2023-2024 Catalog 
    Jun 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Program Information

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.


Academic Freedom and Faculty Governance

Northeast State believes in a “participatory governance” system whereby students, faculty, staff, and the general public all have an opportunity for input into the decision-making process and curriculum planning. The College endeavors to maintain a committee structure and communication channels through which input can be provided and an attitude of “openness” and “collaboration” can prevail. This management system is accountable, yet innovative and open for dialogue, constructive criticism, and feedback (Northeast State Policy 01:01:00, Statement of Philosophy). Every effort is made to appoint a representative group of faculty, administrators, and students to serve on institutional committees, as appropriate, and each member of a committee is a voting member unless otherwise noted.

The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) publishes policies, procedures, and guidelines outlining the expectations about the operation of the colleges under its governance structure.  Northeast State follows these Board policies, procedures, and guidelines and, where required and/or permitted, may write institutional policies, procedures, and guidelines that are applicable to the College.

Northeast State publishes policies on the responsibility and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters in accordance with TBR Policy 1:03:10:00, Student and Faculty Participation in Development of Campus Policies and Programs and TBR Policy 5:02:03:30, Academic Freedom and Responsibility. The faculty’s responsibility with regard to academic and governance matters are outlined in Northeast State Policy 05:05:07, Qualifications, Duties and Responsibilities of Faculty. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to, implementing the instructional program, developing and recommending to academic deans new courses and programs of study as needed, providing student academic advisement, and serving on committees as appointed. As part of their annual responsibilities, faculty are required to serve on standing and/or ad-hoc committees to address college academic and governance issues and matters as indicated in the Northeast State Policy 05:05:07, Qualifications, Duties and Responsibilities of Faculty. Faculty’s authority with regard to academic and governance matters is evidenced in faculty representation on Northeast State’s standing committees. For example, the Curriculum Subcommittee and Promotion/Tenure Committee are chaired by faculty. 

The primary entity for faculty governance is the Faculty Senate, which is comprised of full-time teaching faculty members from all academic divisions and staff members that hold academic ranks. The Faculty Senate serves as a vehicle for maintaining a direct line of communication from faculty to the College’s administration with regard to matters of concern in all aspects of the College. Northeast State Policy 06:15:00, Faculty Senate is published in the Policies and Procedures Manual and outlines the purpose and membership of the Faculty Senate. In addition to the Faculty Senate, the President’s Faculty Advisory Council, Expanded Executive Council and faculty membership on the Strategic Planning Committee help to ensure faculty responsibility and authority relative to the overall teaching, learning, and management processes.

Academic Programs


Programs of Study

Northeast State Community College offers university parallel or transfer degree programs designed to meet the needs of students who plan to transfer to four-year institutions to pursue a baccalaureate degree. The College also offers technical degree and academic/technical certificate programs designed to prepare the student for entry into the workforce upon completion of the program. The degree and certificate programs at Northeast State Community College are listed in the Curriculum Guides section of this catalog.

Default Pathways

The concept of the default pathway includes the concept that students choose coherent academic programs, not random, individual courses. Therefore, a clear path to on-time completion is presented to the student, with each semester course plans set forth for the full-time student.

The “default pathway” is an extension of the individual institution’s curriculum map, but requires the institution to set forth a delimited set of courses that establishes a pathway most conducive to the student graduating within two years [i.e. on-time for the particular award], and is most conducive to giving the student assistance in gaining the knowledge and skillsets that are most apt to make the individual employable within the field, in the local region.

Associate of Arts/Associate of Science Degrees University Parallel Programs


Students who intend to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree at a four-year college or university may complete the first two years at Northeast State by enrolling in the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree programs. The administration, faculty, and staff at Northeast State work closely with the students and neighboring colleges and universities to facilitate the transfer. Course-by-course equivalency tables and articulation agreements with some four-year colleges and universities have been developed to ease transfer and assist the student and his/her advisor with academic program development.

