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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

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

The following policy of the Board of Regents is hereby adopted to establish certain minimum standards concerning the publication and contents of catalogs of the universities and community colleges governed by the Board. These are minimum standards only, and each institution may provide any and all additional information through the catalog which is deemed appropriate.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. Catalogs and bulletins (hereinafter referred to as catalogs) primarily serve as the publications which provide a comprehensive description of the educational services of institutions of higher education.
    2. While catalogs should reflect the unique characteristics and the individual purposes, missions and programs of each institution, there are certain subject areas and types of information which are common among all institutional catalogs.
    3. In addition, there are certain types of information which should be included within catalogs to comply with accreditation standards, Board policies, and federal and state laws and regulations.
  2. General Provisions
    1. Printing, Retention and Filing
      1. Each institution should make every effort to minimize the cost of printing and reproducing copies of its catalog. All printing and reproduction services should be procured pursuant to competitive bidding laws, policies and procedures, and the number of copies should be reasonably related to the actual needs and demands of the institution.
      2. Each institution shall maintain a minimum number of copies of the catalog for each year as a permanent record of the institution. Permanent record copies may be maintained on microform.
      3. Each institution shall file ten (10) copies of its catalog for each year with the Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    2. Limitations and Reservations on Scope
      1. Each catalog should clearly reflect the academic terms to which it is applicable, and no catalog should cover a period in excess of two (2) academic years, including summer sessions.
      2. Each catalog should clearly express the effective period during which the degree requirements set forth in the catalog shall remain in effect, subject to changes as provided herein, which period shall not exceed seven (7) years from the beginning of the first academic term covered by the catalog in question.
      3. Each catalog shall contain a statement providing that the course offerings and requirements of the institution are continually under examination and revision. The catalog is not intended to state contractual terms and does not constitute a contract between the student and the institution.
  3. Minimum Standards of Content
    1. Calendar
      1.  Each catalog should contain the calendar for each academic term to which it is applicable, which calendar should include, but is not limited to: the period of registration, the beginning of classes, the last dates to add and drop courses, holidays, the last date to withdraw from the institution, dates for applications for degrees, the period of final examinations, and the commencement date.
      2. The calendar should contain 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 should contain an appropriate listing of the chief administrators, the faculty, and appropriate members of the professional staff of the institution.
      2. The listing of faculty should reflect the department, academic rank, and the appropriate degree or degrees by year of each faculty member.
    3. Listing of Degree Programs
      1. Each catalog should contain a concise listing of all degree programs and majors offered by the institution which have been approved by the Board and by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in the case of programs and majors developed after its creation.
      2. No program or major for which approval is pending shall be printed in the catalog.
    4. Admissions and Transfer Credit
      1. The catalog should contain the general admissions policy for the institution, and any special admissions policies for specific programs of the institution, 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, should be clearly stated 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, developed pursuant to the Board's Guidelines for Undergraduate Academic Retention Standards, Policy No. 2:03:01:01, and approved by the Chancellor.
    6. Academic Regulations
      1. The catalog should 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. Curriculum
      1. The catalog need not contain course descriptions of all or any courses offered by the institution.
      2. When course descriptions are not contained in the catalog, the institution shall maintain a permanent file of course descriptions which are adequate to inform students of course content. (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Standard Three, Illustrations and Interpretations)
      3. Course descriptions may be published in the catalog or in any other format appropriate for distribution to students and other interested persons.
      4. All course descriptions should clearly and accurately describe the contents of courses, and should not contain any representations of the result to be expected from enrollment in the courses.
      5. The catalog and other published materials concerning all institutional offerings on and off campus should accurately and honestly reflect the academic resources of the institution. (SACS Standard Three, Illustrations and Interpretations)
    8. Degree Requirements
      1. The degree requirements of the institution for all programs should be included in the catalog, and at the universities and community colleges should be consistent with the Board's Policy on Degree Requirements, No. 2:01:00:00.
      2. For each degree program the catalog should reflect an orderly and identifiable sequence of courses with an adequate number of hours required in courses above the elementary level, with an appropriate system of prerequisites.
      3. The catalog should define a major or field of concentration, with a stated minimum and maximum of hours required.
      4. There should be limitations on the number of hours allowed in specialized areas, and provision should be made for electives. (SACS Standard Three, Illustrations and Interpretations)
    9. Financial Aid
      1. The catalog should contain information concerning financial aid policies and programs offered by or through the institution, and the financial aid policies of the institution should be clearly expressed and openly published, and should contain both general and specific requirements. (SACS Standard Three, Illustrations and Interpretations)
      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 the policies and procedures of the institution developed to implement the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
    11. Nondiscrimination
      1. The catalog shall contain appropriate statements concerning the policies of the institution against discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, color, national origin and handicap consistent with federal laws and regulations.
Sources: 

