Glossary of Terms

1 A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U V W


14th Day Enrollment

The date on which degree credit headcount and full-time equivalent enrollment reports are generated for all Tennessee public institutions.


A.A.S. Degree

An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) is a two-year terminal degree program offered by community colleges. The A.A.S. degree is designed for students planning to enter the job market immediately upon graduation. It not a degree that's designed for transfer to a four-year university.

Academic Mindsets

Academic Mindsets are the psycho-social attitudes or beliefs one has about oneself in relation to academic work. When a student feels a sense of belonging in a classroom community, believes that success is possible and within his/her control, and sees school work as interesting or relevant to his/her life, the student is much more likely to persist at academic tasks despite setbacks and to exhibit the kinds of academic behaviors that lead to learning and success.

Academic Year

The period of time generally extending from September to June; usually equated to 2 semesters or trimesters or 3 quarters.


An initiative to provide persons with disabilities the opportunity to use instructional materials and technologies that allow them to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as persons without disabilities in an equally effective and equally integrated manner and with substantially equivalent ease of use.


Accreditation is a status granted to an educational institution that has been found to meet or exceed stated criteria of educational quality and student achievement. When an institution undergoes the accreditation process, it is judged on a number of established standards and criteria, including its facilities, faculty, programs and student experiences. Accreditation is renewed on a routine basis as along as the institution continues to demonstrate compliance with the standards and commitment to continuous improvement.


A series of tests that evaluate students' skills in reading, writing and math to help college administrators place them in courses that match their skills.

Achieving the Dream (ATD)

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads the most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history. The ATD network is comprised of over 300 higher education institutions, 75 coaches and advisors, and numerous investors and partners. ATD is helping more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams. ATD is an initiative of the Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations. All TBR colleges are participating in the ATD network.


The ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The ACT test measures a high school student's readiness for college, and provides colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. 

Adjunct Faculty

Professors who teach on limited term contracts.

Adult Student

College students who are 25+ years of age are considered adult students. 


AP is the acronym for Advanced Placement. AP is a series of subject examinations administered by The College Board in cooperation with high schools and colleges across the country. Those who score well on the AP exam can receive advanced standing, credit, or both from the college they plan to attend.


An apprenticeship is an arrangement in which a student learns an art, trade, or job under the guidance of another experienced person. Apprentices earn a wage while they are learning and becoming fully trained.

Articulation Agreement

An articulation agreement is an official guarantee that classes completed at one school will be accepted when a student transfers to another college or university. Articulation agreements are essentially a partnership between two institutions to recognize credits toward a degree.

Associate Degree

Students who want to transfer to a university to earn a Bachelor’s degree typically pursue an Associate degree pathway designed for transfer. The credits and classes students take (if following a Tennessee Transfer Pathway) will transfer seamlessly to a bachelor’s degree program at Tennessee public universities and many private colleges. Associate degree students take General Education Core course requirements (Communication, Math, Sciences, Humanities, etc.). When transferring to a four-year university, students have an additional two years of course credits remaining to earn a Bachelor's degree.

Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree

An Associate of Arts (A.A.) is a two-year degree program offered by community colleges. Degree program courses are primarily general education courses which are not specific to a major or vocation. A.A. degrees are designed for transfer to a four-year university.

Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree

An Associate of Science (A.S.) is a 2-year degree program offered by community colleges. Most A.S. degrees are more narrowly focused than an A.A. degree and include more math and science course requirements. The A.S. degree is designed for transfer to a four-year university for further specialization.

Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning is delivered entirely through a learning management system (LMS). Accessible 24/7, students can log in anytime to review course materials and complete assignments. Students interact with faculty and classmates through discussion boards and group projects. 


Students who audit a class enroll in a course for no credit but typically must still pay for the class. While auditing a course, students have access to all class materials but will likely not need to complete homework or take any exams.


Banner System

Banner is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software product of Ellucian. Banner assists colleges and universities in recording and maintaining information/data for their students, employees, alumni and donors.


