Pellissippi State serves the postsecondary educational needs of the community. The College develops specific admission policies consistent with the TBR policy. The College provides opportunities for collegiate education to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, veteran status or disability. In order to be admitted as credit students, individuals must meet the requirements of admission to the category in which they are applying. Requirements reflect the academic background and/or basic academic competencies required to succeed in the various courses and programs.
Prospective students can apply online at www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400 to obtain a printed application. Admission to Pellissippi State does not guarantee admission to all programs.
Applicants seeking admission to Pellissippi State to enroll in regular credit courses for a degree must comply with the following procedures:
- Submit a completed application for admission along with a nonrefundable application fee.
- Provide official academic transcripts and test results as applicable.
- Submit immunization documents:
- Certificate of Immunization or proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines
- Hepatitis B health history form (may be completed online if over 18 years of age)
- Certificate of Immunization or proof of two doses of varicella (chicken pox) vaccine
Admission of First-time Freshmen
Graduation from high school. Except as provided for below in the section on high school equivalency diplomas, applicants for degree admission as first-time freshmen must provide an official transcript showing graduation from high school. The high school transcript must be a regular or honors diploma. A special education diploma or certificate does not meet this requirement. The transcript of graduates of Tennessee public high schools must include a notation that the student passed the required proficiency examination.
High school equivalency diploma. Applicants for degree admission as first-time freshmen may present a high school equivalency diploma in lieu of a high school diploma provided that their composite scores meet the College’s requirements. Further information about the high school equivalency diploma is available at www.pstcc.edu/testing.
Standardized examination scores. Applicants for admission as first-time freshmen must complete an entrance test or submit valid ACT or SAT scores. Valid ACT or SAT scores are those earned within three years prior to the first day of the first term of enrollment. Pellissippi State will use the scores for advisement purposes and as a component in placement decisions. Students who do not meet minimum requirements in English and Reading cannot be fully admitted to the College.
Additional Requirements for Admission of Transfer Students
Any degree-seeking applicant who has attended another college or university shall be considered a transfer student. Transfer students who earned credits but not a degree at another college and are eligible for readmission to the last institution attended are eligible for admission to Pellissippi State. Those who do not meet the readmission standards of the last institution attended may be admitted on academic probation or other established condition. People who have a degree or certificate equivalent to the associate’s degree in a particular field who wish to take additional courses are eligible for admission.
Transfer students must meet the criteria outlined above for degree admission and must submit official transcripts from each school previously attended to Enrollment Services.
Awarding of Transfer Credit
Transfer credit will not be processed until all official transcripts from each school attended by the student are received by Enrollment Services. Upon completion of a student’s file, including the receipt of all college transcripts, transcript analysts in Enrollment Services will evaluate all coursework taken. Transfer credit will not be computed into a student’s grade point average at Pellissippi State. Transfer credit is awarded for individual courses that parallel Pellissippi State’s courses for content, level of instruction and preparation of faculty teaching the courses for which transfer credit is requested, provided a grade of C or better was made in each course. Elective credit may be awarded by the relevant academic division if it is determined there is no Pellissippi State equivalent.
The following information may be required to evaluate the comparability of courses for the purpose of awarding transfer credit:
- Course syllabus—copy of the syllabus used at the time the course was taken. A determination of the comparability of course content and level of instruction is made through a comparison of the following syllabus elements: course prefix, number and title; lecture/lab contact hours and credit hours; course description; prerequisite/corequisite courses; course objectives/course goals; grading scale; required textbook and other instructional materials; and methods of evaluation.
If the syllabus does not contain the information specified above, supplemental documentation (e.g., assignment schedules, grading policy statements) should be submitted along with the course syllabus.
- Faculty credentials—verification that faculty teaching the course(s) for which credit is requested meet the following academic and/or professional experience qualifications:
- Courses designed for transfer to four-year colleges and universities—master’s degree and at least 18 graduate hours in the discipline.
- Courses not designed for transfer to four-year colleges and universities—master’s degree and at least 18 graduate hours in the discipline or bachelor’s degree and work experience in a related field.