TBR Meetings, June 30, 1978; September 30, 1983; December 15, 1989

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 his or her 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, Universities
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the minimum criteria for undergraduate academic retention standards at the universities and community colleges under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Establishment of Criteria
    1. This policy establishes minimum criteria for undergraduate academic retention standards at the universities and community colleges under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    2. 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.
    3. Initial institutional standards and all subsequent revisions will be submitted to the Chancellor for review and approval.
    4. 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. Quality Point System
    1. The following quality point system is to be used in determining averages:
      1. For each credit hour of A: 4 quality points.
      2. For each credit hour of B: 3 quality points.
      3. For each credit hour of C: 2 quality points.
      4. For each credit hour of D: 1 quality point.
      5. For each credit hour of F: 0 quality points.
    2. The quality point average is determined by dividing the total number of quality 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 QPA.
    3. If an institution elects to award grades which are not considered in computing the QPA, 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 QPA calculations which ensure that all TBR institutions treat remedial/developmental hours alike in calculating QPA. The transcript will include the following:
      1. A QPA comprised only of hours taken in courses numbered 100 and above ("college only" QPA) and
      2. A QPA comprised of hours taken in courses numbered 100 and above and hours taken in Remedial/Developmental courses ("combined" QPA).
    6. The following uses are based on each calculation:
      1. The "college only" QPA will be used in calculating the required QPA for graduation.
      2. The "college only" QPA will be used in determining graduation honors.
      3. The "college only" QPA will be used in determining term honors.
      4. The "combined" QPA will be used in determining suspension and probation.
      5. The "combined" QPA will be used in determining financial aid eligibility.
      6. The "combined" QPA 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 quality 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 quality 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. Universities
      1. The minimum quality point average required to achieve the baccalaureate degree is 2.0.
      2. In addition, a student who fails during any term to attain a cumulative QPA 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 QPA
        1. 14 and under No minimum
        2. 15-29 hours attempted 1.4
        3. 30-50 hours attempted 1.7
        4. 51-67 hours attempted 1.9
        5. above 67 2.0
    2. 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 QPA 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 QPA
        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 QPA 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 QPA/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 QPA/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. QPA, 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 QPA/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 QPA 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. A student may drop or add a course by obtaining the approval of the appropriate administrators.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. In general, such symbol/grade counts as no hours attempted.
      1. Universities
        1. After two-thirds of the part-of-term is complete, a student may drop a course(s) or withdraw from the institution without a mandatory grade of "F" only after having established the existence of unavoidable circumstances.
        2. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the appropriate university administrators or faculty to determine the grade the student is to receive, which could be an "F".
        3. Statements describing this process will be clearly shown in the catalog or bulletin of the university.
      2. Community Colleges
        1. A student who drops a course or withdraws from the community college 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
Sources: 

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.

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 require all applicants for admission to provide health information that, at a minimum, establishes the applicant’s compliance with Rules promulgated by the Tennessee Department of Health regarding requirements for immunization against certain diseases prior to attendance at a higher education institution, and, compliance with the latest standards for immunization for meningococcal disease as set forth by the recommended immunization schedule issued by the Center for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
      2. Prior to full-time attendance at a higher education institution, the student must provide documentation that illustrates receipt of the required immunizations.
      3. New, incoming students who live in on-campus student housing must comply with the latest standards for immunization for meningococcal disease as set forth by the recommended immunization schedule issued by the Center for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
      4. Once a student is enrolled full-time at any Tennessee Board of Regents institution, the student shall be deemed as satisfying the requirement for immunizations, and upon transfer to any other Tennessee Board of Regents institution, will have the requirement for documentation of immunizations waived. 
  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: 

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.

Policy Number: 
2:02:00:01
Topics Outline: 
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is the establishment of policy regarding ROTC Programs at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. ROTC Programs
    1. The universities and community colleges under the governance of the State Board of Regents may enter into cooperative agreements with other institutions of higher education to offer ROTC instruction to their students.
    2. The details of the cooperative programs shall be worked out between the individual institutions so that the interests of students wishing to enroll in ROTC are best served.
    3. When the final arrangements have been agreed upon by the institutions, a copy of the agreement shall be forwarded to the office of the State Board of Regents.
Sources: 