A professional financial administrator in a college or university.



The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act or, CARES Act, was passed by Congress on March 27th, 2020. This bill allotted $2.2 trillion to provide fast and direct economic aid to the American people negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that money, approximately $14 billion was given to the Office of Postsecondary Education as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

Census Day

Also known as the 14th day after the start of a semester, the census date is the day upon which degree credit headcount and full-time equivalent enrollment reports are generated for all Tennessee public institutions.

Certificate (Community College)

Technical Certificates are designed to prepare students for immediate employment in a specialized area or to grow within their career. They are designed for the student who does not intend to transfer to a traditional baccalaureate degree program. Programs leading to a Technical Certificate are offered in response to the training needs of area business and industry. Since the credential denotes proficiency in a particular occupation, program standards are determined in consultation with an advisory board of practicing professionals.

Certificate (Tennessee College of Applied Technology)

Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) certificate programs are designed to prepare students for immediate employment in a specialized area or to grow within their present career. Typically, they are two semesters or less in length. They are designed for the student who does not intend to transfer to an associate or baccalaureate degree program. For those programs requiring state licensure to practice their profession, these programs are designed to prepare graduates for such licensure.


Acronym for Chattanooga State Community College


Acronym for the College-Level Examination Program. CLEP offers 34 exams that cover intro-level college course material. With a passing score on one CLEP exam, students could earn three or more college credits at more than 2,900 U.S. colleges and universities.

Clery Act

Signed in 1990, the Clery Act is a federal statute that requires all colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Compliance is monitored by the United State Department of Education, which can impose civil penalties per violation, against institutions for each infraction and can suspend institutions from participating in federal student financial aid program programs.


Clinicals are a series of supervised interactions with patients in local healthcare facilities. Clinicals provide hands-on experiences for nursing students to apply what they've learned in simulation labs.

Clock Hours

A 60-minute period of time that contains 50 to 60 minutes of: class, lecture, recitation; faculty-supervised laboratory, shop training or an internship. Regulations require clock hour measurement for Title IV funding if:
- School’s accrediting agency requires it;
- School must measure student progress in clock hours when receiving federal or state approval or
licensure to offer the program; OR
- Completion of clock hours is a requirement for graduates to apply for licensure or the authorization to practice the occupation that the student is intending to practice

Co-requisite Remediation

The linkage of a Learning Support course or experience with a college course that is required in the students chosen field of study. The student is concurrently enrolled in both the Learning Support course and the college-level course.


Acronym for Council on Occupational Education. COE is a national institutional accrediting agency for the accreditation of non-degree-granting and applied associate degree-granting postsecondary occupational education institutions. COE is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a reliable authority on the quality of education offered by the institutions it has accredited. All twenty-seven Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology are accredited by COE.


 A group of students who start and finish together.

College Going Rate

The percentage of Tennessee public high school seniors matriculating to a higher education institution in the summer or fall semester immediately following high school graduation.

Community College

A community college is a higher education institution that provides a two-year curriculum leading to an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree, an Associate of Science degree (A.S.) or an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. The AA and AS degree programs are designed to transfer to four-year degree programs at a university. A.A.S. degrees are designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs immediately upon graduation. Community colleges also offer credit-bearing certificate programs requiring less than two years of study and workforce training that is usually non-credit-bearing.

Competency-Based Education (CBE)

Competency-Based Education is a movement away from seat-time in a classroom towards a more flexible structure that allows students to progress in their learning at their own pace after they have demonstrated mastery. In the CBE model, courses are designed in such a way that students are expected to demonstrate competencies (skills, knowledge, processes, and/or procedures) which align with clearly defined learning objectives. Demonstration of competencies is achieved through assessments. When the learner has successfully demonstrated achievement of competencies, he/she moves to the next higher-level module.

Completion Rate

A percentage calculation of the students who enrolled in and persisted to program completion.

Contact Hour

A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as a clock hour.