Every TBR institution incorporates the 41-semester hour general education core into its degree program requirements and accepts all courses designated as meeting these requirements at other TBR institutions. By ensuring the transferability of courses fulfilling lower-division general education requirements, TBR has eliminated unnecessary repetition of these courses by students transferring to institutions within the TBR System. Students planning to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language as prescribed in the institutional degree requirements.

Articulation and Transfer


University parallel programs (AA and AS degree programs) are those designed for transfer into a baccalaureate program at a four-year college or university. Students may choose to declare a major, or emphasis, in the university parallel programs, or they may choose a general transfer degree. Northeast State faculty and staff work closely with other regional and TBR institutions to facilitate transfer through articulation agreements or transfer equivalency tables.

Articulation means that Northeast State has an agreement with a four-year college or university for a specific program(s) which is (are) offered at Northeast State and that meet the receiving institution’s requirements. The receiving institution has agreed to accept the student as having completed the first two years of a four-year program. Transfer equivalency tables refer to a listing of Northeast State courses accepted by a four-year college or university as equivalent. The receiving institutions acknowledge that they will accept Northeast State courses in transfer. Articulation agreements and transfer equivalencies vary from institution to institution; therefore, it is essential for students to refer to the program requirements in the senior institution’s catalog and seek advice from their academic advisors or from the Advising Resource Center staff concerning transfer.

A joint decision has been made by the UT system and the Tennessee Board of Regents to change the name of “Universal Transfer Path” to “Tennessee Transfer Path” (TTP). At the quarterly meeting of the TBR President’s Council, the presidents voted to approve the final group of Tennessee Transfer Pathways - TTPs (originally referred to as Universal Transfer Pathways - UTPs). This action by the presidents completes the process of developing paths for seamless transfer of community college curricula to university majors as mandated in the Complete College Tennessee Act.

TICUA (Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association) engages Tennessee’s private colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional development to better serve the state and its citizens. The association counts among its membership each independent, non-profit, regionally accredited college and university in Tennessee with a traditional arts and science curriculum. To learn more about private higher education in Tennessee, click here. In addition, there are several non-profit, regionally accredited members that specialize in such fields as medicine, dentistry, optometry, and fine arts.

Additionally, students may link to any school in the Tennessee Board of Regents System from this site - www.tbr.edu/schools/default.asp

Associate of Arts and Associate of Science


The divisions of Humanities, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Science provide university parallel programs designed to transfer to neighboring colleges and universities and general education courses required in selected technical education academic programs. The divisions of Mathematics and Science provide instruction in mathematics, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physical science, physics, pre-engineering, and health. The divisions of Humanities and Behavioral and Social Sciences provide instruction in art, criminal justice, education, English, foreign languages, geography, history, mass communications, music, philosophy, physical education, social sciences, speech, and theatre. Courses in these academic disciplines are designed to offer students a common set of learning experiences that enhance their ability to function effectively in an increasingly complex society.

Pre-Professional Programs


Pre-Professional Programs curricula are designed to satisfy minimum requirements for admission to senior institutions offering health professions, engineering, and teacher education programs. Northeast State prepares students to enter professional programs in cardiopulmonary, dental hygiene, medical technology, nursing, physical therapy, radiography, engineering, and various teacher education concentrations. Because admissions standards vary from institution to institution, students should see an advisor and contact the school to which they intend to transfer for additional information. Completing an associate of science degree in a pre-professional program does not guarantee admission into a professional degree program at a senior institution.  



Programs in Civil, Chemical, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering have been approved at the state level for transfer to any TBR or UT System School of Engineering. Academic programs in other engineering fields are designed to transfer to Tennessee Technological University; this includes programs in chemical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, computer engineering, and industrial technology.  Students planning to transfer to other universities should see an advisor and contact the school to which they intend to transfer to design an optimal course of study. Engineering programs assume students have adequate preparation in mathematics to begin calculus. Students who have not completed pre-calculus courses including trigonometry and advanced algebra will need these course(s) in addition to those required for the program.

