2020-2021 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    May 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

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 the Dean for Access, Southern Campuses and Regional Services coordinates offerings at the Clifton, Lawrence and Lewisburg Campuses. Non-credit offerings are provided through the Workforce and Continuing Education 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. Tennessee Transfer Pathways include Imaging Sciences and Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science. A University Parallel with Pre-Allied Health Sciences emphasis is available as well.  Associate of Applied Science degrees include Anesthesia Technology, Medical Informatics, Medical Laboratory Technology, Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care, and Veterinary Technology. Technical Certificates are available in Computed Tomography, Emergency Medical Technician, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, Accelerated Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic.

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. Tennessee Transfer Pathways are offered in Anthropology, Exercise Science, Geography, History, International Affairs, Kinesiology, Nutrition and Food Science, Physical Education, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, and Sports and Leisure Management.

The Associate of Science in Teaching (A.S.T.) degrees are early teacher preparation degrees, designed for students who, upon completion of the A.S.T., plan to transfer into a teacher preparation bachelor's degree program at a public university within Tennessee.  Columbia State Community College offers the Early Childhood Education (ECED) A.S.T. for students interested in teaching children from pre-school age through third grade.  The A.S.T. for K-5 is offered for students interested in teaching children from Kindergarten through fifth grade.  The curriculum for each of these programs provides a seamless transfer pathway to the Tennessee public universities.  In addition, A.S.T. pathways are in place for students who plan to teach at the secondary (middle or high school) level in the area of English, Math, or Social Studies. Columbia State also offers early educator preparation for all ages in the field of Special Education for students who, upon completion of the Associate of Science in Special Education, plan to transfer to a Tennessee public university and earn a bachelor's degree.    We also offer a pathway in physical education for Tennessee's future P.E. teachers.  Educator preparation courses at Columbia State provide an introduction to education theory and best practices in teaching, as well as insights in educational psychology, instruction in lesson planning, classroom administration, health and safety concerns within schools, and historical, social, political, and economic influences on early education.   The curricula include mandatory field observations within Tennessee public schools.  With some specific coursework distinctions among the universities, all of these programs are among the Tennessee Transfer Pathways.

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, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Finance, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics. Moreover, Pre-Health professional emphases are offered in Dental Hygiene, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. 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.  Also, certificates are available in Film Crew Technology and Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Courses in mathematics and science are offered to 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, visit www.columbiastate.edu/learning-support

Workforce and Continuing Education

Columbia State plays an important role in the region's economic growth, community development and quality of life. Workforce and Continuing Education 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. Workforce and Continuing Education 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. Workforce and Continuing Education 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.  Visit the Workforce and Continuing Education webpage for further information.

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.

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.

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. 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/transfer-information. The University Center is located in Room 128 of the Warf Building on the Columbia campus.

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.

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

Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students (SARA)

Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution.

Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the Institution's internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.

For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website. Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.

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; 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 .


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

See the TN eCampus  section of the Catalog for information about programs and support for TN eCampus.