2023-2024 College Catalog 
    Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admissions & Registration

Pellissippi State serves the postsecondary educational needs of the community. The College develops specific admission policies consistent with TBR policy. The College provides opportunities for collegiate education to all qualified applicants regardless of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law related to the College. 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 should apply online on the College website or call 865-694-6400 to obtain a printed application. Admission to Pellissippi State does not guarantee admission to all programs.

Degree Admission

Applicants seeking admission to Pellissippi State to enroll in regular credit courses for a degree must comply with the following procedures:

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Provide official academic transcripts and test results as applicable.

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. Visit the Testing Center to learn more about the high school equivalency diploma.

Standardized examination scores. Applicants for admission as first-time freshmen must submit valid ACT or SAT scores or be placed into the appropriate corequisite learning support courses with the option to take the Accuplacer challenge test. Valid ACT or SAT scores are those earned within five years prior to the first day of the first term of enrollment.

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. Applicants who have a degree or certificate equivalent to the associate degree in a particular field and who wish to take additional courses are eligible for admission.

Transfer students must meet the criteria outlined above for degree admission and must submit to Enrollment Services official transcripts from each school previously attended.

NOTE: If the student has earned an associate degree or higher from a postsecondary institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, Community Colleges shall not require an applicant to provide the institution with a copy of the applicant’s high school transcript or HiSET/GED certificate showing proof of a passing score as a part of the institution’s admission process.

Awarding of Transfer Credit

Transfer credit will be processed as official transcripts are received from each school attended by the student. 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, provided a grade of D or better was earned 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:

  1. Course 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; expected student learning outcomes; 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.
  2. 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 — a minimum of an associate degree in the teaching field or closely related field and three years work experience in the field.
  3. If applicable, the name of relevant specialized or program agencies/boards may be required 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:

  1. The student completes the Petition for Transfer Credit available through 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 considered for approval.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 and a copy to the Records office.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. For a list of credential evaluation services, visit the International Students webpage. 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 admission application. 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

Academic Fresh Start allows students who have experienced academic difficulty to make a clean start upon returning to college after an extended absence. This policy allows eligible students to resume study without being penalized for past unsatisfactory scholarship and signals the initiation of a new grade point average (GPA) to be used for determining academic standing.


Readmitted students who were formerly enrolled at Pellissippi State, as well as transfer students who meet institutional requirements for admission and who have been separated from all institutions of higher education for a minimum of four years, are eligible for Fresh Start. All students must meet Pellissippi State’s admissions requirements as delineated in Policy 03:11:00 Admissions. A transfer applicant’s grade point average on transferable courses must be at least equal to that which the College requires for the readmission of its own students. Applicants who do not meet Pellissippi State’s standards may be admitted on scholastic probation or other appropriate condition.

Minimum Criteria for Academic Fresh Start

A.   Student Requirements

  1. Separation from all collegiate institutions for at least four calendar years.
  2. Readmission to the College or admission as a degree-seeking or certificate-seeking student.
  3. Filing of a formal application to the Admissions office requesting Academic Fresh Start and describing an academic plan at any time after admission or readmission. Admissions counselors are available to help with that process.

B.   Terms of Academic Fresh Start

  1. The student may be granted a Fresh Start only once.
  2. The student’s permanent record will remain a record of all work; however, courses taken and previously failed will be excluded from the calculation of the GPA.

a. Courses with a D grade will also be excluded from the calculation when a grade of C or better is required in the student’s major. GPA and credit hours will reflect courses for which passing grades were earned and retained.

b. Courses with D or F grades must be repeated when they are required in the student’s major. No transient credit will be accepted after the Fresh Start is initiated.

c. The application of retained credit toward degree requirements will be determined by the requirements currently in effect at the time the academic renewal status is conferred on the student. All program requirements must be met.

d. Previously satisfied placement requirements will not be forfeited.

  1. Upon degree admission, Fresh Start applicants who did not satisfy placement 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 requirements regarding enrollment in college English or mathematics courses.
  2. The student’s transcript will note that the Fresh Start was made and the date of the Fresh Start.
  3. The student will apply for the Fresh Start with the understanding that all TBR institutions will honor a Fresh Start provision granted at another TBR institution. The student should also signify understanding that non-TBR institutions may not accept the GPA as it is calculated with the Fresh Start.
  4. This policy is independent of financial aid regulations. Financial aid requirements at the time of application for the Fresh Start will apply. Therefore, a Fresh Start applicant should check with the Financial Aid office for guidance.

