TBR, UT Announce 50 Guaranteed Transfer Pathways between Community Colleges and Universities

Community college students who want to complete a bachelor’s degree now have a guarantee that their credits will transfer to a public university in Tennessee, if they choose one of 50 different majors offering transfer pathways.

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the UT systems have collaborated to create 50 “Tennessee Transfer Pathways” for timely and cost-effective transitioning from a two- to four-year degree. All pathways are effective for the fall 2011 semester.

Every student entering a community college in Tennessee now can select one of 50 majors with accompanying transfer pathways, complete required courses, earn an associate’s degree and transition seamlessly as a junior at a Tennessee public university. All earned credit hours will apply toward a bachelor’s degree in the same discipline.

If followed exactly, the pathways also guarantee admission to all public universities in the state, except for UT Knoxville. The Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, which outlined the transfer pathway model, requires that admission to UT Knoxville “remain competitive.”

“This is among the single-most important achievements in recent years to increase the number of Tennesseans with four-year degrees,” UT President Joe DiPietro said. “We were involved every step of the way in creation of the Complete College legislation and are confident in its potential to significantly enhance the state’s workforce and attract new business to Tennessee.”

“This program highlights the successful collaboration among all of our universities and community colleges,” said TBR Chancellor John Morgan. “It helps students achieve their goals and complete their degrees, but it also helps them do it in a more efficient and less expensive way, without sacrificing the quality of our academic programs.”

The 50 pathways were chosen based on transfer data. They include programs such as business administration, engineering, nursing, agriculture and criminal justice, among many others. A complete listing is available at: www.tntransferpathway.org.

Schools participating in the transfer pathways program include TBR’s 13 community colleges and six universities and UT’s three undergraduate campuses in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Martin. Not all schools have the demand or resources needed to offer all 50 pathways, but advisors are being trained to identify the best options for students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree. A listing of schools and pathways offered is included on the above-referenced website.

“More than 450 UT and TBR faculty members worked together over the past year to make today’s announcement possible,” said UT Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success Katie High.

“We faced a challenge with an aggressive timeline, but the pathways have the potential to positively impact more than 4,500 students transferring from our public community colleges to universities each year,” she said.

Each pathway outlines approximately 41 general education credit hours and 19 hours of prerequisites necessary for transfer.

To ensure transfer, pathways must be followed exactly, and substitutions will not be accepted. Students who change pathways or majors are not guaranteed all courses will apply.

“The implementation of the transfer pathways is a giant step forward in creating a seamless process for earning a college degree for the citizens of Tennessee,” said TBR Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Paula Short. “We will be tracking the progress of our students and will work to constantly improve the process so that students receive the maximum benefit.”

Outreach efforts are planned to ensure ongoing communication with current and prospective students, high school guidance counselors, parents and community members.

More information is available for download and distribution on the transfer pathways website, www.tntransferpathway.org.

Creation of the transfer pathways website was aided by grant funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.