Outcomes of the Curricula
The philosophy, goals, purpose, and mission of Volunteer State Community College represent the learning outcomes expected of a graduate of the College. These learning results are universal in scope and are concerned with the individual as a student, as a citizen, and as a worker.
Each curriculum designed by the institution requires a common core of general education experiences through which a student must progress. To complete a course or series of courses successfully, the student must demonstrate specific academic competencies, outcomes, related to the general education goals.
Other curriculum-related goals are specified by divisions or disciplines which have the primary responsibility for ensuring quality instruction in a particular degree program. These goals and the resulting learning outcomes provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to function successfully within their chosen profession or educational endeavor.
Student Assessment and Placement
First-time freshmen below the age of 21 enrolling in regular degree credit programs must have taken the American College Testing (ACT) examination and provided scores to Volunteer State Community College prior to admission. Those who have not previously taken the ACT will have the opportunity to take it at Vol State. Students 20 years of age and below will be placed according to ACT scores.
All degree-seeking students 21 years of age and older are subject to placement based on the specified placement tests. The purpose of these placement assessments is to insure, as far as possible, the maximum chance of success for all students.
Students who are admitted as Non-Degree Seeking need not submit ACT scores; neither will they be required to take placement tests unless the Non-Degree Seeking student enrolls in a college level course which has a Learning Support pre-requisite. The Non-Degree Seeking category includes only those students who apply with no intention of pursuing a degree. Furthermore, Non-Degree Seeking students will be subject to regular admission requirements when they have accumulated 48 hours of credit at the College.
Outcomes Assessment and Program Evaluation
Any or all students will be required to take one or more tests designed to measure general education achievement and/or achievement in selected major areas as a prerequisite to graduation for the purpose of evaluation of academic programs.
Unless otherwise provided for any individual program, no minimum score or level of achievement is required for graduation. Participation in testing may be required for all students, for students in selected programs, and for students selected on a sample basis.
Vol State awards the Associate of Arts Degree, the Associate of Science Degree, the Associate of Science in Teaching Degree, the Associate of Fine Arts, and the Associate of Applied Science Degree.
General Degree Requirements
The general requirements for an associate degree at Vol State are as follows:
- Not less than 60 semester hours of credit
- A student must have at least 25 percent of semester credit hours applied toward their degree or certificate in residence at Vol State. For example, 15 hours of a 60 hour associate degree must be completed in residence.
- A minimum overall quality point average of 2.00 (C) on all college level work attempted at Vol State. (In no case may transferred grades be used to raise the student’s quality point average on courses taken at Vol State.)
- Completion of specific course requirements as given in outlined Programs of Study. Developmental or Learning Support courses (MATH 0990, for example) may not be counted toward meeting graduation requirements. Substitutions must be approved by the Dean of the academic division which designed the relevant curriculum guide and by the Dean of the academic division in which the substituted course is housed.
- Students must take the General Education assessment test as prescribed by the college.
- Computer Competency Requirement - Volunteer State Community College requires that all degree-seeking students achieve a level of computer competency.
Students at Volunteer State can demonstrate the required level of computer competency in one of two ways:
- By taking and passing the course INFS 1010 (Computer Applications)
- By taking and passing the Computer Competency Exam (CCE).
See additional information at http://www.volstate.edu/ComputerLiteracy/.
A student who has completed the requirements for one degree may receive a second degree if the second degree is a different type/major from the first. (i.e., A student who has received an Associate of Science degree may receive as a second degree an Associate of Arts degree or Associate of Applied Science degree.)
Students completing a second degree and/or major must complete the curriculum prescribed for the second degree/major, provided the work completed includes at least 25 percent of semester credit hours in residence over and above the total number of hours completed for the first degree. The student will be governed by the provisions of the Catalog in effect at the time he/she re-enters the College for work toward the second degree.
Technical Certificate Requirements
Vol State offers a variety of technical certificate programs. These programs vary in the number of hours required. For detailed information on specific technical certificate programs, refer to the section on Programs of Study (Technical Certificate). The general requirements for awarding a Technical Certificate are:
- A minimum quality point average of 2.0 in courses presented to meet the requirements for the certificate.
- At least 25 percent of semester credit hours applied toward a certificate must be completed in residence at Vol State.
- Enrollment in courses required for the technical certificate at the time an application for the certificate is made or permission from the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
General Education Goals
The general education requirements at Volunteer State Community College consist of designated courses which provide students with a foundation for undertaking specialized studies in either a transfer or a career program. The purpose of the general education courses is to involve students in the inquiry into cultural traditions, values, and assumptions and to assist students in developing and refining the fundamental skills needed to think critically and communicate effectively in contemporary society.