TBR Meeting, June 22, 1973

Policy Number: 
2:02:00:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish Tennessee Board of Regent policy regarding the awarding of Associate Degrees.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Associate Degree Programs
    1. It is the policy of the State Board of Regents that associate degree programs, especially those designated as career education/vocational education should be delivered by community colleges.
    2. In cities where there is a community college and a university, the community college shall be given exclusive rights to offer associate degree programs.
    3. In areas where there is a defined and documented need for associate degree programs, but no readily accessible community college, the university may be given permission to offer the program provided a feasibility study has demonstrated that it is not economical for the community college to offer the program directly or through a cooperative arrangement with the university.
      1. Normally the feasibility study will be undertaken by the university desiring to offer the associate degree program and the most convenient community college.
      2. A member of the Board staff and a staff member from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission may be asked to serve on the study team.
      3. Together the two institutions will determine the most economical and suitable way to deliver the desired associate degree program.
      4. In every case, the needs of prospective students will be a paramount consideration in the final decision.
    4. In each instance where conditions warrant that a university requests approval to offer an associate degree program, the State Board of Regents shall evaluate the request in terms of the standard program criteria used by the Board and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
    5. It is the intent of the State Board of Regents to remain at all times sensitive to the need to preserve the role and scope of each institution as well as to satisfy the needs of the residents of Tennessee.
    6. This policy does not affect any programs currently offered by an institution.
Sources: 

TBR Meetings, June 20, 1975; September 30, 1983

Policy Number: 
2:01:02:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, System Office
Purpose: 

This policy should serve as a resource for the development of all Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology proposals.

