Jul 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Academic Catalog 
2015-2016 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


(901) 333-5924

Admission to Southwest is open to all people who can benefit from a post-secondary education. Southwest students represent a variety of ages and cultures, adding to the richness of a Southwest education. Southwest accepts applications throughout the year.

Students may attend day, evening, or weekend classes offered at any of Southwest’s locations. Students may enroll full-time or part-time when admitted to one of the following categories:

  • Degree-seeking
    This student is seeking an associate degree, which requires at least 60 credits.
  • Certificate-seeking
    This student is seeking a certificate, which requires up to 30 credits.
  • Non-Degree
    This is a student who does not wish to apply for a degree. A non-degree student is not eligible to receive federal financial aid. A non-degree student who wishes to change to degree-seeking status must meet all admission requirements.
  • Transfer
    This student has attended another college or university and is seeking a degree at Southwest Tennessee Community College.
  • Transient
    This student attends another institution and plans to enroll at Southwest for one or more semesters and then return to the home institution.

Requirements for Prospective Students

  1. Submit a completed admissions application via the Web at www.southwest.tn.edu/ApplyOnline.htm
  2. Arrange for documents verifying your previous education to be sent directly to the Admissions and Records Office.
    • High school graduates who have never attended college - official high school transcripts verifying graduation and accredited by a recognized national accrediting agency (SACS, NCA, MSA, WASC)
      Note: The transcript of Tennessee public high school graduates since 1983 must include a notation indicating that the student passed the required Proficiency Examination
    • Individuals who have passed the General Educational Development (GED) test - an official report of scores
    • Individuals who have attended a college or university elsewhere - an official high school transcript verifying graduation and an official transcript from each institution
    • Individuals who have earned a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate degree - an official transcript from the degree granting institution
  3. Submit proof of immunization with two doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccines (only needed if born after 1956 and a full-time student). Tennessee high school graduates 1999 to present need not submit MMR as it is on the official high school transcript. Acceptable documents are:
    • The Certificate of Immunization form completed and signed by your doctor
    • A copy of an official immunization card or documents from your local Public Health Department
    • A copy of the Military form DD214
    • Official documentation from a prior college or university
    • A Positive result from the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) Titer test
    • If you graduated from a Tennessee public or private high school between 1979 and 1998, you must provide one MMR immunization given after your graduation date

Effective July 1, 2011, students born after January 1, 1980 must provide proof of immunization against Varicella (chicken pox).

Effective July 1, 2011 (unless exempted by law) students admitted into any Allied Health or Nursing Program and expecting to have patient contact must present proof of protection against Hepatitis B before patient contact begins.

  1. All applicants are required by Tennessee law to sign the Hepatitis B waiver

Test Score Requirements and Academic Placement

  • Potential students under the age of 21 must submit official ACT-National test scores or pay to take the ACT-Residual Test before enrolling (cannot be used for Lottery Scholarship certification). Placement decisions will be based on valid test scores less than three years old and according to valid ACT sub-scores in English, Mathematics and Reading.
  • Potential students 21 years or older and have no transfer credits in English, Reading and/or Mathematics are required to take the COMPASS test which is administered at the Testing Center.

Challenging Placement

A retest is available if a student wants to challenge his or her initial placement in mathematics, reading and writing. The challenge of placement must be done before enrolling in the first developmental studies course in the subject area. Contact the Testing Center for an appointment for the appropriate challenge test. A $20 fee is charged for challenging the test.


Southwest requires new students to participate in an orientation which provides an introduction to the College experience, including academic advising, college support services, transfer, job opportunities, and student life.

Student Academic Success Seminar (ACAD 1100)

This course is designed to assist students in making the transition to college during the freshman year. Students are introduced to college functions and resources. Additionally, the student acquires survival skills for college. Topics include career preparation, academic expectations, time management, test anxiety, and life outside the classroom, as well as personal values and relationships. This course is required for all first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students.

Readmitted Students

A student who has previously been enrolled at Southwest but has not attended for a year (two semesters) must submit an application for readmission. Degree-seeking students must have all credentials on file prior to being readmitted. Each readmitted degree-seeking applicant must submit official transcripts from all institutions attended during the period of non-enrollment at Southwest. Southwest maintains records (e.g. transcripts from other institutions, applications, immunization records, etc.) for five years after graduation or last date of attendance. Students applying for readmission after a five year separation from the College must submit all admissions documents required for their field of study.

