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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Policy Number: 
2:08:10:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents will provide students with opportunities to earn postsecondary credit and non-credit service and internship experiences at off-campus international sites.

Definitions: 
  • Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS) - TnCIS represents nineteen colleges and universities devoted to making international education and cultural understanding a central goal of higher education throughout the state of Tennessee. TnCIS welcomes membership from all colleges, universities and other organizations seeking to expand opportunities for international educational exchanges.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Policy

The Tennessee Board of Regents System (TBR) supports off-campus international educational programs, service, internship or courses as a valid and valuable part of undergraduate education. The TBR encourages all TBR institutions to engage in international opportunities that meet the legitimate academic needs of their students and in cooperation with consortia both internal to the TBR system in which TBR institutions hold membership and those external to the system.

Procedures: 
  1. Introduction
    1. All international education programs or courses operated, sponsored or approved for academic credit by any TBR institution are expected to maintain standards of quality in the delivery of instruction, support services, and administration which are consistent with educational excellence.
    2. In general, programs or courses operated or sponsored by or in combination with any TBR institution abroad shall be:
      1. Within the scope of the mission of the institution;
      2. Integrated into the undergraduate curricula of the sponsoring institution;
      3. Feasible and sustainable;
      4. Subject to regular, periodic evaluation and assessment according to the institution's normal review procedures for academic programs; and
      5. In compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
    3. All institutions including the TnCIS must establish guidelines for operation of international programs.
      1. Institutions engaged in any international activities which are not coordinated through the TnCIS must establish international policies or guidelines for the individual institution and submit them annually to the TBR Office of Student Success.
      2. Institutions may adopt the policies and procedures embraced through TnCIS as a whole, if the institution engages solely in TnCIS study abroad programs.
      3. All policies and procedures established by institutions must be vetted through the appropriate institutional channels including TBR Office of General Counsel, as applicable.
      4. The TnCIS protocols and guidelines must be vetted through the TBR Vice Chancellor of Student Success or designee as well as the TBR General Counsel.
      5. All institutions and TBR sponsored consortia must develop structures for international education programs or courses to be approved by the home institution.
    4. In addition, programs or courses operated or sponsored by any TBR institution abroad shall adhere to the specific policies listed below.
    5. Memorandum of Understanding or Agreement related to international studies requires approval of the institutional Chief Academic Officer, President or the President’s Designee.
    6. All approvals must be forwarded to the TBR Vice Chancellor of Student Success upon completion.
  2. Types of Programs
    1. Institutions may sponsor and administer their own international programs and/or courses or participate in partnerships with international institutions or consortia to offer opportunities for global study to their students.
      1. Institutions must establish policies regarding enrolling TBR students and awarding credit in a timely fashion to these students for international education programs or courses.
      2. Institutions must have in place a policy regarding the acceptance of international transfer credit.  Only credit from institutions recognized by their country’s ministry of education should be considered acceptable to transfer.
      3. Institutions must have policies regarding the enrollment, awarding and transfer of credit for their students matriculating in another TBR or non-TBR affiliated institution or consortia.  The institution must also have policies for non-TBR students matriculating in institutional courses or TBR related consortia.
      4. Non-institutional faculty must meet SACS standards.
  3. Defining Roles
    1. Participants
      1. Students currently enrolled in TBR institutions.
        1. In keeping with best practices, only individuals enrolled in a TBR institution may participate in study abroad programs.
        2. Students enrolled in TBR institutions must be registered at their home institutions in order to participate in international study courses if the course is sponsored by their home institution or by another institution within the TBR system.
        3. Individual institutions should establish guidelines to determine the required preparation necessary for a student to participate in the desired international experience (e.g., GPA, tenure in academic program, academic preparedness, and contributions to the program of study). The TnCIS will employ institutional guidelines and notify individual institutions if they are not in compliance with the guidelines.
        4. Students from non-TBR schools who elect to participate in TBR institution-sponsored international education programs as fulltime transfer students are responsible for transferring credit back to their home institutions.
        5. Individuals who are students at non-TBR institutions or are not students at any institution of higher education must enroll in a TBR institution under “Non-Degree” or “Continuing Education” or “Transient” or “Transfer” student status for the duration of the international education experience. Enrolling in one of these classifications requires that these individuals meet all qualifications, prerequisites, and requirements for selection as a participant in an international education program, participate in all orientation meetings, and pay all tuition and fees to the sponsoring TBR institution.
      2. Faculty or staff employed by the institution serving in an advisory or coordinating capacity to the student or student group while abroad.
      3. Community partnering organization members who serve a coordinating or mentoring role to students engaged in the experience. In such instances, the community partner members must be registered as a volunteer with the institution.
    2. Program Directors and Group Leaders
      1. These are TBR employees who administratively lead and/or teach international education experiences, including individuals outside the institution and those employed at another higher education institution outside the TBR system, who serve in the role of Program Director or Group Leader. Program directors and group leaders, including faculty directing and teaching in the TnCIS programs, must have their role defined and documented by the unit sponsoring the program. This documentation must be on file with the TBR Vice Chancellor of Student Success.
      2. For non-credit bearing service and internship experiences, a group leader may consist of:
        1. Student leaders for an institutionally recognized student organization coordinating the experience for a group of students.
        2. Faculty or staff employed by the institution serving in an advisory or coordinating capacity to the student or student group.
      3. Program directors serve as institutional representatives and as such must maintain current certification as a Study Abroad Leader though the TBR Office of Student Success, the individual institutional training, or the TnCIS study abroad training programs. Individual faculty are responsible for providing documentation of qualifications at the time of application to offer a study abroad program at individual institutions or through the TnCIS.
      4. All program directors of institutionally sponsored trips must create a campus-appropriate training structure and implement institutional assessment guidelines for the completion of such training prior to faculty leading a trip.
      5. Faculty teaching for the TnCIS must submit their academic credentials to Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) and be appointed as an adjunct faculty member at PSCC.
    3. Faculty Instructors
      1. Faculty who are teaching the international course, but may not be the designated program director, must have their role defined and documented by the unit sponsoring the program.
    4. Non-Credit Experience Program Sponsors
      1. For non-credit bearing service and internship experiences, program sponsors may be:
        1. Faculty
        2. Institutionally recognized student organizations.
        3. Student support services office or academic department.
        4. Sponsoring entity - organization where the student will be placed to do internship or service experience. This would include any non-profit organizations, business or associations located abroad who agree to host the student(s).
    5. Accompanying Spouses and Minors
      1. In cases where a program director or faculty instructor will be traveling abroad for an extended period of time (more than 30 days), it is left to the discretion of the home institution as to whether to allow spouses and minors to travel with the employee.
      2. Spouses and minor children, if allowed to participate, cannot impair the operation or administration of the program, or otherwise infringe on the participants, or incorporate any of their expenses into the program budget.
      3. Spouses and minor children, if allowed to participate, must complete an Assumption of Risk form for the program, consortia (if relevant) and TBR institutions prior to departure.
  4. Best Practices
    1. The TBR is committed to having our institutions identify and adopt relevant practices which can assist our institutions in enhancing and improving their education abroad activities and processes including:
      1. undertaking reasonable steps to be informed of and comply with applicable laws both at home and in the host country;
      2. avoiding arrangements which might violate those laws or accepted business practices of the U.S. or host country;
      3. establishing and maintaining reasonably safe and non-discriminatory, work, study and living conditions for employees and students;
      4. communicating clearly with students the anticipated environmental conditions of the location abroad;
      5. making available current policies, procedures and job descriptions;
      6. exercising due diligence in cost control and adopting clear and reasonable billing procedures for participants;
      7. establishing transparent protocols for data collected;
      8. maintaining sufficient financial resources to meet obligations and exigencies for unanticipated obligations;
      9. enforcing research including human subject research protocols and those of the host country in accordance with standards outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health;
      10. engaging in continuous improvement;
      11. emphasizing academic integrity within the international education experience;
      12. managing all provider arrangements for oversight and evaluation; and
      13. following the established US Import/Export Guidelines.
  5. Types of Programs & Program Documentation
    1. Courses for academic credit, hosted abroad, should provide academic learning opportunities appropriate to the mission of the program and that align to courses in a student’s area of study or which meet general education requirements.
    2. Institutional or campus administered programs led by institutional faculty including:
      1. Course-embedded study abroad;
      2. Course-embedded internships;
      3. Course-embedded service-learning.
        1. Service-learning abroad or community-engaged learning combines structured participation in a community–based project to achieve specified learning outcomes as part of the study abroad program.
        2. Service learning is not the equivalent of civic engagement.
        3. Determination of service learning activities should be mindful of the culture and politics of the location in which the program in offered.
    3. Programs where the institution maintains a central office or facility in another country which is staffed by a resident director and is under close supervision and the TBR institution which awards credit.
    4. Programs at international branch campuses.
    5. Reciprocal exchange programs which are bilateral or multilateral exchanges require either an MOA or MOU.
      1. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a document signifying the mutual interest in the development of collaborative educational activities related to instruction, research, and extension between units at cooperating institutions. No financial or legal obligations are incurred with an MOU. It is often the preliminary step to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
      2. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a contract between units at cooperating institutions to develop collaborative activities related to instruction, research, and/or extension and thus, establishes the parameters for student exchanges between two institutions.
      3. All collaborations involving either a MOU OR MOA through which a TBR institution agrees to work with a non-TBR institution, whether domestic or international, must be vetted through the General Counsel’s Office either on the individual campus or through the TBR System Office.
      4. Partner institutions may be proposed by anyone in the institution but the decision to pursue a formal agreement with any institution abroad must be supported by the Chief Academic Officer, President of the institution, or the President’s designee.
      5. Institutions must have an official, written agreement with institutions abroad or consortia prior to commencing an international studies program and such agreement must be reviewed by legal counsel prior to its execution.
    6. Programs requiring direct enrollment in institutions outside the United States.
    7. Consortia sponsored programs including programs sponsored through the TnCIS.
    8. Programs sponsored by American universities and colleges overseas.
    9. Hybrid or mixed programs which combine two or more of the program types to a significant degree, or
    10. Programs contracted with a third party vendor or independent program provider.
      1. Institutions should use the services of third party or independent program providers, which offer education abroad program services to students from multiple institutions within and outside of the TBR, with caution.
      2. Institutions maintain liability for the welfare of students enrolled in their institutions while they are engaged in study abroad provided through a third party program provider.
    11. Non-Credit-bearing experiences abroad
      1. Volunteer or service programs - placements abroad in which the primary emphasis of the trip is for students to engage with the local community in a structured, unpaid capacity, but with a cultural focus. The activity of a volunteer or service program is designed to fill needs present in the on-site community and should be developed based on an analysis of host/sponsoring entity's community needs.
      2. Internship programs abroad - provide professional experience with a primary emphasis that is educational, but with a cultural focus. Internships provide students opportunities to gain skills and content area knowledge while immersed in a professional or work context. The practical learning enhances, but may not be necessary to, the student's academic degree or future career or educational goals. The experience may be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time.
    12. All institutions including the TnCIS must establish guidelines for operation of international programs.
      1. Institutions engaged in any international activities which are not coordinated through the TnCIS must establish international policies or guidelines for the individual institution and submit them annually to the TBR Office of Student Success.
      2. Institutions may adopt the policies and procedures embraced through TnCIS as a whole, if the institution engages solely in TnCIS study abroad programs.
      3. All policies and procedures established by institutions must be vetted through the appropriate institutional channels including TBR Office of General Counsel, as applicable.
      4. The TnCIS protocols and guidelines must be vetted through the TBR Vice Chancellor of Student Success or designee as well as the TBR General Counsel.
  6. Safety, Welfare, and Student Conduct
    1. Institutions should not permit travel to countries or portions of countries where the U. S. Department of State currently advises against travel or tourism by Americans.
    2. Institutions may further restrict travel where, in their opinion, the U.S. Department of State or other credible authority has identified safety risks.
    3. Institutions must develop a policy for terminating an existing program if the situation arises where student and/or faculty are in danger. Program participants including faculty, staff, and students must be informed that any program may end in such an event.
    4. Faculty and staff directing and teaching in study abroad programs should be trained in the liabilities of the responsibilities accompanying their role when not on U.S. soil.
    5. Institutions should have operational policies and procedures in place for faculty leading international education experiences to refer to as needed which include:
      1. Health and safety, insurance, payments of health care expenses when abroad, contact information for medical assistance in the area(s) in which the program is in operation;
      2. Crisis management and response;
      3. Disciplinary actions ranging from reporting to expulsion; and
      4. Student appeals.
    6.  In case of medical emergency, program directors should take reasonable action on behalf of the student participant.
    7. Crisis Response Plans
      1. All institutions that direct study abroad programs should have a detailed critical response protocol in place to address emergencies.
        1. Institutions offering campus based international educational experiences, as well as the TnCIS based programs, must ensure that all program directors, faculty and students receive clear training on how any crisis is to be handled.
      2. Institutions must establish a clear, written reporting chain with identified contact person(s) on the campus to which all incidents and potential actions to take within a crisis situation are reported.
        1. All incidents should be reported at the earliest possible time.
        2. Program directors for international study courses should have clear guidelines with relevant contact information for airlines, insurance and medical personnel in the event of a crisis including the need to evacuate.
      3. A copy of the institution’s crisis response plan should be on file with the TBR Office of Student Success by April 1 of each year.
      4. Institutions are expected to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
        1. Each institution must develop a policy for compliance with the Clery Act regarding all international programs.
