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Credit change: Program to make college transfer easier in state schools

August 24th, 2011 11:14 am by Rex Barber

Anyone who has ever had college credits not transfer from institution to institution will probably appreciate the Tennessee Transfer Pathways for 50 academic programs in state’s public higher education systems.
Created out of the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, the pathways initiative was designed to help graduate 26,000 more Tennesseeans with bachelor’s degrees by 2015, said Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan. Morgan said students in the state’s community colleges now have a definite set of courses to take that will be guaranteed to transfer into most of the state’s four-year institutions.
“The Complete College Act included a provision that required by this fall we would have gotten through a process that assured a community college student in Tennessee who gets an associate degree that they will be able to transfer to one of our public universities without losing their hours,” Morgan said.
The TBR oversees 13 community colleges and six universities, including East Tennessee State University and Northeast State Community College. The University of Tennessee’s undergraduate campuses in Chattanooga, Martin and Knoxville are also participating in the pathways project.
Each of the 50 degree pathways outline the necessary general education core classes and prerequisite courses needed for transfer from community college to university. Students who adhere to the guidelines and take the correct courses will be admitted as juniors in the state public universities except UT-Knoxville. Entry to the Knoxville campus will remain competitive.
“These really are the 50 majors that we offer in our community colleges,” Morgan said. “And they range all the way from psychology to English to engineering to art to music, just kind of the whole range of programs we offer.”
Many times, Morgan said, a student would transfer from community college to university and be required to retake a course, which takes time and more money. Besides being frustrating for the students, it detracts from the intent of the Complete College Tennessee Act.
“I think there’s no doubt it will help students more timely finish their programs,” Morgan said. “It will help them save money. It will also help us achieve our attainment goals by moving students more quickly through the system.”
Morgan said the TBR and the UT systems have been working for years to resolve the issues surrounding transfers.
“And the problem before perhaps was more perception and anecdotal but nevertheless there was kind of a constant stream of complaints from parents and students,” Morgan said.
Guaranteed transfers begin this fall.
For more information on the 50 transferable degree programs, visit

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