better for the year; and a promotion rate of 97 percent or better.

In their efforts to achieve excellence, the staff at Hilham works with students to prepare them for several different scholastic competitions throughout the school year. Included in these activities is preparation for the county-wide spelling bee and science fair.

This past school year marked the first ever competition of upper grade Hilham students in the Math Counts Program, a national program sponsored by engineers. Although the students didn't place, the experience they gained helped them in other areas and will help future students who participate in the program.

Hilham students also participated in the fifth annual Bledsoe County Junior Scholars Bowl competition. The regional competition pitted teams from across the state of Tennessee against each other. The team from Hilham received runner-up honors, with two students placing in the top overall scorers.

Students at Hilham enjoy the required time they spend in the school's library and computer lab. Each student attends these at least twice per week. The computer lab boasts several new iMAC computers, with five of those having internet access.

The computers offer many benefits to the students, one of which is more access to the Accelerated Reader program. This program encourages students to read by offering increasing incentives the more they read. Computers have made this program easier to monitor, as they keep up with each student's progress and can indicate when the student is due an incentive.

In addition to academics, Hilham is involved in the county's athletic program, having both a girls and boys basketball team. According to the coaches of each team, they try to focus on seventh and eighth grade students by getting as many as possible involved in the sports program in some capacity. Their hope is that this experience will help to encourage the students to participate in extra-curricular activities once they begin their high school career.

Lower grades are not left out of athletics, however, as fourth through sixth grade students are encouraged to participate in the bantam program.

Physical exercise for kindergarten through third grade students takes on a different format as they do not participate in competitive sports. Physical education (PE) provides the much needed exercise students need, as does, of course, their favorite class of the day, recess.

Hilham, like all other schools in the county, is scheduled to receive several modifications to the building as part of a county-wide program for building improvement. Plans for modification at Hilham include four new classrooms for upper grades, two new kindergarten classrooms, a new kitchen, an enlarged cafeteria, and a new gym, with the current gym becoming a library. In addition to this, all existing classrooms are to receive new central heat and air, refurbished ceilings, and electrical improvements. Current plans also include upgrading the parking lot, along with a covered entrance for the building.

 

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Livingston Middle School

By Rachel Smith

The mid-80s saw many changes in Overton County's school system, one of which was the creation of Livingston Middle School.

The original school was constructed in the late 60s, and for several years was an elementary school with an enrollment of approximately 900 first through eighth grade students.

Due to the consolidation of several schools in the county, Livingston Middle School became the first middle school in Overton County in the fall of 1987. LMS remains the only middle school in the county, housing approximately 400 fifth through eighth grade students today.

School gets off to a bang each year as the "Back to School Bash" is held for all students. While lunchroom personnel grill hamburgers and hot dogs, student advisory groups participate in cooperative games that emphasize teamwork.

FAME, Friendships Are Made Everyday, is an important component of an LMS education. This advisory program is designed to provide a structured time for special activities to help students understand themselves and the world around them with consistent, caring and continuous adult guidance.

As fifth grade students enter LMS, they are assigned to a teacher advisor, while returning students remain in their same group. All groups meet together at the beginning of each day, selecting a name for their group, developing a slogan, and designing a coat of arms to represent their group.

The development of strong and lasting relationships among the students and teacher advisor is a major goal of this advisory program.

In addition to the advisory groups, LMS students work together on several projects throughout each school year.

Fifth grade students complete a study on the Applachian area that introduces them to the customs, foods, music and toys of this region. The highlight of this project is a trip to the Museum of Applachia in Norris, TN.

Every year, sixth grade students complete a study unit on caves that culminates in a trip to Mammoth Cave, KY. Along with this, the sixth grade is also responsible for presenting the annual LMS Christmas program.

Seventh grade students produce and perform the annual Salute to Veterans program, considered to be their most important project of the year. Students write letters to veterans, sing patriotic songs on the town square, present a night-time musical performance, and host a reception for Overton County veterans and parents of the students.

Along with this project, seventh graders also complete a service project each year. Recent projects included the creation of Charlie Brown's pumpkin patch, where the students handed out candy Halloween night to young trick-or-treaters.

As part of the seventh grade curriculum, students enrolled in Teen Living are required to participate in the "Baby ... Think It Over" program, in which each student becomes a parent for two days and nights. Students have to take "live” babies home, feed and change them, and act as a real parent would.

Eighth grade students completed two major projects during the 1999-2000 school year, one of which was a study of the Oregon trail. Students made Conastoga wagons, diaramas and timelines, drew wall murals, wrote diary entries, studied wildlife, and dressed in period costumes.

The eighth grade also completed a study of country music, which culminated in a musical presentation, "That Grand Ole Music", featuring various country music stars as performed by the students.

Livingston Middle School students are also involved in projects each year that involve the school's neighbor, Overton County Nursing Home. Students dress up at Halloween and visit with OCNH residents, giving out candy as they visit. Students also visit with the residents for Valentines Day, Christmas, and Read Across America Day.

The LMS Computer Lab is used by students to create and present multi-media projects, participate in cooperative learning activities, make cookbooks, and e-mail with Tennessee Tech students about contemporary literature.

Not only does LMS provide a strong, quality education for its students, but the school is also very athletic, having tournament winning boys and girls basketball teams, along with the O.C. Junior Wildcats football team.