Definitions: 
  • Establishment of a New Vocational-Technical Program - a new vocational-technical program that differs in designation from currently approved programs in the institution's program inventory.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. T.C.A. § 49-8-101 et seq. authorized the establishment of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee.
    2. Among the powers given to the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) by this Act is the power "to prescribe curricula and requirements for diplomas and degrees."
    3. Institutions have the authority to create new courses, determine course content or design, and carry out curriculum revisions less extensive than those that the Board has reserved to itself or otherwise delegated.
  2. Process
    1. TCAT Program Proposals That Must Be Taken to the Board
      1. Beyond those delegated responsibilities, the Board reserves to itself the authority to review and approve all proposed actions pertaining to establishment of vocational-technical diploma and certificate programs.
      2. Establishment of a New Vocational-Technical Program is defined as a new vocational-technical program that differs in designation from currently approved programs in the institution's program inventory.
      3. Establishment of New Proficiency Certificates - A proficiency certificate is awarded for achieving a proficiency level that is less than would be achieved upon full completion of the program.
    2. TCAT Program Proposals Approved by Board through Delegated Authority
      1. Other than new programs, TCAT proposals may be approved by the Board through delegated authority to the Chancellor.
      2. Summaries of these proposals will be reported monthly to the Board, with a 30-day period following for Board concerns.
      3. Any proposal identified by a Board member during this 30-day period will be brought before the full Board at its next quarterly meeting.
      4. Institutions shall provide, to the Vice Chancellor for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, proposals related to the following:
        1. Establishment of Program Options - A program option may be established within an ongoing full-time program when the basic portion of the new option is the same as the ongoing program but with the addition of specialized units of instruction that result in an additional diploma level job titles. Other examples include: moving a program to an off campus site, adding or deleting exit points, etc.
        2. Substantial Revision of the Curriculum of Existing Programs -Technological changes and the changing needs of businesses and industries from time to time make it necessary to delete, add to or otherwise revise the instructional content of program offerings.
        3. Consolidation of Existing Vocational-Technical Programs - two or more ongoing instructional programs may be combined under the title of one of the existing programs or under a new title.
        4. Inactivation of a Vocational-Technical Program - inactivation of a program may be requested when enrollment and placement factors indicate the program operation is not presently needed but it is the opinion of institution personnel that reactivation will be needed within a three year period of time.
        5. Termination of a Vocational-Technical Program - termination of a program may be requested when enrollment and placement factors indicate the program is no longer needed in the institution's service area and it is the opinion of institution personnel that reactivation of the program is not expected in the foreseeable future.
        6. Establishment or Revision of Institutional Policies and Standards Covering Student Admission.
        7. Current on-ground programs that will be converted to a fully online delivery format.
    3. Academic Proposals Requiring Only Notification to Vice Chancellor
      1. Changes to existing academic programs not listed above, that require no new costs or minimal costs that the campus will fund through reallocation of existing resources or through sources such as grants and gifts, may be approved through an established process by the institution.
      2. The Vice Chancellor for Colleges of Applied Technology must be informed of such changes prior to implementation.
      3. Such action includes, but is not limited to, establishment of new credentials and changes such as the modification of the title of a program.
  3. Procedures
    1. Institutions wishing to effect program changes that fall into any of the above categories will, therefore, comply with the following procedures as well as those contained in Guideline No: TCAT-060.
      1. A Letter of Intent
        1. A Letter of Intent must be submitted for all proposed actions prior to implementation.
        2. At the outset of the planning process, the Director will inform the Vice Chancellor for Colleges of Applied Technology by means of a Letter of Intent of the following:
          1. the nature, purpose, and scope of the intended action;
          2. the expected date upon which the completed proposal will be submitted;
          3. the intended implementation date, and
          4. a statement of total estimated cost for the first year and anticipated source of funding.
        3. Once a Letter of Intent is received, the proposed action will be reviewed by TBR staff for consistency with broad institutional, System, and State objectives; and the results shall be conveyed to the Director.
      2. Approval Route of Proposals
        1. Proposals for all new programs and other actions that require approval by the Board of Regents shall be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for the Colleges of Applied Technology for review.
        2. At the conclusion of the review, the Chancellor will transmit the proposal along with his recommendation to the TBR Committee on Vocational Education which, in turn, will recommend appropriate action to the full Board of Regents.
      3. Schedule for the Submission and Approval of Vocational-Technical Proposals
        1. The Board will consider vocational-technical proposals at each of its quarterly meetings.
        2. Proposals must, however, be submitted sufficiently in advance of the meeting at which Board consideration is desired in order to permit adequate review by the staff.
        3. The time required for this review will vary according to the nature of the proposal.
    2. Finally, the Board reserves the authority to review either directly or through the Chancellor all other actions affecting the vocational programs of its institutions.
    3. It shall, moreover, receive from the Chancellor periodic reports on the status of vocational programs as well as on matters pertaining to student access and to quality.
    4. For this purpose, institutions shall provide to the Chancellor the following and any other information specifically requested:
      1. Articulation Agreements: Articulation agreements between institutions or between distinct levels of programming (TBR Policy 2:01:00:03) at the same institution;
      2. Accreditation Activities: Notice of scheduled self-studies, site visits, and other activities relative to institutional or programmatic accreditation and reaffirmation as well as a copy of the formal notice of accreditation or reaffirmation.
    5. Institutions wishing to effect changes that fall into any of the above categories will, therefore, comply with the following procedures as well as those contained in TBR Guideline A-010.
  4. Criteria for Reviewing Vocational Program Proposals
    1. A summary of the major criteria used by the TBR staff in evaluation of vocational proposals is presented below.
      1. The proposed action is appropriate to the mission, role, and scope of the institution.
      2. Need for the proposed action is evident from the supporting data on student interest, employer demand, and societal needs. Need must also be reflected in the projected level of student enrollment and the anticipated number of graduates.
      3. The proposed action does not constitute unnecessary duplication of vocational programs available at other public institutions.  Partnerships or collaborations should be considered whenever needs might be met with greater efficiency
      4. The proposed action reflects appropriately innovative design and the best available pertinent knowledge.
      5. The proposal documents the institution's ability to implement the proposed action in terms of:
        1. fiscal resources,
        2. support resources,
        3. physical facilities, and
        4. qualified personnel.
      6. When the proposed action is supported in whole or in part by articulation with another institution or by affiliation with other agencies for the provision of clinical or internship experiences, such articulation or affiliation should be acknowledged in the program design and copies of the articulation or affiliation agreements should be appended to the proposal.
      7. The proposed action is consistent with the achievement of the institution's goals.
      8. The proposal includes information about the online delivery format (if applicable).
      9. Proposals pertaining to programs should include a description of procedures for regular evaluation of the programs and units, including evaluation of the program's enrollment and productivity.
      10. Proposals should include information related to accreditation, both COE and professional, and when applicable, provide a time frame for achieving the appropriate accreditation.
  5. Sources of Specific Criteria
    1. Listed below are illustrative sources of specific criteria that serve as bases for staff decisions relative to vocational proposals.
      1. TBR Policy No. 2:01:00:03, Principles for Articulation in Vocational/ Technical Education
      2. TBR Policy No. 2:03:00:00, Admissions
      3. TBR Policy No. 2:03:01:05, Academic Retention and Readmission at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology
Sources: 

March 17, 1989 State Board of Regents' Meeting; June 29, 2007 Quarterly Board Meeting.

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

The establishment of standards and procedures for the Tennessee Board of Regents’ institutions to seek every means of facilitating student access, and fostering their participation in the programs that the institutions provide.

