Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 8, 2019

MTSU extends pact with Chattanooga State

Presidents Sidney A. McPhee, left, of Middle Tennessee State University and Rebecca Ashford of Chattanooga State Community College celebrate the “MTSU Promise” partnership with Chattanooga State. - Photograph provided

Middle Tennessee State University has signed an agreement to extend the “MTSU Promise” to Chattanooga State Community College, the eighth such pathway established for students with associate degrees to move seamlessly to the four-year university.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Chattanooga State President Rebecca Ashford signed the documents at the Chattanooga Convention Center, where MTSU was holding a True Blue Tour event to recruit prospective students and also court high school counselors and community college staff.

MTSU is No. 1 in the state in transfer students and is the top institution using the reverse transfer process. Chattanooga State is one of MTSU’s key transfer feeder schools.

Chattanooga State, which has two satellite sites, is the eighth community college to join the MTSU Promise program.

While together, Ashford and McPhee also signed a memorandum of understanding between the college’s Global Scholars Honors Program, which has 250 students presently, and the University Honors College.

“We are pleased with the partnership, but we’re taking it to another level,” McPhee said at the event. “They can transfer from Chattanooga State hassle-free. They have a long, tradition of sending outstanding students to MTSU. … This is an example of collaboration and partnerships of public institutions working toward the betterment of citizens of the state.”

Ashford said the partnership “is all about an amazing opportunity for our Chattanooga State students. There will be no hassles, it’s affordable … and they will have a seamless transition to MTSU.”

The “promise” agreement calls for Chattanooga State to share with MTSU directory information of the college’s students so they are included in tailored communications of emails and hard-copy mailings that support the process of planning for the bachelor’s degree after successful completion of the associate degree.

Also, the agreement says Chattanooga State students who agree to participate in the MTSU Promise will sign a “reverse transfer” agreement, meaning if they fail to complete their associate degrees before transfer, they would automatically receive their associate degree from Chattanooga State once sufficient credits have been completed at MTSU.

Through its existing Guaranteed Transfer Scholarship Program, MTSU will provide aid for Chattanooga State students who transfer to MTSU in the amount of $3,000 per year for two years, or a maximum of four semesters, based on achievement of a 3.0 GPA.

 Students transferring to MTSU will not be eligible to receive the Guaranteed Transfer Scholarship until after completing 45 credit hours at Chattanooga State.

Deb Sells, MTSU’s vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services, said the MTSU Promise is a program that allows Chattanooga State and other community college students to consider their bachelor’s degree as they begin their associate degree.

MTSU will also assure to such students that if they complete 60 credits with a 3.0 GPA at Chattanooga State, they will be guaranteed admission and a scholarship to attend MTSU for their last two years of study, Sells said.