Students receive incentives and awards each year from the school's adopt-a-school sponsor for their participation in science fairs, scholars bowls, and other academic endeavors. The sponsor also provides gifts for students on the Angel Tree at Christmas time, and many other services as needed throughout the school year.

Along with all the other schools in Overton County, LMS is slated to receive several renovations as part of the school building program that has been proposed by county officials, including a new roof, new heating and cooling systems, new plumbing, and a new kitchen.

 

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Rickman Elementary

By Rachel Smith

Rickman Elementary School was established in 1917 as a one-room school with a second room being added a few years later. At first, school sessions lasted only three months before being extended to five months, with a subscription-type school in the winter.

The first high school at Rickman was started in 1925 with an enrollment of 12. Four acres of land were purchased in 1928 and a new school built where the current school now stands. This school consisted of six classrooms and a study hall/auditorium combination. A new gymnasium was added in 1933 with money donated by local citizens, using the free labor of students and men of the community.

The school was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1950, requiring classes to be held in local churches and buses, as well as in the gym and lunchroom.

The 70s brought more changes as additions were made to the front of the school and the east end of the gym was reconstructed to add a new stage and two coaches offices. Approximately 40 acres of adjoining land were purchased by the county in 1978 for future expansion of the school.

Rickman once again saw major changes in the mid-80s as it fell victim to the county-wide consolidation program. The high school was combined with Livingston Academy, making Rickman a K-8 school with an enrollment of 258. Current enrollment is approximately 540 students, housed in a building constructed in 1988.

The staff at Rickman, 34 teachers and 20 paraprofessionals, has developed a mission statement it refers to as the "Six P's", which stands for "Prepare positive productive people for peaceful and purposeful lives”.

In keeping with this mission, the staff has set several goals for the school. Included in these are setting high standards for all students, creating a positive environment that will foster an enthusiastic learning atmosphere, providing academic training in all subject areas so that each student can reach his/her maximum potential, encouraging creativity within the classroom, helping each student develop a positive self-concept, striving to increase potential parental involvement within the school, and instilling in each student the need to be a good citizen.

To reach these goals, the staff at Rickman participates in several national and state funded programs. One such program is the nationally funded PT3 grant. This program is organized through Tennessee Technological University, with Rickman being 1 of 11 partner schools in the program. Each school, in conjunction with TTU, helps to encourage integration of technology into the curriculum through student teaching, thereby helping instruction.

Sandy Smith, teacher, said, "Student teachers are trained prior to student teaching with strong technology background and, during student teaching, it is our hope that they will carry those skills into the classroom, not just working directly with individual students, but also mentoring and working along with and helping train veteran teachers who often haven't had the same technology preparation as the new student teachers."

Another program very active at Rickman is Title I, in which state funds are funneled into the school to help students reach higher levels of their academic endeavors.

Kevin Rhoton, Title I coordinator, said, "Through the funds, students are encouraged to participate in the academic progress of their time at school. They receive opportunities to reach personal growth and to help them be more productive citizens.

"Believing that each student is an individual with different needs, desires, and capabilities, the faculty of Rickman strives to help each student achieve success to the best of his or her ability. It is from this belief that we developed our mission statement."

An important aspect of the Title I program is parental involvement. Parents are encouraged to actively participate in the education of their child. Several opportunities are set aside each year for parents to do this. One way is through the Parents Assisting Teachers program, in which parents actually go into a classroom and help the teachers in whatever way the teacher may need help, whether it is making copies or actually tutoring a child.

Another program that has shown great success at Rickman is the At Risk program. This program is designed to allow teachers to monitor very closely any student that is considered to be "at risk" in their academic endeavors. This is done by maintaining extensive records of each student's activities, from phone calls placed to parents or guardians to notes sent home, examples of a student's work, attendance records, classroom records, and classroom scores. Another part of this program is After School TAPS, in which students receive peer tutoring from Livingston Academy students. Each student participates in several extra activities after school to improve on their academics.

Technology also plays an important role in the instruction of students at Rickman. Students as early as kindergarten are exposed to computer technology as they work with the Little Planet program. This program is designed to help enrich the reading program of the students by allowing them to write and sequence their own story after having watched videos created by others.

The Writing to Read program corresponds closely with the Little Planet program in that it allows kindergarten and first grade students to learn creative writing by allowing them to write and read stories they make up.

Older students receive instruction via the computer by using the Windows on Science and Math programs, as well as participating in enrichment activities in one of their three 21st Century Classrooms. These classrooms have several computers hooked to the internet and a large screen television, allowing the students an opportunity to do wide-scale research, watch videos, and more as they explore the possibilities created by the internet.

These classrooms are also utilized to provide after-school enrichment activities for many students. Throughout the school year, teachers stay after school to help the students with accelerated reading and practice for spelling bee and scholars bowl, as well as allowing students to participate in a make and take workshop for the science fair.

Like other schools in the county, Rickman is scheduled to receive several building improvements as part of the county-wide school building program. Plans have been made for 16 new classrooms, a new cafeteria and kitchen, new dressing rooms, and new restrooms.

 

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Wilson Elementary

By Rachel Smith

Wilson Elementary, located in the scenic Cub Mountain area of Overton County, was founded in 1965 to house approximately 360 kindergarten through eighth grade students.

The school got its start as a result of a consolidation program that combined the community schools of Crawford, Vines Ridge, Hanging Limb, Lovejoy, Cross Roads, Mineral Springs, and Anderson.

