Oct 20, 2020  
2007-2008 VSCC Catalog 
2007-2008 VSCC Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College Graduation

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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

All students 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 Adult Specials need not submit ACT scores; neither will they be required to take placement tests unless the Adult Special student enrolls in a college level course which has a developmental studies pre-requisite. The Adult Special category includes only those students who apply with no intention of pursuing a degree. Furthermore, Adult Specials will be subject to regular admission requirements when they have accumulated 48 hours of credit at the College.

Essential computer literacy skills are necessary in order to achieve academic success at Volunteer State Community College. Students must demonstrate computer literacy competency by passing a basic computer literacy competency assessment. Those students who lack proficiency will be placed in an appropriate college level computer course.

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.

Degrees Offered


Vol State awards the Associate of Arts Degree, the Associate of Science Degree and the Associate of Applied Science Degree. A Technical Certificate may be awarded to a student who completes any certain specifically prescribed program of less than an associate degree.

General Degree Requirements


The general requirements for an associate degree at Vol State are as follows:

  1. Not less than 60 semester hours of credit.
  2. A student who has 24 semester hours in residence at Vol State may transfer back two courses or six semester hours to complete graduation requirements. A minimum of 20 of the final 26 semester hours of course work must be completed in residence at Vol State. Exceptions may be granted by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the President.
  3. 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.)
  4. Completion of specific course requirements as given in outlined Programs of Study. Developmental courses (numbered 001 to 099) may not be counted toward meeting graduation requirements. (Substitutions in programs must be approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.)
  5. Students must take the General Education assessment test as prescribed by the college.
  6. Computer Competency Requirement - Volunteer State Community College is required for SACS accreditation purposes to ensure that all degree-seeking students at Volunteer State are computer literate.  In addition, a certain level of computer competency is necessary for success both at Volunteer State and beyond.
  7. Students at Volunteer State can demonstrate the required level of computer competency in one of two ways:

           1.  By taking and passing the course CIS 100 Computer Technology and Applications.
           2.  By taking and passing the Computer Competency Exam (CCE).

See additional information at http://www.volstate.edu/computerLiteracy/.

Second Degree

A student who has completed the requirements for one degree may receive a second degree if the second degree is a different type 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 24 semester 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 2.00 in courses presented to meet the requirements for the certificate.
  • A total of six (6) semester hours of transfer work may be applied to a Technical Certificate. All other course requirements 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 focus on the intellectual, emotional, physical, and cultural environment. These courses are intended to provide students with a base for undertaking the specialized studies in either a transfer or a career program. The overall purpose of the general education courses is to involve students in a mature inquiry into cultural traditions, values, and assumptions and to assist them in developing and refining the basic skills they need to think and communicate effectively in contemporary society.

The goals of the general education core requirements are:

  • To give instruction in a core of general knowledge relevant to effective functioning in a variety of adult roles. Specifically, this is accomplished by:
  • Providing information which enable students to identify and analyze the social aspects of culture and the cultural heritage
  • Providing experiences which enable students to understand the impact of the arts and to identify and analyze artistic aspects of culture
  • Providing scientific information and instruction in the thought processes involved in the scientific method of inquiry
  • Exposing students to systems of mathematical logic
  • Informing students of the influence, capabilities, and limitations of computer technology

To promote the development of skills necessary for effectively functioning in adult society. Specifically, this is accomplished by providing the means to:

  • Develop effective written and oral communications
  • Develop an awareness of the relationship between physical and mental well-being and give training in skills that can be used to maintain a healthy balance in this relationship
  • Develop skills for identifying problems and selecting appropriate means for solving them
  • Develop a foundation of critical skills that will encourage student growth in areas of personal assessment and evaluation of values
  • Develop skills for obtaining stored information

The general education core of courses reflects an overall quality and balance of knowledge, skills, and thought processes among and between instructional units of the College. Upon successful completion of this core curriculum, a student will have demonstrated the ability to:

- Identify and analyze the cultural heritage and the social aspects of culture
- Recognize the impact of the arts and identify and analyze artistic aspects of culture
- Exhibit knowledge of scientific information and the thought processes involved in the scientific method of inquiry
- Use systems of mathematical logic
- Discuss the influence, capabilities and limitations of computer technology
- Communicate effectively in oral and written forms
- Identify problems and select appropriate means for solving them
- Apply critical thought processes to the clarification and appraisal of values
- Locate and gather stored information.

Career/Vocational Goals


In addition to the General Education Goals, the career/vocational degree programs at Volunteer State, although diverse in intent, share a set of career/vocational goals with expected outcomes.

As these goals are achieved in the individual career/vocational degree curricula, the degree of student success is measured against a set of expected outcomes. Upon successful completion of a two-year degree in a career education program, students will have demonstrated the ability to:
- Exhibit knowledge of the basic foundations and theories that are directly or indirectly related to functions of a particular career
- Master the terminology used in their particular career
- Conform to rules and regulations of applicable boards and agencies
- Recognize and conform to the ethical and professional standards of conduct expected in the selected career
- Identify and make informed decisions about career options within a program of study
- Master the skills and technology needed to perform the duties of their particular 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 and who lacks no more than six semester hours, or two courses, toward completion of degree requirements may earn these additional credits by acceptable correspondence or extension work, or by residence at another approved institution. Students planning to graduate at the end of Spring or Summer semester should file an intent to graduate by completing an Application for Graduation by October 31. Students graduating at the end of Fall Semester should file an Application for Graduation by March 31.

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.

Deferred Graduation


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 completed a minimum of 30 semester hours 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.




summa cum laude





magna cum laude





cum laude


Transfer students must have a minimum of 30 semester hours at Vol State and the required cumulative quality point average on all course work taken at Volunteer State to be eligible for graduation with distinction. Transfer course grades are not used to calculate graduation honors.

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 2002 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 Tennessee public higher education institution.   The graduation rate for full-time students first enrolled fall 2002 and graduating by August 2005 was 10.8%.  The transfer-out rate for this same population was 12.2%.  The combined graduation and transfer-out rate was 23.0%.  Additional information concerning completion rates of students may be obtained from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, Planning and Assessment.