Belmont University, Volunteer State Announce Degree Completion Program for Business Students

Agreement offers students cost savings, seamless degree completion; optimizes Tennessee Promise/Reconnect programs

Dr. Bob Fisher, President of Belmont University and Dr. Jerry Faulkner, Vol State Community College sign an articulation agreement between Belmont and Vol State at Vol State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, February 4, 2020.
Dr. Bob Fisher, President of Belmont University and Dr. Jerry Faulkner, Vol State Community College sign an articulation agreement between Belmont and Vol State at Vol State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, February 4, 2020.

Belmont University and Volunteer State Community College announced today a new partnership that allows Vol State associate degree students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (B.B.A.) from Belmont’s Jack C. Massey College of Business. Belmont reached similar agreements with Columbia State Community College and Nashville State Community College in recent years.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This agreement eliminates two of the biggest hurdles to degree completion, credit transferability and convenience, by clearing obstacles that all too often get in the way of local students who are seeking a four-year degree. This initiative outlines the steps needed to ensure credits earned properly transfer while also maximizing each student’s financial investment in their education. Extending such partnerships to more colleges and more programs means more Tennesseans will have the means to obtain the four-year degree needed in today’s complex workforce.”

According to a 2018 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, 80 percent of students attending community colleges nationwide intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree, but only 14 percent have one six years later. A study from the Community College Research Center noted that several essential practices have proven highly effective in improving those numbers for transfer students with key points about creating “clear programmatic pathways with aligned high-quality instruction.” This new agreement—which provides deeper connections between the two programs and streamlines services and admissions for students—aims to improve transfer graduation numbers in Tennessee.

Eligible students must earn a Vol State Associate of Science Degree in a business program  by completing the transfer coursework developed and approved by both institutions. Through this agreement, Vol State students who meet stated requirements can be granted early admittance into Belmont’s Massey College of Business.

“We are always pleased when we can create another pathway for students to achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams,” said Vol State president Dr. Jerry Faulkner. “This agreement with Belmont allows students to take full advantage of TN Promise or TN Reconnect tuition-free college at Vol State and then move on to one of the most prestigious colleges and programs in our area.”

The degree completion program is open to any Vol State student pursuing an associate’s degree in accounting, business administration, information systems, finance, management or marketing who successfully completes 24 credit hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students applying for need-based aid or VA benefits as well as adult students seeking reduced tuition options are all eligible for this program. In addition, a transfer scholarship has been created to support students pursuing the 2-to-4 year Vol State/Belmont option. The scholarship, open to Vol State Associate Degree in Business graduates who meet GPA qualifications, has a value of $3,000 per semester for four semesters of continuous study at Belmont.

Dr. Jan Williams, dean of Belmont’s Massey College of Business, added, “Belmont and the Massey College of Business look forward to this innovative partnership with Vol State. Through a careful articulation of all degree requirements, Vol State students will be able to seamlessly transition to Belmont and complete our highly valued AACSB-accredited B.B.A. program.”

Ranked among the Best Undergraduate Business Schools by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Belmont’s Jack C. Massey College of Business offers the highest quality of business education in a Christian environment. Belmont is the only private university in Tennessee to have met the quality standards to achieve business and specialized accounting accreditation by AACSB International  — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This dual accreditation places Belmont among the less than one percent of the world’s business schools to achieve both business and accounting accreditation.