Outcomes of the Curricula
The philosophy, goals, purpose, and mission of VSCC 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, citizen, and worker.
Each degree 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 and/or 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 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.
In addition to the general education goals required by each program, the career/technical degree programs at VSCC, 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
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.
VSCC awards the Technical Certificate, Associate of Arts Degree, Associate of Science Degree, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Associate of Science in Teaching Degree, and Associate of Fine Arts Degree.
Technical Certificate Requirements
VSCC 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 VSCC.
- Completion of specific course requirements as given in outlined Programs of Study. 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.
General Degree Requirements
The general requirements for an associate degree at VSCC are as follows:
- A minimum of 60 semester hours of credit earned
- At least 25 percent of semester credit hours applied toward the degree must be in residence at VSCC. 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 VSCC
- Developmental or Learning Support may not be counted toward meeting graduation requirements but must be completed.
- Completion of specific course requirements as prescribed in the Programs of Study. 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. Substitutions in Tennessee Transfer Pathways are not allowed when a specific course is required within the Pathway.
- General Education assessment test as prescribed by the College.
Second and Subsequent Credentials
A student who has completed the requirements for one credential (degree or certificate) may receive an additional credential if it is a different type of credential or a different major within the same credential. (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. A student who has received an Associate of Applied Science in Business may receive as a second degree an Associate of Applied Science in Health Science.)
Students completing an additional credential must complete the curriculum prescribed in the Program of Study and the work completed must include at least 25 percent in residence over and above the total number of hours completed for the first credential with the exception of embedded certificates noted below. Students will be governed by the provisions of the Catalog in effect at the time they re-enter the College for work toward an additional credential.
Embedded Certificates are awarded as part of and/or as a step toward a directly related associate degree. The curriculum, content, and requirements are contained within the greater requirements of its related degree program. Credits earned in residence toward an embedded certificate may be used to meet the residency requirement in its related degree program. (i.e. Credits earned in residence toward a Fire Science Certificate may also be used to fulfill the 25 percent requirement for the AAS in Fire Science. Credits earned in residency used to award a Fire Science Certificate may not be used to fulfill the 25 percent requirement for the AS in General Studies.) If you have questions regarding which academic programs include embedded certificates, please contact the graduation staff in the Office of Records & Registration.
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 credential sought. A student who has completed the required residence at Vol State may earn additional credits toward completion of their credential requirements by acceptable transfer credit or prior learning assessment. (See Transfer and External Credit.) 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 Staff will be completed on applications received by the priority deadlines.
Students applying to graduate after the priority deadline must submit their Graduation Plan no later than the final deadline in order to be considered for the term of application. Applications received after the final deadline will be filed for the following term. Applicants must review all graduation requirements in the appropriate College Catalog for their program, check progress using DegreeWorks in the online student portal, and work closely with their advisor to ensure that all requirements will be met in their anticipated graduation term.
Students will be allowed to graduate using the Catalog in effect for a term in which they were admitted and enrolled provided the Catalog is not more than five years old. If students begin work on a credential and fail to complete the requirements, they must, after five years from the date they enter, reorganize their degree plan to conform to the current Catalog. Extension to the five year limit may be requested in writing to the College Registrar. Time spent on active military duty is not considered a part of the five-year period. Students will be changed to the current Catalog any time they request a change of major or are readmitted to the College. Students may always select to graduate under the current active Catalog. In the event that a program is terminated, students will be given a reasonable time to complete their program which may be less than five years.
Degree students who have fulfilled all graduation requirements and who have met the residency requirement at VSCC 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 VSCC. (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. All college level courses including transfer work will be included in calculating honors. Graduation honors are based on the following inclusive GPA's:
3.800-4.00 summa cum laude
3.600-3.799 magna cum laude
3.300-3.599 cum laude
An Outstanding Graduate Award is given at each graduation ceremony to the graduating student, who, in the opinion of the College faculty, has contributed most to the advancement and betterment of Vol State. An appropriately inscribed plaque is awarded the student.
Vol State currently conducts two commencement ceremonies each year, one at the end of the Fall semester and one at the end of the Spring semester. Summer graduates participate in the following Fall ceremony. Participation in Commencement is optional, but strongly encouraged. Participating in the ceremony in no way confirms completion of requirements or official graduation. All program requirements must be completed before the credential can be posted to the student's transcript or a diploma awarded. Additional information and details about the ceremony can be found online at www.volstate.edu/graduation.