Instruction in the general education core subjects can build students’ abilities to function effectively in a variety of roles; the general education curriculum promotes the development of skills necessary for students to succeed in their major fields of academic study. These core subjects will provide students with knowledge to:
- Use problem-solving as an application of critical thought
- Understand and apply knowledge of the foundations and practice in the scientific method of inquiry and in relevant mathematical skills
- Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills
- Identify and analyze both national and global societal challenges
- Analyze and respond to the arts
- Demonstrate computer technology skills to support academic and professional achievement and general knowledge of the larger impact of computers on society
In addition to the general education goals required by each program, the career/technical degree programs at Volunteer State, although diverse in intent, share a set of career/technical goals with expected outcomes.
As these goals are achieved in the individual career/technical degree curricula, the degree of student success is measured against a set of expected outcomes. Successful completion of a two-year degree in a career education program will provide opportunity to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic foundations and theories directly or indirectly related to functions of the career
- Master the terminology within the career
- Demonstrate knowledge of rules and regulations of applicable boards and agencies
- Apply the ethical and professional standards of conduct expected in the career
- Identify and make informed decisions about career options within a program of study
- Demonstrate the use of skills and knowledge of technology necessary to perform the duties within the career
- Develop and apply problem-solving and decision-making skills
All students must complete the general requirements as prescribed by the College, take the required general education assessment or the program assessment, and meet specific requirements set forth for the associate degree sought. A student who has completed the required residence at Vol State may earn additional credits toward completion of their degree requirements by acceptable correspondence or extension work, or by residence at another approved institution. Students should submit a completed Graduation Plan to the Office of Records and Registration by the application deadlines below. Applications received by the priority deadline will be processed in the order received. A preliminary graduation audit by the Graduation Analyst will be completed on applications received by the priority deadlines and students missing course requirements will be notified prior to the start of their graduating semester.
[Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered as meeting the final deadline.]
Students meeting the final application deadline are not guaranteed a preliminary graduation audit prior to the start of their graduating semester. Students applying to graduate after the priority deadline must review all graduation requirements in the appropriate college catalog for their major and work closely with their advisor to ensure that all requirements will be met in their anticipated graduation term.
NOTE: Students who apply past the priority deadline for summer graduation may be too late to participate in the commencement ceremony with their graduating class.
Graduation exercises are held only at the end of the Spring Semester. Students who anticipate completing their work at this time, whose grade point average is sufficient for graduation, and whose names appear on the official graduation roster, may take part in the graduation exercises. Students who complete their work in a Summer Term may participate in Spring graduation during the same year.
A student is ordinarily allowed to graduate under the requirements of the Catalog of the year in which he/she enters the College. If a student begins work on a degree and fails to complete the requirements, he/she must, after five years from the date he/she entered, reorganize his degree plan to conform to the current catalog. Time spent on active military duty is not considered a part of the five-year period.
Graduation with Distinction
Degree students who have fulfilled all graduation requirements and who have at least 25 percent of semester credit hours applied toward their degree in residence at Vol State are eligible for designation as honor graduates. Honors are determined by using the student’s cumulative quality point average at the beginning of the final semester at Vol State. (In computing averages for honors, the grades of the final semester of the graduation term will not be included.) Only collegiate level courses will be used to determine eligibility for graduation honors. Transfer course grades are not used to calculate graduation honors.
3.800-4.00 summa cum laude
3.600-3.799 magna cum laude
3.300-3.599 cum laude
Student Right-to-Know Act
The following information is provided in compliance with the federal Student Right-to-Know (SRTK) and Campus Security Act of 1990, which requires all institutions of higher education to disclose information about program completion. The graduation and transfer-out rates are provided for all first-time full-time students who first enrolled at Volunteer State Community College during the fall 2010 semester. The graduation rate includes all students who completed a certificate or associate degree in three years or less of initial enrollment at the institution. The transfer-out rate represents students transferring to another higher education institution. The graduation rate for full-time students first enrolled fall 2010 and graduating by August 2013 was 16%. The transfer-out rate for this same population was 11%. The combined graduation and transfer-out rate was 27%. Graduation rates for athletes are as follows: basketball 4.8%; baseball: 29.2%; softball: 22.2%. Transfer rates for athletes are as follows: basketball 81.0%; baseball: 50.0%; softball: 55.6%. The combined rates for athletes are as follows: basketball 85.8%; baseball: 79.2%; softball: 77.8%. Additional information concerning completion rates of students may be obtained from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, Planning and Assessment.
Statistics for all crimes are published and distributed to employees and students on an annual basis, in the time frames required by Federal/State law, and are available to applicants for enrollment or employment upon request from the Department of Campus Police (452-8600, ext. 3595 or 230-3595).