Dual Enrollment - State Profile

Dual Enrollment - State Profile - Tennessee

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This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Last updated: December 2013

Data compiled by Jennifer Dounay Zinth: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.

Program Basics
Statewide policy in place Yes
Definition or title of program State offers several avenues. Dual Credit program means a postsecondary course, taught in a high school by certified secondary instructors, the successful completion of which prepares a student to sit for a postsecondary challenge examination, administered under the supervision of postsecondary faculty or a consortium approved certified secondary instructor. The student's score on the challenge examination is used by a postsecondary institution to determine the granting of postsecondary credit towards a diploma or a certificate or an associate or baccalaureate degree.

A Dual Enrollment program allows a student to enroll in postsecondary courses for high school and postsecondary credit.

No title: A student may enroll in a course at a postsecondary institution or offered online by the institution. The student may receive high school credit for participating in such courses in accordance with local board policy. State funds to the local school system may not be diminished because of the student's participation.

Early admission into college may be considered for a 12th grader with a minimum 3.5 GPA and ACT composite score of at least 25. A student must have written endorsement from the principal, counseling staff and the participating postsecondary institution. Freshman coursework taken at the institution will substitute for the courses which the student needed for graduation from high school. The student is awarded credit for the senior year after having completed the freshman year in college.

Responses in this profile are specific to dual credit and dual enrollment.
Where courses provided
  • At high school
  • At postsecondary institution
  • Virtual program
  • Other.  At a facility owned or leased by an education partner, if any
Postsecondary and/or secondary credit earned Dual credit and dual enrollment: Both
Students may take developmental/remedial courses through dual enrollment program Yes. A community college may develop a cooperative innovative program targeted to high school students who need postsecondary remediation. Such a student, upon certification by the community college of the student's successful participation and upon admittance to the postsecondary institution, must be deemed to need no further remediation.

A college of applied technology may develop a cooperative innovative program targeted to high school students who may need remediation in technical math and reading upon enrollment in a college of applied technology. If the remediation is successful, upon admittance to any college of applied technology, the student must be deemed to need no further remediation.
CTE component Yes. The Consortium for Cooperative Innovative Education must oversee the development of a statewide high school to postsecondary agreement building on aligned, secondary college-and-career technical pathways to specific postsecondary programs of study and that includes early postsecondary credit.
Unique characteristics Private and home school students may apply for a Dual Enrollment Grant.

Statute creates an Office of Postsecondary Coordination and Alignment in the division of career and technical education in the department of education, and a Consortium for Cooperative Innovative Education. The office is assigned various duties in statute related to early postsecondary credit and dual credit, including making recommendations to the consortium for cooperative innovative education for the development of specific early postsecondary credit opportunities.

The consortium is charged with (1) developing and implementing a program to align secondary and postsecondary courses, (2) developing and implementing early postsecondary credit opportunities, and (3) Create marketing channels to advise students of early postsecondary education opportunities (i.e., dual enrollment, dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and International Baccalaureate). The consortium may create an advisory committee to examine best practices in cooperative innovative education, suggest options to promote early college credit opportunities, and advise the consortium on workforce needs. The advisory committee must invite and encourage the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Tennessee Business Roundtable and the Tennessee Independent College and Universities Association to participate in the advisory committee's activities.

Statute also directs the consortium to review, by July 2013, existing dual credit pilot projects, determine the viability of these courses for statewide implementation, and implement viable courses. The consortium must also develop and implement statewide postsecondary courses, with accompanying challenge examinations, that reflect common learning outcomes established among the postsecondary institutions that already have the course in the individual institution's academic inventory. The initial statewide early postsecondary credit opportunities and their assessments must be piloted on a statewide basis in the 2013-2014 school year in high schools that opt in. In succeeding years additional early postsecondary credit opportunities, including dual enrollment, must be developed as funds are made available.

The consortium, in cooperation with the office of postsecondary coordination and alignment, must develop a strategic plan for the establishment of statewide dual enrollment and dual credit opportunities.

The LEA and the participating postsecondary institution must determine for each course the length of time of instruction, which may be that required for public schools, or that required for the attainment of postsecondary learning outcomes.

It is the intent of the general assembly that funding for Tennessee HOPE scholarships, Tennessee HOPE access grants and Wilder-Naifeh technical skills grants take priority over funding for dual enrollment grants. Subject to legislative appropriations and laws regarding funding shortfalls from the net proceeds of the state lottery, the award for a credit hour taken under a dual enrollment grant must be determined by TSAC and may not exceed the cost per credit hour of courses taken at community colleges in the state university and community college system.

