Pathways To 4-Year Schools Few For Community College Students

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The state's colleges and universities have not taken all the steps mandated by the Tennessee legislature to make it easier for students to attend lower-cost community colleges and then transfer the credits to the universities, a new performance audit says.

When lawmakers approved the Complete College Tennessee Act in a special education session in January 2010, one of the goals was to better integrate the two-year community colleges into the higher education system so students could transfer all of the general education courses and specific agreed-upon courses related to their majors to the four-year universities.

The CCTA specifically required "transfer pathways" to be created for all majors by the fall semester of 2011. But performance auditors at the state comptroller's office found that while the 41-hour general-education core pathway has been created -- allowing students to transfer their basic courses as a block -- pathways for only the top 23 most transferred-into majors had been established by last December and that no further attempts were under way to finish the work for scores of other majors.

In their joint response to the audit, public higher education officials said that by the end of April, specific course requirements for 49 pathways in 28 academic disciplines had been established and more are in the works.

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