2018-2019 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Feb 18, 2019  
2018-2019 Catalog and Student Handbook

Academic Programs and Services

Academic programs and credit course offerings at Columbia State are provided through three academic divisions within the area of Instruction. Vice President for Williamson Campus and External Services coordinates offerings at the Williamson Campus and a Dean for Regional Services and Southern Campuses coordinates offerings at the Clifton, Lawrence and Lewisburg Campuses. Non-credit offerings are provided through the Economic and Workforce Development office. The University Center coordinates with universities offering degree programs on the Columbia campus.

Division of Health Sciences

Students seeking to work in the health care field may choose from several programs which prepare them for entry-level positions in these fields. These include anesthesia technology, health sciences, imaging sciences, medical informatics, medical laboratory technology, nursing, pre-clinical lab, pre-allied health sciences, radiologic technology, respiratory care, and veterinary technology. Certificates are available in Computed Tomography emergency medical services.

Division of Humanities and Social Sciences

The humanities disciplines serve the entire College by providing opportunities for artistic and intellectual development in classroom and co-curricular activities. The required and elective courses offered are designed to teach students to think critically, to appreciate the record of cultural achievement of humankind, to write and speak effectively and creatively about human experience, and to examine and refine the individual's view of life. Transfer students may select an emphasis in art (studio), English, foreign language, graphic design, humanities, mass communication, music, philosophy, public relations, speech communication, theatre arts, and university parallel degrees.

Social Science courses acquaint students with the various aspects of human beings in their relations to culture, environment, behavioral patterns, heritage and political institutions. Transfer Pathways are offered in anthropology, early childhood education, exercise science, geography, history, international affairs, kinesiology, nutrition and food science, physical education, political science, psychology, social work, sociology, special education, and sports and leisure management. 

Division of Science, Technology and Mathematics

For those students interested in the business area or in technology and industry-related fields, this division offers numerous options. Students may follow a Tennessee Transfer Pathway in accounting,agriculture, biology, business administration, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, information systems, management, marketing, mathematics, and physics. Moreover, pre-professional emphases are offered in dental hygiene, dentistry, engineering, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine. Students may seek an associate of applied science in business with concentrations in administrative professional technology, management, and medical office administration or follow the computer information technology degree with concentrations in programming, cyber defense, networking, and mobile technologies. Certificates are available in business, computer networking, and web design and mobile technologies. A career-entry program and a transfer program are available in criminal justice. Engineering Systems Technology offers an A.A.S. and certificate for students interested in careers in high tech manufacturing.

Courses in mathematics and science are offered in support of a variety of transfer and applied sciences programs. These courses help students develop the mathematical and scientific skills necessary for job entry or to continue study in a technologic or purely scientific field.

Learning Support Program

The Learning Support program is designed to assure students are college ready to enter the rigors of the collegiate curriculum. Faculty and staff provide assistance to students to help them succeed in meeting required competencies. Courses are offered in three skill areas: writing, reading and mathematics. These skills courses are listed in the course description section of the catalog and course schedule as 0000 level courses in Learning Support English, Mathematics, and Reading. For additional information on program placement requirements see Columbia State's learning support webpage.

Economic and Workforce Development

Columbia State plays an important role in the region's economic growth, community development and quality of life. Economic and Workforce Development seeks to strengthen this role through business and industry services, economic development partnerships, and professional development opportunities.

Business, industry, and government have unique education and training needs. The Center for Workforce Development works closely with organizations throughout the Columbia State service area to identify these needs and develop appropriate services. Services include noncredit professional development and specialized contract training.

Economic development partnerships help communities maximize strengths and overcome weaknesses. Economic and Workforce Development seeks opportunities for Columbia State to participate in partnerships with economic development agencies, education and training providers, and other organizations throughout the region. These efforts help communities gain access to vital education and training services.

Columbia State awards continuing education units to persons successfully completing many of its noncredit courses.

University Center

For those students who desire a degree beyond an Associate degree, Columbia State partners with area universities to bring baccalaureate degree programs to the Columbia State campuses. Partnerships include:

Elementary Education (K-5) with Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) - Students who have completed an Associate of Science in Teaching degree can complete a B.S. degree on the Columbia State campus. This degree is designed to meet the professional needs of students planning to teach kindergarten through fifth grade.

Agribusiness 2+2 with Middle Tennessee State University - All bachelor's degree Agribusiness courses will be held at Columbia State's Lewisburg campus or online. This partnership gives students the opportunity to obtain a bachelor's degree closer to home when they may already have job and family obligations.