- If applicable, the name of relevant specialized or program agencies/boards may be submitted along with the above information.
The transfer credit appeal process may be used by students to request reconsideration of transfer credit decisions. Steps in the appeal process are as follows:
- The student completes the Petition for Transfer Credit, available online (www.pstcc.edu) or at the Student Assistance Center, and requests an advising appointment with the Student Assistance Center to discuss why he or she thinks the petition for particular courses should be reconsidered for approval.
- Course descriptions, course syllabi and other documentation as described above must be provided by the student or by the institution where the courses were taken.
- The advisor may request that the student provide copies of college transcripts and supporting documentation to be sent with the Petition for Transfer Credit form to the appropriate academic dean for review.
- The academic dean makes a determination, then submits the Petition for Transfer Credit and a recommendation to Enrollment Services, and the transfer credit decision is processed by the transcript analysts. The academic dean’s decisions regarding the awarding of transfer credit are final.
- Enrollment Services notifies the student through campus email of the transfer credit decision.
The appeals process is the same for students transferring from regionally and non-regionally accredited colleges and universities. Students transferring from international colleges and universities follow the same steps—with the additional requirement that supporting documents (e.g., course syllabi) must be provided with English translations—and submit the required documents to an approved credential evaluation service. This process ensures that students have access to a fair and accurate assessment of the credentials by experienced evaluators.
Readmission to Pellissippi State
A student who has not attended Pellissippi State continuously (not counting summer term) must complete a new admissions application, with no application fee. If the student has attended any other college(s) since leaving Pellissippi State, he or she must submit complete transcript(s) from the college(s) in addition to the application. Failure to provide official college transcripts and report all institutions attended will result in delay of financial aid processing.
Academic Fresh Start: Criteria
Academic Fresh Start is a plan of academic forgiveness provided for students who have demonstrated academic responsibility following their return to college. The Academic Fresh Start allows the calculation of the grade point average (GPA) and credit hours toward graduation to be based only on work done after returning to college.
Students who were formerly enrolled at Pellissippi State and who have been separated from Pellissippi State and all other institutions of higher education for a minimum of four calendar years from last date of attendance are eligible for the program. A transfer applicant’s GPA on transferable courses must be at least equal to that which Pellissippi State requires for the readmission of its own students. Applicants who do not meet the Pellissippi State standards may be admitted on academic probation or other appropriate status.
- Separation from Pellissippi State and all other collegiate institutions for at least four calendar years
- Formal application to Enrollment Services requesting Fresh Start and describing an academic plan at the time of readmission or admission as a degree student or after the time of readmission but prior to completion of 15 hours of degree coursework
- Completion of at least 15 semester hours of earned degree coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all work attempted
Terms of Academic Fresh Start
- Once the student has satisfied the above requirements, Pellissippi State may grant Academic Fresh Start status. The student may be granted a Fresh Start only once.
- The student’s permanent record will remain a record of all work; however, for degree or certification purposes, the student will forfeit the use of all college or university degree credit earned prior to the four-year separation upon the granting of Fresh Start status. Previously satisfied placement test requirements will not be forfeited.
- Upon degree admission, Fresh Start applicants who did not satisfy placement test requirements at the time of previous enrollment and whose academic plan includes completion of a college-level English or mathematics course must meet current placement test requirements regarding enrollment in college-level English and mathematics courses.
- The student’s transcript will note that the Fresh Start was made and the date of the Fresh Start. The record will also carry the notation “QPA and credit totals are based only on the work beginning with the date of the Fresh Start.”
- The student will apply for the Fresh Start with the understanding that all Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions will honor a Fresh Start provision granted at another TBR institution.
- Total credits excluded from GPA through Academic Fresh Start may not be excluded from Financial Aid total hours.
Students should understand that non-TBR institutions may not accept the GPA as it is calculated with the Fresh Start.