Continuous Basis

A calendar system classification that is used by institutions that allow students to enroll/start classes at any time during the year. For example, some TCAT programs allow students to enroll and begin studies at various times, with no requirement that classes begin on a certain date.


Acronym for Columbia State Community College


Credentials are official documentation of an individual's qualifications and skill competencies. Examples of credentials include: secondary (high) school diploma, technical certificate, college diploma, bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctorate degree.


Acronym for Cleveland State Community College


Acronym for Career Technical Education. CTE is a term applied to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.

Cut Score

A cut score is the point that sets a predetermined level for those who pass and those who fail.


Data Dashboards

Data Dashboards provide interactive and visual information on various student data including general enrollment, demographics, student success and awards for TBR's community and technical colleges.

Digital Engagement Initiative (DEI)

Textbook costs are a barrier to student learning and equitable access. TBR launched the Digital Engagement Initiative to offer electronic course materials in an effort to:
- reduce course material costs for students
- make materials available on day 1 of class
- employ digital textbook options to maximize student learning

Diploma (Tennessee College of Applied Technology)

Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) diploma programs are designed to prepare graduates for immediate employment in a specialized area or to grow within their present career. Typically, they are one year (three continuous semesters) in length. They are designed for the student who does not intend to transfer to an associate or baccalaureate degree program. For those programs requiring state licensure to practice their profession, these programs are designed to prepare graduates for such licensure.

Distance Education

Education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously.


Acronym for Dyersburg State Community College

Dual Credit

Dual credit provides an opportunity for high school students to take college credit–bearing courses taught by college-approved high school teachers. The college in a dual-credit program reviews and approves high school instructors to teach college syllabi in their classrooms. Dual credit courses taken count toward graduation from high school and also count as college courses that will appear on a transcript once students begin undergraduate studies.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment, also referred to as concurrent enrollment, is the practice of allowing a student to be enrolled in two academic institutions at once. The term is most prevalently used in reference to high school students taking college courses while they are still enrolled in a secondary school. The credits earned apply both to high school diploma requirements and college graduation requisites.


Early College

Early college is often used interchangeably with middle college. However, early college high schools offer an established pathway for students to earn an associate degree, while "middle college" allows students to earn up to 60 college credits.

Embedded Certificate

Embedded certificates are designed to open career pathways for students. They are awarded as part of and/or as a step toward a related Associate of Applied Science degree. The curriculum, content and requirements are contained within the greater requirements of an A.A.S. degree program.


Acronym for Early Postsecondary Opportunities. EPSOs include a course and/or exam that give students a chance to obtain postsecondary credit while still in high school. Courses (whether stand-alone or in conjunction with an exam for postsecondary credit) must be aligned to postsecondary standards. EPSO types include: Advanced Placement (AP), Cambridge International, CLEP, Dual Enrollment, International Baccalaureate, Dual Credit and Industry Certification.

eRate Fee

The eRate fee is available to students who enroll at TBR institutions, are classified as non-residents of Tennessee, and enrolled exclusively in online courses. The eRate is 150% of the college's approved undergraduate maintenance fee. 


Acronym for English Speakers of Other Languages. Students who did not learn English as their native tongue and/or continue to use a language other than English as their dominant language would be considered English language learners.



Acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the official form that families must use to apply for federal financial aid to pay for college. It is also used by many states, individual colleges and universities in making their financial aid decisions.

Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

FTE is a calculation of the number of students who are attending if all were enrolled full time. Total FTE enrollment includes full time plus the calculated equivalent of the part-time enrollment.

Full-time Student

An undergraduate student enrolled in 12 or more hours of degree credit in a semester.

Funding Formula

See definition for Outcomes-Based Funding Formula.



Acronym for Graduate Equivalency Degree. The GED is comprised of the GED test and the GED credential. The GED test includes exams on four different topics, including math, reasoning through language arts, science, and social studies. Once a student passes all four exams on the GED test, he/she earns a GED credential. This credential serves as a diploma showing a 12th grade level knowledge base—even if the student didn't graduate from a traditional high school.

