On Tuesday, April 18, an updated dual admission agreement between the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Cleveland State Community College was formalized as part of a Power C Tour event in Cleveland State’s George L. Mathis Student Center.
The Cleveland State to UTC agreement is designed to provide a seamless transition for students earning an associate degree at Cleveland State to continue their education and obtain a bachelor’s degree at UTC.
Students will receive tailored guidance from UTC advisors throughout their time at Cleveland State to ensure a quick and easy transfer to UTC. Students also will be granted priority registration at UTC during the semester they graduate from Cleveland State.
“What a pleasure to be able to recommit to this new admission agreement with Cleveland State Community College to help their students transition to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga,” UTC Chancellor Steven R. Angle said. “We can admit students as freshmen who come here with the Tennessee Promise program … they can get their two-year degree and then transfer to UTC in a seamless manner.
“This is about serving our students and the Tennessee community better and more effectively.”
Signing ceremony speakers included Cleveland State Vice President for Academic Affairs Corey Campbell, Cleveland State Dean of Enrollment Management Cate Green, Cleveland State Vice President of Student Services Michael Stokes and UTC Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Yancy Freeman.
“We are so excited to be here,” Freeman said, “and we’re so excited about this dual admission partnership with our colleagues, friends and partners in higher education in Cleveland.
“This signifies a new agreement for us in dual admission, one that we hope will, as others have said, make this a seamless transition for students to come to UTC as they continue their education—and as we continue to help them figure out the value of a degree.”
Following the signing ceremony, the Student Center was home for a Power C Tour event similar to events for high school students in fall 2022 in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and at UTC—and at Chattanooga State Community College in March.
Representatives from UTC’s academic colleges, student services and the executive leadership team—along with mascot Scrappy—were on hand to educate Cleveland State students, faculty and staff on the pathway created for transfer students upon completing associate degrees.
The event was highlighted by the awarding of $1,000 Power C scholarships to Jeremiah Centeno and Conner Wilkins, a pair of dual-enrollment Cleveland State students receiving associate degrees in May. Both Centeno and Wilkins will continue their education at UTC in the fall.
Centeno and Wilkins are participants in the Tennessee Valley Early College program at Cleveland State, a partnership between the college and several area high schools allowing students to pursue an associate degree while earning a high school diploma.
The two will walk in Cleveland State’s May 5 commencement ceremonies before their respective high school graduations; Wilkins will graduate from Walker Valley High School on May 11, and Centeno will graduate from Cleveland High School on May 12.
Officially, their associate degrees will be conferred after Cleveland State receives their high school transcripts.
Centeno knew he was coming to UTC in the fall and went to the Student Center to collect swag. He didn’t realize the visit would also be a rewarding experience for him.
“I was not expecting this; it was a genuine shock,” said Centeno, showing off the $1,000 check.
“I’m already approved to live in a pre-health living-learning community at UTC, so I’m going to be around other people with the same major as me.”
Centeno, a first-generation college student, will major in biology (pre-health concentration) at UTC.
“I’m thinking about going down the D.O. (doctor of osteopathic) route of medicine, and that’s years from now,” he said.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure in being first in the family, but I know it’s something that I want to do. If I’m the first in the family to get a degree, I might as well make it the longest one, too.”
Wilkins was on his way to the on-campus bookstore to pick up his graduation cap and gown when he wandered into the Student Center foyer. Shortly after that, he found out he was the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship.
“This is awesome,” said Wilkins, who will pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “I’m going to live at home and drive back and forth, but I think it will be a cool transition going to UTC.”