Pre-Health Professions


Academic programs in pre-health professions are designed for transfer to institutions offering professional programs in chiropractic, medicine, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and physical therapy. Students planning to transfer to a college or university to continue their education in one of these programs should consult an advisor and contact the school to which they intend to transfer.

Pre-Teacher Education


Academic programs in teacher education are designed to transfer to East Tennessee State University, which offers programs in Special Education K-12, K-5 Education, Early Childhood Pre-K-3, Physical Education K-12, and Secondary Education. Students planning to transfer to other colleges and universities should consult an advisor and contact the school to which they intend to transfer for specific requirements.

Associate of Applied Science


The associate of applied science programs are for individuals who desire to enter a specialized occupational career immediately after graduation. These programs are not designed for transfer to a baccalaureate degree program. However, selected Northeast State Community College associate of applied science degree programs are accepted by some senior colleges and universities.

Associate of Applied Science Degree Requirements

According to the Tennessee Board of Regents policy, associate of applied science degree programs require a minimum of 60 semester college-level credit hours. Credit hours earned in learning support courses are institutional credit and are not applicable to credit hours required for a certificate, associate, or baccalaureate degree. Each student studying for an associate of applied science degree must complete a minimum of 15-17 semester credit hours of general education and a minimum of 44-46 semester credit hours in the technical specialty. Components of the basic core of general education in the associate of applied science degree programs consist of a minimum of one course in the following areas*.

Subject Area Credit Hours
English Composition 3
Humanities/Fine Arts 3
Behavioral and Social Sciences 3
Natural Science/Mathematics 3-4
One additional course from the categories of Communication, Humanities/Fine Arts, Behavioral/Social Sciences, or Natural Science/Mathematics 3-4
Total 15-17


*Consult the Approved Courses for General Education  section of this catalog for a list of approved courses.

Transferability of the Associate of Applied Science Degree

The associate of applied science degree is intended to prepare a person for employment in a specific field rather than for transfer to a four-year college or university. However, many institutions do accept all or part of the course work taken at Northeast State and apply those courses toward the baccalaureate degree.

Students interested in such a transfer should contact their Northeast State advisor and the appropriate department at the transfer institution.

Academic/Technical Certificate Programs


Academic/Technical certificate programs are designed to prepare individuals to enter a specialized occupational career area immediately after graduation. Each program contains courses specific and relevant to the career area. Credit for successful completion of courses in a certificate program may be applied towards an associate of applied science degree program.

Academic/Technical Certificate Program Requirements

Academic/technical certificate programs require the successful completion of courses in each curriculum. Individual assessment may result in the scheduling of additional courses to overcome deficiencies in English, mathematics, and reading. Credit hours earned in learning support courses are not applicable to credit hours required in an academic/technical certificate program. Certificate programs at Northeast State are listed in the Curriculum Guides section of this catalog, and include the following:

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • Early Childhood Development

Health Professions

  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)
  • Dental Assisting
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Paramedic


  • Accounting
  • Auto Body Service Technology
  • Automotive Service
  • Avionics Technology
  • Chemical Process Operations
  • Combination Welding
  • Computer-Aided Drafting
  • Construction Electricity
  • Customer Service and Sales
  • Electromechanical
  • Entertainment Technology - Sound and Lighting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Fleet Maintenance and Light Repair
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Industrial Control Systems
  • Industrial Operations
  • Industrial Process Specialist
  • Information Technology Service Agent
  • Machine Tool Operations
  • Office Technology
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Northeast State Online Course Options


Northeast State offers a variety of online options to make it easier for students to take classes. The quality of instruction governing credit courses, offered at all campuses or through non-traditional program formats, is maintained at the same level and is equivalent in all academic considerations. Students enrolled in the evening, distance education, and non-traditional programs coordinated by the division of Multi-Campus Programs are afforded the same educational and support services as students enrolled in traditional programs.