General Education Core

The General Education Core is a group of courses which develop skills in acquiring, evaluating, using information and communicating ideas through digital, written, oral, artistic, scientific and mathematical expression. The Core challenges students to think independently, write clearly, speak effectively and use logical and critical reasoning to solve problems. Subject areas considered a part of the General Education Core include:
Humanities/Fine Arts
Social/Behavioral Sciences
Natural Sciences
The General Education Core at each TBR colleges comprises 41 credit hours (out of 60 credit hours for an associate's degree).

GIVE Grant

The Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) grant program is designed to foster long-term regional partnerships between Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs), community colleges, industry, economic development/workforce agencies, and K-12 to identify and address “skills gaps” in local workforce pools. Through this collaborative work, Tennessee can ensure that education institutions are producing the credentials employers need while also driving new industry to the state.


Acronym for Grade Point Average. GPA is the combined average of a student's grades for all academic coursework completed.



Aacronym for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


Actual number of individual students enrolled. Students may be enrolled in one or more classes, but they are counted only once. 


Acronym for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) that provides more than $14 billion in emergency funding to higher education. Of those funds, more than $6 billion must go directly to eligible students in the form of emergency financial aid grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis.  HEERF grants do not require repayment.

High Impact Practices (HIPS)

High impact practices are evidence-based teaching and learning practices that have been widely tested and shown to be beneficial for college students. Integrating HIPS into campus and course design result in higher student academic attainment and completion rates. HIPS that TBR colleges are utilizing to promote student success include: certifications, first-year seminar experience, honors education, learning communities, service learning, study abroad, technology enhanced learning, undergraduate research and work-based learning.


HiSET is an acronym for the High School Equivalency Test. It is an alternative to a United States HS diploma, the GED and TASC test. 

Honors College

Honors College is characterized by in-class and extracurricular activities that meet the needs and abilities of the students it serves through practices that are measurably broader, deeper, or more complex than comparable learning experiences typically found at the institution. Honors courses and programs provide smaller classes that are more discussion based. Smaller class settings allow for more interaction with classmates and professors and foster thoughtful discussions.

HOPE Scholarship

The HOPE Scholarship is established and funded from the net proceeds of the Tennessee state lottery and awarded to entering freshmen who are enrolled at an eligible postsecondary institution within sixteen (16) months after graduating from a Tennessee eligible high school.

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid learning contains an online component and on-campus instruction. The on-campus instruction is limited primarily to content that requires a strong hands-on component that cannot be delivered in a virtual environment. 



An internship is a work experience (either paid or non-paid) offered by an organization for a limited period of time. Internships are typically undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field.



JAGGAER is a software platform that helps TBR standardize supplier management processes across our entire System. It creates operational efficiency improvements, frees up existing resources, saves money and strengthens strategic sourcing activities through better negotiation for all TBR institutions.


Acronym for Jackson State Community College


Last-Dollar Scholarship

Last-dollar scholarship, as the name implies, is intended to be paid after all other financial aid resources have been awarded. The calculation of the last-dollar amount is based on the gap between what aid has been awarded and what aid is still needed to help a student meet the cost of attendance.

Learning Management System (LMS)

A software platform for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation and delivery of online courses, and academic programs.

Learning Support

Learning Support is the academic support needed by a student to be successful in college-level general education courses and/or to meet minimum reading, writing and mathematics competencies in programs that do not require general educations courses in reading, writing and/or mathematics. The purpose of learning support is to enhance academic success in college-level courses and increase the likelihood of program completion that will prepare students for career success in their chosen field of study. 

Licensure Rate

A percentage calculation of students who have successfully passed exams required to work in specific professions.

Locally Governed Institutions (LGIs)

Acronym for Locally Governed Institutions. In Tennessee higher education, the term refers to six public universities which include Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Memphis. FOCUS Act legislation passed in 2016 gave these six universities, formerly governed by TBR, the autonomy to establish their own local governing boards.


