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Tech Partnering With Community College Puts Students At Forefront

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Partnering With Community College Puts Students At Forefront

The battle for undergraduate admissions for Tennessee Tech and a school like Roane State has ended, with the priority shifting to a focus on the student.

Tech Vice President for Enrollment Management and Career Placement Brandon Johnson said if a student’s best interest is the starting point, systems must be in place for students to transfer. Johnson said this mentality starts with staff who worked with the students who took the transfer path.

“What is best for them, and see all the different ways that they navigate the education system,” Johnson said. “Be there to support them and remove barriers and encourage them. When we can work with colleagues at community colleges, that’s only showing the student that we truly do care about them.”

Johnson said the reality is that serving students looks different these days, saying the one size fits all approach to a four-year education does not work anymore. Johnson said if a student feels starting at a community college is best for them, Tech cannot stop engaging students because of their choice.

Wednesday, Tennessee Tech and Roane State announced a new partnership to aid students transferring.

“Nearly two thirds of our students come to us directly as freshmen,” Johnson said. “but also an important number is the one third that transfers here. They are as important to us because their educational experience, desires and aspirations and accomplishments are also critically important.”

Johnson said the Tennessee Promise Scholarship could be a reason more students choose to start their college education at a community college. Johnson said that as this pathway for students grows, he expects programs like the Roane to Tech pipeline to grow as well.

“There’s likely more to come and we want to continue to be in conversations with them and relationships with them so we can continue to serve the student,” Johnson said. “And also embrace other community colleges and work with other institutions to make sure that we don’t just provide this for the region Roane State serves.”

Tennessee Tech announced a dual enrollment and guaranteed enrollment partnership with Roane State on Wednesday. The Roane to Tech program allows students to automatically be accepted directly into Tech with a two-year associates degree, or dual enrollment path through one of five parent programs.


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