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Office of Community Colleges

Our Work

Enhance student success

The Office of Community Colleges (OCC), working with Tennessee’s Community Colleges, strives to make significant changes to allow more Tennessee citizens to realize academic awards that lead to occupations that can support the graduate and her/his family.  The framework adopted by the OCC includes:

  • Intrusive advising that helps students to map out programs of study based upon their interests and goals.  Intervention advising occurs when students vary from a focused program of study to keep students on task to graduate.
  • Corequisite remediation that places students into college-level gateway courses with mandatory, just-in-time instructional support. This provides remedial help parallel to highly structured coursework.
  • Pathways to the academic award that will map out every semester of study for the entire program, and guarantee that milestone courses will be available when needed.  Common core curricula, whether leading to an associate degree or into a university program of study, will allow the student to be assured of the transferability of credits.
  • Structured schedules that utilize block scheduling and cohort programming as a means for delivering programs will encourage students to attend full-time and provide working students more predictability of schedule, thus shortening their time to completion.
  • Early college credit opportunities for adults and high school students that will seek to encourage more Tennesseans to pursue academic awards. Through the utilization of Prior Learning Assessments for working adults’ life experiences (including military training) the colleges will encourage more adults to seek or finish academic awards.  Students beginning in the TCATS will have pathways to the associate degree, and beyond.  The offering of concurrent credit, i.e. dual enrollment, and credit by assessment opportunities to high school students will both encourage students to continue their education and to allow for faster attainment of degrees.

Standardize and consolidate services

The OCC is in the process of developing common business models, in cooperation with college personnel, to realize savings of time and financial resources for the colleges.  Additionally, student services models will allow students consistent access to those services across the community college system.

Promote statewide workforce and economic development

The OCC works with public private partnerships of business, the public workforce system and post-secondary education working together to improve the skills of workers in strategic industry sectors vital to Tennessee’s economic prosperity.

Advocate for the community college system

The Vice Chancellor and OCC staff, under the direction of the Chancellor and the Board of Regents, serves as the primary advocate for the community college system. The OCC works with national, federal and state initiatives, queries, and legislation to promulgate policies, guidelines and activities in a cooperative governance model that assists the community colleges to respond in an appropriate and effective manner as a system. 

The OCC has established a public relations position that works with Tennessee’s Community Colleges to develop systemic public relation products.  The position also coordinates community college system representation at conventions, conferences and symposiums.