Mandatory Placement of Degree Admission Students
For regular admission to a degree program, an applicant must meet one of these two criteria:
- Applicants who have not attended college previously must submit valid ACT or SAT scores or take the COMPASS test. Applicants who do not show proficiency in basic academic competencies in mathematics, English and/or reading must complete a placement test prior to registering for classes. The results of the placement test will determine the appropriate learning support courses that a student is required to take. Such students may not be enrolled in a regular college-level course that requires that competency as a prerequisite until they have satisfactorily met the exit criteria of the appropriate learning support course(s).
- Transfer students whose previous academic records from a college or university indicate appropriate English and/or mathematics proficiency will be considered for regular admission. Students whose records do not include such transfer credit in English and mathematics must establish proficiency in the basic academic competencies by test scores, according to conditions explained above.
Students admitted to degree programs may later prove deficient in a basic academic competency. Faculty should refer such students to an advisor or learning support program coordinator. Upon verification of the deficiency through placement testing, such students will be withdrawn from the relevant course(s) with a grade of W and may not re-enroll until they have met all exit criteria of the appropriate learning support course(s).
General requirements for all non-degree applicants. A “special” student is one who is not working toward a degree. To be admitted as an undergraduate special student, a person must hold a regular high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma or have the approval of the assistant vice president of Enrollment Services. Exceptions may be made as listed in the high school section below. Special students must (1) meet entry-level standards for each course in which they enroll, (2) be able to complete assignments, and (3) be able to read and write at the required level.
Special students who wish to take college-level English or math courses or to take another college-level course that is the second course in a two-course sequence (e.g., Accounting I and II) must (1) satisfy all learning support requirements indicated by the placement test or (2) provide evidence that they have successfully completed all college-level prerequisites or (3) provide evidence of other equivalent experiences before enrolling. Special students are not eligible for financial aid.
High School Students
Dual enrollment of high school students. Dual enrollment is the enrollment of a high school student in one or more specified college courses for which the student will be awarded both high school and college units. The Dual Enrollment program is a cooperative effort between Pellissippi State and high schools in Knox and Blount counties and Pellissippi State and qualified home school students. Qualified high school students may accelerate their college education through dual enrollment courses; all requirements of both the high school and Pellissippi State must be met by students participating in the program.
Students enrolling in General Education courses must meet the requirements specified for admission of degree-seeking students and the requirements of the appropriate course syllabus, available at www.pstcc.edu/curriculum/master-syllabi/. To learn more about Pellissippi State’s Dual Enrollment program, go to www.pstcc.edu/dual/.
Joint enrollment of high school students. Joint enrollment is the enrollment of a high school student in one or more college courses for which the student will earn only college units. High school students who meet the following criteria as specified in Chapter 395 of the Public Acts of 1983 are eligible for special admission:
With the recommendation and approval of the high school principal and the assistant vice president of Enrollment Services, academically talented/gifted students enrolled in grades 9, 10, 11 or 12 in public or private high schools in Tennessee may enroll in and receive regular college degree units from Pellissippi State if the students have a grade point average equivalent to 3.2 on a 4.0 maximum basis and if such placement is a part of the students’ planned Individual Education Program (IEP) as established by the multidisciplinary team process.
Early admission of first-time freshmen. The following procedures apply to the admission of applicants who have completed their junior year in high school. The minimum requirements for admission of this category of applicants shall be the following:
- Completion of grades 9, 10 and 11 with a minimum grade point average of 3.2 based on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent.
- A valid ACT composite score of at least 22.
- Written endorsement for each semester of attendance from the applicant’s high school principal specifying the college courses that will be substituted for the remaining high school courses needed for high school graduation.
- Written endorsements for each semester of attendance from the applicant’s high school counselor and from the applicant’s parents or guardians.
People Who Have Attended Other Colleges
People who have not earned a degree. People who earned credits but not a degree at another college and are eligible for readmission to the last institution attended are eligible for admission to Pellissippi State.
People who have earned a college degree or certificate. People who have a degree or certificate equivalent to the associate’s degree in a particular field who wish to take additional courses are eligible for admission.
Senior Citizens and People With Disabilities
Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) 49-7-113 provides special legislation for people with permanent disabilities and for Tennessee residents 60 or older and for Tennessee residents 65 or older.