The building, as it stands today, is mostly unchanged from its original structure, except for two classrooms that were added in the mid-80s.

This will change drastically, however, over the next few years as Wilson is scheduled to receive several renovations as part of a county-wide school building improvement program. County officials have made plans for a new kitchen, an enlarged lunchroom, more classrooms, new bathrooms, and a new gym with the old gym becoming a library.

The school is currently involved in several state-supported programs. Included in this is an Early Intervention Program in which children as young as 3 attend school each day to receive pre-school instruction.

Fast Forward is a program funded by a grant written by Wilson's special education teacher. The program is designed to prepare students for reading programs by helping them to identify sounds.

Wilson currently has two teachers doing extended contract activities through the Career Ladder Program. These teachers offer several after school activities, including tutoring, scholar's bowl preparation, spelling bee practice sessions, and making items for entry in the county science fair.

Transitional Assistance Peer Support Program (TAPS) is offered to students, as referred by classroom teachers, from 3 p.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday of each week. This program provides tutoring, help with homework, and enrichment activities for students who are struggling to keep up with their class. Students in this program also take two trips per year as incentives to learn and improve study skills, objectives of the program. The program is funded by a grant from Safe and Drug Free Schools and often provides the extra boost needed to help motivate students to learn more.

Wilson Elementary's library is a resource used by all students and teachers. It offers a wide variety of Accelerated Reading books purchased to help motivate the students to read. This program is designed to help students improve their scores on state mandated tests. Every student at Wilson participates in the program with each being rewarded based upon the number of books they read.

The library also has books on tapes that students may listen to. These tapes help students to keep up with their class rather than falling behind.

Students at Wilson are also exposed to music in various forms. Lower grade students participate in Music Time, a program where students are divided into two teams to play singing games as well as learn movement, music and listening skills. Sixth grade students learn to play the soprano recorder. They spend the first part of the school year learning how to read music, including line spaces, bass clef and treble clef. After this, they begin practicing different songs for a performance held for all lower grades at the end of the school year.

Each year, second grade students learn how to dance the Virginia Reel. This old-fashioned square dance helps to teach students coordination as well as listening skills.

Another program offered at Wilson is the Bridges Lab. This lab physically exercises the brain by requiring it to do things that it is not accustomed to doing. According to the lab instructor, it is just like doing sit-ups for the tummy, only they are doing sit-ups for the brain.

Wilson has been termed a Provision 3 school by the state, meaning that all students receive both breakfast and lunch at no charge.

 

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Corrective Learning Provided For Students

By Rachel Smith

Corrective Learning in a Unique Environment, CLUE, also known as the alternative school, was established in Overton County several years ago in an effort to continue a student's education when they are being disciplined for some reason.

Many years ago, if a student got in trouble at school, the school administrator would paddle the student, and, if the trouble continued, suspend the student. As today's society changes, paddling is used less and less often so other measures for corrective disciplining has to be explored.

CLUE provides an opportunity for the school administrator to discipline a student with in-school suspension, leaving the student in school but removing them from the regular classroom.

Students sent to the alternative school have, for whatever reason, a hard time functioning in a normal school setting. At CLUE, the student receives individual attention and instruction, and, as the case has been many times, will often do better in their studies than when in the regular classroom.

The majority of the students who receive this instruction are in grades 7-12, however 5th and 6th graders, along with a few 4th graders, are also sent to the alternative school.

Steve Robbins, CLUE principal, said, "We don't have that many repeating students, but those who are, seem to repeat year after year. This is a very small group of children."

Students are sent to the alternative school for a variety of reasons, the primary being fighting, showing disrespect to teachers, and foul language. In years past, smoking was the primary reason for being disciplined with CLUE, however, due to state law, this is now court petitioned with the student having to appear before the county judge. The use or carrying of drugs is another reason for being sent to the alternative school.

Average length of stay for most students is 5 days. If, however, a student violates the "Zero Tolerance" rule, which includes drugs and weapons, they are automatically sent to the alternative school for up to one full calendar year, with the norm being one semester of classes.

Students in this category are barred from attending school or school functions at his/her regular school during this time. Students attending CLUE do their school work just like they would in their regular classroom. They are bused to the Central Education Office where CLUE classes are held, and are not allowed to leave the premises until time to be bused back to their regular school. Students with driver's licenses are prohibited from driving to the CLUE location.

"I'm not a warden to these students, but they don't get to play here either. They do their schoolwork, and if anything, they get bored here because that's all they get to do," Robbins said.

At times, outside speakers are brought in to talk to students, usually addressing a particular subject that relates to why some of the students are attending CLUE.

Last school year, approximately 130-140 students attended CLUE. This number has dropped drastically from well over 200 in years past due to smoking and tobacco offenses now being sent to the county court.

 

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GED Academy

By Rachel Smith

Gaining Educational Development (GED) Academy was established to serve 17 and 18 year old students who, for whatever reason, are in danger of dropping out of school.

High school students who do not have enough credits to graduate, or those who cannot possibly earn these credits in their remaining time in school, are candidates for the GED Academy.

The classes are designed to teach students the basic skills needed to pass the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test. In addition to these skills, the students are also taught employability skills, and for those who wish to attend Tennessee Technology Center at Living-ston, they are prepared to enter a technical school.

Also, basic life skills are taught, from teaching how to cook to how to balance a checkbook and what to do to get a driver's license, among others.