        2. At a minimum, each institutional policy must require that each program designate an individual responsible for complying with the Clery Act.
        3. For programs managed by a third party or a foreign institution, where the TBR institution has control of the property, the TBR institution should designate an official to collect any crime reports.
    8. Student Rights
      1. Study Abroad programs are expected to comply with the American Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act when possible and the policy for addressing requests for accommodations should be included in the institution’s international education policy.
        1. Issues related to accessibility should be resolved after a student is accepted into an international educational experience, but before the student departs on the trip.
        2. Appropriate institutional offices including those responsible for international programs and disability services should be contacted to assist in the determination of reasonable accommodation.
      2. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
        1. Generally, institutions and their respective faculty members must have written and signed permission from a student in order to release information from a student’s educational record or personally identifiable information to only those persons designated by the student on the permission form.
        2. FERPA consent includes the type of record to be disclosed, to whom the record will be released and the student’s signature.
        3. When a student turns 18 years old or enrolls in an institution of higher education at any age the rights under the FERPA transfer from the parents to the student with some exceptions which include: when a student is claimed by either parent as a dependent for tax purposes; for school officials with legitimate educational interest, and; appropriate officials in the case of health and safety emergencies.
    9. Travel Alerts
      1. Within six weeks prior to travel for an international program or course, institutions must disclose to participants U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheets and Public Announcements or Travel Alerts and crime and safety reports from the Overseas Security Advisement Council as well as essential health and safety considerations, including the Center for Disease Control Travel Information Health Recommendations.
      2. During the overseas program or course offering, institutions should monitor and evaluate any new information and report to the Program Director, as appropriate.
    10. Information to be Provided to Students
      1. Institutions must establish policies and procedures to inform participants who enroll in international opportunities that the institution:
        1. Cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the international education environments.
        2. Cannot monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants.
        3. Cannot assure that U.S. standards of due process apply in overseas legal proceedings and cannot provide or pay for legal representation for participants.
        4. Cannot assume responsibility for the actions of persons not employed or otherwise engaged by the program sponsor for events that are not part of the program or that are beyond the control of the sponsor, or for situations that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.
        5. Cannot assure that home-country cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.
        6. Cannot assure that U.S. standards of hygiene, medical practice, food and product safety will apply in the host country.
    11. Insurance Coverage
      1. Institutions are responsible for informing participants about the coverage, availability, and mandatory purchase of accident and health insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance prior to departure for any international education program either through the TBR insurance program or other insuring parties.
      2. Institutions must provide information on available medical care in the host country; if available medical care is a cause for concern, participants must be informed.
    12. Conduct and Discipline Issues
      1. Institutional policies regarding student conduct apply to TBR students registered for credit regardless of their attendance at one of the TBR campuses in Tennessee or while participating in international opportunities.
      2. All participants, whether enrolled for credit or not, must attend a program pre-departure and on-site orientation, including emergency contact information and repatriation information including issues relevant to the culture, social and health conditions of the host country, in addition to information about registration, fee payment and re-enrollment, as appropriate.
      3. All international education programs must brief program participants regarding student conduct expectations including but not limited to alcohol and drug use, visitation, prohibited locations, and abuse of laws and customs of the country to be visited.
      4. A student’s removal from an international program may be conducted in accordance with TBR Policy 3:02:00:01 General Regulations on Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions and/or the host institution policies on student conduct, whichever is more conservative in keeping with Policy 3:02:01:00 Due Process. Students should become familiarized with the host institution’s policies governing student conduct, and a discussion of such policies should be a part of the student’s orientation session.
      5. Every TBR Institution engaged in a study abroad or international education programs must develop a policy for addressing complaints of discrimination and harassment arising during the course of a program. Policies must be consistent with TBR Policies 3:01:00:00, 3:02:00:00, and 3:03:00:00.
        1. Faculty and staff involved in study abroad activities who receive complaints of harassment whether student-to-student, staff-to-student, student-to-staff or any other individuals for which harassment is alleged during an international education experience, must report the incident to the institution immediately.
        2. The procedure set out must provide for due process for any student accused of misconduct.
      6. Students from other institutions who participate in international study programs at any TBR institution regardless of their classification must adhere to the sponsoring institution’s student conduct rules and regulations and all rules of the international program in which they are enrolled.
      7. The Tennessee Board of Regents institutions do not tolerate harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, and any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law.
      8. Institutions have the right to take disciplinary action including expulsion of students during an international educational experience using the same guidelines and processes of action and appeal as those in place on the home campus.
      9. Due Process
        1. Campuses must establish minimum due process procedures for students who are participating in international study courses.
        2. Campus due process must be enacted consistent with TBR Policy No. 3:02:00:01, General Regulations on Student Conduct & Disciplinary Sanctions.
        3. Due process procedures must be clearly outlined in international study course materials and provided to students in pre-trip trainings.
      10. Authority
        1.  Administrative leaders of international study courses have the authority to establish more stringent guidelines than those set either by the TBR or individual institutional policies regarding student conduct which might be disruptive to the program or individual participants. These may include guidelines regarding the use and abuse of drugs, alcohol, engaging in behaviors which may be culturally inappropriate in the host country, or actions that may put the student or others at risk. Students should be advised that standards of personal conduct differ from those in the United States and what is expected in a host country before traveling abroad.
    13. Media Inquiries
      1. Each institution will establish policies for media inquiries regarding any incident involving a TBR institution faculty, staff or student involved in any TBR-endorsed international education experience.
      2. The media policy must require that administrators consult Chief Student Affairs Officers and/or legal counsel regarding the release of student information on student records in accordance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  7. Student Outreach, Placement, Training, and Supervision for Non-Credit Service and Internship Experiences Abroad
    1. Prior to a sponsor recruiting students to participate, institutions should review and approve the following information submitted by the sponsor during the planning stage:
      1. Name and description of the sponsoring entity, and its context (cultural, economic, community);
      2. Scope and nature of the assigned responsibilities;
      3. Responsibilities of the home institution or host organization, the sponsoring entity, and the student;
      4. Primary contact on-site;
      5. Required time commitment (hours per day, number of weeks);
      6. Requirements and competencies that will impact the student's success in the experience;
      7. Expectations of professionalism and appropriate conduct;
      8. Expectations of the student's obligation to act within the limits of their knowledge and competencies, and within the role prescribed for them;
      9. Learning objectives for internship and job experiences; and
      10. Any other institutional policies and procedures that govern travel abroad or student travel.
    2. Prior to signing up to participate in the experience, students should receive communication with the following information:
      1. Accurate description of the program, housing options, and any associated additional costs;
      2. Accurate description of the distance between the location where volunteer, internship, or work experiences will take place and student housing and available transportation and cost;
      3. Deadlines and timetables for placement, application, interviews, confirmation of placement, start and end dates; and
      4. Learning objectives and requirements for student participation.
    3. Prior to advising or supervising students who travel abroad in non-credit bearing experiences, the institution should ensure that:
      1. Faculty/staff working with the program are effectively trained to oversee, monitor, and maintain ongoing communication with the student(s);
      2. The institution maintains open channels of communication throughout the experience with the advisor, the sponsoring entity, and the student(s);
      3. There is a mechanism for filing grievances or complaints;
      4. There is an emergency plan in place for the student(s) while abroad, including appropriate emergency contact information for the student(s) and sponsoring entity, secondary contact information, and emergency contact information that can be shared with the student's designated family members;
      5. There is a clear distinction between the learning role and the work or service role of the student(s), and that the sponsoring entity is prepared to anticipate or navigate any conflicts that might arise between these roles;
      6. The overseas environment of the sponsoring entity is safe and non-threatening. Program sponsors are responsible for assuring that all State Department Travel and Health Advisories have been shared with participants. If the State Department advisory includes language stating "avoid travel," then the sponsoring entity should not travel to that location; and
      7. The student(s) are adequately supervised and supported.
    4. Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management for Non-Credit Trips Abroad
      1. All student organization travel must adhere to TBR Policy 4:03:03:50.
      2. Program sponsors should provide clear information on any potential health and safety risks specific to the context in which the students will be working, including, but not limited to CDC travel notices.
      3. Program sponsors should review relevant individual health information prior to the arrival on site, to identify any special considerations or accommodations that might need to be taken into account.
      4. Program sponsors should clearly articulate policies and practices that protect the health and safety of student participants in the event of an outbreak of diseases or other health/safety risks.
      5. Program sponsors should educate student participants on their personal responsibility for their own physical and mental health and safety while abroad, on available resources to support their health and safety, and on their right to decline when asked to perform activities outside their scope of training or their abilities.
      6. It is required that each participant have their own medical, travel, and accident insurance. Any costs not covered by insurance will be the responsibility of the traveler.
      7. Student participation in activities which are non-credit bearing and off-campus require student acknowledgement of inherent risk and waivers of liability. Program sponsors are responsible for collecting these documents and maintaining the files in a central location in accordance with TBR Policy 1:12:01:00.
      8. Dual-enrolled students are not eligible to participate. Students under the age of 18 must have a liability waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.
      9. Students are subject to enforcement of the home institution's student code of conduct and local, state, and federal laws at all times while traveling. Disciplinary issues must be reported by the group leaders to the appropriate campus official upon return to campus.
  8. Recruitment, Admission, Orientation, Participation, Program Evaluation and Re-entry
    1. TBR Office of Student Success will publish on the system office website, links to international education programs offered by individual TBR institutions.
      1. All institutions and the TnCIS are responsible for notifying the Vice Chancellor for Student Success of all international education courses when schedules are confirmed regardless of the direction of the course or program to be offered.
      2. Institutions are responsible for creating program recruitment/advising materials and/or advising and recruitment efforts which accurately represent the program and include selection criteria based on appropriate academic standards, cultural and educational objectives, estimated cost, financial aid, health insurance requirements, services provided, vaccinations, visa responsibilities and legal proceedings. Students should be informed of these issues at the time of admission.
  9. Admission/Educational Standards
    1. Institutions must have pre-established educational standards for all students whether from TBR institutions or from outside who elect to study in an international setting.
      1. Each institution will develop minimum GPA requirements, selection criteria, and enrollment status for students studying internationally either independently or in international education programs.
    2. Credit is offered for individual courses within international education programs with the full measure of demand and academic rigor, not merely for the purpose of travel or touring in a foreign location. Institutions must establish a comprehensive policy on the transfer of credit and transcript evaluation from international institutions.
    3. TBR System institutions, in consultation with faculty and departments, will grant appropriate academic credit for coursework successfully completed on educational programs abroad which they operate or sponsor.
    4. Each TBR institution will inform participants as completely and accurately as possible as to the process that it follows in awarding credit for international education and provide academic advising to facilitate integration of coursework abroad with a participant’s major field and degree requirements.
    5. Individual institutions must have policies as to the acceptability of academic courses completed in an international setting to the major field requirements.
    6. Institutions must have grade appeal policies in place to assist students wishing to appeal an unsatisfactory grade or removal from an academic course taught in an international setting by non-TBR faculty.
    7. All international study offerings including study-abroad programs awarding academic credit to students enrolled in TBR institutions or consortia within or outside the TBR system must comply with regional accreditation and/or TBR standards.
    8. Institutions must ensure that global study opportunities regardless of the provider equate in contact hours with those expected of students matriculating at the home institution per TBR instructional hour policy.
    9. Institutions must establish an equivalency for international study courses offered by the institution itself or through an international education program, TBR sponsored or external consortia, or international institution in order to offer credit at the home institution.
    10. Financial Aid
      1. Due to the complexity of offering classes or programs internationally, institutions are responsible for developing appropriate implementation timelines which allow for the student to apply for financial aid.
      2. Students who are receiving financial aid are not allowed to change from credit to audit once funds have been disbursed.
      3. Proof of Acceptance
        1. Students must provide documentation of acceptance into international education programs to the student’s financial aid office as requested and establish policies for payment schedules for tuition and program fees which take in consideration both the disbursement schedule of financial aid monies and the departure dates for international education programs.
    11. Orientation and Participation
      1. Students with Disabilities
        1. TBR institutions shall attempt to work with institutions abroad to provide reasonable access for students with disabilities.
        2. Institutions shall inform students that it cannot, however, guarantee any particular access.
      2. Individual institutions may, at their discretion, require students, faculty or staff to provide signed documentation of having received pre-travel advice and counseling, as well as relevant vaccinations, anti-malarial prophylaxis, and other medical interventions consistent with appropriate medical practice.
      3. Institutions may restrict participation in an international program for participants, program directors and group leaders, and faculty instructors determined to be at excessive medical risk.
      4. All students and faculty, whether program directors or instructional faculty, are required to have documentable medical insurance with covered medical treatment outside of U.S. borders at a minimum of $100,000 per accident or sickness as well as evacuation and repatriation insurance combined minimum of $50,000 in order to participate in study abroad. Institutions are encouraged to purchase group insurance to cover evacuation and repatriation on behalf of students and faculty.  (Currently, the TnCIS purchases group insurance on behalf of students and faculty engaging in TnCIS programs.)
    12. Evaluations