Eligibility to audit courses. People with permanent disabilities and Tennessee residents 60 or older are eligible to enroll in courses on a space-available basis for audit without payment of maintenance, campus access, student activity, international studies, Student Recreation Center, technology, sustainable campus and late registration fees. The application fee and all applicable special course fees will be charged. Learning support courses cannot be audited.
Eligibility to take courses for credit. People with permanent disabilities and Tennessee residents 65 or older are eligible to enroll in courses on a space-available basis for credit without payment of maintenance, campus access, student activity, international studies, Student Recreation Center, technology, sustainable campus and late registration fees. A service fee not to exceed $70 per semester will be charged. The application fee and all applicable special course fees will be charged. Special students may not audit learning support courses.
People with permanent disabilities must contact the Disability Services Office to be certified as eligible for either program. Senior citizens must see the Cashier’s Office to be certified as eligible for either program.
Residency classification. Upon a student’s admission to the College, Enrollment Services classifies each student as resident or nonresident.
Enrollment Services may require proof of relevant facts regarding residency. Students who disagree with the initial decision may appeal to the director of Admissions and Communication Center. Students who still disagree may appeal in writing to the assistant vice president of Enrollment Services. Go to this link for an Application for In-State Residency: www.pstcc.edu/admissions/_files/pdf/residency_application.pdf.
Proof of language proficiency by non-native speakers. To be eligible for admission to Pellissippi State, all non-native speakers of English are required to submit proof of one of the following:
- A minimum score on the paper-, computer- or internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or
- A minimum score on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or
- A passing score on the Michigan test or
- Successful completion of ELS 109 or
- A C grade in college English composition (ENGL 101/ENGL 1010)
For up-to-date TOEFL and IELTS score requirements and a complete list of steps for admission, visit www.pstcc.edu/admissions/international.
Admission of international applicants. A person who is a citizen or a permanent resident of a country other than the United States is classified as an international applicant. In addition to the admissions procedures for beginning freshmen or transfer students, international applicants must comply with the following:
- All transcripts, test scores, and other credentials must be written in English or accompanied by an English translation and certified as official copies. Students who have attended international colleges or universities and request to be awarded transfer credit must have their academic transcripts evaluated by an educational credential service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A list of member organizations is available at www.naces.org/members.htm. Copies of the credit recommendations from the educational credential service must be provided, in addition to copies of English-translated transcripts from colleges/universities attended. Transfer credit awarded will take into consideration the credit recommendations provided by the educational credential service.
- International applicants who plan to study in the United States on an F-1 student visa must
- Provide evidence of sufficient financial resources to pay for the cost of one full year of school attendance and 12 months of living expenses in U.S. currency. The financial verification documentation must be current within six months, must be original (no photocopies, scans or faxes) and must be issued by a financial institution either inside or outside the U.S.
- Provide documentation substantiating official status with the United States Customs and Immigration Service.
- Provide a copy of their Form I-94.
- Submit within 30 days from the first day of classes a certificate from a licensed physician or other qualified medical authority verifying freedom from tuberculosis. Failure to submit such certification shall result in denial of admission or continued enrollment. In the event that a student has tuberculosis or has potential tuberculosis requiring medical treatment, continued enrollment will be conditional upon the determination by a licensed physician that further enrollment is not a risk to others and upon the student’s compliance with any prescribed medical treatment.
- As a condition of admission and continued enrollment, enroll in the TBR Student/Scholar Health and Accident Insurance Plan (students with J, F or M visas; students with J visas must also carry adequate medical and hospitalization insurance for spouses and dependents). Enrollment in the insurance plan will take place no later than at the time of class registration, and the cost of the coverage will be added to the student’s registration fees. Waivers of this requirement may be received only after presenting proof of outside insurance coverage to the international student coordinator. All health insurance waiver requests must be made to the international student coordinator prior to the first day of class in each semester. Health insurance premiums will not be refunded after the payment is submitted to the insurance provider under any circumstances. Health insurance premiums cannot be prorated unless allowed by the health insurance provider.