Programs for High School Students

(901) 333-5272

High school students currently attending an accredited public or private high school or home school affiliate, may “jump start” their college education and even complete a college degree while simultaneously earning a high school diploma.

Dual Enrollment

Benefits of the Dual Enrollment Program

  • Enriches the course opportunities for outstanding high school students
  • Shortens the time to attain a college degree
  • Saves students and parents money
  • Provides students with college credit
  • Earns grades which will become part of the student’s permanent college transcript


  1. 9th or 10th graders must have a cumulative high school grade point average of 3.2 based on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent and a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s high school principal.
  2. 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th graders must meet course requirements for courses for which they wish to enroll.

Procedures for Enrolling

To be enrolled in the Dual Enrollment Program, an applicant must:

  1. Submit the following documentation to the Dual Enrollment Office:
    • Completed College Admission Application
    • Completed Dual Enrollment Student Data Form
    • Official high school transcript
    • Official ACT/PLAN, SAT, or PSAT scores
  2. Be advised by the designated high school representative of course enrollment.
  3. Meet course requirements for courses for which they wish to enroll.
  4. List desired college courses on Dual Enrollment Student Data Form.

Dual Enrollment students will be classified as non-degree seeking. After receiving a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate, and meeting the mandatory placement criteria for degree seeking students, a student may request a change from non-degree to degree-seeking status.

The Tennessee Dual Enrollment Lottery Grant


11th and 12th graders who are dually enrolled may be eligible for the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Lottery Grant. The Dual Enrollment Grant program is a grant for study at an eligible postsecondary institution that is funded from net proceeds of the state lottery and awarded to students who are attending high school and who are also enrolled in college courses at eligible postsecondary institutions for which they will receive college credit.

For more information regarding eligibility and the application process for the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Lottery Grant, visit the website listed above.


High school students who enrolled in the Dual Enrollment Program during their senior year and enroll at Southwest directly after high school may be eligible for the STAY PROGRAM (Southwest Tuition Assistance for a Year) if they attained a “C” or better for each course attempted at Southwest. To qualify, they must submit an Admission Application and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by May 1. STAY covers the cost of any remaining tuition and approved fees, plus semester book allowance, after all federal and state financial aid is awarded. For continued financial support, a student must maintain a 2.5 GPA.

Senior Citizens or Students with Disabilities

A Tennessee resident 60 years of age or older or a permanently disabled Tennessee resident may audit courses without paying any maintenance fees. However, the student will be assessed a $10 application fee (if not previously paid), a $15 international educational fee, and a $10 campus access fee. Maintenance fees for RODP courses will be waived; however, online fees are not waived under this waiver program. Students meeting these criteria must register during late registration.

A Tennessee resident 65 years of age or older, or a permanently disabled resident may take classes for credit at a reduced charge of fifty percent per credit hour with a maximum of $70, plus a $10 application fee (if not previously paid), a $15 international educational fee, and a $10 campus access fee. Elderly/disabled students enrolling in RODP courses will be assessed separate maintenance fees per home institution in addition to regular credit courses. These fees can exceed $70. Online fees for RODP courses are not reduced under this waiver program. Students meeting these criteria can register for classes no earlier than four (4) weeks prior to the first day of the term. For dates, go to www.southwest.tn.edu/cashier.

International Students

(901) 333-4804

Southwest welcomes international students and values their contribution to enhancing the cultural diversity of the College. Southwest is authorized to issue the Form I-20 and students are admitted before the beginning of each semester, year-round. Most international students transfer to four-year colleges after completing their studies at Southwest. Potential students must:

  1. Submit a completed admission application with a $30 one-time, non-refundable application fee.
  2. Submit required certified translations of foreign high school and college transcripts. Transcripts from USA high schools and colleges must also be submitted if applicable. Applicants under age 21 must submit ACT test scores (SAT also accepted).
  3. Submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if the applicant’s native language is not English. A TOEFL score of 500 pencil-based test or 173 computer-based test or an Internet-based score of 61 along with the current paper/pencil and computer-based scores is required. International student applicants must take an English placement examination prior to registration if there is no supporting academic credit from another USA institution. Test results may be used in place of TOEFL.
  4. Provide a financial statement which is evidence of financial capability to pay registration fees, non-resident fees, living and other expenses.
  5. Submit proof of immunization with two doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccines and the Certification of Freedom from Tuberculosis. Effective July 1, 2011, students born after January 1, 1980, must provide proof of immunization with two doses against Varicella (chicken pox) vaccines.
  6. Submit proof of Accident and Sickness insurance with provisions for hospitalization, basic injury and sickness treatment, medically supervised repatriation, return of mortal remains and emergency evacuation.
  7. Students who cannot provide proof of insurance must pay for insurance coverage when they register. Premiums cannot be refunded once they are paid.