Definitions: 
  • Semi-Permanent Off-Campus Instructional Facilities - A semi-permanent off-campus instructional facility is one leased by the institution with prior approval of the Board for multi-year use.
  • Permanent Off-Campus Instructional Facilities - A permanent off-campus instructional facility is one owned by the Tennessee Board of Regents for use by one or more of its institutions. Ownership of such facilities may be inherent or derived.
  • Inherent Ownership - facility is approved, built or purchased, and maintained, in whole or in part, through the use of state funds appropriated for that specific purpose.
  • Derived Ownership - the facility is donated to and accepted by the Tennessee Board of Regents and is maintained through the use of state funds appropriated for that specific purpose.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. The Tennessee Board of Regents recognizes and strongly supports Tennessee's long-standing public policy of providing access for Tennesseans to public higher education.
    2. By the adoption into law of the Tennessee Challenge 2000 goals (T.C.A. § 49-5-5024), Tennessee formally recognizes the fundamental role of higher education in improving the quality of life of its citizens and in nurturing and sustaining the economic life of their communities and the State.
    3. Counties with limited access and low participation rates are invariably among the poorest in the state.
    4. In support of this public policy, therefore, the Tennessee Board of Regents directs its institutions to seek every means of facilitating student access and fostering their participation in the programs that the institutions provide.
    5. In so doing, the Board takes special note of the many citizens who, because of economic, family, work conditions, and geographic location, may find participation in post-secondary education difficult if not impossible.
    6. The Board encourages its institutions to reach out to these citizens by providing them both off-campus and technologically-delivered instruction as well as support services such as day-care, evening, week-end, and compressed scheduling of classes, sponsored scholarships, and financial aid.
  2. Quality and Efficiency Standards
    1. In carrying out this charge, however, quality and efficiency are and must be the controlling factors.
    2. Institutions must in all circumstances ensure that the quality of instruction meets or exceeds the national standards of good practice and is comparable in quality and results to the instruction provided on the main campus.
  3. Selection of Off-Campus Instructional Facilities
    1. These standards of quality and efficiency extend to the selection of off-campus instructional sites. Off-campus instructional facilities must be both conducive to learning and efficient in their operation.
    2. As a norm, institutions will seek to offer instruction in schools, community buildings, industrial training centers, and other such facilities where suitable space is provided at little or no cost to the institution and the state.
    3. Approval of these temporary instructional sites is subject to the provisions of TBR Guideline A-020, Inter-institutional Relationships & Off-Campus Offerings.
  4. Establishment of Semi-Permanent or Permanent Off-Campus Instructional Facilities
    1. The Board recognizes, however, that under certain conditions and circumstances, a semi-permanent or permanent off-campus instructional facility designed to serve the needs of one or more institutions may be warranted or necessary and cost-effective.
    2. In such instances, institutions or the Board itself may initiate the process for the establishment of a semi-permanent or permanent off-campus teaching facility.
    3. Recognition of need for such a facility will generally grow out of the institutions or the Board's own strategic planning process. In every case, however, the establishment of a semi-permanent or permanent off-campus instructional facility must be thoroughly planned in advance and involve the Board and its staff throughout the planning process.
    4. To facilitate this planning, the Board, therefore, establishes the following rules governing the development of semi-permanent or permanent off-campus instructional facilities.
      1. Process for Establishing Semi-Permanent or Permanent Off-Campus Facilities
        1. The establishment of semi-permanent or permanent off-campus facilities constitutes a major investment on the part of the institution and the state and, therefore, requires proper planning and prior approval by the Board.
        2. The institution shall initiate the approval process in the following manner:
          1. Preliminary Assessment. The institution shall assess current access and participation conditions in the targeted area and the needs of its instructional program in that area. This assessment shall be strictly an internal process and shall not include assessment of the external support, possible funding sources, or the level of local and private interest. The focus, instead, shall be on the instructional needs of students in that area and on the facilities necessary for delivering the needed instruction. The assessment must, as a minimum, address the following considerations:
            1. A description of the geographic area under consideration;
