Belmont University, Columbia State partner to help business students finish college

Belmont University and Columbia State Community College announced a new partnership Tuesday that aims to help business students seamlessly transfer from community college to a four-year institution. 

Under the new program, students who complete an associate’s degree in business administration from Columbia State will be eligible to enroll into Belmont’s Jack C. Massey College of Business. 

Few students who start at a community college complete a bachelor’s degree within six years. 

About 80 percent of students attending community colleges nationwide intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree, but only 14 percent have one six years later, according to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

School officials said they hope the new partnership will change those odds in Tennessee.

The partnership includes a new scholarship to help business students who transfer to Belmont complete their bachelor’s degree. 

“Through this agreement we’re clearing the obstacles that all too often get in the way of students who are seeking a four-year degree,” said Belmont University President Bob Fisher in a news release.

“This partnership paves the way, outlining each step needed to ensure credits earned will all properly transfer while also maximizing each student’s financial investment in their education,” he said.

Columbia State Community College President Janet Smith slated the program as a cost-savings opportunity for students, especially if they are eligible for tuition-free programs including the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect. 

“This partnership demonstrates the commitment of  Columbia State and Belmont to work together to provide educational opportunity and support that promotes student success,” Smith said in a news release.

About the program

The degree completion program is open to Columbia State business students.

Eligible students must earn an associate’s degree in business administration, including completion of transfer coursework developed and approved by both institutions. 

Columbia State business students who meet these requirements can earn early admission into Belmont’s Massey College of Business. 

About the transfer scholarship

For the first time ever, a transfer scholarship has been created to support business students who transfer from Columbia State to Belmont University.

The scholarship has a value of $3,000 per semester for four semesters of continuous study at Belmont. 

Reach Melanie Balakit at mbalakit@tennessean.com.

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