Maintenance Fees

A fee paid by all students which entitles them to admission to home athletic events, concerts, plays, social and other student-sponsored activities.

Mandatory Fees

A required fee for all students, as opposed to a fee attached to a specific course.


The formal process of entering a university as a candidate for a degree, or of becoming eligible to enter by fulfilling certain academic requirements such as a formal examination.

Middle College

Middle College programs are partnerships between community colleges and the high schools in their service areas, giving high school students opportunities to earn their Associate degrees at the same time they graduate from high school or soon after. The Middle College path also provides opportunities to earn industry training certifications as part of the degree programs.


Acronym for Motlow State Community College

Multiple Measures

Multiple measures (the ACT, SAT, ACCUPLACER, or completion of SAILS competencies) are assessment measurements used to determine a student’s readiness for college-level coursework in writing, reading and math. A student must satisfy cut scores in at least one of these placement methods to bypass learning support courses.


NC3 Signing Day

A day similar to the NCAA Signing Day for athletes. On NC3 Signing Day, high school students commit to attending a college to earn a technical education career certificate or diploma.


Acronym for Northeast State Community College


Acronym for Nashville State Community college



Acronym for Open Education Resources. OER are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Use of OER resources in college courses substantially reduces textbook costs for students.

Out-of-State Student

Every person not having domicile in Tennessee shall be classified as "out-of-state." However, circumstances exist whereby out-of-state students may not be required to pay out-of-state tuition. See Policy for Classifying Students In-State & Out-of-State for Paying College Fees & Tuition & for Admission Purposes :

Outcomes-Based Funding Formula

The Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 requires that community colleges and universities be funded on outcomes rather than enrollment data. Because community colleges and universities compete for a share of available state appropriations each year, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) devised a formula to produce a fair and equitable distribution of funds. The formula uses outcome metrics which balance institutional priorities and missions with state goals and student success. The funding model encourages institutions to strategically and significantly increase their outcomes, while providing the state a way to reward increased productivity in degrees, workforce development, research, job placements, and more.


Part-time Student

An undergraduate student enrolled in less than 12 hours of degree credit in a semester.

Pell Grant

A Pell Grant is a federal subsidy awarded to students for postsecondary education. Pell Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need and, unlike student loans, do not have to be repaid except in rare instances.

Perkins Grant

The Perkins Grant is a principal source of federal funding to states for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs. Undergraduate students can receive a maximum of $5,000 a year (totaling no more than $27,000 over the course of their program). 

Placement Rate

The placement rate is the percentage of TCAT program completers placed in jobs in their field of training. Completers available for placement are those that are not enlisted in the military or seeking additional education, as well as any that are not documented as unavailable for employment because of pregnancy, serious health- related issues (physical/mental/behavioral), caring for ill family members, incarceration, death, etc.


The education level that follows the successful completion of secondary education, often referred to as high school. Postsecondary education providers includes universities and colleges, as well as trade and vocational schools.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

PLA is a term used to describe learning gained outside a traditional academic environment. Learning and knowledge acquired while working, participating in employer training programs, serving in the military, studying independently, and volunteering is considered PLA. Students can receive college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training based upon a PLA assessment of their life learning.


Testing overseen by an authorized, neutral person who ensures the identity of the test taker and the integrity of the test taking environment. 

Program Warranty

The program warranty represents TBR's commitment to the quality of our technical education programs. It assures employers that graduates of our A.A.S. degree programs and completers of credit-bearing diploma programs and technical certificates have the knowledge and skill sets needed to successfully perform job functions.


Acronym for Pellissippi State Community College


Acronym for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. PTK is the official honor society for two-year colleges.


RAVE Alert System

The RAVE Alert System is a communications platform used at TBR technical colleges to keep students and faculty informed and connected to daily events, activities, closures and emergencies occurring on campus. Communications are sent via voice, text and email messaging.

Reconnect to Workforce

An initiative to help Tennesseans receiving unemployment benefits use the Tennessee Reconnect program to earn a college degree or a career or technical certificate. Enrolling full-time through Reconnect fulfills the work search requirement of unemployment benefits.