      1. All participants and international program leaders are expected to complete post-program evaluation forms to gather data on the effectiveness of recruitment, admissions, pre-departure orientation, the educational and personal value of program components while abroad, re-entry, and recommendations for continuation or termination of the trip in the future.
      2. For programs operated by the TnCIS, the TnCIS will summarize the results of the evaluations and forward a summary to all campuses with enrolled students in order to facilitate data-based decision-making on each campus.
      3. For all non-TnCIS international engagements, institutions must conduct their own evaluations for inclusion in campus planning of internationalization activities.
  10. Host Country Consideration
    1. To promote the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, no restrictions shall be placed on the establishment or maintenance of programs in other countries based on the political, religious, racial, ethnic, or ideological characteristics of a host country or its government.
  11. Fiscal, Management and Educational Standards
    1. Individual institutions must have fiscal, risk management and educational standards for international education programs whether offered by the institution through consortia or other arrangement.
      1. Institutions are responsible for determining if there are additional demands for international education programs in any specific location or for any specific field unmet by any TBR institution or affiliate program.
      2. Institutions must consider affordability including startup costs, convenience and stability of a site when developing an international education program.
      3. Each institution must establish and include in their general student information published policies which allow students to register for classes, earn credit, obtain financial aid, pay tuition and international education fees, and to obtain refund and or withdraw for all international education programs.
      4. Institutional policies must be established including deadlines for the collection of tuition and fees from TBR students for international education and the transfer to the TBR related consortium.
      5. Institutions must make appropriate arrangements to use existing accounting and reporting procedures for all international travel for program directors or group leaders.
    2. Program Audits and Course Evaluations
      1. Individual institutions shall establish an evaluation for individual courses and for all international education programs to determine the continued academic value and financial viability of each program.
      2. Course evaluation procedures and measures must be the same or equivalent to those of the home institution.
      3. At a minimum the program evaluation must include perceived strengths and weaknesses, the projected and actual costs of the program, both in terms of financial cost and in-kind costs contributed by the program director and program staff, program enhancements or improvements needed, strategies for improvement and lessons learned that can be a good tool for future Program Directors or Group Leaders.
      4. The evaluation should include student assessments, as appropriate, as well as a full evaluation completed by the Program Director or Group Leader.
  12. Financial Management
    1. Financial Policies
      1. Institutions must establish financial policies specific to international education programs using approved state accounts, with appropriate management and auditing procedures.
    2. Financial procedures for institution-based study abroad programs
      1. Budgeting
        1. Each study abroad program is expected to be financially self-sustaining over time and be accountable for good financial management practices.
        2. A projected budget must be completed by the Study Abroad Program Director and submitted to the sponsoring institution’s Chief Business Officer or his/her designee.
      2. The budgeting process for study abroad programs should be based on a reasonable projection of operating costs in the host country, including consideration of projected currency exchange rates.
        1. The budget should clearly identify which expenses are to be paid from tuition and mandatory course fees and which expenses are to be paid from the student-specific program fee revenue.
        2. The budget should specify if the expense is for the employee or students.
        3. Program fee revenue should only be used for student expenses.
      3. Budgeting for instructional costs paid from the unrestricted educational & general fund may consider both tuition revenues and state appropriations generated by student enrollments in study abroad programs, consistent with budgeting for other academic programs.
      4. The college as a whole should maintain sufficient unrestricted fund balances to ensure that the institution can meet reasonable contingencies that may arise during the operation of the program.
    3. Registration and Fee Payment
      1. Each institution is responsible for the charging of tuition (maintenance fees and/or out-of-state tuition) and fees, receipt of student payments, administering financial aid, registering students and reporting of grades in the same manner as domestic programs.
      2. Study Abroad Offices and program directors should provide the Business Office necessary information about each student and his/her appropriate program charges no later than three weeks prior to travel, so that these can be entered into the institution’s student information system.
      3. Study abroad fees generally consist of two components:
        1. Tuition and mandatory student fees related to the actual registration for classes.
          1. All study abroad students (with the exception of TnCIS students-see 3.a.(3)) pay a minimum of tuition and applicable mandatory fees. However, this does not prohibit the use of scholarships from any source of funding to pay for the tuition and applicable mandatory fees.
          2. Tuition and mandatory fees should be assessed by the regular student information system when registration occurs.
          3. Institutions should not collect tuition for students enrolled in TnCIS study abroad programs. Regular tuition and any regular mandatory fees should be assessed and charged to an institutional scholarship expense account. However, TnCIS students will be assessed a TnCIS program fee.
        2. Program specific fees (for travel, lodging, meals, exchange rate variance, etc.)
          1. These program fees should be assessed in the student information system whenever possible.
          2. The payment deadlines and refund schedules for these fees will vary from program to program.
      4. Accounting
        1. Financial activity attributable to institutional study abroad programs is recorded as follows:
          1. Student tuition and applicable mandatory fee revenue is assessed and recorded in General funds (E&G) as unrestricted revenue.
          2. Salaries and benefits of program instructional faculty should be paid from applicable departmental unrestricted E&G funds unless there is an applicable restricted grant for the faculty salary and benefits.
          3. Program fee revenue and related expenses are recorded in a restricted E&G account specific to the responsible program or office. Only student-specific expenses should be paid from the restricted E&G account. Typical student-specific costs include travel, lodging, tours, meals, event fees, and student supplies.
          4. If an account has been inactive for eighteen months, with no deposits or expenditures, any excess funds remaining in the account must be transferred to another study abroad program fund or to a contingency fund.
        2. The activity’s restricted program funds should be monitored and regularly reconciled by the institution’s Business Office or Study Abroad Office.
          1. It should also be verified that only student activity-related expenses are charged to the restricted self-supporting funds.
          2. The institution may choose to refund residual balances in the restricted program fund among activity participants, within 60 days of completion of the trip, or use this money to establish and maintain a contingency account.
          3. The use of contingency funds must have the prior approval of the Study Abroad Office and the Business Office.
        3. Financial activity attributable to TnCIS study abroad program revenues and disbursements should be recorded in the institution’s agency fund.
      5. Acquiring Goods and Services Abroad
        1. To the maximum extent possible, arrangements for goods and services needed while abroad should be paid by the institution directly to the vendor.
          1. However, there are situations where payment for goods and services abroad must be rendered at the time they are acquired. In these situations, institutions may utilize several methods to make payments while abroad.
          2. Any of the following can be used for purchases and expenses associated with a study abroad program:
            1. Procurement card;
            2. Check request;
            3. Stored value/pre-paid card;
            4. Traveler’s check;
            5. Cash advance/petty cash advance to an authorized institutional representative;
            6. Direct payment by an authorized institutional representative from personal funds, with a reimbursement request to follow.
        2. Study abroad programs should comply with all applicable TBR and institution policies regarding procurement and use of these payment methods.
      6. Travel Advances/Petty Cash Advances
        1. Each institution will have the authority to determine the best way to handle payment of purchases and expenses for its study abroad programs.
        2. Institutions may also allow for travel advances/petty cash to pay for large expenses abroad. However, due to the risks and responsibilities associated with petty cash, its use should be limited to those situations where other payment alternatives are not an option.
        3. All cash advances should follow current institution policies.
        4. The employee must include the estimated foreign expenses that will be required to be paid in cash, along with an explanation of why they cannot be paid for with a credit card or direct billing arrangement.
        5. The employee must provide information to clearly show the business purpose of the expenses and documentation to support the expenses claimed.
        6. Within 30 days of return, the employee must complete a travel expense voucher and submit itemized receipts for all expenses paid from the advance.
          1. If the expenses were less than the amount of advance received, all remaining funds must be returned to the institution.
          2. If costs were more than what was provided in the advance for expenses that are approved or integrally related to the educational aspects of the program, the employee may receive reimbursement for these expenses.
      7. Reimbursement
        1. Employees are responsible for keeping copies of original receipts to verify that expenses were valid and related to the program.
          1. If it isn’t possible to obtain original receipts for program-related expenses, the employee must keep a log listing all expenses and ask the person providing the service or another person on the trip (preferably another employee) to sign and document what was provided.
          2. The institution will hold the employee financially responsible for all charges for which there are no receipts or log entries.
          3. The employee will also be responsible for all expenses that are not approved according to TBR or institution regulations, as well as those not integrally related to the educational aspects of the program.
        2. Whether the employee owes money back to the institution or is eligible for reimbursement, he/she is responsible for completing the Travel Expense Report and submitting it with all appropriate receipts within 30 days following their return to the United States.
          1. Reimbursements that are not submitted within a reasonable amount of time are considered taxable by the IRS and must be processed through the payroll system.
        3. The following items must be completed and submitted to the Business Office no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the study abroad trip:
          1. Documentation of foreign exchange rates used.
            1. This will only apply if funds were exchanged during the program. (www.oanda.com is a good resource for currency conversion)
            2. If currency is bought in advance, please provide documentation of the rate at which the currency was originally purchased.
        4. Required documentation of expenses – including receipts for goods and services purchased, and signature sheets for cash allowances distributed during the program.
          1. Do not include disallowed expenses on the Travel Expense Summary and Travel Expense Report. Examples of disallowed expenses include personal items, alcohol, etc.
        5. The Travel Expense Summary and a summary of travel advances should be submitted with the Travel Expense Report.
        6. The Travel Expense Report must be filled out in U.S. dollars and signed by the Study Abroad Program Director or his/her designee, as well as the department chair before being submitted to the Business Office.
        7. Upon return from the trip, remaining institution funds must be deposited in the Business Office.
        8. If foreign currency was distributed to the program director in advance of the trip, documentation must be submitted with the Travel Expense Report. This also applies if foreign currency was returned to the Study Abroad/Business Office.
      8. International Education Fee Usage
        1. Recognizing the need for flexibility while maintaining accountability, the TBR has established the optional assessment of an international education fee to be paid by each student enrolled in the institutions.
        2. Individual institutions have authority to allocate funds to activities in support of globalization efforts for the campus, including international professional development of the faculty.
        3. Institutions should use a portion of the revenue generated through the internationalization fee for study abroad scholarships.
        4. Individual institutions are responsible for establishing an infrastructure to determine the allocation of the international education fees collected from students to promote internationalization at the home institution. The infrastructure should include student representation or input received from the entire study body.
        5. Employee Compensation/Benefits provided by Program Abroad
          1. An allocation of salary and benefit costs for those involved in providing direct support for international programs are allowable but should be controlled and kept to a minimum.
          2. A program shall provide upon request disclosure of any salaries and/or other benefits provided to any employee of a TBR institution which are paid for or subsidized by international education fees or secured from any vendor that is providing services to students.
        6. Faculty Compensation
          1. Faculty engaged in directing or teaching study abroad courses receive remuneration from their home institutions. Again, direct instructional cost should be charged to the appropriate departmental budget and not to the international education fee budget.
          2. Faculty compensation for summer session and inter-session international educational programs whether campus-based or operated through the TnCIS are not subject to Policy 5:02:04:10 Faculty Compensation during Summer Session and Inter-sessions.
          3. Faculty teaching or directing study abroad courses on behalf of the TnCIS must submit an Adjunct Faculty Contract and a travel authorization form at their home institution, which will be forwarded to the TnCIS Office by the home institution.
          4. For non-PSCC faculty, the TnCIS will process the contract through the PSCC Accounting Office, which will issue a Dual Services Agreement to the faculty member’s home institution along with a purchase order.
          5. Institutions will invoice PSCC for the services to receive reimbursement for paying the faculty members directly for their service.
        7. Faculty are expected to follow through on the agreed upon international study course and adhere to all institutional policies once abroad. In the event that a faculty member cancels their participation in the trip or is directed to return from a trip due to failure to follow institutional policies, the faculty member will be charged for any travel costs assumed by the institution in advance of the trip or the faculty member will be held responsible for costs associated with their return home.
      9. Emergency Reserve/Contingency Fund
        1. The college, as a whole, should maintain sufficient unrestricted fund balances to ensure that the institution can meet reasonable contingencies, emergencies, and unforeseen problems of students, faculty, and staff engaged in TBR sponsored or supported international programs or courses.
  13. Use of Technology Abroad
    1. The TBR requires that its institutions fully comply with federal regulations that control the conditions under which certain information, technologies and commodities can be exported to a foreign country, person, or entity, including U.S. citizens in a foreign country.
      1. Institutions are responsible for implementing export control procedures to determine whether an activity is covered under export control regulations, whether the U.S. Department of State’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) 22 CFR §120-130, U. S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration regulations (EAR) 15 CFR § 734-774 or the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) 31 CFR §500-599.
      2. All faculty, staff, or students involved in international travel including study abroad, restricted research, international collaborations, or foreign exchanges that risk export or violation of the regulations must comply with the provisions of any license (or other governmental approval), policy, procedure, or campus based Technology Control Plan (TCP) as required by ITAR.  Before traveling internationally, faculty/staff/students should determine whether any item, device, component, or document is covered by ITAR and/or requires a license or other government approval/agreement for export or import as defined in those regulations. Where unsure, faculty/staff/students should consult with their general counsel’s office or institutional research office.
      3. Institutions are responsible for determining if self-disclosure of any violations, real or perceived, of the expert control regulations or TCP occurs during the courses of the sponsored activity to the federal agency is required.
    2. European Union General Data Protection – EU GDPR
      1. Faculty and institutions must comply with the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (“Regulation on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data”, “the EU GDPR”), when students are participating in a program taking place in the European Union.
      2. All students participating in programs in the European Union must sign NOTICE REGARDING PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA AND REQUEST OF CONSENT FOR THEIR PROCESSING - STUDENTS FROM THE HOME CAMPUS ON STUDY ABROAD IN THE EUROPEAN UNION (Ex. 1.).
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All State and Federal statutes, codes, Acts, rules and regulations referenced in this procedure.