Students entering the program are given a pre-test so that teachers can determine each student's areas of need and know where to concentrate the instruction.

The program usually has approximately 20 students enrolled at any one given time, with 50-60 having gone through the program during the 1999-2000 school year. Students who do not complete the program before their 19th birthday can transfer their work to the Adult Education Program.

 

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Literacy Program

By Rachel Smith

Most people think of children when they think of education. Although this is probably more often true than not, many adults are now receiving educational training in many formats through the county's Adult Education program.

This program is open to any adult over the age of 18 and is made up of three separate programs.

In the first, adults may enroll to study for and then take the Grade Equivalency Diploma (GED) test so they can receive their high school diploma. Anyone interested in enrolling in this program must have been dropped from regular high school for a minimum of 30 school days to be accepted.

After enrollment, students are tested to determine their weaknesses and areas of need. The students work on these areas, with the aid of an instructor, and once they reach a level believed to be sufficient to pass the GED test, they are given a practice test.

If they score a minimum of 47 or 48 on this practice test, it is then recommended that the student take the actual test. The practice test is about half as long as the real test and is timed to give the student a feel for the pressure of taking the test.

Average scores on GED tests are about 45 out of a possible 80 points. The test consists of multiple choice questions on reading, science, mathematics, and literature. In addition to these questions, a student must also write a theme for their score in writing and English. A minimum of 40 must be achieved in any one sub-test area to pass the GED.

The only cost for this program is the $45 fee required to take the test. Class sessions and practice testing are provided to the student at no charge.

Another part of the Adult Education Program is the adult high school. To enroll in this program, a student must have been dropped from their regular high school for a minimum of 60 days to be accepted. This prevents students from dropping out of high school to attend adult high school, where the high school diploma can be earned faster.

In this program, a student takes the core curriculum courses that are mandated by the state. Currently, these number 11 and the remaining classes must be filled with electives, with a total of 24 credits being needed to graduate. A student in adult high school must complete the same requirements as a senior in regular high school. The time frame involved is open-ended with students working at their own pace due to responsibilities of family, jobs, or other interests.

Students participating in this program do so at no cost to them. Instruction and class materials, including books, are provided free. This makes the program particularly attractive to students who have just graduated high school, but will be required to take remedial classes at college due to low scores on their ACT. They would pay for this service at college, but it is available free of charge through the Adult Education Program.

Another part of this program is the Community Education classes that are offered periodically to the public. These are the only classes that require a fee to be paid.

A very popular class offered through this program is the Commercial Driver's Licensing (CDL) class taught by Randall Dial. Approximately 400 to 500 people go through this program each year, with over half completing the class and passing the test. Of the remaining students, several will go to alternate testing sites and some are there just to get upgrades or endorsements added to their existing licenses.

"The first thing I do when I teach a class is get their attention. I tell them that if they can't see, can't listen, and can't read they don't need a CDL.

"I've got a few tricks I play on them, and if you know what's going on it's no problem, but if you don't, you will miss it every time. Everybody gets a good laugh out of it and then the learning starts.

"To me, I don't care where you are in education, if you are happy or enjoying the subject, you will learn the most of it."

Community volunteers participate in an advisory Literacy Council where ideas are discussed on how to make the program better. Additional volunteers are utilized to help with the actual instruction of those working toward a GED or those enrolled in adult high school.

Anyone wanting more information on these programs, or those who would like to volunteer to help, are ask to call Randall Dial at (931) 823-7761 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

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Livingston Academy Highschool
www.highwired.net/wildcat

By Rachel Smith

Livingston Academy first opened its doors in 1909 as a Christian school established by the Christian Women's Board of Missions of the Christian Church. The school was supported and controlled by the Board until October, 1920, when it became part of the work of the United Christian Missionary Society.

Overton County purchased the school property in 1947, and has maintained Livingston Academy as a public high school since.

The original building, located where A.H. Roberts Elementary School now stands, underwent several renovations through the years before being torn down after the completion of the current building in July 1976.

Livingston Academy became the only high school in the county when it was consolidated with Rickman High School in 1985.

The school offers a wide curriculum, for both the college-path and the technical-path student, as well as those students who plan to immediately enter the workforce after graduation. Approximately 875 students attend Livingston Academy, with a staff of 53 faculty members and 25 support personnel.

Several departments make up the curriculum at the school, with each department having its own set of instructional strategies, learning criteria, and departmental goals.

The social studies department is designed to enable students to develop the skills needed to become productive members of a democratic society. Students should become proficient in the use of modern computer technology for the purpose of accessing information about the United States, and also be able to recognize and assemble facts from social studies that will help them in everyday life.

Instructional strategies for the department include the use of a variety of teaching tools, including lecture, multimedia, computer technology, community involvement and hands-on activities.

Students enrolled in the English department are expected to improve their awareness of the important role that language and literature play in their personal lives and career development.

Electives offered in the English department include speech communications, drama (1 and 2), and journalism. The journalism class is soley responsible for the publication of the school newspaper, The Wildcat, as well as the on-line newspaper, Wildcat On-Line, along with the publication of the school's literary magazine, Expressions of LA.

Seniors have the option of enrolling in applied communications, a vocational class designed for students who will enter the workforce or attend a technical school after graduation. One of the many benefits and opportunities of this class is the Job Shadowing Program, in which the student will ‘shadow' or visit someone working in the same field the student intends to pursue.

