Thacker, Oxendine-Woodby named to 40 Under Forty class of 2017

Two Northeast State leaders were recognized among the region’s next generation of movers and shakers in The Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty class of 2017.

Jennifer Thacker and Mary Beth Oxendine-Woodby were selected as 40 Under Forty recipients recognizing the region’s professionals for noteworthy career and civic accomplishments. The entire 40 Under Forty class was featured in the Journal’s December issue.

As Northeast State’s director of the Kingsport Center for Higher Education (KCHE), Thacker provides leadership and management for operations for administrative and support staff. She works in coordination with other departments, Kingsport campus buildings, staff, city and state officials, and other stakeholders.

Jennifer Thacker

Thacker received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from East Tennessee State University (ETSU), a Master of Education from Milligan College, and is entering the dissertation phase of her Ph.D. in Education – Cultural Studies from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  She began her career in education as a high school English teacher then transitioned to post-secondary education. She joined Northeast State as site coordinator for the Gray campus in 2010 and later took on the role of cohort and academic support specialist. In addition to reestablishing and directing the College’s cohort-based programs, she served as director of Northeast State at Bristol prior to moving to her current role as director of KCHE in November 2015.

Mary Beth Oxendine-Woodby

Oxendine-Woodby has built a career around strengthening the region’s workforce. As career development coordinator for Northeast State, she works closely with area employers to ensure that they have access to highly-skilled job candidates. She has been working at Northeast State since 2011. Oxendine-Woodby works closely with individuals, school systems, and community agencies to promote training opportunities and job skills. She has also been an active volunteer with the United Way of Greater Kingsport since 2012, serving on councils in both leadership and member roles.  Oxendine-Woodby has served as a tnAchieves mentor since 2014 to help Tennessee Promise students adjust to college.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as a 40 Under Forty recipient this year,” said Oxendine-Woodby. “Being recognized alongside such a talented group of professionals is truly inspiring.”

Oxendine-Woodby earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from ETSU and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Tusculum College. She holds credentials as a Global Career Development Facilitator and a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Prior to joining Northeast State, Oxendine-Woodby worked in the Tennessee Department of Labor Career Centers, providing training and pre-employment services through the Alliance for Business & Training.

Award nominees are 39 years old or younger as of October 2017, live and work in East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia, are involved in their communities and show the potential to be a leader in the business community during the next decade.

According to the Journal, this year’s 40 Under Forty honorees inducted the 1,000th member since the class began in 1993. The Journal promotes young talent through this program — one that has become the top honor for the region’s businesspeople under the age of 40.

RCAM Academy at Northeast State poised to open

An expansion of the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) is nearing completion as Northeast State Community College enlarges both its technical training capabilities and dual enrollment opportunities for high school students around the region.

The new facility known as the RCAM Academy at Northeast State prepares to open its door and welcome students in the Spring 2018 semester. The two-story, 15,000-square-foot facility stands behind the current RCAM building. The expansion was made possible the collective efforts of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP).

The RCAM Academy at Northeast State.

Northeast State sought to expand RCAM’s existing space to accommodate growing dual enrollment opportunities. Area high school students can now take advantage of these new dual enrollment options to earn college credit hours during their junior and senior years.

The Academy’s first floor includes a large Machine Tool/CNC laboratory with new machining technology foundational for world-class instruction. This allows RCAM to support advanced manufacturing at a whole new level. The second floor includes six classrooms and additional staff offices.

Currently, RCAM courses fulfill the requirements for associate of applied science degrees and/or technical certificate programs offered in Chemical Process Operations, Electromechanical Technology, Electrical Technology, and Welding/Metal Fabrication. Expanding the RCAM’s current footprint creates the opportunity to offer Machine Tool/CNC training and increases both operational efficiencies and long-term sustainability of this nationally recognized facility. Northeast State, AMP, and regional elected officials broke ground on the new facility approximately one year ago.

The first RCAM facility opened in 2009 to serve as the College’s primary off-campus facility for training a qualified workforce for the region’s manufacturing sector. The facility was also established via the collective efforts of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.

RCAM’s academic program-related enrollment has grown over 3.5 times since the facility opened. Since 2010-2011, cumulative completions for students taking at least 12 credit hours at RCAM have grown 25 times. For the programs offered at RCAM, student job placement averages approximately 200 placements across 40 different regional employers per year.

