Policy No. 2:00:00:01

Cleveland State Community College Cleveland, Tennessee

SUBJECT:  General Admission Requirements

Cleveland State Community College subscribes to the open door policy for admission and welcomes applications from all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability.

  1. Degree Admission
    General Requirements
    Students who intend to pursue a degree or certificate at Cleveland State or earn credits toward a degree at another institution should comply with the following procedures:
    1. Complete and submit an application for admission.
    2. Provide official transcripts and test results as applicable.
    3. Meet immunization requirements as applicable.
    4. If Resident Alien, submit a copy of the front and back of the Permanent Resident Card. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) may be required for students with a native language other than English.
    5. Provide proof of eligibility for state benefits as applicable. Tennessee Public Chapter 1061, “Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act”, effective October 1, 2012,  provides that state governmental entities, including public higher education, must verify that applicants for “state public benefits” are either a United States citizen or are “lawfully present” in the United States.  As such, applicants for admission who are applying for state benefits must provide proof of U.S. Citizenship or lawful presence.  International students are not required to submit additional documentation since their lawful presence will be verified through SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). Details on acceptable forms of identification which may be provided are available from the Enrollment Services Office.
    Additional Requirements by Category
    1. First- Time Freshmen
      A first time college student will qualify for degree admission provided he/she meets the following requirements:
      1. Graduation from High School or High School Equivalency
        1. Graduation from high school - Provide an official transcript showing graduation from high school. The transcript of a student graduating from a Tennessee public school must include a notation that the student passed the required proficiency examination. The transcript of a Tennessee home-schooled student must be an official copy from an affiliated organization as defined by state law (Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-50-801), or be accompanied by certification of registration with the superintendent of the local education agency which the child would otherwise attend. Transcripts from states other than Tennessee will be evaluated on an individual basis.
        2. High School Equivalency - Applicants may present passing HSE scores or the American Council on Education (ACE) external diploma in lieu of a high school diploma. HSE graduates from states other than Tennessee may also be required to provide further documentation if graduation is not clearly indicated on the HSE score sheet.
      2. Standardized Examination Scores
        (not required for students pursuing a certificate)
        Applicants for admission as first-time freshmen who are under 21 years of age must present Enhanced ACT or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores. Cleveland State will not use the scores to determine eligibility for admission, but shall use them for advisement and placement purposes. Valid ACT/SAT scores are those earned within three years prior to the first day of the first term of enrollment.
      3. Placement Testing
        (not required for students pursuing a certificate)
        1. Applicants for admission as first-time freshmen who are 21 years of age or older must take all parts of the COMPASS test.
        2. Based on scores on either the ACT, SAT or COMPASS, students will be assessed by further diagnostic testing to determine appropriate learning support requirements.
      4. High School course requirements for University Parallel Programs
        Applicants for admission to Associate of Arts (A.A) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree programs who graduated from high school or earned a General Equivalency Diploma in 1989 or thereafter, must have completed the 14 high school units outlined in the State University and Community College System 1989 requirements as follows:
        Subject Area Unit
        English 4
        Algebra I and II 2
        Advanced Mathematics 1
        Natural/Physical Sciences 2
        U.S. History 1
        Foreign Language 2
        Visual/ Performing Arts 1
        Social Studies 1
        Students with an Enhanced ACT Composite Score of 26 or higher, or students who received a High School Equivalency in 1989 or thereafter or an American Council on Education (ACE) External Diploma are considered to have met all high school unit requirements except those in foreign language and visual or performing arts.
        Students deficient in the high school unit requirements should successfully complete approved college courses to remove the deficiencies within the first 30 hours of enrollment.
    2. Transfer Student
      A student who has completed college coursework at another institution of higher learning will qualify for degree admission and must meet the following requirements:
      1. Provide official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning previously attended.
      2. Have a grade-point average on all transferred courses that is at least equal to the progression standards of Cleveland State. Transfer students not meeting this criterion may be admitted on scholastic probation or other appropriate condition.
      3. Students with less than 60 hours of transferable credit must provide an official high school transcript
      4. Participate in any required COMPASS and/or diagnostic testing.
    3. International Student
      A student whose citizenship is retained in a country other than the United States and Puerto Rico and who has not attained resident status in the United States will be classified at an International Student. This student must meet the requirements for degree admission, along with the following additional requirements before admission and enrollment:
      1. Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and attain a minimum score of 500 on the paper exam, 173 on the computer-based exam, or 61 on the internet-based exam. (Not required if native language is English.)
      2. Provide official copies of all academic records from secondary schools, colleges or universities accompanied by English translations of all credentials.
      3. Be certified by a medical authority to be free of tuberculosis.
      4. For students planning to enroll on F1 visas, provide official evidence of financial resources adequate for all expenses for at least one year of enrollment.
      5. Provide all transfer forms and other government documents required by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement including copies of passport, I-94 forms and any form I-20s from previous schools attended in the United States.
      6. Provide evidence of medical insurance or enrollment in the student insurance program.
  2. Non-Degree Admission
    This classification includes any student who wishes to take credit courses on a limited basis (explained below) for credit and/or audit but is not seeking a degree or certificate.  Non-Degree Admission students are not permitted to enroll in any college-level English or mathematics course or in a college-level course which has a reading, English, or mathematics prerequisite until the student has satisfied the prerequisites or has provided evidence that the appropriate college-level Math or English prerequisite has been completed at another institution.
