How does recent news about changes at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus affect students currently enrolled at CHEC?
Because both Nashville State Community College (NSCC) and Volunteer State Community College (VSCC) are members of the Tennessee’s Community Colleges System and the Tennessee Board of Regents, the shift should be mostly administrative and will not affect students’ progress toward their degrees. Students will still be able to take classes at their current location. The name of the college delivering the instruction may change. However, all credits will be transferable to the students’ home campuses. Both NSCC and VSCC will strive to make this transition as seamless as possible for students and faculty.
What about TN Promise students? Does this affect their scholarship?
No. The status of current TN Promise students studying at any of the locations will not be affected by the service area changes. As long as they continue to meet the requirements of TN Promise, they will remain eligible for the program. TN Promise students may use their scholarship at either school and credits earned at either are transferable.
How will this impact faculty and employees at CHEC?
The change is mostly operational and administrative between the two colleges. No employees will lose their jobs because of this service area change. Programs will still be offered at both locations. Employees may transfer among institutions. Because all the institutions at these locations are members of the Tennessee Board of Regents, any necessary employment transfers should be smooth. Both NSCC and VSCC will strive to make this transition as seamless as possible for students and faculty.
But the CHEC just opened earlier this year. Why now?
Both institutions knew that as the CHEC concept evolved, changes could be likely. Shortly after opening, it became evident that having two colleges offering similar programs was not efficient or effective. In the end, both institutions reviewed the business model and agreed CHEC could be better served with these changes. Leaders at both institutions, the Tennessee Community Colleges System and the Tennessee Board of Regents believe this is the right change at the right time.
Is the future of CHEC in danger?
Not at all. The Tennessee Board of Regents, as well as both NSCC and VSCC, recognize the important role the CHEC plays in the Cookeville community and are dedicated to its mission in the community. While Volunteer State will take the lead in offering a wide selection of general education courses and degree programs, Nashville State or other colleges may continue to offer classes at CHEC for specific programs that Volunteer State does not offer.
When will the changes take effect?
We expect to begin the transition process with the Fall 2016 semester. Obviously, the transition will take some time to complete.
So what does this mean for future students?
Beginning with the Fall 2016 semester, students wishing to pursue an associate degree at CHEC will enroll at Volunteer State, unless a special program not available through VSCC is offered at CHEC by another community college, including Nashville State. We expect the same wide variety of program offerings will be available to students, including students participating in TN Promise. In addition, university-path programs offered at CHEC will still provide seamless transfer to TTU.
For more information regarding this change, please see the following press release: “Volunteer State, Nashville State Community Colleges Modify Services Areas; VSCC Assumes Lead Role at Cookeville Higher Education Campus.”