Mandatory Placement of Degree Admission Students

For regular admission to a degree program, applicants must meet one of these three criteria:

  • Applicants who have not attended college previously must submit valid ACT or SAT scores or be placed into the appropriate corequisite learning support courses with the option to take the Accuplacer challenge test. Valid ACT or SAT scores are those earned within five years prior to the first day of the first term of enrollment. Students who do not show proficiency in reading based on the reading challenge test must enroll in corequisite reading/College Success courses. Students who do not show proficiency in mathematics or English must enroll in corequisite/college-level mathematics and/or English courses.
  • Students with an unweighted high school GPA of 3.6 will be placed into college level coursework regardless of ACT/SAT score.
  • Transfer students whose previous academic records from a college or university indicate college-level English and/or mathematics proficiency will be considered for regular admission. Students whose records do not include such transfer credit in English and mathematics will be placed in corequisite learning support and college-level courses with an opportunity to take the Accuplacer to challenge that placement.

Non-degree Admission

A non-degree-seeking student is one who is not working toward a degree. To be admitted as an undergraduate non-degree-seeking 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. Non-degree-seeking students must provide evidence of meeting all course pre-requisites, including the submission of official transcripts if pre-requisite courses were taken elsewhere. 

Non-degree-seeking 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 credits. The Dual Enrollment program is a cooperative effort between Pellissippi State and high schools in Knox and Blount counties and qualified home-schooled 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 academic requirements specified for admission of degree-seeking students. Visit Pellissippi State’s Dual Enrollment website to learn more about the program.

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.

Dual Credit. Two types of dual credit are available for high school students to take college coursework while they are enrolled in high school and after completing the application for Pellissippi State.

  • Local Dual Credit: Taught by high school faculty, a high school course aligned to the College’s standards and with a required assessment set by Pellissippi State’s college faculty. Students who pass the assessment earn credits that are accepted and/or recognized by Pellissippi State. The College assumes full responsibility for the academic quality and integrity of partnerships established with high schools.
  • Statewide Dual Credit: Taught by high school faculty, a high school course aligned to standards set by a statewide consortium of college faculty with a required exam to earn credit upon matriculation to any Tennessee postsecondary institution.

Senior Citizens and People with Disabilities

Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) 49-7-113 provides special legislation for Tennessee residents 60 or older with permanent disabilities 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 tuition, program service, student government, student activity, international education, recreation, technology, sustainable campus and late registration fees. All applicable special course fees will be charged.

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 tuition, program service, student activity, student government, international education, recreation, technology, sustainable campus and late registration fees. A service fee not to exceed $70 per semester will be charged. All applicable special course fees will be charged.

People with permanent disabilities must contact the Disability Services office to be certified as eligible for either program. Senior citizens must contact Student Account Services to be certified as eligible for either program.

General Requirements

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. Students who still disagree may appeal in writing to the assistant vice president of Enrollment Services.

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 the Admissions website.

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:

  1. A passing score on the Michigan test or
  2. A minimum score on the paper, computer, or internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or
  3. A minimum score on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or
  4. A C grade in college English composition (ENGL 1010)

For up-to-date Michigan test, TOEFL and IELTS score requirements and a complete list of steps for admission, visit the Start Strong Center.

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:

  1. 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 on the NACES website. 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.
  2. 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 and must be issued by a financial institution.
    • Provide documentation substantiating official status with the United States Customs and Immigration Service.
    • Provide a copy of their passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months from the first day of classes.
    • 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.
    • Provide proof of enrollment in an approved health insurance policy by the first day of classes.
    • Meet with the international admissions specialist in Enrollment Services on arrival in the United States and attend an International Student Orientation session.

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 Board.
  • DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) credit by exam program. DSST 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 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.
  • 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 Prior Learning Assessment website.

Student Orientation

Student Orientation is required for all degree-seeking 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 the Student Orientation webpage.


Advising is an integral part of a student’s academic career. Effective academic advising cultivates learning and encourages inquiry. Academic advising is an open dialogue about the student’s academic plans and career goals. The office provides students an opportunity to ask questions and engage in critical thinking, share information and connect with campus resources.

