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Technical College Learning Support :

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Policies

Applicable Divisions



This policy reflects the commitment of The College System of Tennessee and its technical college institutions to enhance and success in, post-secondary education for all students. The policy presents the parameters for the delivery of Technology Foundations academic support made available for students who may require additional assistance for developing competency in applied mathematics, graphic literacy, and reading for information necessary for success in technical college programs, with the exception of Allied Health programs. This policy supports T BR Policy (Admissions at TCATs).


Applied Mathematics is an assessment that measures critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, and problem-solving techniques for situations occurring in the workplace.

Co-Requisite Learning Support is the linking of Technology Foundations courses with an appropriate technical college program that is required in the student's chosen field of study, so that the student is enrolled concurrently in both the Technology Foundations course and appropriate technical college program that are applicable to the student's academic program of study.

Graphic Literacy is an assessment that measures skills that individuals use to read and comprehend graphical materials to solve work-related problems.

Reading for Information is assessment that measures the skill people use when reading and using written text in order to do a job. The written texts include memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and regulations.

Technology Foundations is an academic learning support course needed by a student to be successful in technical college programs and/or to meet minimum applied mathematics, graphic literacy, and reading for information competencies as determined by faculty in programs. The purpose of learning support is to enhance academic success in technical college programs and increase the likelihood of program completion that will prepare students for career success in their chosen field of study.

Valid Assessment Scores are those recognized from sources approved by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (exhibit 1) that are no more than three years old prior to the first day of class for the student's entering trimester.


  1. Each technical college in the College System of Tennessee must provide the Technology Foundation course, known as Learning Support, using the framework provided in the Exhibit 1.
  2. The delivery of Technology Foundations Learning Support must be in accordance with the procedures specified below.
  3. Any exception to this policy or procedure must be approved in writing by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.


  1.  Assessment and Placement
    1. Students who do not present valid ACT, SAILS, or other approved valid assessment scores, that demonstrate college readiness based upon established cut scores, or other documentation to the contrary (exhibit 1), will be placed into the appropriate learning support course for applied mathematics, graphic literacy, and reading for information as defined by the academic program requirements. 
    2. Students with transferable college-level coursework may be exempt from the Technology Foundations Learning Support course or completing assessments.
    3. Institutions will provide, or may require, assessment(s) to allow students to challenge placement into Technology Foundation Learning Support if they have not met established criteria.
      1. The challenge assessment will be a T BR approved nationally normed, standardized assessment that will be identified in the institution's Catalog and/or Student Handbook and listed as one of the approved options in (exhibit 1).
    4. A first-time or transfer student, entering without valid assessment score or college level coursework not meeting transferable requirements will be enrolled into the appropriate subject area Technology Foundation Learning Support course along with the paired technical college program coursework or may be given the option of challenge testing to place into the technical college program without learning support.
  2. Parameters
    1. Organizational Structure
      1.  The president of each institution will determine the organizational structure and coordination of Technology Foundations Learning Support services for the institution.
      2. Each institution will establish criteria for the selection of Technology Foundations Learning Support faculty consistent with professional standards within the discipline.
      3. Institutional policies will apply to faculty and staff whose primary role is Technology Foundation Learning Support.
    2. Learning Support Framework
      1. Institutions will develop a Technology Foundation competencies guide plan for applied mathematics, graphic literacy, and reading for information.
      2. Full-time faculty who teach technical college programs must be involved in the development of appropriate Technology Foundations Learning Support curricula and delivery plans that support the linked technical college program.
      3. The Technology Foundations Learning Support course must address the competencies determined to be appropriate for college readiness and must be aligned with the competencies required in the linked technical college program to facilitate successful completion of the college-level course.
      4. Technology Foundations Learning Support competencies should be addressed as quickly as possible, beginning with the student's first trimester.
      5. The Technology Foundation course should be kept to a maximum thirty (30) clock hours; however, while progress is individualized based on a progressive mastery of competencies, the instructors may also provide additional instruction through lectures, group discussions, and exercises.
    3. Student Records
      1. Students will demonstrate mastery of the defined Learning Support competencies at a level comparable to a passing grade.
      2. Successful completion of a student's Learning Support requirements will be recorded on the student's academic record with or without the assignment of standard grades.
      3. Institutions are encouraged to provide academic support in a variety of ways other than Learning Support courses. This is especially true for efforts to close achievement gaps or otherwise serve the needs of target populations.
      4. Student progress and completion of Learning Support requirements will be recorded in Banner and posted to the academic record*
    4. Measures of Success
      1. Success will be measured by: 1) student completion of Learning Support; 2) enrollment and success in technical college programs for which students have received Learning Support; and, 3) graduation rates.
      2. Additional data measures may be established and reported by the institution to document and evaluate efforts to increase student access and success.




T.C.A. §49-8-203



New Policy.  Approved December 12, 2019 Board Meeting, July 26, 2022 Updated Exhibit 1;