            2. Distance from and the quality of access to the main campus, other off-campus facilities, and other public or private post-secondary institutions;
            3. The level of educational achievement in the area as denoted in U.S. Census data and other sources;
            4. The number of students from the area who currently participate in post-secondary education and the institutions at which they are enrolled;
            5. The programs and courses currently offered in the area by the proposing institution and other public or private institutions;
            6. Historical enrollments of local residents in courses provided locally by the proposing institution or by other institutions;
            7. The number of temporary instructional facilities currently in use, the quality and suitability of those facilities, and total square footage in use;
            8. Current costs for rent, delivery of support services, maintenance, etc. associated with the use of each temporary instructional facility;
            9. The programs and courses needed but which cannot be delivered because of space or quality of space limitations;
            10. The ability of delivering the needed programs and services by Distance Education technologies; and
            11. The availability of additional space in the area suitable for the delivery of the needed programs and courses and the estimated cost of that space.
          2. Letter of Intent. Upon determination of probable need, the president or director shall notify the Chancellor by Letter of Intent that conditions in the given locale or region are such that a semi-permanent or permanent instructional facility may be necessary and warranted. A copy of the outcomes of the Preliminary Assessment should be attached.
          3. Economic Impact Analysis. Upon receipt of the institution's Letter of Intent and its Preliminary Assessment, the Chancellor shall direct the staff to conduct a thorough study to determine the economic viability that will accrue to the region and the residents thereof by the development of the instructional facility. This study will, among other things, include an analysis of the region's current economy and a forecast of the long-term impact that the proposed facility will have on the economy of the targeted region.
          4. Authorization to Proceed. After thorough staff review of the Preliminary assessment outcomes, the Chancellor shall notify the president or director that either:
            1. The conditions described in the Preliminary Assessment warrant further consideration and that the institution is authorized to proceed with a full-scale Feasibility Study or
            2. The present conditions as described in the Preliminary Assessment do not warrant further consideration at the moment.
              1. Prior to receiving the Letter of Authorization, the institution must not discuss the facility publically nor seek to enlist public or private support for its establishment.
              2. The use of any funds, public or private, raised or committed prior to the receipt of the Letter of Authorization will be subject to review by the Chancellor and the Board.
          5. Feasibility Study. Upon receipt of the Letter of Authorization to Proceed, the institution shall organize and conduct a feasibility study. The study should accomplish the following objectives:
            1. Define and document the extent and level of need;
            2. Define the type (lecture rooms, labs, etc.), quality, and amount of space needed;
            3. Determine whether or not the space needed may be currently available through lease or purchase;
            4. Determine the approximate cost of leasing, purchasing, or constructing the semi-permanent or permanent instructional facility;
            5. Determine and document the level of private and local financial support that will be made available; and
            6. Determine the amount of appropriated funding that would be required to purchase or build a permanent facility or to lease a semi-permanent facility.
          6. Determination of Feasibility. Upon completion of the Feasibility Study, the president or director shall determine whether or not a positive recommendation to the Board is warranted. If a positive recommendation is warranted, the president or director shall communicate the recommendation by letter to the Chancellor. The recommendation must be accompanied by a full copy of the Feasibility Study.
          7. Staff Review and Chancellor's Response. Upon receipt of the president's or director's recommendation, the staff will conduct a thorough review of the Feasibility Study and may, as needed, request additional information and clarification from the institution. At the conclusion of the review, the Chancellor shall inform the president of the outcomes of the staff's review.
          8. Board Review and Action. If the staff review has been positive, the Chancellor shall communicate the staff's findings to the Board along with a recommendation for approval and authorization to plan.
          9. Planning and Implementation. Upon approval by the Board, the institution will, in consultation with the TBR Facilities Office, proceed to formal planning of the facility, ensuring that all the requirements of Board policy, Building Commission, and other state agencies are strictly followed.
Sources: 