History

Board Meeting, March 26, 2009; Revision and incorporation of Guidelines A-076, B-130, and S-040 approved by Board on December 13, 2018

Policy Number: 
2:08:00:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

It is the intention of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) that the institutions under its jurisdiction adhere to federal standards on the ethical conduct of research.  Each TBR institution is responsible for institutional policies that serve to effectuate federal law and regulations regarding all applicable aspects of research.

This policy specifically addresses human subjects, animal subjects, and technology transfer; it is not meant to supplant federal regulations. Due to the complexity of the field of research, institutions and their faculty or staff engaged in conducting research are referred to the federal regulations, policies, and guidelines.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Protection of Human Subjects in Research
    1. Research involving human subjects must comply with the standards concerning the conduct of research involving human subjects established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) within the “Protection of Human Subjects” (Title 45 CFR, Part 46).
    2. This policy does not cover use of non-confidential data available under the Tennessee Public Records Act.
    3. Each institution, as well as the TBR system office, will place into effect an institutional review board (IRB) and the necessary procedures to ensure that the rights and welfare of human subjects are properly protected.
      1. Research involving human subjects conducted by personnel affiliated with the TBR system must be reviewed and, when appropriate, approved pursuant to 45 CFR 46.111 by all appropriate IRBs.
      2. Research conducted by persons not affiliated with TBR who are seeking to conduct human research utilizing individuals, groups, or existing confidential data within the TBR system must obtain IRB approval pursuant to 45 CFR 46 .111 from the appropriate institution where the research will be conducted.
      3. Researchers publishing data analyses or reporting from data obtained from the TBR System Office or TBR institutions, either electronically or in print, must comply with the federal guidelines in the protection of editable, small cell data, including but not limited to the federal Gramm Leach Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. 6801-6809 (see TBR Guideline G-030, Section (III)(I)).
    4. All researchers utilizing students, faculty, or staff as research subjects/participants or student/faculty/staff personally identifiable data, within the TBR system, will submit requests for IRB approval to all relevant campuses and the TBR Office of Academic Affairs, as appropriate.
    5. If utilizing the Regents Online Degree Program (RODP) confidential data, the IRB request must be submitted to the TBR Office of Academic Affairs.
    6. All requests for TBR system confidential data by researchers (students, TBR personnel and non-TBR personnel) must be reviewed by the TBR IRB.
  2. Policy for Use of Animals for Research
    1. Depending on the animal definition, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (1996 or the most current version published by the Institute of Laboratory Animal Research, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council) and/or the Animal Welfare Act (Title 9 CFR Chapter 1 Subchapter A) shall be the criteria for researchers to follow regarding the humane treatment of animals for scientific research purposes throughout the TBR system institutions.
    2. Each researcher engaged in such research is personally responsible for obtaining, perusing, and applying the principles, standards, and procedures of the Guide.
    3. Individual campuses will be required to place into effect an Institutional Animal Care Use Committee (IACUC), if relevant.
      1. Campuses should review the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy to determine the need for an IACUC.
      2. Campuses should be aware of the need to file an assurance with the agency prior to obtaining funds with said agency.
      3. Campuses should be aware that there are reporting requirements with the USDA for all animals that fall under its definition.
  3. Technology Transfer
    1. TBR institutions must comply with federal laws concerning the protection of national security and military secrets by preventing foreign governments from accessing military and other technologies via the research processes of American universities.
    2. All institutions will have policies at the level appropriate for the specific institution in relation to the transfer of technology. These policies must comply with the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act, 22 U.S.C. 2778. 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

New Policy approved at TBR Board Meeting September 25, 2009

Policy Number: 
2:07:00:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

T.C.A. § 49-7-141 specifies that the Tennessee Board of Regents develop policies for minimizing the cost of textbooks and ancillary course materials at its higher education institutions, while maintaining quality of education and academic freedom.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Policy Development Provisions for All Institutions
    1. Each institution governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents shall develop policies for minimizing the cost of textbooks and ancillary course materials.
    2. The Tennessee Board of Regents hereby establishes certain minimum requirements each institution shall follow in developing institutional policies consistent with the provisions of this policy.
    3. Institutional policies shall require that:
      1. Faculty members submit lists of required textbooks and course materials to any on-campus bookstore in a timely manner so that the bookstore can ensure that textbooks and other course materials are available when courses begin.
      2. Students have access to information regarding required and supplementary course materials through viable channels, including the institution's website, before courses begin. This information must include, but is not limited to, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
      3. Any on-campus bookstore disclose to faculty members on a per course basis the costs to students of purchasing the required textbooks and course materials and that faculty members affirmatively acknowledge the price of the textbooks and materials before an order is completed.
      4. Faculty members consider practices that reduce the cost of course materials, such as adopting the least expensive option from the available products that meet the requirements of the course. Bundled materials should only be considered if they deliver cost savings to the students. (Note: "bundled" means a group of objects joined together by packaging or required to be purchased as an indivisible unit).
      5. Any on-campus bookstore selling textbooks to students as part of a bundled package also provide students the option of purchasing the textbooks and other study products separately from each other, if possible.
      6. Any on-campus bookstore actively promotes and publicizes book buy-back programs.
      7. Copies of textbooks are made available for student use at no cost through the academic department or through the institution's library; provided, that such textbooks have been furnished at no charge by the publisher for this purpose.
      8. All textbook inventory and monitoring by any on-campus bookstore as set forth through these policies shall be accomplished by existing bookstore staff.
  2. Institutional Policy Approval
    1. In developing policies for minimizing the cost of textbooks and ancillary course materials, an institution shall follow its established policy development and approval process.
    2. The institution policy, complete with processes, cost minimization strategies, and monitoring procedures, must be forwarded to the Tennessee Board of Regents Office of Academic Affairs for review and approval.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

Tennessee Board of Regents meeting, September 27, 2007

Policy Number: 
2:06:00:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents authorizes the awarding of honorary degrees to recognize individuals whose extraordinary achievements have set a standard that distinguishes them and benefits Tennessee Board of Regents’ institutions and the communities they serve as well as society.

The purpose for awarding honorary degrees is threefold:

To honor persons whose careers reflect sustained and superlative achievement in the arts and professions, research, scholarship, public service, leadership, volunteerism, and/or cultural affairs as well as new frontiers of human endeavor.

To advance the educational missions, goals, and programs of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ institutions by developing associations with persons who embody the same ideals, values, and aspirations.

