Catalog and Student Handbook 2007-2008 
    Sep 21, 2018  
Catalog and Student Handbook 2007-2008 [Archived Catalog]

Academic Programs and Services

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Academic programs and credit course offerings at Columbia State are provided through five academic divisions within the area of Instruction. The Extended Campuses and Programs office coordinates the delivery of these offerings to the College's extended campuses and temporary teaching sites. Non-credit offerings are provided through the Center for Economic and Community Development. The University Center coordinates with universities offering degree programs on the Columbia campus.

Division of Business and Technology


For those students interested in the business area or in technology and industry-related fields, this division offers numerous options. Students may follow a university parallel track or seek a degree in business information technology with options in computer systems or office systems; business management or general technology. They may also enroll in certificate programs in business management.

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 emergency medical technology, nursing, radiologic technology, respiratory care, and veterinary technology.

Division of Humanities


The humanities disciplines serve the entire College by providing opportunities for artistic and intellectual development in classroom and co-curricular activities. Each discipline seeks to increase students' sensitivity to and understanding of language, literature, music, art, drama and philosophy. 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, commercial entertainment, communication studies, English, mass communications, music, or performance studies.

Division of Science and Mathematics


Courses in mathematics and science are offered in support of a variety of transfer and applied sciences programs. These courses are aimed at helping students develop the mathematical and scientific skills necessary for job entry or to continue study in a technologic or pure-scientific field. University-parallel emphases are offered in agriculture, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics for students planning to transfer to a four-year institution. Moreover, pre-professional emphases are offered in dental hygiene, dentistry, engineering, medical technology, medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy. A career-entry program is available in horticultural technology.

Division of Social Sciences and Education


Social science courses attempt to acquaint students with the various aspects of human beings in their relations to culture, environment, behavioral patterns, heritage and political institutions. Social science courses also serve as supplemental areas of study in many of the health science programs. University-parallel emphases are offered in early childhood education, elementary education, geography, health and physical education, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. Career-entry programs are available in criminal justice and early childhood education. Certificate programs are also available in criminal justice and early childhood education.

Developmental Studies Program


The developmental studies program, designed to serve the needs of students who are underprepared to enter the regular college curriculum, assists students in achieving a level of academic competence that will enable them to work successfully in college-level courses. Faculty and staff provide assistance to students to help them succeed.

Courses in both basic and/or developmental studies are offered in four areas: writing skills, reading skills, mathematical skills, and learning strategies.

Center for Economic and Community Development


Columbia State plays an important role in the region's economic growth, community development and quality of life. The Center for Economic and Community Development (ECD) seeks to strengthen this role through business and industry services, economic development partnerships, cultural programs, and personal enrichment activities.

Business, industry, and government have unique education and training needs. ECD 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. ECD 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.

ECD houses Columbia State's noncredit personal enrichment activities. These include a variety of courses for children, senior citizens and others seeking personal growth and lifelong learning. ECD also works with the Columbia State Foundation in presenting an annual performance series consisting of musical and theatrical performances.

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 jointly offers 2+2 agreements with Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University and Trevecca Nazarene University.

2 + 2 Agreement in Elementary Education (K-6) with Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) - Students who have completed an Associate of Science General Transfer degree with an emphasis in Pre-Elementary Education 2+2 (PED2) 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 sixth grade.

2 + 2 Agreement in Nursing with Tennessee State University (TSU) - Students who have completed the RN program can complete a RN-BSN degree on the Columbia State campus by taking a sequence of Columbia State courses that fulfill general education requirements followed by TSU courses delivered in a variety of formats (traditional classroom, online, Web enhanced and real time video).

2 + 2 Agreement in Management and Human Relations (MHR) with Trevecca Nazarene University - This program is designed for working adults who have earned at least 62 semester college hours and have been admitted to the MHR program. Students can complete a B.A. degree in about 13 months, meeting one night a week on the Columbia campus.

Students are encouraged to contact the University Center at (931) 540-2619 or at for information concerning specific degree requirements. The University Center is located in room 128 of the Warf Building on the Columbia campus.

Regents Online Degree Program - Columbia State, along with other Tennessee Board of Regents system institutions, participates in three online degree programs through the Regents Online Degree Program (RODP). For more information on these three degrees access either the Columbia State Web site at or the Tennessee Board of Regents Web site at

Extended Campuses and Programs


The Extended Campuses and Programs office at Columbia State is responsible for coordinating course offerings and services at the College's extended campuses and temporary instructional sites. The office also works with employers, students, and faculty in providing cooperative education opportunities and K-12 educational outreach programs.

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 coop course, pay a registration fee, submit periodic reports, 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, call (615) 790-4409.

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 hybrid courses, interactive video, Internet courses, and video 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.

Distance education courses are included in each semester's course schedule. For more information, access and click on "Distance Education."

Hybrid Courses

"Hybrid" is the name used to describe a course that combines in-the-classroom instruction with computer-based, online learning. 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.

Interactive Video

Traditional courses are delivered via interactive compressed video which provides transmission of live two-way audio, video, and data to all five Columbia State campuses. Interactive video classes are listed in the appropriate subject section in the course schedule.

Internet Courses

Internet courses are offered online. Students may use campus computer facilities or participate using a personal computer. Students should check the course schedule or the Distance Education Web site for computer system and program requirements and complete the "Am I A Good Candidate for Online Learning?" assessment prior to registering for Internet courses.