TBR Meetings: June 19, 1998

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

The purpose of this policy is to establish the procedures and processes for the submission and approval of academic action requests for academic programs seeking to be developed and existing programs for institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. 

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. T.C.A. § 49-8-101 et seq. authorized the establishment of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. Among the powers given to the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) by this Act is the power "to prescribe curricula and requirements for diplomas and degrees."
    2. Institutions have the authority to create new courses, terminate existing courses, determine course content or design, and carry out curriculum revisions less extensive than those the Board has reserved to itself or otherwise delegated. Courses approved within the Tennessee Transfer Pathways and approved General Education Requirements may not be amended without approval of the respective state committees. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) must review and approve new academic programs, off-campus extensions of existing academic programs, new academic units (divisions, colleges, and schools), and new instructional locations as specified in THEC Policy No. A1:0: New Academic Programs - Approval Process, Attachment B (A1.0), and A1:1: New Academic Programs. These THEC policies should serve as a resource for the development of all Letters of Application and Implementation Portfolios.
    3. Institutions are encouraged to collaborate rather than duplicate existing academic programs.
    4. A Letter of Notification is required from all TBR universities and community colleges for new degree programs or certificates with 24 semester credit hours (SCH) or more and must be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and to the Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges for community college programs. Within thirty days of receipt, the institutions will be notified if they are authorized to develop a Letter of Application for the development of a new degree program..
    5. The THEC delegates authority to the TBR to approve Letters of Application and to grant final approval for new community college programs (Associates Degrees and Certificates). The TBR criteria for review and accountability will follow the THEC standards established by the THEC Policies A1:0: New Academic Programs - Approval Process, and A1:1: New Academic Programs. All TBR community college programs listed on the THEC Inventory of Academic Programs will be subject to Post Approval Monitoring for the first three years after implementation and annual productivity evaluations of programs in operation more than three years. Universities are monitored for five years after implementation with annual productivity evaluations. Universities and  community colleges will participate in all components of the THEC Performance Funding Quality Assurance Program.
  2. Process
    1. Academic Actions That Must Be Taken to the Board
      1. Beyond those delegated responsibilities the Board reserves to itself the authority to review and approve all proposed academic actions pertaining to the establishment of new high quality academic degree programs.
    2. Academic Actions Approved by the Board through Delegated Authority
      1. With the exception of new degree programs at all institutions, certificates of less than 24 hours and other academic actions may be approved by the Board through delegated authority to the Chancellor.
      2. Summaries of these proposed academic actions will be reported monthly or as needed, to the Board, with a 30-day period for Board review.
      3. Board members may contact the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs with questions or concerns regarding university academic actions, or the Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges with questions or concerns regarding community college actions, and if desired, can require that the action be brought before the full Board at its next quarterly meeting.
      4. Institutions shall provide to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs all university and community college requests for academic action related to the following, and to the Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, all community college requests for academic action related to the following:
        1. Establishment of any college credit-bearing Certificate which is listed in the academic inventory or that will be included in the institution's Catalog or other recruitment materials and activities. There are four types of certificates listed on the official Academic Program Inventory: 1) Academic, 2) Technical, 3) Undergraduate, and 4) Graduate. A Certificate which is not college credit-bearing, i.e., and "institutional certificate" refers to only certificates awarding continuing education credit may be accepted for college credit if it meets the requirements established through the institution's prior learning assessment standards. A certificate can be free-standing or embedded within a degree program. An embedded certificate requires the approval of the program of study by the Board. It must fully articulate with a degree and should have no new or no more than minimal costs required to implement an embedded certificate.
        2. Establishment of new concentrations or minors  within an existing academic program.
        3. Establishment of new academic units such as colleges, schools, departments, institutes, centers within existing academic units, bureaus, etc., (see TBR Guideline A-040, and THEC Policy A1:3, New Units and A1:4, Off-Campus Instruction).
        4. Revision of any admission, retention, or graduation policy (both institutional and program specific).
        5. Substantive revision of the curriculum of an existing academic program. (Substantive refers to changes impacting 9 or more semester credit hours at the community college level, 18 or more semester credit hours at the undergraduate level, 9 or more semester credit hours at the graduate level, and 50% or more of the semester credit hours in a certificate program, from the last submission to the Board, and includes course rubrics, titles, descriptions, or content).
        6. Consolidation of existing academic programs within the same discipline regardless of degree designation for purposes of performance funding calculations only.
        7. Consolidation of existing academic programs for purposes of performance funding calculations only.
        8. Extension of an existing academic degree program in totality to an off-campus site.
        9. An inactivated program is automatically terminated and removed from the THEC inventory if not reactivated within a three year window after inactivation.
        10. Curriculum modifications, including but not limited to a student success course, that increase required hours for a degree to more than 60 for the associate degree and 120 for the baccalaureate degree, or more than the previously approved exceptions. Also, curriculum modifications that increase or decrease credit hours from what was previously approved for a certificate or increases or decreases an existing graduate program in excess of 6 credit hours must be submitted for Board approval.
        11. Conversion of an existing on-ground program to a fully online delivery format (with or without termination of the existing ground program).
        12. Separation of a concentration from an existing program to establish a free standing degree. Any concentration with a steady enrollment and graduation rate for at least three years may request to become a freestanding degree if the establishment of the concentration as a degree does not compromise the remaining degree and does not require new faculty resources.