Interdisciplinary Studies with Tennessee Technology University - Courses in this program will be held at Columbia State's Lawrence Campus.

Graduate Degrees in Education - Periodically, Middle Tennessee State University offers graduate programs on the Columbia State campuses. Currently cohorts in session are: Specialist in Education, Ed.S. and Master of Education, M.Ed. are offered at the Lawrence campus.

For information on current partnerships and program-to-program articulations, contact the University Center by calling 931.540.2619 or by accessing www.columbiastate.edu/admissions/transfer-information. The University Center is located in Room 128 of the Warf Building on the Columbia campus.

Extended Campuses and Programs

Extended Campuses provide course offerings and services at four locations listed below with contact information:

Clifton Campus 931.676.6966

Lawrence Campus 931.766.1600

Lewisburg Campus 931.359.0351

Williamson Campus 615.790.4400

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education (co-op) gives students the opportunity to integrate classroom study with related work experience in industry, business, or government. Columbia State Community College believes students may develop needed skills by engaging in challenging and interesting situations in the work place. This applied learning provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their abilities in real-world work environments. The program is flexible and is tailored to meet the needs of each individual student.

Cooperative education is similar to an independent study course. During periods of co-op employment, students are enrolled in a co-op course, pay a registration fee, and comply with department requirements. In order to qualify for entry and continue participation in the program, students must meet criteria outlined in the most current program brochure, and must not have engaged in conduct that resulted in college disciplinary sanctions or academic penalties.

Although there is no guarantee of co-op placement, permanent work or any compensation, every effort is made to place students to their best educational and financial advantage. If remuneration is involved, the rate of pay is determined by agreement of the employer and the student. The employer pays wages directly to the student.

The co-op employer provides a supervisor and the College assigns a faculty sponsor for each student. Periodic reports from supervisors and communications by faculty assure that each student obtains maximum benefit from the program. Grading for co-op courses is on a pass/fail basis. Participation in cooperative education involves no obligation on the part of either the student or the employer with regard to permanent employment after graduation.

For more information on cooperative education, contact the appropriate Division Dean's Office.

Distance Education

Distance education is a method for extending educational opportunities beyond the boundaries of the traditional campus. Columbia State offers a number of courses each semester through non-traditional delivery formats including desktop video conferencing, hybrid courses, two-way video and audio, online (web asynchronous), and web-enhanced courses. These courses have the same course requirements, transferability, and general content as courses with the same designation which are taught through traditional classroom lecture during the full semester and accelerated terms. Columbia State is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

Distance education courses are included in each semester's course schedule. For more information, access www.columbiastate.edu/e-campus.

Desktop Video Conferencing

Desktop Video Conferencing (DVC) courses allow students to participate in a course in real time without the need to be at a physical campus location. This method of instruction allows students to connect with the instructor virtually and provides the capability of two-way audio and video and chat for interaction with the instructor and other students. Students use their personal computer equipped with a camera and microphone to take desktop video conferencing courses. The students' computer must have access to high-speed internet service (no dial up). Campus computers may be used, but students will be limited to camera and chat functions only (microphones may not be used.) Visit www.dvc.columbiastate.edu for Guides and FAQ.

Hybrid Courses

"Hybrid" is the name used to describe a course that combines in-the-classroom instruction with online instruction. In a hybrid course, half of the course is presented Online and, as a result, the amount of on-campus classroom time is reduced by one-half.

Online Course (Web-Asynchronous)

Students taking online courses have 24/7 access to the course syllabus, lectures, assignments, discussions, quizzes, file sharing and group collaboration. Regular participation and timely assignment completion is expected just as is required in traditional lecture courses. Students may use campus computer facilities or participate in the course using a personal computer. Prior to registering for online courses, students are advised to complete the "Are you ready for Online courses Self-Evaluation" and check system requirements at www.columbiastate.edu/e-campus/OnlineCampus.

Two-way Video and Audio

Two-way video and audio courses are delivered through the Interactive Television (ITV) system which integrates two or more classrooms at distant locations to create one virtual classroom. An instructor and students, located in one classroom, is joined with other classrooms through two-way video and audio (ITV) technology. This technology allows interaction between students and the instructor similar to the interaction if all students were located in the same classroom.