Northeast State winter break schedule

The campuses of Northeast State will be closed to the public beginning Dec. 18 through Jan. 1 for winter break.

Offices of the College’s Blountville campus will be closed as will Northeast State at Elizabethton and Northeast State at Kingsport. The campuses at Johnson City, Mountain City, and Unicoi County will also be closed. Campus police will be on duty throughout the holiday and can be reached at 423.677.7927.

Students can access class management and register for spring classes at All Northeast State campuses will resume regular operating hours on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Have a wonderful and safe winter break!

Have a wonderful winter break.

Northeast State named a Top 10 award winner by Military Friendly®

Northeast State has been named a Top Ten Award Winner in the small community college category of the Military Friendly Schools ® list for 2018. The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation.

“We are so excited about this Top Ten Award. It validates our efforts to make Northeast State the best place for student veterans,” said Pat Chandler, coordinator of Veterans Affairs at Northeast State. “Our priority is to give them the tools to ensure a successful transition from military to college and to graduation and beyond.”


Military Friendly® Schools are leading institutions that have earned the elite Military Friendly® designation. Colleges named as Top 10 award winners represent the best of the best providing services to student veterans in the MFS methodology. Northeast State exceeded all Military Friendly® standards for serving student veterans in academic admissions & orientation, culture and commitment, financial aid, graduation and career, and support & retention services.

Northeast State served 274 military-affiliated students during the fall semester. The College is certified as a VETS (Veterans Education Transition Support) campus by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The Office of Veterans Affairs hosts annual events such as the Veterans Expo to introduce students to career and educational opportunities.

The Northeast State Office of Veterans Affairs operates a veterans’ center on the Blountville, Johnson City, and Kingsport campuses, provides a dedicated student advisor, and hosts veterans-specific orientations. The office also sponsors professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. A student chapter of the Student Veterans of America (SVA) organization was established in 2013.

The Military Friendly School® designation is awarded by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs® and Military Spouse. Institutions competed for the elite Military Friendly® School title by completing a survey of over 100 questions covering ten categories, including military support on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, and military spouse policies.

“All of our Military Friendly® award recipients set the standard for excellence,” said Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer of Victory Media and head of Military Friendly® development. “They offer exceptional examples of what it means not just to build a program that meets federal requirements, but one that serves the military and veteran community from classrooms to careers.”

Victory Media, originator of the family of Military Friendly® employment, entrepreneurship and education resources for veterans and their families, published its special awards for 2018 Military Friendly® Schools and Employers at The Military Friendly® Schools designation process includes extensive research and a data-driven survey of thousands of schools nationwide approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding.

Northeast State, TCAT-Morristown sign transfer agreement

The presidents of Northeast State Community College and TCAT-Morristown signed an articulation agreement Dec. 11 to provide transfer opportunities for Aviation Technology students.

The agreement allows students to apply for an Associate of Applied Science degree once they have completed the Aviation Maintenance Technology program and earned a Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and Power Plant license at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Morristown.

The TCAT program prepares students to inspect, repair, service, and overhaul airframe and power plant systems. Students also receive aviation-related electrical and electronics training.

Northeast State and TCAT-Morristown officials signed an agreement Dec. 11 to provide transfer opportunities for Aviation Technology students.

The agreement allows students to receive full credit for 40 hours of Aviation Technology courses at Northeast State. Students will need to complete approximately 20 hours of general education core classes to obtain an A.A.S. from Northeast State. The courses required to complete the A.A.S degree will be offered in a variety of schedules and formats including online instruction.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the TCAT-Morristown students to build on their academic credentials,” said Northeast State President James King. “We believe this will be another tool to help students advance their skills and enhance their employability.”

TCAT-Morristown and Northeast State are the only two colleges under the Tennessee Board of Regents that have aviation programs in East Tennessee, according to TCAT-Morristown President Jerry S. Young.

“The employment opportunities are fantastic we get calls all the time from multiple companies seeking aviation maintenance technicians,” Young said. “We want to take advantage of any opportunity to expand and allow students to be successful.  We appreciate Northeast State and President King for working with us, and we look forward to a great partnership.”

For more information, contact TCAT-Morristown at 423.581.7028 or, or Northeast State at 423.354.5179 or