For a home-school student to be eligible for a General Assembly Merit Scholarship (GAMS), the student must, among other criteria, be enrolled in at least four college credit courses totaling at least 12 credit hours and earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. (Public and private school students are not subject to this requirement.)

If a dual credit or dual enrollment program has an education partner that is a public body, the program may use state, federal and local funds allocated or appropriated to that body. Use of funds is subject to any limitations or restrictions placed on those funds by federal or state law or local ordinance. The county governing body in a county where a program is located may nevertheless appropriate funds to a program approved under this chapter. The LEA and the cooperating public postsecondary institution are strongly encouraged to seek funds from sources other than state, federal and local appropriations.

A dual credit or dual enrollment program must comply with the campus’ laws and policies regarding the education of students with disabilities, and must comply with all statutes, regulations, policies and guidelines regarding student discipline.
Offering mandatory or voluntary Voluntary. However, the office of postsecondary coordination and alignment must encourage LEAs throughout the state, including those in rural areas, to offer early postsecondary credit classes (i.e., dual enrollment, dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and International Baccalaureate).
College partners can be 2-year/4-year/both Both
Student eligibility requirements Dual Enrollment: Not set in state policy. However, to be eligible for a Dual Enrollment Grant, a student must be in grades 11-12 and meet other eligibility criteria.

Early admission: Early admission into college may be considered for a 12th grader with a minimum 3.5 GPA and ACT composite score of at least 25.
Cap on number of credits students may earn Not set in state policy. However, a student's participation in the Dual Enrollment Grant program, which covers up to 2 courses per semester during grades 11 and 12, is limited to the remaining amount of time normally required to complete the high school diploma, from the time of initial participation in the program. The grant is available for the regular fall and spring semester, and for summer semesters prior to graduation from high school for those students who did not exceed the maximum award during the regular school year.
Students/parents must be notified of dual enrollment opportunities No
Counseling/advising is made available to students Yes. The office of postsecondary coordination and alignment must make available to students, their parents, and other stakeholders, prior to students enrolling in an early postsecondary credit course, the requirements for receipt of credit at each postsecondary institution and the transferability of credits among public postsecondary institutions. High schools must also disseminate to students taking a dual credit class information on the acceptance of challenge examinations and on each postsecondary institution’s awarding of postsecondary major credit or elective credit for the course.
Who is primarily responsible for paying tuition State. If a program is funded through local, state or federal funds appropriated to an LEA, then no fee may be charged by the LEA or a public postsecondary institution to any student participating in the program.

A dual enrollment grant, funded from net proceeds of the state lottery, is available to an applicant public or private high school junior or senior who is not ineligible for a state lottery-funded grant, has been a Tennessee resident for at least one year prior to application, and has been admitted to a postsecondary institution. A grant recipient may enroll in one lower-division course per semester at an eligible institution, and may enroll in a 2nd course per semester if the student has a minimum 3.0 GPA for high school work completed before dual enrollment, and has earned the minimum ACT or SAT score to qualify for a Tennessee HOPE scholarship. Financial assistance for a 2nd course per semester reduces the amount of any subsequent award of the Tennessee HOPE scholarship on a dollar per dollar basis.

A recipient may reapply for a grant in a subsequent semester if the student continues to meet all eligibility requirements and has a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 for all postsecondary courses attempted under a grant. Courses completed through a dual enrollment grant do not count against semester hour/academic year limitations for receipt of a HOPE scholarship.
How state funds participating high schools Not defined
How state funds participating postsecondary institutions Not defined
Ensuring Program Quality
Instructor qualifications component Yes. Dual Enrollment: Courses must demonstrate equivalent postsecondary course learning outcomes and equivalent faculty preparation in order for the course to be taught in the high school.

Dual Credit: College courses offered at the high school during the regular school day must be taught by licensed teachers or bona fide college instructors approved by the local school system and the postsecondary institution.

Any high school may replicate a dual credit class that is offered by a public four- or two-year institution or college of applied technology and approved by the consortium. Any consortium-approved dual credit class must include a postsecondary challenge examination, which students must pass with a cut score at least equal to the receiving institution’s minimum, to receive postsecondary credit. Prior to consortium approval of a dual credit class, representatives from the University of Tennessee and the board of regents must consult with faculty members at institutions in the major or program for which the class is designed as to whether approving the class would have any negative consequences on the institution or program’s accreditation. The consortium must consider faculty members’ concerns in its determination on approval of classes and cut scores.