To inspire students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and members of the local, national, and world communities to emulate such standards of excellence, integrity, and commitment to enhance the public good.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Criteria for Selection
    1. An honorary degree is special and is awarded only in exceptional circumstances. Relatively few awards should be given by each institution and no more than two per year. No individual will be allowed to receive more than one honorary degree from the same institution.
    2. Current faculty, staff, and regents are not eligible. Faculty, staff, and regents who have been separated from the Tennessee Board of Regents at least three (3) years are eligible. Currently elected and/or appointed public officials and current candidates and/or nominees for public elective and/or appointed offices within the state of Tennessee are not eligible.
    3. Current or prospective benefactors of the institution are not eligible unless they meet criteria outlined in Section A. of the purpose of this policy.
    4. The degree awarded will meet the standards of the institution and will be awarded at its highest level, but not at a level which exceeds that awarded by the particular institution. Each institution may decide what to label the degree (Associate of ..., Master of...,Doctorate of ...). The degree is not to be granted for earned credit such as a PhD.
  2. Guidelines
    1. Selection shall be made by a Selection Committee established on each campus by local institutional practices. The Selection Committee shall be comprised of no less than 50% faculty but should include staff and administrators.
    2. Nominations will be solicited from all sources. All deliberations will be confidential. Campus committees should use intense scrutiny of a nominee to ensure continued integrity of the award process. The recipient must attend graduation to be awarded the honorary degree.
    3. The president of the institution must approve any nominee for the honorary degree.
  3. Authority
    1. Authority to award honorary degrees at all Tennessee Board of Regents universities and community colleges is delegated to the presidents from the Tennessee Board of Regents.
  4. Notification
    1. After the Presidents have informed the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the selected recipients for Honorary Degrees, the Vice Chancellor will review the recommended candidates for compliance with this policy and will forward a recommendation to the Chancellor. Upon approval by the Chancellor, the Presidents will notify recipients of honorary degrees.
  5.  Exceptions
    1. No exceptions will be granted to this policy.
  6. Policy Review
    1. The Awarding the Honorary Degrees policy will be reviewed every three years.
Sources: 

Board Meeting December 3, 2004; Approved by Board on March 27, 2008 to take effect on July 1, 2008; Board meeting March 25, 2010

Policy Number: 
2:05:00:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

Distance education is an established and effective method for extending educational opportunities. To provide the citizens of Tennessee with greater access to postsecondary education, the Board of Regents affirms the effectiveness of distance education, recommends the use and development of distance education technologies, and encourages institutions to take advantage of such opportunities in carrying out their individual missions.

Definitions: 
  • Distance education occurs when there is a physical separation of the teacher and learner and when communication and instruction take place through, or are supported by, any technological means such as telephone, radio, television, computers, satellite delivery, interactive video, or any combination of present and future telecommunication technologies.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Requirements and Standards
    1. Distance education offered by institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents will meet the academic requirements and quality standards of the institution delivering the course.
  2. Applicability of Board Policies
    1. Unless otherwise provided, all Board, accrediting agency, and institutional policies, standards, and guidelines for on-campus instruction apply to distance education instruction.
    2. Applicable Board policies include, but are not limited to:
      1. Policy 2:01:01:00 Academic Program Approval
      2. Policy 2:03:00:00 Admissions
      3. Policy 2:03:01:01 Undergraduate Academic Retention Standards
      4. Policy 3:05:01:00 Regulations for Classifying Students In-State and Out-of-State for the Purposes of Paying College Fees and Tuition for Admission Purposes
      5. Policy 5:02:02:10 Faculty Rank and Promotion at Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology
      6. Policy 5:02:02:30 Guidelines for Faculty Promotion Recommendations at Tennessee Board of Regents Community Colleges
      7. Policy 4:01:03:00 Payment of Student Fees and Enrollment of Students
      8. Guideline A-020 Inter-institutional Relationships and Off-Campus Offerings
  3. Funding of Distance Education
    1. For the purpose of reporting and appropriations, no distinction shall be made between student credit hours generated through distance education and those generated through on-campus instruction.
    2. Each institution engaging in distance education should budget for the acquisition and maintenance of distance education hardware and courseware and shall maintain careful records of all operating costs.
  4. Administration of Distance Education
    1. Institutions should develop specialized policies and procedures relating to issues of distance education delivery and administration specified by this policy, Guideline A-070, accreditation criteria, and other institutional policies. TBR Guideline A-070 is intended to facilitate the implementation of this policy and covers issues to be considered during the planning and delivery of distance education programs.
    2. Institutions shall ensure compliance with all applicable copyright laws concerning the reproduction of printed materials and the use and transmission of films, filmstrips, videotapes, recordings, performances, or other protected works.
Procedures: 

The following procedures supplement this policy. They cover Academic Standards as well as Program Planning and Implementation.

  1. Academic Standards
    1. In establishing policies and procedures, the following stipulations shall apply:
      1. Each distance education course offered by an institution must be consistent with the level, nature, and mission of that institution.
      2. When a course is offered through distance education, it will carry the same code, title, and credit as other sections of that course.
      3. Each distance education course must provide for interaction and timely feedback between students and faculty member(s) teaching the course.
      4. As appropriate, these interactions may be individual, group, or mixed.
      5. They may take place electronically, e.g., by telephone, by computer, or by interactive video.
      6. Each distance education course must include an assessment of that delivery mode in its procedures for monitoring and assessing student performance.
      7. Each student enrolled in a distance education course shall have access to all the academic support services, instructional equipment, and campus events and other non- academic activities, which the institution provides for other students.
      8. Support services may include but are not limited to academic advising, counseling, library and other learning resources, tutoring services, and financial aid.
  2. Program Planning and Implementation 
    1. Institutional policies and procedures must contain a written statement of the purpose and goals of the distance education program and describe the assessment methods used to evaluate the success of the program in carrying out those goals and objectives. The following issues must be addressed as institutions plan and implement the distance education program:
      1. Faculty, administrators, and other support personnel involved in the development and implementation of distance education must have clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and duties.
      2. Faculty involved in distance education must receive specialized training in the use of the medium.
      3. Institutions will determine teaching load equivalents and faculty compensation for distance education.
      4. The institution must make academic and administrative information available to distance education students.
      5. This information may include but is not limited to: exams, grading, student-faculty interaction, proctoring, the provision of support services, and registration and fee-payment procedures.
      6. Censorial arrangements among two or more institutions for the development, production, or transmittal of distance education courseware and materials should always be considered.

Whenever possible and to effect the greatest savings, the acquisition of courseware should be made through the Tennessee Board of Regents' Media Consortium.

Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

TBR Meeting, September 30, 1983; TBR Meeting, September 21, 1990; TBR Meeting, September 17, 1993. Academic Guideline A-070 was combined with this policy on Sept 4, 2018 as part of changes required by the FOCUS Act.

Policy Number: 
2:04:00:01
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

This policy establishes minimum standards for publication and contents of catalogs for institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR).

Definitions: 
  • Systemwide Course Inventory - The comprehensive list of courses delivered by TBR institutions that will be accessible online and will serve as a tool for faculty for curriculum development and revision. The inventory will provide access to:
    • Common Course Libraries developed for associate of applied science degrees and technical certificates;
    • Common course identifiers and learning outcomes for general education courses;
    • Listing of TN eCampus courses, and;
    • Courses and competencies for programs delivered at the technical colleges.
  • Academic Credential - An academic credential is any of the following:  1) certificate, 2) diploma, or 3) degree from a credit-bearing program.
  • Accreditation Standards - When accreditation standards are referenced in this policy it refers to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for community colleges and Council on Occupational Education (COE) for technical colleges.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1.  General Provisions
    1. Each TBR institution must publish a catalog for each academic year which provides a comprehensive description of educational services and programs provided by the institution. In addition, the catalog must include information which is required for compliance with accreditation standards, Board policies, and federal and state laws and regulations.
    2. Catalogs must be published in digital format and available online. However, if published in paper format the number of copies produced must reflect the actual needs as determined by the institution.
    3. The catalog (digital or print) for each year must be securely archived as an official permanent record to serve former and returning students in accordance with accreditation standards.
  2. Scope of Catalog
    1. The catalog must reflect the academic terms to which the catalog applies including summer sessions.
    2. Each catalog must specify the effective period for which the requirements set forth in the catalog are in effect, subject to changes as provided herein. That period shall not exceed seven (7) years from the beginning of the first academic term covered by the catalog.
    3. Each catalog shall contain the following statement:
      The course offerings and requirements of the institution are continually under examination and revision.This Catalog presents the offerings and requirements in effect at the time of publication; it does not guarantee that such offerings and requirements will not be changed or revoked. Adequate and reasonable notice will be given to students to be affected by any changes. This Catalog is not intended to state contractual terms and does not constitute a contract between the student and the institution.
      The institution reserves the right to make changes as required in course offerings, curricula, academic policies and other policies and rules affecting students, to be effective whenever determined by the institution.  Such changes will govern current and formerly enrolled students. Enrollment of all students is subject to these conditions.
Procedures: 
  1. Minimum Standards of Content
    1. Calendar
      1. Each catalog must include the calendar for each academic term to which it applies. The calendar shall include, but is not limited to:
        1. The period of registration,
        2. The beginning of classes,
        3. The last dates to add and drop courses,
        4. Holidays,
        5. The last date to withdraw from the institution,
        6. Dates for applications for graduation,
        7. The period of final examinations, and
        8. The date of commencement.
      2. The calendar must provide a statement that the calendar is subject to change at any time prior to or during an academic term due to emergencies or causes beyond the reasonable control of the institution, including severe weather, loss of utility services, or orders by federal or state agencies.
    2. Listing of Administrators, Faculty and Staff
      1. The catalog must include an appropriate listing of the chief administrators, the faculty, and appropriate members of the professional staff of the institution.
      2. The listing of faculty must reflect the department, academic rank, and the appropriate degree or degrees by year of each faculty member.
    3. Listing of Academic Programs
      1. Each catalog must contain a concise listing of all programs offered by the institution which have been approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
      2. No program or major for which approval is pending shall be identified in the catalog.
    4. Admissions and Transfer Credit
      1. The catalog must contain the general admissions policy for the institution, and any special admissions policies for specific programs, which have been developed consistent with and approved pursuant to the Board's Admissions Policy, No. 2:03:00:00.
      2. The policy of the institution on the acceptance of transfer credit, as approved pursuant to the Board's Admissions Policy, must be clearly stated in the catalog.
      3. The catalog must provide an explanation of transferability, including the Tennessee Transfer Pathways (TTPs), articulation options, and alternative credit options.
      4. Community College programs designed for transfer must be clearly identified in the Catalog.
    5. Academic Retention and Readmission
      1. Each catalog shall contain the academic retention standards of the institution, and the policy on readmission of students who have been dismissed or suspended.
    6. Academic Regulations
      1. The catalog must contain the general academic regulations of the institution, including policies concerning class attendance, classification of students, full-time and maximum course loads, withdrawals, and alternative methods of obtaining credit.
    7. Course Descriptions
      1. The community college catalog must provide course descriptions of all courses and the technical college catalog must provide program descriptions for all programs offered by the institution in accordance with any applicable accreditation standards.
      2. Course descriptions may also be published in any other format appropriate for distribution to students and other interested persons.
      3. The catalog and other published materials concerning all institutional offerings on and off campus must accurately reflect the academic resources of the institution in accordance with any applicable accreditation standards.
    8. Academic Credential Requirements
      1. Completion requirements of the institution for all programs must be included in the catalog.
      2. For each academic program, the catalog should reflect an orderly and identifiable sequence of courses with an appropriate system of prerequisites.
      3. The catalog must clearly define minimum and maximum credit hours for community college programs and clock hours for technical college programs that are required for each credential to be awarded.
    9. Financial Aid
      1. The catalog must contain information concerning financial aid policies and programs offered by or through the institution. The financial aid policies of the institution must be clearly expressed with both general and specific requirements in accordance with any applicable accreditation standards.
      2. The catalog need not contain the information concerning financial aid programs required by federal laws and regulations, provided such information is available upon request by any student.
    10. Privacy
      1. The catalog shall contain notification of privacy rights required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the regulations promulgated thereunder. The notification language must be approved by the TBR Office of General Counsel.
    11. Nondiscrimination
      1. The catalog shall contain appropriate statements concerning the policies of the institution against discrimination based on race, sex, age, color, national origin, and handicap consistent with federal laws and regulations. The language used must be approved by the TBR Office of General Counsel.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended; Rules & Regulations of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS), Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

History

TBR Meetings, June 30, 1978; September 30, 1983; December 15, 1989; Reviision, renaming and incorporation of former policy 2:04:00:05 approved by Board on December 13, 2018. 