Retention Rate

Retention rate is the percentage of a school's first-time, first-year undergraduate students who continue at that college the next year.


Acronym for Request for Proposal. An RFP defines minimum service requirements; solicits proposals; details proposal requirements; and, outlines the process for evaluating proposals and selecting a contractor to provide requested goods and/or services.


Acronym for Request for Quotation. An RFQ outlines requirements and solicits bid quotations on goods/services per strict guidelines in the preparation of a bid. Each bidder must complete and include specified RFQ forms in order for the quotation to be considered valid:


Acronym for Roane State Community College



Acronym for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Latin America and other international sites approved by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees. 


Acronym for Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS). The program targets students who have not achieved college readiness benchmarks by introducing the college developmental curriculum into the high school senior year. Developed by K-12 teachers and higher education faculty, SAILS embeds TBR Learning Support competencies into the high school senior year math course, allowing students to begin their higher education career prepared for credit-bearing coursework.


Acronym for Scholastic Assessment Test, however SAT is the preferred usage. Owned by the College Board, the SAT exam is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Widely used by college admissions teams, the test is intended to assess students' readiness for college.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A school's policy concerning the minimum number of courses that must be completed each semester, the maximum time frame, and the minimum GPA required to receive financial aid. A student can lose financial aid for unsatisfactory academic progress.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

SAP is an indicator of successful completion of coursework towards a degree or certificate. Federal and state regulations require that students maintain adequate academic progress toward receiving a degree or certificate in order to continue eligibility for Title IV financial aid programs.


Acronym for Strategic Enrollment Management. SEM is a system-wide effort, guided by the colleges' mission, vision and strategic priorities to achieve goals for enrollment, persistence, retention and graduation.

Service Area

A defined geographic area within which a community college can establish campuses to offer programs to serve the educational needs of residents. For example, Columbia State Community College's service area includes nine Middle Tennessee counties.


Acronym for Student Government Association.

Shared Services

A centralized operations service center for the TCATs and TBR System Office that handles core administrative needs like accounting and budgeting, purchasing, personnel, student records, student financial aid, and institutional research/reporting.


SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. Its mission is to help members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 students and instructors annually. The organization has 13,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations. More than 14,500 instructors and administrators are professional members of SkillsUSA.


Acronym for Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition. Annually, TBR holds a celebration event to honor outstanding students, faculty and staff members, and colleges of the year. Philanthropists, volunteers and partners who support college and student success initiatives are also recognized.


Acronym for Southwest Tennessee Community College

Student Progression

A process which ensures students are moving toward credit hour benchmarks and through to graduation.

Supplemental Certificate

Supplemental certificates are non-preparatory awards, usually related to a special industry or special interest.

Synchronous Learning

Synchronous online learning is delivered "live" at a scheduled time using a video conferencing service such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Webex. Students interact with the instructor and classmates in real-time. Class meeting dates and times are chosen by students in advance.



Acronym for Tennessee Board of Regents


Acronym for Tennessee College of Applied Technology

Technical Certificate

A Technical Certificate indicates a satisfactory level of achievement in selected programs that require less than two years of full-time study. Certificate programs offer college credit and are designed to give the student minimum essential core subjects necessary to enter a career. 

Technical College

Technical colleges prepare students for careers in specific skilled trades, applied sciences and technologies. Those who earn a certificate, diploma or degree go on to work in a variety of fields, including construction, automotive technology, aviation maintenance, allied health, cosmetology and early childhood education.

Tennessee Pathways

Tennessee Pathways creates alignment between K-12, postsecondary education and employers so that students have a clear and guided pathway to move seamlessly into the workforce.
Tennessee Pathways is structured around three key elements:
- High-quality college and career advisement throughout K-12
- Rigorous early postsecondary and work-based learning opportunities in high school
- Seamless vertical alignment between K-12, postsecondary programs, and career opportunities as a result of effective partnerships

Tennessee Promise

Tennessee Promise provides Tennessee high school graduates the opportunity to attend a community or technical college free of tuition and mandatory fees. Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program. It provides students with a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or TSAA funds. Students may use the scholarship at any of TBR's 13 community colleges or 27 colleges of applied technology.