Cindy Smith, English teacher, said, "This allows the student to obtain first hand experience of the job requirements and receive some on-the-job training as well. The student is allowed to participate in the responsibilities of the job so they may get an idea of what their future holds for them."

Teaching methods used in the English department include group activities, writing skills, vocabulary skills, and reading assignments. A tutoring class is offered before and after school for those students who may need a little extra help with their assignments.

As with schools in other parts of the country, science is playing a larger role at Livingston Academy than in years past. Students are taught the use of basic laboratory equipment, along with classroom lecture, to help develop the critical thinking and problem solving skills needed in today's society.

Classes offered in the science curriculum include biology, advanced biology, chemistry, advanced chemistry, geology, ecology, and physics. Biology for technology is offered for those students planning to attend a vocational or technical school.

Livingston Academy addresses the special needs of students with varying disabilities with its Special Education Department by developing classes designed to teach students the basic reading, writing and math skills necessary to function adequately in today's society, as well as to help the student develop on-the-job skills that help them succeed in the work force.

A variety of classes are offered in all subject areas, with English and math being split into two levels of learning, skills and basic. Skills level is designed to help those students who have not passed competency tests be better prepared to do so, while the basic classes are developed more for the life skills learning.

Physical education plays an important part of each student's education at Livingston Academy. Students are expected to develop an appreciation of wellness as related to their lifestyles, and accept responsibility for their personal wellness, as well as develop the ability to design their own individual wellness plan.

Instructors use both the classroom setting for this program along with the activity setting, where students are introduced to a variety of skills and activities that will promote fitness. The focus is on lifetime sports and activities the student can enjoy throughout his or her life.

Also offered through this department is a driver's education class where students are taught the rules and driving skills necessary to obtain a valid Tennessee driver's license. Each student enrolled in this class receives six hours of behind-the-wheel training.

Students enrolled in the Fine Arts Department use arts as a means of improving their everyday lives through artistic expression, with an opportunity for individual professional career pursuits. Through the use of arts, students are encouraged to devleop self-expression, self-concept, self-confidence, and self-discipline.

Student assessment is done through individual and group activities as well as peer evaluation and competition. This process is intended to encourage and increase student growth and maturity.

Mathematics classes are offered to students throughout their four year high school career in preparation of their continued education, whether it be college or technical school. Students are expected to learn the basic math skills at each level of study since the math program is a naturally sequential program of study.

Upon completion of these classes, students should be able to apply these math skills to real life problems, and utilize these skills to improve their quality of life.

Math instructors utilize a variety of teaching skills, from lecture explanations to individual and collaborative learning activities. These activities are designed to help the students develop the problem solving skills math classes require. Modern technology is also used in the form of graphing calculators as well as computers.

Students requiring extra help in the mathematics program are encouraged to participate in the before and after school tutoring sessions offered by the math department.

As today's society changes, in business, education, and home life, more and more opportunities are open to those people who have taken the initiative to become bi-lingual.

Marjorie Rios, Spanish instructor, said, "Spanish is a language that's very much in demand these days. People who can speak two languages are offered more jobs, perhaps, than those who speak only one language."

Livingston Academy provides its students a chance to do this by offering classes in both Spanish and German. Both languages are offered at two separate levels of learning, and have national honor societies in which LA students may participate as members.

Students enrolled in these classes often take summer trips to a location where they can practice the language they have learned. In years past, Spanish students have travelled to Mexico and German students have gone to Europe. While providing a good opportunity for the students to practice their new skills, this trip also provides an opportunity for students to see a culture they would not normally see, not to mention the fun had on the trips.

The Business Department at Livingston Academy is continually evaluated and upgraded to meet the changes in technology and demands of the workplace. Students enrolled in business classes should develop, and learn to apply, skills that are necessary for personal business, to enter the job market, or to prepare themselves for post-secondary education and/or training in the business field.

Class lecture, group activities, demonstrations, and hands-on practices are used extensively in the many classes offered in this department.

Three instructors provide students an opportunity to learn about the vocational agriculture department, offering classes from the fundamentals of agriculture to greenhouse management, from ag power and equipment to animal science courses, and more. Students from all grades may participate in these classes.

Terry Webb, agriculture instructor, said, "We offer enough different classes that a student can almost take a different ag class each semester throughout his or her high school career."

Recently added back to the curriculum at Livingston Academy is the Family Consumer Science program (previously known as the Home Economics Department), in which students may participate in several different types of classes. Childcare, textiles, foods and nutrition, career development and housing are just a few of the topics covered within this program.

Seniors have the opportunity to enroll in an adult living class where they can receive a more detailed training in careers, as well as budgeting and managing. These students also learn about child development by receiving hands-on experience working with the children in the county's Early Childhood program.

Livingston Academy offers a dual path program of study to all students. Each student has the opportunity to pursue an academic college bound program of study, with an emphasis on the advanced math and science skills, or a technical course of study for those students planning to enter a technical school or community college.

Also in place is a School to Careers Program, in which students should receive the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision relevant to their career choice. This program uses various teaching tools, including community speakers, job shadowing, volunteer working, and paid cooperative work. These experiences are designed to give students a greater understanding of the career choices available to them.

Areas of career opportunities presented to students include hospitality and tourism, science and technology, business and marketing, health services, communications, manufacturing, construction and transportation, and human services.