- Meet with the international student coordinator in Enrollment Services on arrival in the United States, and attend an International Student Orientation session (typically scheduled within the first week of classes each semester).
NOTE: The Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA), effective October 1, 2012, requires state public institutions of higher education to verify that persons seeking a “state public benefit” are either “United States citizens” or “lawfully present” in the United States. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/admissions.
Alternative Ways to Earn Credit
Students admitted to Pellissippi State may obtain advanced standing and course credit through the following:
- CLEP (College-Level Examination Program). Pellissippi State recognizes and accepts credit derived from general and subject area examinations of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB).
- DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) credit by exam program. DSST subject-standardized tests are used to award college credit to students who can demonstrate knowledge of subjects commonly taught in introductory college courses.
- Advanced Placement (AP) test. Pellissippi State offers course credit and advanced placement for successful completion of AP examinations administered by the CEEB to high school students.
- Military service. Pellissippi State grants credit for appropriate educational experiences in the armed services in accordance with the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experience in the Armed Services.
- Extra-institutional learning. Pellissippi State may award credit for extra-institutional learning according to the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.
- CPS (Certified Professional Secretary) examination. Students passing the CPS examination are granted credit at Pellissippi State for certain courses that will apply to a certificate or degree.
- CAP (Certified Administrative Professional) examination. Students passing the CAP examination are granted credit at Pellissippi State for certain courses that will apply to a certificate or degree.
- Proficiency by examination. A student with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 may apply for credit by examination for many college-level courses at Pellissippi State on the basis of experience or training.
- Life experience. Credit for life experience may be petitioned for courses for which credit cannot feasibly be granted by other means, such as advanced placement, CLEP, credit by examination or transfer credit.
For complete details on alternative ways to earn credit, see the information on Prior Learning Assessment: www.pstcc.edu/pla.
New Student Orientation
New Student Orientation is required for all first-time, degree-seeking freshmen and recommended for transfer students. At orientation, students are equipped with information about college procedures and resources, academic majors and transfer options, financial aid, and classroom success strategies. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/orientation.
Academic advisement is a communication and information sharing process during which students make planned decisions about their educational goals. Pellissippi State is committed to providing students the opportunity to succeed in their chosen career path. In order to facilitate this success, the College encourages students to seek continuous academic advising. First-year students are required to meet with an advisor before registering in their first and second semester. Students needing academic assistance are encouraged to seek help before their problems become critical. It is expected that students will be responsible for their personal and educational goals. Students should know their graduation requirements and take an active role in their academic planning.
- Knowing the graduation requirements for the major. If the student is transferring to a college or university that does not accept Tennessee Transfer Pathways or with which Pellissippi State does not have transfer path agreements, he or she needs to know the requirements for graduation for that school.
- Providing the appropriate test scores and transcripts.
- Obtaining the name of the assigned advisor through the student’s myPellissippi account.
- Verifying the major for advisement.
- Making an appointment with the advisor and keeping it.
- Knowing important dates on the Academic Calendar (registration dates, schedule change deadlines, etc.).
- Supplying current information about the student’s address, phone number and major to Enrollment Services.
- Previewing the current Catalog and Handbook online and being familiar with its contents.
- Checking registration status (holds, standing, etc.) prior to registration.
- Registering and making schedule changes in a timely manner.
- Paying all fees in a timely manner.
- Learning to access the student’s email and myPellissippi account.
- Treating others with courtesy and respect.
Go to www.pstcc.edu for complete information on how to enroll at Pellissippi State Community College.
Students register online (www.pstcc.edu) or in person by visiting one of the College’s campuses during published registration periods. The minimum load for full-time attendance is 12 credit hours per semester, and the maximum load is 20 credit hours per semester. The appropriate dean must approve a course load above 20 credit hours. Students should see their assigned academic advisor; the advisor’s dean will determine approval for an overload.
Registration for the next term begins several weeks before the end of each term (See Academic Calendar ). Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor and to register as early as possible. New and first-semester degree-seeking students must consult with their advisor before registering for classes. Second-semester returning and non-degree-seeking students may opt to self-advise and register accordingly.
