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KNOXVILLE — Starting this summer, a pilot group of students will be dually enrolled at UT Knoxville and Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC).

This new bridge program — the type of partnership required by the 2010 Complete College Act of Tennessee — will allow some students who are wait-listed for admission at UT to tackle initial program requirements at the community college. The program provides a seamless transfer to UT, provided they complete a specified number of hours and maintain a certain grade requirement.

The first cohort class of bridge students will be formed this spring. Invitation letters are now being sent to eligible students who have applied for fall 2011 admission to UT and are among those at the top of UT’s wait list.

Participation in the bridge program is by invitation only; students cannot apply to be part of the pilot class. UT is hoping for an initial bridge class of 75 to 100 students.

The students, who will be guided by advisers on both campuses, will attend the second summer session at UT to take a set of credit courses to help them adjust to college life and get a head start on their UT degree. During the following fall and spring semesters, they will take classes exclusively at PSCC, and at the end of the spring semester, will be admitted to UT if their academic record at PSCC indicates an ability to succeed at UT.

Bridge students will be invited to live in a residence hall on the UT campus when they begin. They will be issued a UT ID card and enjoy library, computer, tutoring and mentoring services and recreational opportunities on both campuses.

This partnership between UT and PSCC is part of how UT is working to comply with the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010.

Passed by the state Legislature and signed by former Gov. Phil Bredesen in January 2010, this act is intended to enhance cooperation between colleges and universities in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and UT systems.

The Complete College Tennessee Act:

-Changes the state funding formula so it is based on six-year graduation rates rather than enrollment;

-Eases the transition for community college students moving on to state universities;

-Requires TBR and UT to establish dual-admission and dual-enrollment policies at two- and four-year colleges and universities; and

-Requires community colleges to offer all remedial work.

For more information about the UT-Pellissippi Community College Bridge Program, see http://admissions.utk.edu/undergraduate/bridge/.

C O N T A C T :

Karen Simsen, (865-974-5186, karen.simsen@tennessee.edu)