Student responsibilities:

  • Demonstrate respect for others and self at all times.
  • Read the College Catalog and adhere to the code of conduct, college policies and procedures.
  • Take ownership of academic plans and performance using a variety of resources and tools.
  • Attend regular Advising appointments. Come prepared with previous documents.
  • Communicate with advisors and adhere to deadlines.
  • Check the myPellissippi Alert Box and email regularly. Respond to actionable items.
  • Engage in open and honest communication with advisors and professors.
  • Register and make changes to schedules in a timely manner, adhering to published deadlines.
  • Learn how to use the technology tools provided for registering, scheduling appointments and participating in courses.
  • Register and make schedule changes in a timely manner.
  • Pay all fees in a timely manner.

Registration Procedures

Visit the College website for complete information on how to enroll at Pellissippi State.

Students may register online through myPellissippi 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 chief academic officer must approve a course load above 20 credit hours.

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. Students must accept the Financial Responsibility Statement before registering.

General advising assistance is available by appointment throughout the academic year including summer semester. Students must pay fees and confirm their schedule by the date indicated in the Academic Calendar  or their schedule may be deleted.

Official Enrollment

Students are officially enrolled when all assessed fees have been paid and classes have begun. Checks, money orders, credit cards, federal and state 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 for the fall and spring terms. 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 or FA and be responsible for tuition and fees for the course. Following any change in registration, it is the student’s responsibility to check the revised schedule for accuracy. Students may be placed on hold if any of the following applies:

  • They owe fees or other charges to Student Account Services.
  • 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 student must take the action indicated or contact the vice president of Student Affairs for further information before being considered for readmission.

Alternative Class Schedules

Fall and spring classes typically follow a standard 15-week schedule. Fall and spring classes are offered in 5, 7, 10 and 15 week time periods. Summer classes are offered in 4, 5, 8 and 10 week time periods. All abbreviated time periods have their own drop/add dates that do not conform to the standard schedule drop/add dates. Visit the 2022-2023 Academic Terms Calendar Grid (PDF) for the specific payment and drop/add dates.

Distance Education

Pellissippi State offers a variety of courses through distance learning formats for students who desire flexibility in scheduling and instructional methods. Available distance learning format options include hybrid (part face-to-face and part online), synchronous/virtual online using video conferencing technology with specific login class times (courses begin with a V in the schedule of classes), and asynchronous online with no regularly scheduled class times (courses begin with a W in the schedule of classes). 

Students may combine distance learning classes with traditional face-to-face courses or may complete programs of study online. Fully online options include A.A. and A.S. degrees, several A.A.S. degrees and Certificates.

Study Abroad

Pellissippi State allows students the opportunity to enroll in study abroad programs through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS). Currently, programs are located in more than 20 countries around the world. TnCIS study abroad programs are designed to provide TBR students and faculty with not only an international learning experience but also expanded global awareness and cultural understanding. TnCIS programs are typically three weeks during the summer. The College offers scholarships for eligible students. See the TnCIS website for requirements as well as available programs.


Traditionally, service-learning is an experiential teaching and learning strategy used by some professors to integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. At Pellissippi State, students are not required to be a part of a service-learning-enhanced or stand-alone course to experience service-learning. Students can register through ServiceCorps and be directly connected with volunteer opportunities and community partners that are relevant to their major and/or interests. Visit Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning website for further information.

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% for any canceled class for which the student has registered. Any student receiving financial assistance may need to add a class by the deadlines indicated in the Academic Calendar  if one of his or her other classes is canceled. Failure to be enrolled in the required number of credit hours could impact the student’s eligibility for financial assistance.

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 drop/add deadline for each part of the semester. A student may drop courses without a W grade for a designated number of days depending on the part of the term the course is offered. These dates will be indicated in the Academic Calendar .

A student may officially withdraw from a course or Pellissippi State and receive W’s not later than two-thirds of the way through the term, beginning with the first day of class. A student who stops attending class and does not officially drop or withdraw from class will receive an FA grade and will be responsible for the full amount of tuition and fees.

Beyond the deadline to drop/withdraw, students may withdraw only from all classes and only 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 chief academic officer. Students requesting to withdraw after the deadline must meet with a counselor. No late withdrawals will be allowed after one year from the end of the semester in which the student was enrolled in the course.