General advising assistance is available during designated times between terms and during the summer on a first-come, first-served basis. Students must pay fees and confirm their schedule by the date indicated in the Academic Calendar or their schedule will be deleted.
Students are officially enrolled when all assessed fees have been paid and classes have begun. Cash, checks, credit cards, federal financial aid and commitments from outside agencies are accepted. A student must officially confirm attendance even if financial aid pays all fees and must have a zero balance due, or the student is not enrolled. Pellissippi State offers a deferred payment program. Students enrolling in this program are officially enrolled when the initial minimum payment due has been paid.
Credit will be granted only for courses in which the student is officially registered. Students who are officially registered for a class they do not attend or who stop attending and do not officially drop or withdraw from the class will receive an F for the course. Following any change in registration, it is the student’s responsibility to check the change(s) for accuracy of the revised schedule. Students may be placed on hold if any of the following applies:
- They owe fees or other charges to the Business Office.
- They are on academic suspension.
- They owe reimbursement to the financial aid program.
- They fail to submit all required admission documents.
- They fail to complete a loan exit interview.
- They have overdue library books or materials.
- They owe traffic fines.
- They are subject to previous disciplinary action taken by Pellissippi State. The proper action must be taken as indicated, or the vice president of Student Affairs should be contacted for further information before a student can be considered for readmission.
Alternative Class Schedules
Fall and spring classes typically follow a standard 15-week schedule. Weekend classes meet within this time frame on Friday evenings, Saturday mornings and Saturday afternoons.
Classes are offered in abbreviated time periods during the fall and spring. During the summer semester, classes are offered in four-, five- and eight-week periods. All abbreviated time periods have their own drop/add dates that do not conform to the standard-schedule drop/add dates. Visit our Web site, www.pstcc.edu, for the specific payment and drop/add dates.
Pellissippi State offers a variety of courses through distance learning formats. Hybrid, two-way audio/video, videotape/DVD and Web-based options are available for students in Career Programs and Transfer/University Parallel Programs who need flexibility in scheduling and instructional methods. Contact Educational Technology Services, (865) 694-6593, or visit the ETS Web site, www.pstcc.edu/ets, for distance learning information, or go to the College’s home page: www.pstcc.edu.
Through combining Web, hybrid and videotape/DVD courses offered at Pellissippi State, students may complete the 60 hours required for a general A.A./A.S. degree. These Transfer/University Parallel Programs degrees are intended for transfer to a four-year college or university. For information visit www.pstcc.edu/ets/dist_learn/.
Cancellation of Scheduled Classes
The College reserves the right to cancel a class or classes prior to the first day of class. A student’s account is credited 100 percent for any canceled class for which the student has registered. Any student receiving financial assistance may need to add a class if one of his or her other classes is canceled. Failure to do so could result in the student’s owing a repayment of a federal grant or, if the student drops below 6 credit hours, being ineligible for a student loan.
Drop, Add and Withdrawal Standards
After the Registration period is over, students may make adjustments to their schedules by adding and/or dropping courses by the deadlines indicated in the Academic Calendar . A student may drop courses for spring and fall semesters without a W grade throughout the drop period (first 14 days of the semester beginning with the first day of classes and including Saturdays).
For other session drop/add dates, refer to the Student Enrollment Guide. A student may officially drop courses or withdraw from Pellissippi State and receive W’s not later than two-thirds of the way through the term, beginning with the first day of classes. A student who stops attending class and does not officially drop or withdraw from class will receive an F.
Students enrolled in learning support courses must meet with an advisor or learning support program coordinator to request approval to drop those courses. Students may not drop courses without this approval. Students may drop courses only under serious circumstances, such as a death in the family, long-term illness or similar instance.
Beyond the deadline to drop/withdraw, students may drop/withdraw if it can be demonstrated that unusual conditions or hardships exist. Unusual conditions or hardships may include extensive illness, unexpected relocation of residence or place of employment, or other legitimate reasons that may be approved by the vice president of Academic Affairs or designee. Students requesting to withdraw after the deadline must meet with a counselor.