Students at Volunteer State Community College in Springfield have a new pathway to earning a bachelor’s degree thanks to an introduction of a new university partner with the University of Tennessee at Martin at the Vol State Springfield campus location. This agreement is pending THEC and SACSCOC approval with an anticipated finalization date of December 2023. Students would begin taking classes on this pathway Spring Semester 2024.
Nicholas Bishop, Vol State Community College vice president for economic development and regional centers states, “We’re excited to partner with the UT System via the addition of the UT Martin Campus as our new university partner to serve as their regional center for Middle Tennessee.”
The partnership will focus on agriculture, health care, and technology sector pathways with agriculture business degrees being the first phase focus. Vol State will focus on delivering technical certificates and associate degrees, while UTM will focus on bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The concept is aimed at creating the ability for individuals to earn their associate up to a graduate level degree without having to leave Robertson County or the surrounding communities.
Bishop further adds, “We think this partnership will be a positive boost for Northern Middle Tennessee and Robertson County’s economic and workforce development progress. UTM and Vol State are finalizing a dual admissions agreement that will allow students to be enrolled in both institutions simultaneously and receive support from both as they progress through multiple degree and training levels.”
“We are excited about this new partnership with Vol State-Springfield,” said Dr. Todd Winters, dean, College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. “With the help of the UT Highland Rim AgResearch and Education Center for laboratories, we can offer a wide variety of agriculture courses leading to a degree, in some cases without even coming to the Martin campus.”
The agreement defines academic and administrative coordination between both institutions specifically at the Vol State Springfield campus location. Robertson County is the third-highest agricultural-producing county in Tennessee. Vol State has been hopeful to bring a partnership to fruition that would allow for deliverables in agricultural education opportunities in Robertson County. The UTM partnership brings this long-coming endeavor to life. In addition to UTM serving as the official university partner at the Vol State Springfield campus, the institutions will also partner with the UT Institute of Agriculture to conduct hands-on training at UT’s Highland Rim AgResearch and Education Center located in Springfield. The center will offer students experience in both crop and livestock production and research. UTM has been offering dual enrollment opportunities to Robertson County high school students via an online format. With this partnership in place, the three institutions can now work together to deliver agriculture based courses in person/on the ground in Robertson County.
“UTM is excited as we work to develop a strong partnership with Vol State – Springfield Campus,” said Erica Bell, executive director, UT Martin Regional Centers and Online Programs. “The partnership is focused on increasing access to a high-quality education close to home, aimed at creating seamless transfer pathways and providing exceptional career support to open the pipeline for deserving students of Robertson County and today’s future workforce.”
About Vol State Community College
Volunteer State Community College is a public, two-year community college located just north of Nashville, Tennessee. Since 1971, the college has grown to four campus locations in Gallatin, Livingston, Cookeville, and Springfield with over 100 areas of study offered. With over 7,000 students, Vol State is a leading higher education provider for eleven counties in middle Tennessee. For more information or to apply online, visit www.volstate.edu/admissions.
About the University of Tennessee at Martin
UT Martin is a primary regional campus in the University of Tennessee System. The university serves more than 6,800 students through its main campus in Martin, five West Tennessee regional centers and UT Martin Online. Bachelor’s degrees, majors, concentrations and options are offered in more than 150 specialized fields along with seven graduate degrees. Learn more at www.utm.edu/admissions.
About the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) provides Real. Life. Solutions. to some of society’s most issues. We serve all Tennessee citizens and beyond through the pressing work of world-renowned researchers, teachers, and experts.