256  MTSU Articulation with Community Colleges within the Tennessee Board of Regents System and the State Universities

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division:  Academic Affairs
Responsible Office:  University Provost
Responsible Officer:  Vice Provost for Academic Programs

I. Purpose

This policy provides for collegiate articulation with the community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) System or a State university and is intended to promote the orderly process of students who transfer from the community colleges or a State university to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) while protecting the integrity of the University and community college and State university programs. This policy supplements the provisions for transfer of credits in current MTSU policies.

II. Guideline

A.  General

MTSU shall develop and maintain advising services which shall include collecting and disseminating information pertaining to the structure and requirements of degree programs offered by MTSU and community colleges in the TBR System and/or State universities.

The specific University office, or officer, designated to serve as the contact for transfer student advisement and for inter-institutional articulation shall be clearly identified in the MTSU catalogs and other appropriate publications.

B.  MTSU shall work cooperatively with appropriate TBR community colleges and State universities in developing and maintaining current course-by-course transfer lists and, when feasible, curriculum-by-curriculum transfer outlines.

1.  Where a transfer student has satisfactorily completed an associate’s degree designed for transfer to a university, all general education requirements will have been fulfilled and not subject to repetition at a university.

2.  Students who transfer without an associate’s degree designed for transfer but who have completed blocks of subject categories within the common forty-one (41) semester-hour general education core distribution have fulfilled general education requirements in the affected subject categories (notwithstanding specified general education course requirements of specific majors).

C.  Relative to courses subject to transfer other than general education, MTSU shall accept those Level One (freshman and sophomore) courses completed at a TBR community college or a State university which have been determined to be equivalent to Level One courses offered by the University, as creditable toward completion of relevant requirements for degree programs at MTSU, to the same extent that the courses would be creditable toward completion of the degree programs by the University's native students with the same degree major.

D.  The TBR community college programs or State university programs designed for transfer shall be clearly identified in the participating institutions’ catalog. For career programs, the community college shall include the following statement very prominently for each program: "This program is designed for the student who does not intend to transfer to a baccalaureate degree program."

E.  MTSU and each TBR community college shall use one (1) or more of the following criteria to determine the courses to be offered as Level One courses:

1.  Courses which build upon high school preparation in primary areas of knowledge and academic skills or courses which provide a next step in the student's formal study beyond high school;

2.  Courses which consist of an overview or introduction to a broad or general area of inquiry;

3.  Courses with survey content applicable to many areas;

4.  Courses which provide knowledge and skills fundamental and prerequisite for advanced study;

5.  Courses which are job oriented or technological in nature and are designed to aid in preparing students for employment at the beginning technician level after a maximum of two (2) years of college study;

6.  Courses which are broadly established as traditional Level One offerings at colleges;

7.  Courses which meet the standards for Level One offerings as specified by accrediting agencies. The credit offerings by community colleges shall be limited to Level One courses within the above criteria.

F.  Courses classified as Level Two courses yet normally open to freshmen or sophomores at a university, even though taught at a community college as Level One transfer courses, shall be transferable as satisfying that part of the student's requirement in the content area. MTSU will not impose additional admissions requirements upon transfer applicants who:

1.  Are not seeking admission to programs with special admissions requirements; and

2.  Meet the retention standards of MTSU.

G.  During the transfer process, the transcripts from sending institutions must include, or have attached, an explanation of the complete grading system.

H.  There shall be no limit to the number of credits transferred from a community college or State university to MTSU. However, the application of these credits to meet degree requirements will vary according to the degree sought, and the transfer student must meet the requirements for Level Two work and residency at MTSU.

1.  Transfer students shall have the same privileges of catalog options as native students at MTSU, i.e., the option of complying with the catalog for the transfer student's freshman year to the extent that this privilege is provided for native students.

2.  The content of student orientation programs shall include information designed specifically for transfer students.

3.  Transfer students shall be afforded all the privileges and opportunities of native students at MTSU in the areas of awards, honors, housing, financial aid, enrollment in classes of limited size, and appointment to special positions.

4.  Credit based on Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at another Tennessee public or private institution will be accepted in transfer and applied toward the student's degree in the same way that any other type of transfer credit is accepted. Recommended Standards in Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Policy and Practice for Tennessee Public Colleges and Universities (August 7, 2012). 

5.  MTSU shall cooperate fully with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and TBR in developing research concerning transfer students.

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: November 2020.

References: Recommended Standards in Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Policy and Practice for Tennessee Public Colleges and Universities.