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Pellissippi State’s technical classes continue in-person

Three out of four classes at Pellissippi State Community College have become virtual, but to get the best learning experience some still have to be taught in-person.
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Three out of four classes at Pellissippi State Community College have become virtual, but to get the best learning experience some still have to be taught in-person.

“Growing up I had always loved cooking and stuff,” said Gracie Borden, a student at Pellissippi.

Pellissippi State was the closest and most affordable option for Borden when she graduated high school.

“This was a perfect fit for me,” said Borden.

The best option for Borden, but not how she envisioned learning culinary arts this semester, including smaller classes while wearing masks. But she has found benefits.

“Since we’re such a small group, I really enjoy the intimacy that we all get,” said Borden.

Pellissippi President Anthony Wise recognized traditional learning is best for those students in technical studies.

“We decided pretty early on that our top priority was going to be safety and health for our faculty, staff and students,” said Wise.

But as Joseph Blauvelt knew as the Culinary Program Coordinator the added safety measures were minor hiccups.

“It’s actually running very smooth. I was kind of worried,” explained Blauvelt, “This is not an industry where you can do online classes. We can do online nutrition, we can do online sanitation safety, but culinary, it has to be hands on.”

Students like Borden must be whisking to be learning.

“There’s still some magic that takes place in the classroom. So I know those students who are here really appreciate the opportunity to be,” explained Wise, “To put their hands into something they’re cooking or making and that’s really important for them-- for their academic success and their growth as well.”

When Borden graduates in December she wants to work anywhere in a kitchen.

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