In addition to a strong emphasis on academics, Livingston Academy also takes pride in its many athletic teams that compete on district, regional, and state levels.

The girls basketball team won three state championships during the 90s, with several teammates receiving athletic scholarships to play college ball.

Also representing LA well in athletic competitions are the boys basketball team, volleyball team, which won the state championship in 1997, boys baseball team, football team, and girls softball team, all of which consistently play in district and regional tournaments.

Added within the last few years, but doing well in area competitions, is the boys and girls soccer teams, as well as the cross country and golf teams.


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Tennessee Technology Center

By Bobby Graves

Prior to 1963, any high school student in a Tennessee school, interested in training for a specific job, was limited to an industrial arts, agriculture, or office-type work career. Some city school systems did provide vocational-technical high schools for students in their area but, unless a student from outside the city was willing to move, these schools were not available to them.

For adults, almost no opportunities for vocational or technical training was available, either for learning a new trade or upgrading their skills in an occupation in which they were already participating.

Realizing that the need existed for vocational training for high school students and adults in all areas of the state, the Tennessee legislature, during the 1963 General Assembly, enacted legislation that would establish a statewide system of State Area Vocational-Technical Schools that would be designed to serve both youth and adults from broad geographic areas. The contract for the first building was awarded in February, 1964, and ultimately, 26 of these schools were built in order to offer occupational training to as many Tennessee citizens as possible.

All schools were to have modern facilities, flexible plans of operation, and competent instructors selected from the field of work in which they were to teach. The ultimate plan was to assure that there would be an area school or schools within reasonable commuting distance of every citizen of the state.

The Livingston Area Vocational-Technical School was the 13th of the 26 schools to be built, with the first classes beginning in September 1966. Classes were held in a location on the square in downtown Livingston during the time that the actual school building was being constructed. The superintendent of the school at that time was Enloe Speck, who served the school in this capacity until 1972.

The first classes offered were electronics, machine shop, auto mechanics, and welding. Sixty-seven students were enrolled during the first year, with the first graduates receiving their diplomas in December, 1967.

In 1967, the building on Airport Road was completed at a cost of $810,000 ($310,000 for the building and $500,000 for equipment). At that time, classes were added that would reflect the needs of employers in the schools area and for which space was available. First to be added were drafting and office occupations.

Since that time, full-time classes that have been added include cosmetology in 1970, building trades in 1972, practical nursing in 1973, auto body repair in 1976, maintenance mechanics/air conditioning and refrigeration in 1986, medical assisting in 1991, and computer operations technology and manufacturing technology, both in 2000.

Livingston was chosen as the site for the school because of its central location in the area it was to serve, which included the counties of Overton, Clay, Fentress, Pickett, Putnam and Jackson. Since that time, students have been enrolled from many other counties of the state with the majority of them coming from White, Macon, and Smith counties of Tennessee as well as some of the adjoining counties of southern Kentucky.

In 1972, Enloe Speck retired and was replaced as superintendent by Jack Smith, who served until 1979 when he left the school to return to a position with the Tennessee Department of Education.

A building was constructed on the school site in 1976 to accommodate the Comprehensive Vocational programs for high schools in Overton and Pickett counties. This building eventually became a part of the overall facilities of the school to be used for whatever purpose it would serve for the benefit of the entire student body.

The school was governed by the Tennessee Department of Education from its opening until 1983 when it was assigned to the Tennessee Board of Regents as an institution of higher education. Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin was assigned by the TBR as the school's "lead institution" who, due to its larger office staff and for a nominal fee, would handle the fiscal operation of the school. In July of 1994, the name was changed by the state legislature to Tennessee Technology Center at Livingston.

In 1997, a rebuilding program was begun that resulted in the modernization of the existing facilities as well as the addition of approximately 15,500 square feet for new classrooms and shops at a cost of around $2.6 million. In addition, approximately $1 million was appropriated for the addition of new equipment.

New equipment is added every year in order to make sure that training at the school is meeting the needs of business and industry in the school's service area.

The institution is currently the fifth largest in the technology center system. In addition, the school has won the state-wide Image Award in the Technology Center system for the past two years.

Personnel at the school have always been selected based on their experience in their respective fields. They are employed on the basis of their technical competence and professional training. A continuing program of supervision and teacher training is provided to keep the instructors and administrative personnel current on trends, new developments, ideas, materials, teaching aids, and equipment in their area of specialization in vocational education. In order to assure that standards at the school are kept at the highest level, the school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Council On Occupational Education.

Since the main purpose of the school is to provide specialized industrial training, the focus of the curriculum is toward technical "hands-on" training that will provide the student with a certificate or diploma that declares that he or she has completed the necessary phases of a program to qualify him or her to do the "job."

According to Ralph Robbins, director of the institution since 1980, "Only 20 percent of the available jobs today require a bachelors degree, but 100 percent of the remaining 80 percent require technical training and skills beyond high school. These skills can be obtained at TTCL in 18 months or less.

"TTCL is recognized as one of the top technology centers in Tennessee. It is one of the reasons that many businesses and industries have located in the Upper Cumberland area. They liked the idea of technical and industrial training being available to their employees and potential employees through TTCL.

"The school is dedicated to doing start-up and upgrade training ‘on-site' that is tailored to their needs."

Placement rate percentages for all students at the school usually run in the mid-90s. For students who complete the entire course and receive a diploma, the percentage rate is approximately 70 percent.

