'Make dreams come true': Pellissippi State opens doors to Adult Education students
By Matthew Stewart | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blount County Adult Education Program’s students have made another step toward fulfilling their postsecondary dreams.
On Tuesday morning, 30 staff and students visited Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus. Assistant Dean Holly Burkett and counselor Betsy Boyd talked with students about the community college.
“First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on taking the step to get your GED (credential),” Burkett said. “You will have so many opportunities after you get it, and I’d encourage you to pursue further education.”
After informing students about the college’s history, infrastructure and academic programs, Burkett turned the floor over to Boyd.
The counselor talked about community college, time management and selecting a major and career.
“My job is to help students become academically successful and make their dreams come true,” Boyd said. “You don’t have to do this on your own.”
Burkett later took students on a tour of the campus facilities.
“I’ve been looking at colleges, and Pellissippi is my first choice,” said student Jesus Garcia. “I’ve been very impressed with the available courses, programs and careers. I’ve been looking into teaching programs, but I’m starting to become more interested in nursing programs. In fact, I changed my mind when she (Burkett) was talking about their nursing program. I’m hoping that my bilingual background will make me more marketable when I get into the work force.”
Grant funded trips
Students have also visited Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville and Roane State Community College this semester, said Carol Ergenbright, the Blount County Adult Education Program’s coordinator and supervisor. United Way of Blount County provided a venture grant for the field trips.
“It’s extremely valuable for our students to visit postsecondary institutions and see potential careers,” Ergenbright said. “Between 50 percent and 67 percent of our students want to further their education. However, they might have challenges in doing so. Some will be the first in their families to go to college. It’s very important for them to learn the processes and gain these experiences.”
“I truly appreciate the opportunity to visit Pellissippi,” said student Whitney Beasley. “I wouldn’t know anything about community colleges without this field trip, because I haven’t talked with anybody about them. I also don’t know anybody who has gone to Pellissippi, so I’ve enjoyed going to see it. It’s all new to me.”