The chancellor of the board of regents and the president of the University of Tennessee (or designees) must convene postsecondary faculty to develop common learning outcomes and statewide challenge examinations, conduct reliability and validation activities to assure the quality and fairness of the examinations, establish cut scores, and report student scores to the division of career and technical education in the department of education. Validation requirements for postsecondary credit through a dual credit course must be determined by the postsecondary institutions and their respective governing boards.

The Consortium for Cooperative Innovative Education is charged with establishing a process for developing challenge examinations consistent with the most current “Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing” developed jointly by the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association and National Council on Measurement in Education, resulting in a statewide challenge examination program for designated postsecondary courses. The office of postsecondary coordination and alignment must develop a secure database to allow postsecondary institutions to review scores from dual credit course challenge examinations, to evaluate scores for potential postsecondary credit.

Any public institution of higher education may request the consortium to review a dual credit course and its challenge examination, if the institution perceives the course or its assessment to possess deficiencies. A public higher education institution may also challenge a high school’s right to continue offering a dual credit course should a perceived deficiency be demonstrated within the high school. The consortium must review the dual credit course, assessment or high school, and work with the high school(s) to remove any deficiencies. The consortium may also request that the class at a high school be withdrawn for the dual credit process until such deficiencies are corrected.

The consortium may not approve a program if the program in any way adversely affects an institution’s accreditation.
Program reporting requirement Yes. The commissioner of education must publish an annual report, which must include a list of the dual enrollment courses taken by students in each LEA and a list of the dual enrollment courses taken by students in each of the LEA's schools that serve grades in which dual enrollment courses could be taken. The number of students taking dual enrollment courses and the percentage of students successfully completing dual enrollment courses must be reported by LEA and by school. This report must be distributed to (1) The governor; (2) The members of the general assembly; (3) The members of the state board of education; (4) State and local news media; (5) Local directors of schools; (6) Local boards of education; (7) Presidents of state and local education associations; (8) Presidents of state and local school board associations; (9) State and local parent-teacher organizations; (10) County mayors; (11) Mayors; (12) Local chambers of commerce; (13) Members of local legislative bodies; and (14) Local public libraries.

In addition, the Consortium for Cooperative Innovative Education must annually report to the house and senate education committees. The report must include a description of each program and an evaluation of its success. It must also include a report by (1) the board of regents and the trustees of the University of Tennessee of the number of students who receive early postsecondary credit and who are retained and graduate, and (2) the office of postsecondary coordination and alignment of the effectiveness of the secondary institutions in meeting the purposes of § 49-15-101, including participation numbers, graduation rates of the participants, and the number of students continuing into postsecondary education within one (1) year of graduation.
Program evaluation component Yes. Success of a program must be measured by high school retention rates, high school completion rates, high school dropout rates, certification and associate and baccalaureate degree completion, admission to four-year institutions, post-graduation employment in career or study-related fields, employer satisfaction of employees who participated in and graduated from the programs and other measures as the consortium finds appropriate. The Consortium for Cooperative Innovative Education must evaluate programs for success, establish best practices and lessons learned from successful programs and provide assistance to LEAs and postsecondary institutions seeking to implement a program by replicating or adapting a successful program designed elsewhere or through creation of a new program. The consortium’s annual report to the house and senate education committees must include participants’ graduation rates, and the number of students continuing into postsecondary education within 1 year of graduation.
Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits Yes. Dual enrollment courses listed in the Tennessee Transfer Pathways are recognized for transfer credit by all Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions. Courses listed as general ed. typically meet all TBR institutions’ requirements; the link identifies those recognized only at specific institutions.

A peer institution (i.e., four-year, two-year, or college of applied technology) must award the student credit for a dual credit course if the student passes the course’s challenge examination with a score equal to or higher than the cut score required by the institution. However, each higher education institution awarding the credit determines whether the class credit is applied toward a major or the requirements of a specific program, or as an elective. A postsecondary institution may also set the cut score on the challenge examination results that is required for the award of credit in a major or a specific program or as an elective at the institution.

Participating high schools and postsecondary institutions developing unique dual credit or dual enrollment opportunities (outside statewide courses) must notify students prior to such dual credit course being taught of the availability of transfer of the course.

Private postsecondary institutions are encouraged to assess the statewide agreement produced by the consortium and determine which courses, if any, qualify for award of college credit at the institution. If a private institution determines a course qualifies for award of college credit, the institution, in addition to any institutional publication made of this fact, may notify the department of education of the potential for award of college credit for such course at the institution, for the department to disseminate this information to LEAs for notification of high school students.

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