The school averages around 275 full-time students per quarter. The entire enrollment per quarter, including full-time, part-time, secondary, and "on-site” industrial students, can run between 500 and 600 students.

Admission to the school is "open-entry, open-exit", meaning that students are admitted to the school from a waiting list as their name comes up and a position in the program is available. They then continue enrollment until they reach the level of completion that they are working toward. This is true in all programs with the exception of the nursing programs. Enrollment is held four times each quarter and students are added at this time if a position is available.

Part-time night classes are offered from October through March each year for students who do not find it convenient to attend during the day or are only interested in upgrade training.

All instruction is individualized and competency-based. Students work at their own pace until they have completed the required competencies that they desire.

In addition to training in their specific interest program, students are instructed in related subjects that are designed to assist them in the completion of their program. These include related mathematics and basic skills. GED training is also available to those enrollees who desire to pursue an equivalency high-school diploma.

Up until the school was placed under the Board of Regents system, training at the school was done without cost to the student, other than individual tools and school supplies. Since the mid- to late-'80s, a nominal fee has been charged quarterly in order to defray the cost of the overall operation of the institution.

The cost of attending a technology center is still the lowest of all of the institutions in the TBR system. Currently, the maintenance fee required upon enrollment is approximately $270 per quarter. Most training can be completed in two years or less, and the average cost is less than $5 per day.

Financial aid is available to all full-time students at the center who qualify. A full-time financial aid counselor is available to assist the student, or prospective student, in applying for financial aid. The most common resources for these types of aid are the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Tennessee Student Assistance Award, Federal Work-Study Program, Veterans programs, and Vocational Rehabilitation. Approximately 71 percent of the students at TTCL in 1999 received some type of financial aid.

In addition to the financial aid counselor, the school employs a student services counselor who is responsible for assisting the student in enrollment and placement. This same person is responsible for working with high school students and adults in assisting them in selecting the program at the school that will provide them with the training they need to get the job in which they are interested.

Upon graduation, this counselor also assists them in finding employment in their field of study by providing information concerning the availability of jobs or positions that they might be qualified for in the area of the state or any other area in which they might desire to live and work.

Graduates who desire to continue their education, as opposed to going straight to work, are encouraged to make use of the articulation program that exists in the TBR system.

Articulation can begin while a student is still in high school. They can attend TTCL during their high school junior and senior years then enroll as a full-time student after high school graduation to complete their program at TTCL.

Upon completion, they can then transfer credit to Volunteer State Community College to work toward an Associates degree, then transfer part of that credit to Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville in pursuit of a Bachelors degree.

Currently, the full-time programs being offered at TTCL include automotive technology (ASE certified), auto body technology (ASE certified), building construction technology (ADDA certified), business systems technology (CSI affiliated), computer operation technology (also offered at Tri-County Instructional Service Center), cosmetology, drafting and CAD technology (ADDA certified), electronics technology, machine tool technology, maintenance mechanics (air conditioning and refrigeration and welding), manufacturing technology, and practical nursing.

Residential contractor classes, as well as registered dental assistant classes, are now available at the center. Part-time classes are offered regularly and many ongoing special industry training programs are available and are taught off-campus at the request of the employer.

Current staff at the school includes 2 administrators, 2 counselors, 7 support personnel, and 20 instructors. On the average, instructors provide 1,296 hours of instruction and 350 hours of grading and preparation during a year.

Many of the instructors realize that they could possibly be earning more money working for themselves in the occupation that they are training the students for. They, nevertheless, have dedicated their lives to preparing others to undertake a profession that will give them an opportunity to improve their way of life.

This dedication to service is one of the main reasons for the overwhelming success of the institution and for the betterment of life for the large number of students who have attended there in the 34 years of the school's existence.

 

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Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College opened its doors in Livingston in 1991, offering one management class. Since that time, the school has grown to an enrollment of well over 700 and offers more than 100 sections of full-credit courses, as well as numerous non-credit courses.

Director Mike Powell said, "We knew there was a need for a community college in this area because of the distance between other community college campuses, but enrollment has far exceeded our original expectations, and our commitment to putting students first has had a lot to do with it."

The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the Associate Degree and holds membership in the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges, the Southern Association of Junior Colleges, and the Tennessee College Association.

Vol State is a public, two-year, open-access, comprehensive community college governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. The institution's primary focus is on effectively providing quality education. The school grants associate degrees and technical certificates of credit and is committed to excellence in providing undergraduate, technical and continuing education, as well as providing community services and promoting cultural and economic development.

In preparing its student population for successful careers and university transfer programs, the school provides and promotes innovative learning systems to respond to the ever-changing needs and interests of a diverse and dynamic community and developing workforce.

Dr. Hal Ramer, Vol State president, said, "By bringing quality higher education opportunities close to home, we can assist in workforce development and attract business and industry. In this way, Vol State has a direct impact on the educational, economic, and social climate of the area."

The school offers a number of general areas of study to meet the different needs of its students. These credit instructional programs are divided into the divisions of allied health, business, developmental studies, humanities, mathematics and science, and social science and education.

Degrees or certificates are awarded to students at Vol State in three different ways. Transfer Degree Programs, where students receive an associate of arts or an associate of science degree, are designed to meet the needs of students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university.

The transfer education division includes basic curricula in the areas of business, humanities, mathematics and science, social science, and education.

