Fiber optics tech courses set next month

A series of courses in fiber optics offered in June by Workforce Solutions at Northeast State gives an overview of this exciting technical career specialty.

Certified Fiber Optics Technician is a three-day introductory course designed to teach basic fiber optic networking. The course uses theory and hands-on activities to prepare the participant to take the Certified Fiber Optic Technician test. The test is sanctioned by the Fiber Optics Association (FOA) and given and graded the final class day.

Registrants should have a working knowledge of computers and ability to see and identify small items. The course is scheduled for June 23-25, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Course fee is $700 and includes all books and study materials. Registration deadline is June 16.

A series of courses in fiber gives an overview of this exciting technical career specialty.
A series of courses in fiber optics gives an overview of this exciting technical career specialty.

Certified Specialist/Testing and Maintenance offers advanced training of testing and maintenance of fiber optics networks. The two-day course emphasizes a clear approach to fiber optics testing standards with considerable hands-on activities. Suggested prerequisites include a CFOT course or another formal fiber optics training course within the preceding six months, or one year fiber optics-related experience. The course is scheduled June 26-27, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Course fee is $675 and includes all books and study materials. Registration deadline is June 19.

Certified Fiber Optics Technician Outside is a two-day course focusing on learning how to properly install, test, and troubleshoot Outside Plant Fiber Optics Cable. Students will learn how to identify OSP fiber cabling types, recognize various outside plant closures used in OSP fiber installation, install, prepare, terminate, splice, and properly test and troubleshoot installed OSP fiber cable to existing standards. The appropriate mid-span access procedures will also be demonstrated during class.

Prerequisites include a CFOT course or another formal fiber optics training course within the preceding six months, or one year of fiber-optics-related experience. Participants must have taken and passed the basic CFOT exam prior to taking Outside Plant Specialist Certification with the FOA.

The course will be held June 28-29, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Course fee is $775 and includes all books and study materials. Registration deadline is June 20.

All courses are being taught the College’s main campus at Blountville, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. For information or to register, contact 423.354.5520 or e-mail

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.).