Policy Number: 
2:03:01:05
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs
Purpose: 

Students at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology are expected to maintain satisfactory attendance and to progress in an appropriate manner toward their training objectives. This policy provides minimum criteria for evaluating student achievement relating to identified occupational competencies and defines retention standards for the colleges.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Student Attendance
    1. The nature of the programs at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology is such that it is necessary for every student to attend regularly. Excessive interruptions due to absences will have an adverse effect on student progress.
      1. A full-time student enrolled for a full term (72 days) and that has been absent for more than 5.5% (24 hours) of the scheduled hours enrolled will receive written communication alerting the student to the number of hours remaining prior to suspension. Available community and institutional resources will be shared to assist students with attendance issues. The number of hours of absence triggering notification must be prorated for all part-time students and full-time students enrolled for less than a full term.
      2. When a full-time student enrolls for a full term (72 days) and has absences exceeding 9.7% (42 hours) of the scheduled hours enrolled, that student will be suspended. A student suspended for attendance may appeal the suspension in writing to the president within three (3) days of receiving notification of the suspension. A student appealing suspension of attendance may remain in class until the suspension has been reviewed. The number of hours triggering suspension must be prorated for all part-time and full-time students enrolled for less than a full term.
      3. A student is considered tardy if not in the classroom at the designated time for class to start. Multiple tardies will result in the following discipline:
        1. Five (5) tardies - Student will be given a written warning by instructor.
        2. Six (6) tardies - Student will be placed on probation by the president or the president's designee.
        3. Seven (7) tardies - Student will be referred to the president, and may be suspended.
      4. An attendance record for each student shall be maintained in the student information system.
      5. When a student misses three (3) consecutive days without contacting the college, that student will be presumed to have withdrawn from the college.
  2. Exceptions for Suspension due to Student Attendance
    1. In individual cases of extenuating circumstances, the president may make exceptions to the requirement of suspension or presumed withdrawal due to absences. The circumstances warranting such exceptions should be fully documented.
  3. Student Progress
    1. Evaluations of student achievement toward a program's identified occupational competencies are recorded for each student at the end of 72 days of instruction that comprise a term. Those evaluations shall be based on the following scale of progress:
      1. A = 94 – 100
      2. B = 87 – 93
      3. C = 80 – 86
      4. D = 73 – 79
      5. F = 0 - 72
    2. Grades for courses will be determined as described in course syllabi. Students will be graded in the following categories:
      1. Skill Proficiency
      2. Theory/Related Information
    3. A student must maintain a "D" (73) or better average per course and a "C" or better average per term.
    4. Allied Health Programs require a "C" (80) or better average per course.
    5. Failure to maintain the required grade average will result in suspension at the end of the term.
    6. Additional retention standards for specific programs may be established by the college based on accreditation or licensing requirements applicable to a program.
  4. Readmission from Suspension for Grades or Attendance
    1. The president may consider for readmission the applicant who has been suspended.
    2. Criteria that the president will consider in assessing candidacy for readmission are as follows:
      1. Assessment of the candidate's willingness to address those deficiencies that contributed to the prior suspension, and
      2. Assessment of the likelihood that the readmitted student may succeed in pursuing their training objective.
Sources: 

Statute(s)
T.C.A. § 49-11-401 et seq.
T.C.A. § 49-8-101 et seq.

Revisions:
TBR Meeting, September 30, 1983; Revised: TBR Meeting, June 30, 1989; Revised: TBR Meeting, September 29, 1995; TBR Meeting, September 22, 2000; Revised: TBR Meeting, September 30, 2005; Revised: TBR Meeting, September 29, 2006; Board Meeting, June 23, 2017.

Policy Number: 
2:03:01:01
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The Tennessee board of Regents will establish minimum criteria for undergraduate academic retention standards at the institutions under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents.  

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. This policy establishes minimum criteria for undergraduate academic retention standards at the community colleges under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    Procedures: 
    1. Establishment of Criteria
      1. Each institution will develop specific criteria, in compliance with this policy, to be implemented and enforced as the undergraduate academic retention standards of the institution.
      2. Initial institutional standards and all subsequent revisions will be submitted to the Chancellor for review and approval.
      3. The approved undergraduate academic retention standards of the institution are to be clearly expressed in the catalog, uniformly applied to all students, and promptly enforced at the close of each semester.
    2. GradePoint System
      1. The following grade point system is to be used in determining averages:
        1. For each credit hour of A: 4 grade points.
        2. For each credit hour of B: 3 grade points.
        3. For each credit hour of C: 2 grade points.
        4. For each credit hour of D: 1 grade point.
        5. For each credit hour of F: 0 grade points.
      2. The grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours which the student attempted except for credit hours in courses from which the student withdraws in good standing (see Drop and Withdrawal Standards) or for courses in which the student receives grades such as pass/fail and which are not considered when determining the GPA.
      3. If an institution elects to award grades which are not considered in computing the GPA, it must describe these in the catalog or bulletin and explain the application of such grades.
      4. In addition, it must provide a statement within the catalog which limits the number of hours of such grades per semester and the maximum number of such hours a student may receive in toto.
      5. Finally, a single student transcript will include term and cumulative GPA calculations which ensure that all TBR institutions treat learning support hours alike in calculating GPA. The transcript will include the following:
        1. A GPA comprised only of hours taken in courses numbered college level courses 1000 and above ("college only" GPA) and
        2. A GPA comprised of hours taken in college level courses 1000 and above and hours taken in learning support courses ("combined" GPA).
      6. The following uses are based on each calculation:
        1. The "college only" GPA will be used in calculating the required GPA for graduation.
        2. The "college only" GPA will be used in determining graduation honors.
        3. The "college only" GPA will be used in determining term honors.
        4. The "combined" GPA will be used in determining suspension and probation.
        5. The "combined" GPA will be used in determining financial aid eligibility.
        6. The "combined" GPA will be used in determining athletic eligibility.
      7. For the purpose of increasing mastery in a course when such is necessary for successful performance in a subsequent course or for the purpose of increasing the grade point average (and only for these purposes) institutions may permit students to repeat courses in which their final grades are C or lower.
      8. Thus, in computing the grade point average, the question of how to count repeat courses must be specifically addressed in the catalog or bulletin of each institution, and courses may not be repeated more than twice (three attempts) unless the grades in the third and subsequent attempts are used in calculating the quality point average.
      9. Students may be permitted to repeat a course in which a grade of B or higher was earned only with the approval of the chief academic officer as an exception to this policy.
    3. Retention Standards
      1. GPA Community Colleges
        1. The minimum quality point average required to achieve the associate degree is 2.0.
        2. In addition, a student who fails during any term to attain a cumulative GPA at or above the level indicated below for the credit hours attempted will be placed on academic probation for the subsequent term.
        3. Required Semester System Cumulative Hours Attempted GPA
          1. 0-14 No minimum
          2. 14.1 - 26.0 1.0
          3. 26.1 - 40.0 1.4
          4. 40.1 - 48.0 1.7
          5. 48.1 - 56.0 1.9
          6. 56.1 - and above 2.0
        4. At the end of the next term of enrollment, a student on academic probation who has failed to attain either the above cumulative standard or a 2.0 GPA for that term will be suspended for a minimum of one term. The summer term may not be counted as the term of suspension, unless institutional policies provide for multiple term suspension.
        5. Each institution may develop specific readmission policies to enable the suspended student to appeal for readmission.
        6. The policies shall be based on factors of extenuating circumstances and hardship.
    4. Minimum Criteria for Institutional Academic Fresh Start Policies
      1. "Academic Fresh Start" is a plan of academic forgiveness which allows undergraduate students who have experienced academic difficulty to make a clean start upon returning to college after an extended absence.
      2. The Academic Fresh Start allows eligible students to resume study without being penalized for his/her past unsatisfactory scholarship and signals the initiation of a new GPA/GPA to be used for determining academic standing.
      3. Readmitted students who were formally enrolled in the institution as well as transfer students who meet institutional requirements for admission and who have been separated from all institutions of higher education for a minimum of four (4) years are eligible for the Fresh Start.
      4. Institutional policies governing the readmission of former students and admission of transfer students must be in compliance with TBR policy 2:03:00:00 Admissions.
      5. This policy requires that the "transfer applicant's grade point average on transferable courses must be at least equal to that which the institution requires for the readmission of its own students.
      6. Applicants who do not meet the institution's standards may be admitted on scholastic probation or other appropriate condition. (2:03:00:00 Section II.B.3.)
      7. Each institution may establish an Academic Fresh Start provision which must meet the following minimum criteria:
        1. Student Requirements
          1. Separation from all collegiate institutions for at least four (4) years.
          2. Anytime after the readmission or admission as a degree-seeking student, file a formal application to the office as defined by the institution's catalog requesting the Academic Fresh Start and describing an academic plan.
        2. Terms of the Academic Fresh Start
          1. Once the student has satisfied the above requirements, the institution may grant the Academic Fresh Start. The student may be granted a Fresh Start only once.
          2. The student's permanent record will remain a record of all work; however, courses taken and previously failed will be excluded from the calculation of the GPA. Courses with a D grade will also be excluded from the calculation when a grade of C or better is required in the student's current major. GPA, GPA and credit hours will reflect courses for which passing grades were earned and retained.
            1. Retained grades will be calculated in the Fresh Start GPA.
            2. Courses with D or F grades must be repeated at the institution when they are required in the student's current major. All remaining courses for the current degree objectives must be completed at the institution. No transient credit will be accepted after invoking Academic Fresh Start.
            3. The application of retained credit toward degree requirements will be determined by the requirements currently in effect at the time the academic renewal status is conferred on the student. Specific program regulations must also be met.
            4. Previously satisfied and approved standardized test requirements will not be forfeited.
          3. Upon degree admission, Fresh Start applicants who did not satisfy approved standardized test requirements at the time of previous enrollment and whose academic plan includes completion of a college-level English or mathematics course must meet current approved standardized test requirements regarding enrollment in college English and mathematics courses.
          4. The student's transcript will note that the Fresh Start was made and the date of the Fresh Start.
          5. The student will apply for the Fresh Start with the understanding that all TBR institutions will honor a Fresh Start provision granted at another TBR institution. The student should also signify understanding that non-TBR institutions may not accept the GPA as it is calculated with the Fresh Start.
          6. This policy is independent of financial aid regulations. Financial aid requirements at the time of application will apply. Therefore, a Fresh Start applicant should check with his/her financial aid counselor for guidance.
    5. Drop and Withdrawal Standards
      1. After the official registration period is over, students may make adjustments in their schedule through the process of adding and/or dropping courses.
      2. The last date for students to add or drop a course without a penalty is to be clearly indicated and expressed in the catalog or bulletin of each institution.
      3. After the last day to add or drop a class without a penalty, and not later than two-thirds into the part-of-term, a student may officially drop a course(s) or withdraw from the institution and receive a "W" or other appropriate symbol/grade.
        1. When calculating two-thirds, calendar days shall be used, not just class or working days.
      4. In general, such symbol/grade counts as no hours attempted.
        1. Community Colleges
          1. A student who is withdrawn after two-thirds of the part-of-term is complete will receive a "W" or other appropriate symbol in the course or courses passing.
          2. However, the student will receive a failing grade (usually denoted by an "F") in the course or courses failing unless it can be clearly demonstrated that an unusual condition or hardship exists.
          3. Each institution must develop institutional guidelines outlining specific types of conditions or hardships which will be considered as acceptable.
      5. Students who desire to drop a course (s) or withdraw from the institution before the established deadline must do so according to the published procedure defined by the institution.
      6. A student who does not officially drop or withdraw from a course, but receives a failing grade, will receive an "F" if their last day of attendance was not earlier than two-thirds into the part-of-term.
      7. A student who does not officially drop or withdraw from a course, but receives a failing grade, will receive an "FA" if their last day of attendance was earlier than two-thirds into the part-of-term. The student will be considered as an unofficial withdrawal from the course.
    Sources: 

    Authority

    T.C.A. § 49-8-203

    History

    TBR Meetings, June 24, 1977; March 20, 1981; September 30, 1983; June 24, 1988; September 20, 1991; March 15, 2002; Board Meeting June 20, 2014; Revised at Board Meeting, March 31, 2017; Revised at Board Meeting, September 28, 2018 .

