Access and Diversity Scholarship apps accepted to June 1

Apply online now through June 1 for the Northeast State Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship that provides financial assistance to Tennessee residents.

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria for underrepresented populations to qualify for Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship consideration:

• Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin, Black or African-American, Asian, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander origin as documented by the Northeast State office of Admissions and Records
• Classified as a United States Military Veteran. Proof of veteran status must be submitted to the Office of Scholarship Programs in order to qualify under military veteran criterion.
• Be registered with the Center for Students with Disabilities at Northeast State.

Apply for the Access and Diversity Scholarship by June 1.
Apply for the Access and Diversity Scholarship by June 1.

The Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship program assists recipients with funds to pay toward maintenance fees/tuition, required books and/or supplies. Awards are competitive. Students meeting criteria will be evaluated based upon academic performance, enrollment status, and unmet need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Applicants must complete the 2014-2015 FAFSA and their financial aid file by June 1. Eligible applicants must not have earned associate degrees or higher by the beginning of the 2014 Fall Semester. Contact the Financial Aid Office at 423.323.0252 with questions about FAFSA.

The program receives funding on an annual basis. Awards are renewed on a semester-by-semester basis pending Financial Aid approval. Limited funding is available and no awards are guaranteed. Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship recipients must enroll in and complete at least twelve (12) credit hours each semester and maintain a minimum overall combined 2.75 grade point average inclusive of Learning Support coursework in order to maintain eligibility.

Please contact the office of Scholarship Programs at or 423.354.5235 if you have any questions about applying for the Educational Access and Diversity Scholarship.

Riddle earns national PTK award

A Northeast State student earned national recognition as a distinguished member of the Alpha Iota Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Willie Riddle
Willie Riddle

Willie Riddle was among 30 Phi Theta Kappa members honored with a National Distinguished Chapter Member Award presented by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society during the annual convention in April.  Award recipients received commemorative medallions during the Hallmark Awards Gala.

Riddle earned Distinguished Chapter member awards from his peers in Alpha Iota Chi, the PTK Regional Competition held for Tennessee chapters, and at the national competition. Distinguished Chapter Members must be nominated by their chapters through the Hallmark Awards application process, and are chosen based on a student’s embodiment of the Hallmarks of the Society (Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Fellowship) through Honors in Action and other chapter activities. They were selected by a panel of judges from more than 150 nominees internationally.

Riddle was inducted into the Alpha Iota Chi chapter during the 2013-14 academic year. He won the program award as Outstanding Student in Information Technology at Northeast State at the College’s Honors Convocation in April.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States. Nearly 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 131,000 students inducted annually.

Northeast State earns $150,000 grant from Walmart Foundation

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) announced a three-year grant from Walmart Foundation to support the Job Ready, Willing and Able (JRWA) initiative, including $150,000 directly supporting Northeast State Community College.

The Northeast State grant is part of a $4.19 million grant distributed to 17 community colleges across the country. The JRWA initiative will provide middle-skill training, industry recognized credentials, and access to employment across varying industry sectors in each of the 17 communities. Students who have access to high-quality education and training programs, relevant and quality job opportunities, and public benefits and supports are more apt to persist and succeed.

“Northeast State is excited to be one of the 17 colleges selected for this great opportunity through the JRWA project,” said Dr. Janice H. Gilliam, Northeast State president. “This fits well with our other local and state initiatives to support business and industry, and help students complete their credentials.”

The Northeast State grant is payable at $50,000 annually for three years and will focus on training and education in the areas of manufacturing, machining, welding, and chemical process operations. The college will also receive technical assistance from a mentor college.

The 17 participating colleges were selected through a highly competitive process. Four colleges will be mentor colleges, with support from AACC, the National Association of Workforce Boards, AACC Affiliate Councils and industry associations.

Mentors were selected from AACC’s 2008–2010 Workforce Economic Opportunity Initiative funded by Walmart Foundation and will provide additional guidance to 13 mentee colleges. All 17 colleges address current and potential growth of jobs in their communities. Examples range from unemployed mineworkers in rural Kentucky learning electrical linemen skills to sector-strategies including industrial mechanics and manufacturing certificates in Utah, viticulture skills in Oregon, office assistant training in Pennsylvania and Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) programs in Colorado.