Residency, for the purpose of fee payment, is considered to be the permanent domicile of an applicant. Information provided on the online admissions application will be used to determine the initial residency classification of a student. Any student who is classified as a non-resident, but who claims to be a resident, must submit an “Application for Residency Classification” form which is available in the Admissions and Records Office and provide documented evidence to prove the claim.

Eligibility for In-state Fee Rate

Employed in Tennessee

Non-residents who are employed full-time in Tennessee and enrolled part-time may pay the in-state rate. The non-resident must provide documentation from the employer on company letterhead that verifies full-time employment. This documentation must be submitted each term of enrollment. Non-residents who wish to enroll full-time must pay out-of-state tuition.

Border States

Residents of Crittenden or Mississippi counties in Arkansas or DeSoto or Marshall Counties in Mississippi may enroll full- or part-time and may be considered for a Non-Resident Tuition Waiver. A limited number of fee waiver slots are available each term. The form is available in the Admissions and Records office and must be completed after registering for courses each semester of enrollment.

High School Core Requirements (A89)

High school graduates from spring 1989 and thereafter must complete core requirements in high school as required by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Students seeking admission to an Associate of Arts Degree (A.A.) or an Associate of Science Degree (A.S.) may complete those high school core requirements while pursuing a degree at Southwest. College courses taken to complete the core requirements may be counted toward an A.A. or A.S. degree. Students may take the following elective courses to complete the core requirements.

Required Subject Unit

Algebra I, II
Requirements met by mandatory COMPASS/ASSET assessment and placement 2

Requirements met by mandatory COMPASS/ASSET assessment and placement 4

Foreign Language
FREN 1010 Elementary French I (and) 2
FREN 1020 Elementary French II
SPAN 1010 Elementary Spanish I (and)
SPAN 1020 Elementary Spanish II


MATH 0980 Geometry I 1
Intro to Geometry
(MATH 0980 offered during fall semester only)

Natural/Physical Sciences I 1
Select one:
CHEM 1010 Introduction to Chemistry I
BIOL 1010 Introduction to Biology I
PHYS 1010 Introduction to Physics
PHYS 1030 Introduction to Astronomy
GEOG 1010 Physical Geography I
NSCI 1030 Natural Sciences
PHYS 2010 Non- Calculus-Based Physics I
PSCI 1010 Physical Science I

Natural/Physical Sciences II 1
Select one:
BIOL 1020 Introduction to Biology II
CHEM 1020 Introduction to Chemistry II
GEOG 1020 Physical Geography II
PHYS 2020 Non- Calculus-Based Physics II
PSCI 1020 Physical Science II

Social Studies 1
Select one:
ECON 2010 Macroeconomics
HIST 1110 Survey of World Civilization I
POLS 2010 American National Government
PSYC 1010 General Psychology I
SOCI 1010 Introduction to Sociology

U.S. History 1
Select one:
HIST 2010 Survey of United States History I
HIST 2020 Survey of United States History II

Visual Arts 1
Select one:
ARTP 1010 Drawing I
ARTP 1910 Painting I
THEA 1510 Basic Acting
or Select two:
MUS 1600 Class Piano
MUS 1700 Class Voice
MUS 1800 Class Guitar
PHED 1270 Modern Dance
PHED 1730 Modern Jazz Dance

Criteria for Admission to Specialized or Limited-Enrollment Programs

Being admitted to Southwest does not guarantee admission to specialized or limited-enrollment programs. The College has specific admission policies and procedures for admission of students to these programs: Dietetic Technician, Medical Laboratory Technician, Laboratory Phlebotomy Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant, Paramedic, Radiologic Technology, Biotechnology Technician, Biotechnology Forensic Science, and Nursing.

Limitations are based upon selective criteria appropriate to each program and apply equally to all prospective students. However, preference for admission, when all else is equal, is given to residents of the state of Tennessee (see the catalog section of each program for specific admission requirements).