Tennessee Reconnect

Tennessee Reconnect was established in 2018 to help more adults go to community or technical college and gain new skills, advance in the workplace, and fulfill lifelong dreams of completing a degree or credential. With TN Reconnect, eligible adults who do not have an associate degree or higher can attend a community or technical college for up to two years tuition-free.  

Tennessee Transfer Pathways (TTPs)

The Tennessee Transfer Pathways program offers over fifty different majors. Students who complete the required courses in a transfer pathway program will earn an associate degree and then transition seamlessly as a junior to the participating four-year college or university. All earned credit hours will apply toward a bachelor's degree in the same academic area.


In the context of academic employment, tenure refers to a faculty appointment for an indefinite period of time.


Acronym for Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Formed in 1967, THEC is the state’s higher education coordinating board and is responsible for an array of duties, including: administration of the outcomes-based funding formula, approval of all new academic degree programs, development of the state master plan for higher education, serving as the hub for postsecondary data analysis and research, authorization and regulation of proprietary institutions, serving as the state approving agency for veteran education benefits.


Acronym for Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. In Tennessee, 34 member colleges and universities participate in the association. Association members account for more than 25% of students attending college in our state.

Title IX

Title IX is a federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. This law protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Title IX applies to any institution receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Education, including state and local educational agencies. Educational programs and activities that receive federal funds from the Department of Education must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Title VI

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the primary education law that protects people from discrimination based on race, national origin, or color in educational programs or activities. The educational programs or activities that are covered by Title VI are those that receive federal financial assistance.

TN Trained

The TN Trained program is a joint venture with TBR, TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development (TN DOL), TN Department of Economic & Community Development (TN ECD), and other state agencies. The purpose of the program is to create a unified, statewide approach to recruiting and retaining businesses and jobs by providing professionals in the state’s higher education system, state agencies, and private industry with a common knowledge base of practices, strategies and skills.


tnAchieves is the partnering organization to the TN Promise Scholarship in 90 of the 95 counties in Tennessee. Its mission is to increase higher education opportunities for high school students by providing last-dollar scholarships with mentor guidance.


An official copy of a student's educational record.

Transfer Student

A student who comes to a university or school after beginning his or her course of study at a different college or university.

Transfer-Out Rate

The transfer-out rate represents students transferring to another higher education institution. 

Transient Student

A regularly enrolled student of another institution who desires to take only a limited number of hours during a term and who is not presently working toward a degree at a TBR community college may be admitted as a transient student.


Acronym for Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. TSAC administers over 20 different state student financial aid programs including the HOPE scholarship, Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect, the Tennessee Student Assistance Award and the Dual Enrollment program.


Undergraduate Student

Undergraduates are students of colleges and universities who have graduated from high school, been accepted to college, but haven't graduated yet. 

University Parallel Major

Students who want to earn a bachelor's degree at a four-year college or university may complete the first two years at a community college by enrolling in the Associate of Arts, the Associate of Science, the Associate of Fine Arts, and Associate of Science in Teaching degree programs. 



Acronym for Volunteer State Community College


Warranty Claim

A claim that a graduate's employer submits to request retraining only at no cost to the graduate or employer. The graduate has completed an eligible A.A.S. degree program or completed a credit-bearing diploma program or technical certificate. (See Program Warranty).

WCAG 2.0

WCAG 2.0 is a set of guidelines which define how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant

The Wilder-Naifeh technical skills grant is a state program, administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC). It provides up to $2,000 annually to assist Tennessee students enrolled in a diploma or certificate program at a TCAT.

Workforce Training

Workforce training is defined as activities (seminars, workshops, courses, customized training, etc.) that develop or enhance the skills of existing employees or members of any business or industry.


Acronym for Walters State Community College