        13. Separation of a concentration from an existing program to establish a free standing degree where the title of the concentration more accurately represents a degree recognized in the workplace. In this instance, the proposed degree seeks to be counted within the overall original degree rather than as an independent degree for performance funding calculations.
        14. Change of degree designation. Existing academic programs seeking to change or add additional degree designations per recommendation of the disciplinary accreditation body.
        15. Establishment of an articulation agreement between institutions. 
    3. Academic Actions Requiring Only Notification to Vice Chancellor
      1. Changes to existing academic programs not listed in the previous section, that require no new costs or minimal costs that the campus will fund through reallocation of existing resources or through sources such as grants and gifts, may be approved through an established process by the institution.
      2. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs must be informed of such changes impacting university and community college programs, and the Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges must be informed of such changes impacting community college programs prior to implementation and may refer the request for academic action for Board approval if deemed appropriate due to costs or other potential concerns.
      3. Such action includes, but is not limited to, changes such as the modification of the title of an academic program or unit.
      4. Non-substantive curriculum revisions may be approved through the established institutional process and do not require notification or Board approval
    4. Additional Actions Requiring Review by THEC
      1. The THEC review and approval of off-campus extensions of existing academic programs is handled through the request for a code, i.e., site or center, and requires that submission of the appropriate form(s) available on the TBR and THEC websites.
  3. Procedures
    1. Institutions wishing to effect academic changes that fall into any of the above categories will, therefore, comply with the following procedures as well as those contained in TBR Guideline A-010 and found on the TBR Academic Affairs website.
      1. Approval Route of Requests for Academic Action
        1. Requests from TBR universities for academic actions that require approval by the Board of Regents shall be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for review and approval by the Board. Requests from TBR community colleges for academic actions that require approval by the Board of Regents shall be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges for review and approval by the Board.
        2. Subsequent to Board action, the Chancellor shall transmit to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission those academic action requests that require its approval along with the Board's recommendation.
      2. Schedule for the Submission and Approval of Academic Actions
        1. The Board will consider academic actions on a monthly basis through the Thirty Day Review process. New academic degree programs will be considered at each of its quarterly meetings.
        2. All materials, whether for the Thirty Day Review or Implementation Portfolios for new degrees must be submitted sufficiently in advance to permit adequate review by the staff.
        3. Implementation Portfolios must be submitted at least two months before the desired Board approval.
      3. Review by and Selection of Consultants
        1. The TBR staff will engage qualified consultants to assist in the review of all Letters of Application for new degree programs as deemed appropriate by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for both graduate and undergraduate at the universities. All proposed graduate programs must utilize external consultants in the external review process. Undergraduate programs may elect to utilize a paper review rather than an external site visit at the recommendation of the TBR and the THEC and are exempt from the external review if the program proposed in the Letter of Application is to be accredited by an external professional accrediting body. Community colleges will utilize their external advisory or industrial board or skills panel in the review process.
        2. Consultants will file a written report on the quality of the Letter of Application and Implementation Portfolio and respond to any other relevant questions or issues addressed to them by the TBR.
        3. Letters of Application and Implementation Portfolios must also comply with THEC policy A1:0 and A1:1. A site visit is required for new graduate degree programs.
        4. While it is the responsibility of the institution to nominate and support such consultants, the selection will be made by the TBR staff and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or the Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, as appropriate, in consultation with the THEC.
        5. All costs associated with an external review are the responsibility of the institution submitting the Letter of Application and Implementation Portfolio.
        6. A Letter of Application remains valid for three years upon approval the the THEC. If an institution fails to implement a proposed program approved through an approved Implementation Portfolio within three years of the date the proposed program is approved by the THEC, the approval of implementation is terminated. The institution must resubmit through the entire approval process should implementation of the program be sought at a later date.
  4. General Criteria for Reviewing Academic Letters of Notification, Letter of Application, and Implementation Portfolios
    1. Requirements for Letters of Application are provided in the TBR Guideline A-010: Academic Program Letters of Notification, Letters of Application, and Implementation Portfolios. Forms are provided on the Academic Affairs website to aid in the development of a Letter of Application and Implementation Portfolio.
    2. Requirement are amended as need be to meet the demands of the workplace.
    3. Specific requirements for letters of Intent are provided in the TBR Guideline A-010: Academic Program Letters of Intent and Proposals.
  5. Sources of Specific Criteria
    1. Listed below are illustrative sources of specific criteria that serve as bases for staff decisions relative to academic actions.
      1. TBR Policy No. 2:01:00:00, Undergraduate Degree Requirements
      2. TBR Policy No. 2:02:00:00, Associate Degree Programs
      3. TBR Policy No. 2:01:00:03, Principles for Articulation in Vocational/Technical Education
      4. TBR Guideline No. A-010, Program Modifications and New Academic Programs; Academic Program Letters of Notification; Letters of Application; and Implementation Portfolios
      5. TBR Guideline No. A-020, Inter-Institutional Relationships and Off-Campus Affairs
      6. TBR Guideline No. A-040, Evaluation of Bureaus, Centers, and Institutes
      7. TBR Action (December 1986) endorsing TCGS Criteria as standards for both pre- and post-approved review of Master's programs.
      8. THEC Policy No. A1:0, New Program Review Criteria (November 2002)
      9. THEC Policy No. A1:1, New Academic Programs (July 28, 2011)
      10. THEC Policy A1:3, New Units
Sources: 

TBR Meeting, December 2, 1988; TBR Meeting, December 13, 2002; TBR Meeting, March 29, 2006; TBR Meeting, December 8, 2006; March 28, 2008; TBR Board Meeting December 2, 2010; TBR Board Meeting December 8, 2011; TBR Meeting March 28, 2014; TBR Meeting March 27, 2015.

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