    General Requirements for Non-Degree Admission
    1. Complete and submit an application for admission.
    2. Meet immunization requirements as applicable.
    3. If Resident Alien, submit a copy of the front and back of the Permanent Resident Card. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) may be required for students with a native language other than English.
    Additional Requirements for Non-Degree Admission by Category
    1. High School or HSE Graduate
      Students taking courses for credit who are classified as non-degree must meet all general requirements for admission before applying for a certificate or degree program.
    2. Non-High School Graduate, Non-Degree Student
      This classification includes any student who wishes to take approved college courses but does not qualify for degree admission because he/she fails to present a high school diploma or a HSE.  The student may earn college credit subject to the following conditions:
      1. The student must be 21 years of age or older and not currently enrolled in high school.
      2. Enroll in no more than 15 credit hours per semester.
      3. Meet all prerequisites for college level courses attempted.
      4. Upon completion of 15 credit hours, the student must meet the requirements for degree admission.
      5. Applicants 18 years of age or older who have not earned a high school diploma, and are not currently enrolled in high school, may enroll in learning support courses to prepare for HSE testing.
    3. Transient Student
      This classification includes any student who is regularly attending another college or university and is taking courses at Cleveland State that will transfer towards his/her degree at the other institution.
      The student must:
      1. Provide transcripts of all college coursework or a letter of good standing from the institution of regular attendance.
      2. Students will be allowed to take classes for which prerequisites have been met or as specified on the Transient Approval Form.
      3. Students must reapply and provide a current Transient Approval Form or letter of good standing in order to continue attending Cleveland State for any future term.
    4. Audit Student
      This student attends classes without being required to take examinations and does not receive either a grade or credit.  Students may register to audit courses on a space available basis beginning with the first day of classes for the semester.
    5. Personal or Professional Enrichment Students
      This category includes applicants who wish to enroll as a non-degree student for personal or professional reasons.  If the student wishes to work toward a degree or certificate, transcripts must be furnished.  If the student has fewer than 60 hours of previous coursework which does not include college level English or Math, he/she will be assessed through COMPASS and/or further diagnostic testing. 
  3. PRE-COLLEGE PROGRAMS
    1. Freshman Early Admission (High School Senior)
      A student who has completed the 11th grade in high school may apply for early degree admission and must meet the following requirements:
      1. Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 based on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent.
      2. Have an Enhanced ACT composite score of at least 22.
      3. Provide a statement signed by his/her high school principal which recommends the student's enrollment and a suggested college course load. This report must identify any college courses that will be substituted for any or all of the remaining high school courses that are needed for high school graduation.
      4. Provide written endorsement from his/her high school counselors and from his/her parents or guardian.
      5. Provide an official high school transcript showing all high school units completed at the time of enrollment.
    2. Special Non-Degree Early Admission
      High School students may apply for special non-degree early admission for college credit in the following programs:
      1. Academically Talented/Gifted Student
        An academically talented/gifted student who is enrolled in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 in a public or private high school in Tennessee may, with the recommendation and approval of his/her high school principal and appropriate higher education institution personnel, enroll in and receive regular college degree credit from a Tennessee post secondary institution.
        The student must:
        1. Have a grade point average equivalent to or greater than a 3.2 on a 4.0 maximum scale.
        2. Demonstrate that enrollment for college credit at Cleveland State Community College is a part of the student's planned Individual Education Program (IEP) as established by the multi-disciplinary team process.
      2. Dual/Joint Enrollment
        In cooperation with local boards of education throughout the college’s service area, dual/joint enrollment gives students an opportunity to earn college credit before graduating from high school. In dual enrollment the student will earn college and high school credit for a specified college course. In joint enrollment only college credit is earned for a specified college course. You may enroll in the General Education and/or Business Technology program. The General Education program allows you to take a variety of courses to meet your future college curriculum needs, such as composition, mathematics, history, speech and psychology. Students taking Business and Technology courses can begin earning credit toward a technical certificate.  To participate in the dual/joint enrollment programs, students must have a recommendation from a principal or counselor and the approval of a parent or guardian.
        1. Criteria for General Education Dual/Joint Enrollment
          • Cumulative 3.0 high school GPA (based on a 4.0 point scale) or a 4.0 in the previous four semesters in the subject they wish to take.
          • Have an appropriate ACT or ACT PLAN sub-test score in the subject they wish to take (English-18, Math-19, Reading-19). Comparable SAT scores are accepted.
        2. Criteria for Business/Technical Dual/Joint Enrollment
          • Cleveland State screen interview.
          • Scores from ACT or ACT PLAN.
          • Students who meet criteria for General Education dual/joint enrollment or
            1. One year of Algebra, Technical Math or Technical Algebra with a minimum grade point average of 2.5. Plus,
            2. Technology Department courses require one year of physics, Chemistry, Principles of Technology or Physical Science with a minimum grade point average of 2.5.
            3. Business Department courses require one year of English or Applied Communications with a minimum grade point average of 2.5.
        3. Learning Support Courses
          • Appropriate ACT or ACT PLAN scores.
          • Cumulative 2.5 high school GPA (based on a 4.0 point scale).
          • Cleveland State screening interview.
  4. READMISSION TO THE COLLEGE
    A student previously enrolled at Cleveland State Community College, but not during three consecutive terms (including summer) prior to readmission, must complete a new application for admission. Degree seeking students must also submit complete transcripts of all college credit received at any other college since leaving Cleveland State Community College. If files from previous attendance are no longer retained by the college, transcripts and immunization information may be requested.


Source:  TBR Policy 2:03:00:00
Revised:  Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee Meetings of 11/24/98, 12/8/98, 11/8/12, 2/7/13 and 3/20/14.  Approved by President’s Cabinet 11/27/12, 2/19/13 and 6/2/14.