Many of Columbia State's classes are Web-Enhanced. This means that instructors use a safe place on the web for course discussions, extra reading assignments, support materials, study guides, etc. In many cases, textbook publishers may provide "companion websites", which may include online study guides, resources, web links, and integration of original materials. These courses have no reduction in on-ground class meeting requirements.

TN eCampus

Columbia State, along with other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions, participates online course offerings through TN eCampus. TN eCampus Student Support is available from 7:45 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. Monday - Friday in Room 128 of the Warf Building on the Columbia Campus or at www.tnecampus@columbiastate.edu.  Courses satisfying General Educaton categories are listed at https://tnecampus.org/course-catalogs.

Planning a Course of Study

Academic Advising

Although educational decisions are ultimately the student's responsibility, it is important that every student receive academic advising to ensure making the best possible choices. All Faculty advisors are available to students for consultation and maintain regular office hours for this purpose. Students will be assigned advisors by mid-term of their first semester of study. Students may print a Degree Audit Evaluation by accessing their myChargerNet account. These printouts will indicate the courses remaining toward particular degrees or certificates. Students are responsible for:

  • knowing the graduation eligibility requirements for their major as stated in the catalog,
  • obtaining an equivalency table and/or the requirements for graduation at the senior institution to which students plan to transfer,
  • making an appointment with an advisor and keeping it,
  • knowing important dates such as schedule change deadlines or the last date for drop/withdrawal/change to audit, and
  • consulting with instructors and with an advisor for referral to college resources for help when experiencing academic difficulty.

Placement in Courses

It is the responsibility of the advisor and the student to review the student's admissions and testing data and academic record to assure that all course and program prerequisites are met. Students should refer to the Policy and Procedures for Mandatory Placement of Student under the Admission to the College  section for guidelines regarding Learning Support courses. The College may deny registration in a course where the Learning Support prerequisite or any other prerequisite is unmet.

Planning a Program of Study

The selection of a degree or certificate program is basic to planning a program of study since the general education and program-specific requirements vary considerably from program to program. Degree program choices include the Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Science in Teaching, and the Associate of Applied Science. Other shorter programs of study may lead to a certificate. Information on specific programs is available on the College Web site.

Career-Entry programs are designed primarily for immediate employment and require the selection of a program-specific major which leads to the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree or the technical certificate.

These programs are not designed for transfer to a university but some programs and courses may be transferable at the discretion of the receiving institution.

Technical Certificate program requirements vary in the number of required semester hours and can include up to one full year of study in technical specialty courses. Certificates are used to upgrade skills or to prepare for licensure examinations. Students seeking a technical certificate must earn a minimum of 25% of the program credits in resident at Columbia State, and earn a GPA of at least 2.0 in courses required for the certificate. These courses may result in a technical certificate which is noted on the student's transcript. The courses in theses certificates can be applied towards as Associate of Applied Science degree.

Career Advancement programs provide documentation for employment or professional development credit. The courses may be credit or non-credit and are focused on training for specific skills.

Pre-professional programs are transfer programs which lead to an Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degree and provide students with the first two years of preparation toward entrance into a professional school such as medicine at a university. Since the course requirements for admission to these professional schools vary considerably, it is essential that students be familiar with the entrance requirements of the university to which they intend to apply and that they work closely with their preprofessional program advisor at Columbia State when designing their program of study. Generally, it is wise to select an emphasis in a field with similar requirements, for example biology or chemistry for Pre-Med, and develop a program of study for that field that includes the professional school entrance requirements.

Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) Programs are designed to transfer into a baccalaureate program at any public university and many private colleges in Tennessee. For further information regarding the TTP, go to www.tntransferpathway.org. It is essential that transfer students decide on a transfer institution as soon as possible and follow the major requirements when planning a program of study. Degree program fliers for the various TTP's are available online at www.columbiastate.edu/academics/TTP-general-transfer.

General Education Philosophy and Requirements


Columbia State strives to engage the entire college community in a learning centered environment in which students acquire the essential skills needed to be successful in and contribute to their communities.

The general education core required of students in all degree programs is central to achievement of this goal. Within this core students will learn by reading, writing, speaking, and solving quantitative problems within the disciplines explored as part of a broad general education and within those specific to the students' major field. As a necessary corollary to application of the essential skills in learning, students will be required to think critically about their subjects, identify relevant sources of information, and use technology effectively.

