MTSU offers ‘guaranteed pathways’ from community c...

MTSU offers ‘guaranteed pathways’ from community college

Community-college students who want to complete a bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University now have a guarantee that their credits will transfer here, if they choose one of 27 different majors offering “transfer pathways.”

Tennessee Transfer PathwayThe plan is part of the Tennessee Transfer Pathways program, a statewide collaboration announced Monday between the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee systems. Effective this fall, the collaboration allows timely and cost-effective transitions from a two- to four-year degree.

Under the program, a student entering a community college in Tennessee now can choose one of 27 designated MTSU majors, complete the required courses, earn an associate’s degree and transfer seamlessly as a junior to MTSU. All earned credit hours will apply to a bachelor’s degree in the same discipline.

Chancellor John Morgan

“This program highlights the successful collaboration among all of our universities and community colleges,” said TBR Chancellor John Morgan. “It helps students achieve their goals and complete their degrees, but it also helps them do it in a more efficient and less expensive way, without sacrificing the quality of our academic programs.”

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee noted that the Pathways program aligns with the University’s ongoing efforts to improve student retention and graduation levels, including substantial advising enhancements and a new electronic academic alert system launching this fall.

“We take pride in being the No. 1 producer of university graduates in the middle Tennessee area and believe these pathways will be yet another way to help our students succeed,” McPhee said.

Schools participating in the TTP include TBR’s 13 community colleges and six universities and UT’s three undergraduate campuses in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Martin. The program lists options for 50 different majors, but not all schools have the demand or resources needed to offer all the pathways. A complete list is available at

The 27 pathways offered by MTSU are accounting, agriculture-agriculture business, agriculture-animal science, agriculture-plant and soil science, studio art, biology, business administration, chemistry, computer science, criminal justice, economics, English, exercise science, foreign language, geography, history, information systems, mass communication, mathematics, physics, political science, pre-nursing, psychology, social work, sociology, speech communication, and theatre arts.

More information on MTSU’s pathways is available at

Dr. Paula Short

Each pathway outlines 41 general-education credit hours and 19 hours of prerequisites necessary for transfer. To ensure transfer, students must follow the pathways exactly; substitutions will not be accepted. Students who change pathways or majors are not guaranteed that all their courses will apply to the transfer.

“The implementation of the transfer pathways is a giant step forward in creating a seamless process for earning a college degree for the citizens of Tennessee,” said Dr . Paula Short, TBR vice chancellor for academic affairs.  “We will be tracking the progress of our students and will work to constantly improve the process so that students receive the maximum benefit.”

Outreach efforts are planned to ensure ongoing communication with current and prospective students, high-school guidance counselors, parents and community members.