All colleges will work closely with local businesses, economic development leaders, and the area workforce systems to collaboratively address the needs of the unemployed. The initiative aims to provide more than 5,000 unemployed adults with new skills, credentials and jobs.

“We are proud to continue our work with Walmart Foundation at a time when the nation is focused on middle-skill careers and opportunities. This initiative is a model for how community colleges can connect students with specific, sustainable jobs in their communities and contribute to long-term economic growth,” said Walter Bumphus, AACC president and CEO.

The four selected mentor colleges are Arkansas Northeastern College (Ark.); Northeast Community College (Neb.); Umpqua Community College (Ore.); and Northern Virginia Community College (Va.).

In addition to Northeast State, the mentee colleges selected for the JRWA initiative are Grossmont College (Calif.); Community College of Aurora (Colo.); St. Johns River State College (Fla.); Kirkwood Community College (Iowa); Ivy Tech Community College (Ind.); Hazard Community and Technical College (Ky.); Jamestown Community College (N.Y.); Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio); Montgomery County Community College (Penn.); Tarrant County College District (Texas); Snow College (Utah); and West Virginia University at Parkersburg (W.Va.).

The commuting collegian – Matt Reap gets there via aircraft

Northeast State student Matt Reap commutes to college. That doesn’t make him different from thousands of other students.  But how he arrives isn’t quite the standard trip.

Reap flies his single-engine, fixed-wing Cessna 172 aircraft from Abingdon, Va., to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport for spring classes two days each week. His commute is shorter than many students who drive to the main campus in Blountville.

“This is my first semester actually flying to school so given good weather conditions the commute time is usually 15 to 20 minutes,” said Reap. “Flying is something I have always loved doing because it is about feeling that freedom.”

Reap opted to attend Northeast State after graduating from Abingdon High School. He co-owns the Cessna with two other individuals. His flights have taken him to South Carolina and Richmond, Virginia.

Reap started flying at age 17. He amassed more than 115 flight hours and earned his pilot’s license. He mastered the regulations of visual flight rules (VFR) to pilot his Cessna.

“The minimum time to get your license is 40 hours of flight time. Once you have done your solo flight you continue your training,” he said. “I’d like to continue forward and become an airline pilot or corporate business pilot.”

Matt Reap disembarks from a flight in his Cessna.
Matt Reap disembarks from a flight in his Cessna.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, licensed pilots must follow VFR regulations to operate an aircraft. VFR regulations require an aircraft be operated in weather conditions clear enough for the pilot to see where the aircraft is going. A pilot must be able to operate the aircraft with visual reference to the ground, and visually avoid obstructions and other aircraft.

Reap plans to master instrument flight rules (IFR) used in larger aircraft to navigate with altitude and directional instruments. That involves stringent flight training about instrument technique, air traffic control communications and procedures, and avionics.

“When you master the IFR it doesn’t matter about clouds and certain weather conditions because you fly using your instruments,” said Reap. “You also pay special attention to the weight and balance in the aircraft because that is critical in maintaining control.”

When traveling to Northeast State Reap departs from Virginia Highlands Airport in Abingdon. Before take-off he reviews weather data and conducts a check of the aircraft’s external working features. He does a pre-flight check and gauges the weight on board the aircraft.

Because Virginia Highlands Airport has no tower, Reap radios his intention to take-off and enter airspace on a radio frequency transmitting to any nearby aircraft. Once acknowledged Reap taxis down the runway to take-off and heads toward the Tri-Cities.

The Tri Cities Regional Airport is identified by the acronym KTRI in flight communications. Once the airport comes into view he contacts the control tower at KTRI to inform them of his approach. The tower acknowledges his transmission and grants him permission to land. Tower controllers advise him of an open runway. Once on the ground, Reap takes the Cessna to a designated hold area on the field and “ties down” the aircraft.

“Landing is probably the most difficult think you have to do,” he said. “You have to account for cross winds and what direction they are coming from and adjust for it.”

Flight comes naturally in Reap’s family. His father is a licensed pilot. His uncle was a U.S. Marine Corps pilot who flew fighter jets in the Korean conflict and helicopters during the Vietnam War.

Reap will graduate from Northeast State with his associate degree this fall. With the demand for regional airline pilots expected to increase in the coming years, his own career flight plan seems headed toward becoming a commercial pilot.