Learning occurs within the context of an expanded core of knowledge which provides a broader context for understanding, appreciating and living in the modern world. Students will acquire this knowledge by surveying one or more disciplines within each of the following general areas of study:

  • Social/Behavioral Sciences
  • Humanities/Fine Arts
  • Natural Sciences/Mathematics

For each of the selected disciplines, students will understand the central concepts defining the selected disciplines; appreciate the historical, political, and/or cultural impact of the disciplines; and understand how the disciplines apply to their life and the world at large.

Tennessee Board of Regents General Education Requirements and Undergraduate Requirements

Effective Fall Semester 2004, each institution in the State University and Community College System of Tennessee (hereafter identified as the Tennessee Board of Regents System) will subscribe to common general education requirements at the lower-division. These requirements consist of forty-one (41) semester hours in the following subject categories and are required for completion of the Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Science in Teaching (A.S.T.), and all baccalaureate degrees.

Communication (Six (6) semester hours of English composition and three (3) hours in English oral
presentational communication are required)
9 semester hours
Humanities and/or Fine Arts (One course must be in literature) 9 semester hours
Social/Behavioral Sciences 6 semester hours
History (Students who lack the required one unit (one year) of American History from high school
as an admissions requirement must complete six (6) semester hours of U.S. History or three (3)
semester hours of U.S. History and three (3) semester hours of Tennessee History to fulfill the history
requirements in general education. Otherwise, students may choose from among the history courses
approved at a particular institution to fulfill the sixsemester hour requirement in history).
6 semester hours
Natural Sciences 8 semester hours
Mathematics 3 semester hours
Total 41 semester hours

Courses designated to fulfill general education requirements by Columbia State Community College for the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degree Requirements .

A complete listing of the courses fulfilling general education requirements for Tennessee Board of Regents institutions is available at www.tbr.edu.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree shall be required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to completion of two years of college-level work. Students pursuing an Associate of Arts degree shall be required to demonstrate proficiency in foreign language equivalent to completion of one year of college-level work.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements and Provisions

All baccalaureate degrees offered by institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System shall require a maximum of 120 semester hours except in certain degree programs in which approval to exceed the maximum has been granted. The programs approved as exceptions to the maximum are identified in institutional catalogs.

All associate degrees shall require a maximum of 60 semester hours except in certain degree programs in which approval to exceed the maximum has been granted. The programs approved as exceptions to the maximum are identified in institutional catalogs.

Credit hours earned in Learning Support courses are institution credit; they are not applicable to credit hours required for any certificate, associate, or baccalaureate degree.

College courses taken to address course deficiencies in high school preparation and to meet minimum university admission requirements effective Fall 1989 may be used concurrently to satisfy general education requirements specified above with the exception of foreign language. Relative to removing deficiencies in foreign language, the following provisions apply:

  1. Students who pursue programs leading to the Associate of Science or Bachelor of Science degrees may apply foreign language courses taken to remove the deficiencies as electives, if appropriate, or otherwise as add-on hours.
  2. Students who pursue programs leading to the Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees may apply foreign language courses taken to remove deficiencies toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Transfer Provisions of General Education Courses

As a result of the 2010 Tennessee Complete College Act, public colleges and universities have an approved transfer track for many majors that assures transfer with full junior status provided community college graduates do not change their major before entering their university studies.

  1. Students who complete the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Fine Arts or Associate of Science in Teaching degree and transfer to a university within the Tennessee Board of Regents System will have satisfied all lower-division general education requirements.
  2. Students who complete blocks of subject categories will have satisfied the general education requirements for the categories of note. For example, if the eight (8) semester hours of natural sciences are completed, then this block of general education requirement is fulfilled upon transfer to an institution within the Tennessee Board of Regents System.  When a subject category is incomplete, a course-by-course evaluation will be conducted, and the student will be subject to specific requirements of the receiving institution.
  3. Effective Summer 2015, transfer credit will be given for all courses in which passing grades are achieved, including the grade of "D". For students enrolled prior to Summer 2015, only grades of "C" or higher are accepted. All grades of transfer courses are entered on the student's Columbia State permanent academic record. Grades of transfer courses do not count in the calculation of the student's grade point average at Columbia State.
  4. In certain cases, specific courses must be taken in general education. It is important that students and advisors be aware of any major requirements that must be fulfilled under lowerdivision general education. In cases where specific courses are required as part of general education for certain majors, the student is responsible for enrolling in the correct courses. Failure to fulfill specific major requirements in lower-division general education may result in the need to complete additional courses.