    Policy Number: 
    2:03:00:05
    Policy/Guideline Area: 
    Academic Policies
    Applicable Divisions: 
    TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities
    Purpose: 

    The purpose of this policy is to establish reasonable limitations on enrollment to Tennessee Board of Regents institutions.

    Policy/Guideline: 
    1. Limitations on Enrollments
      1. It is the policy of the State Board of Regents to provide, on a System-wide basis, a comprehensive program of post-secondary education to all residents of the State of Tennessee and other interested persons from the region and the nation.
      2. However, the State Board of Regents recognizes the need to limit the number of persons who may enroll in certain programs, activities or courses due to:
        1. The need to maintain the quality of an instructional program; or
        2. Limited facilities, finances or other circumstances affecting the feasibility of a program.
      3. On the basis of these premises, the institutions governed by the State Board of Regents are hereby authorized to establish reasonable limitations on the number of persons who may enroll in any or all programs, courses or activities for the reasons herein above stated.
      4. Such limitations on enrollments should be based upon selective criteria or devices appropriate to the program involved which apply equally to all prospective students, provided that preference for admission should be given to students who are residents of the State of Tennessee.
    Sources: 

    TBR Meetings, June 30, 1978; September 30, 1983

    Policy Number: 
    2:03:00:00
    Policy/Guideline Area: 
    Academic Policies
    Applicable Divisions: 
    TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities
    Purpose: 

    The following policy and procedures are adopted as consistent admission policy throughout the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Each university and community college shall develop policy and procedures consistent with this policy for the admission of students to undergraduate degree programs.