Career Education Programs, where students receive an associate of applied science degree, prepare students to enter directly into their chosen field of work.

The occupational or technical programs in the career education curricula may transfer to a senior institution but are primarily designed to prepare students for employment.

Vol State also offers a variety of certificate programs. These programs, many designed for adults working in the field of study, vary in length and in the number of hours required, and are designed to give the student minimum essential core subjects necessary to enter upon a business or industrial career while offering college credit. Courses may be applied later toward a two-year career education program.

Hilary Marabeti, dean of Continuing Education, said, "Our biggest concern is that we are able to bring to the Livingston Center all the major areas of study that the citizenry is interested in. If we can accomplish this, then we will offer our students the opportunity to improve personally and professionally through education, and to acquire the knowledge and skills to advance in their careers, or even to change careers. Vol State then becomes a stepping stone to improving earning power and quality of life."

In addition to its regular curriculum, Vol State offers many different programs to residents of Overton and surrounding counties.

Among these include early admission, where Vol State accepts gifted students at the end of their junior year of high school. These students must have a 3.2 high school average and a composite of 22 or above of college norms on the Enhanced ACT. Application for early admission requires parental consent and the approval of the high school principal.

Along with this, students in grades 9-12 who have been certified academically talented/gifted are allowed to enroll, upon the recommendation and approval of the high school principal, in college courses and receive college credit. The student must have a 3.2 grade point average and the college placement recommendation must be a part of the student's planned Individual Education Program.

High school seniors with a maximum load of two high school academic courses along with the written approval of the principal are permitted to enroll jointly at Vol State and take a maximum college load of 12 hours per semester. Under special circumstances, a high school senior carrying a full high school load, with written approval of the principal, is permitted to register for one course per semester.

College level courses, for which credit may be granted, are offered to qualified high school students during the school day and may be conducted on the high school campus. Successful completion of these courses will allow the award of both college and high school credit.

To qualify for this articulation program, a student must be a junior or senior with a grade point average of 3.0 or better in the subject area of enrollment, holding honors or academic honors standing, and have an ACT subscore of 19 or better in the subject area of enrollment.

The Advanced Studies Program is designed for students who have completed their junior year in high school and who qualify to enroll in selected courses at Vol State during the summer term prior to completing the senior year in high school.

Also offered at Vol State is a variety of continuing education programs,including evening programs and community service programs, designed for students who desire to take courses for credit toward the completion of a degree, or who desire to take non-credit courses for personal improvement, vocational advancement, or for cultural enhancement.

In addition to regular on-site classroom lecture and training, Vol State offers distance learning and college@home courses, coordinated by Brent Carter. Also available to Vol State students are cable television courses, internet courses, and interactive video classes and video conferencing as optional non-traditional instruction delivery to assist students who are prevented from attending traditional classes by work, family, or other commitments and responsibilities.

Dave Trevino, a full-time computer technician, coordinates the Livingston Center's full-service computer system of more than 40 state-of-the-art computers with up-to-date software.

Through the Coordinator of Student Services, headed up by Noel Poston, Volunteer State provides a comprehensive program of financial assistance to students in the form of grants, loans, part-time employment and scholarships. The student financial aid program at Vol State is designed to aid students who would find it difficult or impossible to attend college without financial assistance.

Applications should be submitted in the early spring before registering for fall semester. April 15 is the priority date for applying for fall financial assistance. After this date, financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis as long as money is available. In addition to financial aid, the student services office also helps to coordinate with all the divisions and departments for disability services and many other student services, including health and extracurricular needs.

In addition to numerous adjunct professors who instruct at Vol State-Livingston, the center possesses seven full-time faculty members, covering all the major areas of a general education.

Dean Marabeti said selection committees have worked hard to bring an experienced and talented faculty and staff to the Livingston Center.

"We are extremely fortunate to be located in a county that is the center of a lot of progressive economic activity, so there is a strong workforce to choose from. And being so near Tennessee Tech, one of the strongest four-year universities in the TBR system, allows us access to some of the most experienced and well-trained teachers in the Upper Cumberland."

In addition to having access to their professors, Vol State recently reached an agreement with TTU that allows Vol State to rent Tech's biology labs.

Dr. Umadevi Garimella, professor at Vol State, said, "This is unique in the sense that nobody else had this kind of arrangement. The Tennessee Board of Regents is hot on collaboration between institutions, and this is a wise use of taxpayer's dollars.

"It also works out well for Tennessee Tech. I've had several of my students transfer to Tech after participating in lab classes there. They get a feel for the university atmosphere and are less intimidated and more comfortable after taking classes at Tech."

Mickey Hall, dean of Humanities, said the college has worked hard to make the Livingston Center a full-service campus. He said there is a need for a strong community college presence.

"I think Vol State-Livingston is providing an important opportunity for residents in this area," Hall said. "Simply having a college presence is often helpful to the people growing up here. It helps them see that college dosen't have to be so distant and divorced from their daily lives."

As Vol State continues to grow beyond original expectations, plans for expansion are being considered, in building size as well as courses and programs offered.

President Ramer said, "We are extremely fortunate to have a complete, full-service center at Livingston. We are poised to expand VSCC courses and programs in response to the needs and interests of the future for the Upper Cumberland area."

For more information about Vol State-Livingston call 1-800-563-8220.

 

Overton County Chamber of Commerce
www.overtonco.com/educat.html

 

 

 

Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486
info@overtoncountynews.com

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