Video Courses

Video courses are taught through videotaped instruction. These courses offer an alternative for students who require a flexible class schedule, are self-motivated, and can work independently. Students in video courses do the course work with a minimal number of visits to a campus. The tapes, obtained from the Library at the beginning of the semester, combined with textbooks, study guide, assignments and communications with the instructor guide students through the courses. Students interested in video courses should consult an academic advisor to determine which courses best meet their needs.

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 the best possible choices are made. Students should complete all admissions requirements, orientation and testing, then schedule an appointment with an academic advisor. Advisors can be reached by calling (931) 540-2575 or e-mailing All full-time faculty are available to students for consultation and maintain regular office hours for this purpose. Students will be assigned advisors early in their educational programs. Students may print "On-Course" degree audit printouts by accessing Web for Students, or they may request copies from Advising or any campus location at any time. 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 Students," on the Admission to the College page for guidelines regarding developmental studies courses. The College may deny registration in a course where the developmental studies prerequisite or any other prerequisite has not been met.

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 programs which may be selected include the associate of 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 can be accessed through 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.

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

Technical certificate programs consist of fewer than 33 semester hours and are used for skills upgrade or to prepare for licensure examinations. These courses may result in an academic or technical certificate which is noted on the student's transcript. The courses in these certificates can be applied towards an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Career advancement certificate programs are short, highly focused credit or non-credit course sequences designed to provide training in specific skills areas and provide documentation for employment or professional development credit. These certificates should not, however, be confused with technical certificates offered by Columbia State. Because the certificates of advancement are not part of the College's official academic inventory, no notation of the certificate will appear on the student's transcript. The transcript will show all of the courses taken. Credit courses can be applied toward academic or technical certificates and degrees.

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 for 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 to the school to which they intend to apply and that they work closely with their pre-professional 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, and develop a program of study for that field that includes the professional school entrance requirements.

General transfer degree programs are designed to transfer into a baccalaureate program at a four-year college or university. Students in this program declare a major in general transfer. Since general education and major requirements vary from one transfer institution to another, it is essential that transfer students decide on a transfer institution as soon as possible and refer to the major requirements in that institution's catalog when planning a program of study. The student should then select an area of emphasis at Columbia State which corresponds to the transfer major selected. The requirements for the emphases may be modified upon request to meet the requirements in that major at a specific transfer college or university. Degree checklists for the various emphases are available Online at

Students transferring to a Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institution must meet the general education requirements listed below under the "Tennessee Board of Regents' General Education Core Requirements for All Tennessee Board of Regents Institutions." TBR institutions are all state community colleges, Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, and the University of Memphis.

General Education Philosophy and Requirements



According to its mission, Columbia State Community College "promotes academic excellence with emphasis on student learning that builds knowledge, develops skills and broadens perspectives." As a means of achieving its mission, 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, select and use technology effectively and work cooperatively with others.

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 Core Requirements for all Tennessee Board of Regents Institutions


Effective Fall Semester 2004, each institution in the State University and Community College System of Tennessee (The Tennessee Board of Regents System) will share a common lower-division general education core curriculum of forty-one (41) semester hours for baccalaureate degrees and the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees. Lower-division means freshman and sophomore courses. The courses comprising the general education curriculum are contained within the following subject categories:

Baccalaureate Degrees and Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degrees*
Communication   9 hours**
Humanities and/or Fine Arts   9 hours (At least one course must be in literature.)
Social/Behavioral Sciences   6 hours
History   6 hours***
Natural Sciences   8 hours
Mathematics   3 hours
  Total   41 hours

*Foreign language courses are an additional requirement for the Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) degrees. The B.A. degree requires proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to completion of two years of college-level work. The A.A. degree requires proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to completion of one year of college-level work.

**Six hours of English Composition and three hours in English oral presentational communication are required.

***Students who plan to transfer to Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) universities should take six hours of United States History (three hours of Tennessee History may substitute). Students who plan to transfer to University of Tennessee System universities or to out-of-state or private universities should check requirements and take the appropriate courses.

Although the courses designated by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions to fulfill the requirements of the general education subject categories vary, transfer of the courses is assured through the following means:

Conditions for Transfer of General Education Courses

  • Upon completion of an A.A. or A.S. degree, the requirements of the lower-division general education core will be complete and accepted by a TBR university in the transfer process.
  • If an A.A. or A.S. is not obtained, transfer of general education courses will be based upon fulfillment of complete subject categories. (Example: If all eight hours in the category of Natural Sciences are complete, then this "block" of the general education core is complete.) When a subject category is incomplete, course-by-course evaluation will be conducted. The provision of block fulfillment pertains also to students who transfer among TBR universities.
  • Institutional/departmental requirements of the grade of "C" will be honored. Even if credit is granted for a course, any specific requirements for the grade of "C" by the receiving institution will be enforced.
  • In certain majors, specific courses must be taken also in general education. It is important that students and advisors be aware of any major requirements that must be fulfilled under lower-division general education.

Courses designated to fulfill general education requirements by Columbia State Community College are listed on the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degree Requirements page. A complete listing of the courses fulfilling general education requirements for Tennessee Board of Regents institutions is available on their Web site at under Transfer and Articulation Information.