    Definitions: 
    • Adequate coverage - adequate coverage shall mean that the student's coverage meets or exceeds the level of coverage provided to participants in the TBR's Student/Scholar Health & Accident Insurance Plan.
    • Dual enrollment - is the enrollment of a high school student in one or more specified college course(s) for which the student will be awarded both high school and college credit.
    • Joint enrollment - is the enrollment of a high school student in one or more college course for which the student will earn only college credit.
    Policy/Guideline: 
    1. Provisions for all Institutions
      1. Policy Development
        1. Each institution governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents shall develop an admission policy consistent with the provisions of this policy and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Non-discrimination on the Basis of Handicap) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and submit it to the Tennessee Board of Regents for approval.
        2. Each institution shall include its approved admission policy in its catalog or other appropriate publications.
      2. Policy Revision
        1. Any subsequent change to an approved admission policy shall, prior to implementation, be submitted to the Tennessee Board of Regents for review and approval.
      3. Medical or Health Information
        1. Each institution shall comply with Rules promulgated by the Board of Regents regarding requirements for immunization against certain diseases prior to attendance at a system institution.
        2. A copy of Board of Regents promulgated rules is Exhibit 1 to this policy.
    2. Provisions for Universities and Community Colleges
      1. General Provisions
        1. Admission of Non-Tennessee Residents
          1. Each university and community college may establish minimum criteria for the admission of residents of states other than Tennessee which exceed the minimum criteria established for residents of the state.
        2. Residency Classification
          1. Each university and community college shall, in the admission or readmission process, assign each student a residency classification using TBR Policy No. 3:05:01:00 Regulations for Classifying Students In-State and Out-of-State for the Purposes of Paying College or University Fees and Tuition and for Admission Purposes.
        3. Admission of International Non-Immigrant Applicants
          1. Each university and community college will establish policies and procedures for the admission of international non-immigrant applicants in accordance with the following criteria:
            1. Educational Level. The educational level attained must be comparable to that required of U.S. applicants.
            2. Proof of English Language Proficiency for Non-Native English Language Speakers. In order to determine an applicant's level of proficiency in the English language, each university and community college shall require that applicants whose native language is not English submit scores earned on the Test of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL), the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or one of the other recognized comparable standardized examinations or through a standardized examination developed at the individual institution. Courses completed at another U. S. institution may be used in lieu of standardized examination scores.
            3. Financial Statement. In order to determine the international student's ability to pay registration fees, non-resident fees, living and other expenses, each institution shall require international applicant to supply evidence of financial capability.
            4. Immigration Service Regulations. Institutions must adhere to all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service regulations in the admission, enrollment, and readmission of international non-immigrant applicants.
            5. Certification of Freedom from Tuberculosis. All international non-immigrant students applying for admission pursuant to a student visa shall submit within thirty (30) days from the first day of classes a certificate from a licensed physician or other qualified medical authority verifying freedom from tuberculosis. Failure to submit such certification shall result in denial of admission or continued enrollment. In the event that a student has tuberculosis or has potential tuberculosis requiring medical treatment, continued enrollment will be conditioned upon the determination by a licensed physician that further enrollment is not a risk to others and upon the student's compliance with any prescribed medical treatment program.
            6. Medical and Hospitalization Insurance. Each institution must require that international non-immigrant applicants with J, F, or M visas have and maintain medical and hospitalization insurance as a condition of admission and continued enrollment at the institution. Applicants with J visas must also carry adequate medical and hospitalization insurance for spouses and dependents. Institutions may require similar insurance coverage of all other international non-immigrant applicants.
          2. Institutions shall establish this requirement in policy and shall establish a process for:
            1. Informing applicants for admission of the coverage required and of its approximate cost of coverage and options for accessing insurance;
            2. Informing applicants of the documents that will be acceptable as proof of medical and hospitalization coverage; and
            3. Automatically enrolling in the TBR recommended insurance plan those international non-immigrant students who do not otherwise have adequate coverage. Enrollment shall take place not later than at the time of class registration, and the cost of the coverage shall be added to the student's registration fees.
        4. Admission to Specialized or Limited-Enrollment Programs
          1. Each university and community college shall develop specific policy and procedures for admission of students to programs or courses with enrollment limitations and/or specialized curricula.
          2. Such limitations should be based upon selective criteria appropriate to the program or course which apply equally to all prospective students, provided that preference for admission be given to residents of the State of Tennessee. (Incorporates former TBR Policy No. 2:03:00:05 - see TBR Meeting September 30, 1983)
          3. A number of factors such as accreditation and professional certification standards, limited clinical and classroom space, faculty availability, and a concern for appropriate student progress influence the selective admissions process to certain undergraduate programs.
            1. Students must meet the application criteria, be reviewed and accepted for admission, and make satisfactory progress to be admitted and continue in these academic programs.
            2. Institutions may vary in their admission requirements based on their analysis of student success characteristics.
            3. Admission and progression policies related to selective programs should reflect the likelihood of being admitted to the major at the earliest possible point and contain information on grade point average, standardized test scores, and grade expectations in specified high school courses indicative of success in the field.
          4. Admission and progression policies should be clearly displayed in all materials to prospective applicants.
        5. Admission to Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Programs
          1. Each university and community college that offers medical, nursing, or allied health programs shall require that all persons admitted to such programs:
            1. Provide evidence through a health verification form, that at a minimum, establish the applicants compliance with the Rules promulgated by the Tennessee Department of Health regarding requirements for immunization against certain diseases, including the Hepatitis B vaccine, and other communicable diseases. 
            2. Be, with reasonable accommodation, physically and mentally capable of performing the essential functions of the program as defined in writing by the institution.
        6. Advanced Standing and Placement
          1. Each university and community college may develop policies and procedures for granting admission with advanced placement or standing based on examination, experiential learning, and active duty in the armed services, credit earned in armed services schools, and credit earned through non-collegiate sponsored instruction consistent with TBR Policy 2:01:00:04 Awarding of Credits Earned Through Extra-Institutional Learning to Community Colleges and Universities.
        7. Readmission
          1. Each university and community college shall develop policies and procedures for the readmission of students. These policies and procedures shall be consistent with TBR Policy No. 2:03:01:01 (Undergraduate Academic Retention Standards).
        8. Application Fee
          1. Each university and community college may, with prior approval of the Board, charge a one-time non-refundable application fee.
      2. Undergraduate Degree Admission
        1. Admission of First-Time Freshmen
          1. Applicants for degree admission as first-time freshmen shall be admitted using the following four (4) criteria:
            1. High School Graduation. Except as provided for below in Section II.B.1.a,(2) applicants for degree admission as first-time freshmen must provide an official transcript showing graduation from high school. The transcript of graduates of Tennessee public high schools must include a notation indicating that the student passed the required Proficiency Examination.
            2. High School Diploma or Equivalency
              1. Effective January 1, 2014, applicants for degree admission as first-time freshmen may present either the 2014 GED@ test or the HiSETTM in lieu of a high school diploma provided that their GED@ test or the HiSETTM score meets or exceeds the minimum score set by the institution.
            3. Standardized Examination Scores
              1. Applicants for admission as first-time freshmen who are 20 years of age or younger must present Enhanced ACT, SAT scores. Applicants who are 21 years of age and above, may submit the ACT or SAT score or scores from an approved nationally normed standardized assessment of mathematics, reading, and writing.
              2. Universities will use the scores for admission in keeping with recommended best practices, advisement, and as a component in the placement decision. Community colleges and technical institutes will not use the scores for admission purposes, but may use them for advisement purposes as well as a component in the placement decision.
            4. High School Course Requirements
              1. Effective January 1, 2014, the TBR agreed to accept the curriculum requirements as set by the Tennessee Department of Education with the implementation of the Tennessee Diploma Project of 2009. Admission will be granted to freshmen applicants who hold a recognized high school diploma that includes a distribution of college preparatory courses, such as those required in the core elements of the Tennessee High School Diploma. These courses include the following:
                1. 4 Credits of English
                2. 4 Credits of Math, including Algebra I and II, Geometry and a fourth higher level math class.
                3. 3 Credits of Science, including Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and a third Lab Course.
                4. 3 Credits of Social Studies, including United States History* and Geography, World History and Geography, U.S. Government and Civics, and Economics.
                   *T.C.A § 49-7-110 requires the completion of six semester credit hours of American History by any individual in any non-exempted area of study to be granted a baccalaureate of any kind from any institution of higher learning or community college supported or maintained by the state. Persons in exempted fields of study need not fulfill this requirement if they successfully completed a course in American History in high school. Any student has the option, at the student's request, to substitute three semester hours of Tennessee History for the American History requirement.
                5. 1.5 Credits of Physical Education and Wellness
                6. 2 Credits of a Single Foreign Language
                7.  0.5 Credits of Personal Finance
                8. ​1 Credit of Fine Arts
                9. 3 Credits of Electives consisting of Math and Science, Career and Technical Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB)
              2. Applicants who graduated prior to the adoption of the Tennessee Diploma Project curriculum by the TBR who hold a high school diploma are exempt from the diploma requirements with the exception of those in T.C.A. § 47-7-110 as described in Section II.B.4.a.(iv).
            5. Out-of-State Applicants
              1. Applicants who are residents of states other than Tennessee are subject to the same admission requirements as in-state applicants.
        2. Early Admission of First-Time Freshmen
          1. Each university and community college may develop procedures for the admission of applicants who have completed their junior year in high school.
          2. The minimum requirements for admission of applicants in this category shall be the following:
            1. High School GPA
              1. Applicants must have completed the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades with a minimum grade point average of 3.2 based on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent.
            2. Standardized Examination Score
              1. Applicants must have an Enhanced ACT composite score of at least 22 or a comparable ACT Compass score.
            3. Prescribed Courses
              1. Applicants must provide a written statement from their high school principal specifying the college courses that will be substituted for the remaining high school courses needed for high school graduation.
            4. Endorsements
              1. Applicants shall provide written endorsements from their high school counselors and from their parents or guardians.
        3. Admission of Transfer Students
          1. Each university and community college shall establish policy and procedures for the admission of transfer students that are consistent with the TBR Policy 2:01:00:00 General Education & Degree Requirements, Sections II and III, and with the following criteria:
            1. The applicant must provide official transcripts of credits attempted from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
            2. The applicant's grade point average on transferable courses must be at least equal to that which the institution requires for the readmission of its own students. Applicants who do not meet the institution's standards may be admitted on scholastic probation or other appropriate condition.
            3. Institutions must develop policy and publish criteria regarding the awarding of transfer credit from collegiate and non-collegiate institutions, credit by examination, military and other formal training, experiential learning, and academic fresh start. Such policies and procedures must, at a minimum, be consistent with national standards of good practice,the requirements of appropriate accrediting bodies, and consistent with TBR Policy 2:01:00:04 Awarding of Credits Earned Through Extra-Institutional Learning to Community Colleges and Universities and TBR Policy 2:03:01:01 Undergraduate Academic Retention Standards.
              1. Institutions may determine a subset if grade point average is used to determine admission to selective programs.
        4. Admission of Non-Degree Students to Degree Admission Status
          1. Each university and community college may develop policy and procedures for granting degree admission to non-degree students.
          2. To be eligible for Degree Admission status, non-degree students, as defined in Section II.D. below, must meet all the applicable provisions of Section II.B.1.a.(1)-(4) above.
      3. Graduate and Professional Degree Admission
        1. Universities shall develop policy, procedures, and specific criteria for admitting applicants to graduate and professional degree programs. Such policies and procedures must, as a minimum, be consistent with national standards of good practice and the requirements of appropriate accrediting bodies.
        2. Admission
          1. Generally, graduate administrative units set a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) that an applicant should have earned in order to be considered for admission.
            1. Departments may set higher minimum standards for admission.
            2. Departments may also stipulate the minimum GPA to be achieved in the desired major during the final year or two of the undergraduate studies.
          2. Individual institutions may determine to offer varying degrees of admission, i.e., full conditional or provisional.
          3. Official Transcripts
            1. Institutions may require official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) issued directly by all institutions attended to be submitted either upon application or acceptance.
            2. The individual institution may determine whether or not to accept three year undergraduate degrees in keeping with the international education reform, i.e., Bologna process or to make exception for students seeking political or social asylum prior to the completion of undergraduate work.
          4. Standardized Examination Scores
            1. The institution may request dates and scores for one of more assessment tests such as the GRE, GMAT, the MAT, the IELTS and/or TOEFL.
            2. Scores should be submitted directly from the testing organization and not the student within the time limitations of use set by the testing organizations.
          5. Proof of English Competency
            1. All students for whom English is not the first language, with the possible exception of individuals who have completed a prior degree at an accredited institution in an English speaking nation, must provide proof of English proficiency.
            2. Institutions may administer additional assessments for oral and written competencies for applicants and accepted students for whom English is not the first language if they have been offered graduate assistantships where they will be required to teach.
            3. Institutions must provide assistance to those students awarded assistantships to improve their English language proficiency if the assessment shows deficiencies prior to placing those applicants or students in the classroom.
          6. Required Materials for Graduate Degree Application
            1. Regardless of the standards set by the individual academic units, all applications should include at a minimum the following components:
              1. An application form
              2. Transcripts of all previous academic work (with certified translations for Non-English transcripts) from which an undergraduate GPA may be calculated
              3. Letters of recommendation
              4. Proof of English competency for international students for whom English is not their first language, with the exception of those who have completed a degree at an accredited institution in an English speaking country.
        3. Admission of Undergraduates to Graduate Courses
          1. Institutions may grant permission to undergraduate students with exceptional academic backgrounds to graduate coursework as part of their undergraduate experience.
        4. Admission of Transfer Graduate Students
          1. Students applying for transfer from one graduate institution to another should submit the same admission materials as the typical first time graduate applicant. If granted admission, the student should be informed of the number of hours which will be transferrable.
          2. Each university shall establish policy and procedures for the admission of transfer graduate students that are consistent with the following criteria:
            1. The applicant must provide transcripts of credits attempted from all institutions of higher learning previously attended, if required by the graduate institution.
            2. The applicant’s grade point average (GPA) on transferrable courses must be at least equal to that which the institution required for the readmission of its own students. Applicants who do not meet the institution’s standards may be admitted on scholastic probation or other appropriate conditions.
            3. Institutions must develop policy and publish criteria regarding the awarding of transfer credit from other universities or colleges, credit by examination, military and other formal training, and experiential learning as well as policies for Academic Fresh Start. Such policies and procedures must, as a minimum, be consistent with national standards of good practice and the requirements of appropriate accrediting bodies
      4. Non-Degree Admission for Undergraduate and Graduate Applicants
        1. Each university and community college shall develop policy and procedures for admitting undergraduate and graduate applicants who wish to take credit courses, but who either do not qualify for or do not wish to apply for degree admission.
        2. Policies shall include any conditions of enrollment and any term or overall credit-hour limitations.
        3. Applicants who are eligible for non-degree admission include:
          1. Persons Not Previously Enrolled in College
            1. High School Graduates
            2. Persons 21 years of age or older who have not earned a high school diploma and are not currently enrolled in high school.
            3. Persons 18 years of age or older who have not earned a high school diploma or are not currently enrolled in high school and wish to enroll in HSE preparatory courses only.
            4. High school students who meet the following criteria as specified in T.C.A. § 49-6-3111:
              1. Academically talented/gifted students enrolled in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 in public or private high schools in Tennessee may, with the recommendation and approval of the high school principal and appropriate higher education institution personnel, enroll in and receive regular college degree credit from a Tennessee postsecondary institution if such a student has a grade point average equivalent to 3.2 on a 4.0 maximum basis and if such placement is a part of the student's planned Individual Education Program (IEP) as established by the multi-disciplinary team process.
              2. High school students who are in their freshman year of high school. Such students may be admitted for either joint enrollment or dual enrollment or both. For the purposes of this policy, the terms joint and dual enrollment are defined in the "Definitions" section. Dual Enrollment students must meet the following eligibility criteria:
                1. The student must be enrolled as a 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade student in a Tennessee public or nonpublic secondary school, or in a home education program.
                2. The student may enroll in a specific course based on the course's specific placement requirements as determined by the campus.
                3. The student must enroll in dual enrollment courses in the general education core, Tennessee Pathways leading to a degree, Career and Technical Program of study leading to an academic award, or middle college or equivalent program.
                4. The student must provide secondary institution permission/approval. Additionally, a minor (under 18 years of age) must provide parental/guardian permission/approval. 
          2. Persons with College Credit but Not a Degree
            1. Persons who earned credits but not a degree at another college and are eligible for readmission to the last institution attended.
            2. Those who do not meet the readmission standards of the last institution attended may be admitted on scholastic probation or other established condition.
          3. Persons with a College Degree or Certificate
            1. Persons who have a degree or certificate equivalent to the highest degree or certificate offered by the institution in a particular field but who wish to take additional courses.
            2. Persons who do not qualify for or do not wish to apply for graduate degree admission.
          4. Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
            1. Totally and permanently disabled persons and persons 65 years of age or older.
            2. No fees other than a service fee in the amount authorized by the Tennessee Board of Regents may be charged.
            3. In the case of disabled persons, the institution may require an affidavit or certificate of disability from a physician or from the agency compensating the disabled person.
            4. Admission under this provision may, however, be limited or denied based on the availability of space in the individual classroom.
      5. Audit and No-Credit Admission
        1. Each university and community college shall develop policy and procedures for the admission of persons wishing only to audit courses or to take credit courses on a no-credit basis. The following provisions shall apply:
          1. Space Available Basis
            1. Admission may be limited or denied based on the availability of space in the individual classroom.
          2. Senior Citizens
            1. Senior citizens age 60 or older may audit courses or take credit courses on a no-credit basis free of any charge.
          3. Disabled Persons
            1. Totally and permanently disabled persons may audit courses or take credit courses on a no-credit basis free of any charge.
            2. Institutions may, however, require an affidavit or certificate of disability from a physician or from the agency compensating the disabled person.
      6. Admission of Non-Degree Students to Degree Admission Status
        1. Each institution should develop policy and procedures for granting degree seeking admission status to non-degree students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
      7. Continuous Enrollment and Residency Requirements Upon Admission for Graduate Programs
        1. Each university must develop policy and procedures for the continuous enrollment within select or all graduate programs.
        2. Each university must develop policy and procedures for a period of required residency not less than two continuous semesters for students seeking admission and enrolling in graduate programs.
          1. Residency requirements should be clearly described in application materials and on the institutional program website.
      8. Admission to Select Graduate Programs
        1. Accreditation and professional certification standards, limited clinical and classroom space, faculty availability, and a concern for appropriate student progress influence the selective admission process to the TBR graduate programs.
        2. Students must meet the application criteria, be reviewed and accepted for admission, and make satisfactory progress to be continued in all graduate programs.
        3. Institutions may vary in the defined requirements for satisfactory progress as based on their analysis of student success characteristics.
    3. Provisions for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology
      1. All Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology shall admit applicants on a "first-come, first-serve" basis, and the following minimum criteria shall apply:
        1. Applicants not Enrolled in High School
          1. Applicants not enrolled in high school are eligible for admission provided that:
            1. They are at least eighteen (18) years of age or have a high school diploma or equivalent.
            2. They declare an occupational objective or demonstrate through testing or counseling reasonable potential for achieving that objective.
        2. Applicants Enrolled in High School
          1. Applicants enrolled in high school are eligible for admission provided that:
            1. An agreement authorizing such admission is concluded between the local Board of Education and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology. Such agreements are subject to the approval of the Chancellor or his designee.
            2. Enrollment is limited to one (1) occupational area.
        3. Admission of International Non-Immigrants
          1. Foreign non-immigrant applicants are eligible for admission if they meet the same conditions required for other applicants as well as the requirements of the U. S. Bureau of Naturalization and Immigration.
        4. Use of Standardized Tests
          1. Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology may require applicants for admission to be tested.
          2. The test results will be used by the school to assist the applicant in selecting a suitable program.
        5. Admission to Practical Nursing Program
          1. Admission to the Practical Nursing program is not automatic even though the applicant may be otherwise academically qualified and recommended by the Nursing Advisory Committee.
          2. Applicants seeking admission to the Practical Nursing program must:
            1. Make application for admission to the College of Applied Technology.
            2. Submit evidence of high school graduation or HSE equivalency.
            3. Have attained a passing score on an appropriate admission test. The admission test and minimum score shall be determined by the Executive Sub-Council of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Directors.
            4. Submit evidence of a recent physical examination by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner.
            5. Submit written references.
            6. Report for enrollment upon notification of acceptance.
          3. Qualified applicants not accepted into the class for which they applied may be considered for admission to a subsequent class.
    Sources: 

    Authority

    T.C.A. § 49-8-102, T.C.A. § 49-8-203, T.C.A. § 49-7-124

    History

    TBR Meeting, August 16, 1974; September 29, 1978; June 27, 1980, September 30, 1983; December 16, 1983; June 27, 1986; September 16, 1988; December 2, 1988; June 30,1989; December 7,1990; March 20, 1992; March 19, 1993; September 17, 1993; June 23,1994; December 8, 1994; December 15, 1995; March 7, 1997; June 19, 1998; September 22, 2000; April 2, 2004; December 8, 2006; June 28, 2007; June 24, 2010; Revised December 11, 2014

    The admission policy was revised in its entirety on September 30, 1983, superseding the previous policy and all amendments thereto. Revised Jan. 1, 2014 per Tennessee Alternative Diploma Act to reflect change from General Educational Development (GED) Certificate to Tennessee High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma.

    Revised at Board Meeting March 30, 2016.

    Pages

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