When most people hear “Cleveland,” they tend to think of the Ohio city known for its sports teams the Browns and Indians, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, not a small town in Tennessee. But the Cleveland in Tennessee, and specifically Cleveland State Community College, has garnered national recognition due to its aggressive approach to helping students become stronger in math.
That recognition illustrates, along with the continued development of its programs and facilities, the college’s commitment to ensuring students’ success. In addition to offering a slew of support services – from career counseling and exploration services to minority student programs – the college is currently updating the technology building, after receiving a sizable financial gift of $150,000 from Wacker Chemical Corporation North America.
Nestled among rolling hills and scenic valleys in Southeast Tennessee, the school offers both beauty and convenience of location. Only a half an hour from Chattanooga, the school sits off of Interstate 75. The city of Cleveland itself, while self-described as growing while maintaining a small town feel, offers plenty for students to do outside of class, including a nature park, golfing, eight city parks, shopping, and restaurants.
Boasting a credit and non-credit student population of over 5,000 students, the school attracts students from around Tennessee with its quality professors and academic programs, which typically lead to the associate’s degree. More than 90 percent of the faculty possess a master’s degree or a doctoral degree, and the college employs 70 full-time instructors.
The college is divided into four departments: Business and Technology; Humanities and Social Sciences; Science and Mathematics; and Health/Wellness and Learning. Both associate of arts and associate of science degrees are awarded in a range of majors, including agriculture, chemistry, management information systems, health care management, interior design, fashion design, and early childhood education.
To ensure students excel academically, a number of resources are provided. Students can access the library online, and those students needing assistance with writing, reading, or foreign languages can get help from the Language Arts Learning Center. The Media Center, the hub for Cleveland’s only local television station, helps prepare future broadcast journalists for a career in the media.
Academically exceptional students may be eligible to participate in the college’s Honors Program. Courses in the Honors Program allow students to develop a deeper understanding of the topics in their majors and the program itself offers a platform for students to produce independent, original work. Program members also enjoy being recognized for their academic achievements at graduation.
Most Popular Fields of Study
There is an open door policy with admissions. Applicants must be a high school graduate, hold a GED, or be transferring to the college from another college or university. High school students may also participate in the dual enrollment program, taking college-level courses either at their high school or at the college itself.
All applicants must complete the admissions application before they will be allowed to register for classes. In addition to filling out an admissions application, students must pay an application fee, complete a Hepatitis B immunization health history form, submit proof that they, if the student is full-time, have had two MMR (Muscles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine doses, and have SAT or ACT scores sent directly to the school.
Applicants must also submit official transcripts. Transfer students should submit transcripts from all other colleges and universities attended while high school students must request their transcripts be sent directly from their high school to the college.
Students with significant life experience may be able to use that experience toward their college credit. The college administers proficiency exams or students may take approved outside proficiency examinations or earn credit for their life experiences. Students are encouraged to talk with their academic advisor to determine if they should take applicable exams or can earn credits for their life experience.
Community colleges typically offer much lower per credit fees than four year colleges and universities, providing students an opportunity to obtain an affordable college education. Still, many students need financial assistance to help them cover the costs of tuition, books, and other school-related expenses.
Students demonstrating financial need may be eligible for federal grants, including the Pell Grant, or for Cleveland State Community College funded grants. The Diversity Grant offered by the college provides a financial gift for students who meet certain criteria, including a minimum 2.0 GPA and successful completion of a minimum of 75 percent of the credit hours taken. Students can renew their Diversity Grant, provided they maintain eligibility, for as many as five semesters.
Students may also be eligible for one of the many scholarships offered by the college and the state of Tennessee. More than three million dollars in scholarships to date and offers dozens of scholarship opportunities for eligible students have been awarded.
All students who apply for a foundation scholarship must do so by mid-May and are required to fill out the FAFSA form, be enrolled in a minimum of six credits a semester, must hold residency in Tennessee, and must be in a certificate or a degree program. The application for scholarships awarded can be found on the school’s official website.
High school students enrolled in the Dual Studies Program can apply for a Cleveland State Foundation Dual Enrollment Scholarship, which covers the cost of a three-credit course and its corresponding textbooks, after taking into consideration the student’s family income.
Costs not covered by scholarships and grants can be offset by federal student loans, or students may want to participate in a work study program.
Financial aid applications are due in late July for the fall semester and in mid-May for the summer semester. Students needing assistance with the application process may contact the financial aid office.
Student Financial Aid Details
A traditional community college, this college is home to a commuter-only student population. But, despite the lack of on-campus housing, students can still enjoy a rich, fulfilling college life while on campus.
Students may want to join one of the dozens of student organizations and clubs on campus that cater to a wide range of interests. Students, who enjoy getting to know people, may want to opt for the Student Hosts. Student Hosts play host to visitors on campus and also host their own events throughout the academic year. The Gamers Club provides gamers with the chance to socialize with and play against other gamers; the Early Childhood Education Club caters to education majors; and the Baptist Collegiate Ministries welcomes students of all faiths and beliefs to join their organization on retreats and mission trips.
Academically gifted students may be invited to join the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
Journalistically-inclined students are encouraged to join the student newspaper, The Cherokee Signal, by contacting the newspaper’s adviser. The Signal is written, edited, and produced 100 percent by students and keeps readers informed of the latest happenings on campus and around the community.
The college also hosts a plethora of student events throughout the academic year. The Freshman Frenzy is a particularly popular event, welcoming all new freshmen, that provides a fun atmosphere, where participants can win prizes ranging from book scholarships to iPads. Face painting and interactive games are offered alongside academic events, such as a seminar on how to choose a major.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The Cougars are members of the National Junior College Athletics Association, and host a men’s baseball team, a women’s softball team, and both men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Cougars men’s basketball team, which has hit the hardwood since the college opened, has won two division championships, a state championship, and a regional championship.
The Cougars wear the school colors of navy blue, Columbia blue, and white, and are cheered on by the college’s cheerleading squad. Students interested in cheerleading can attend tryouts, which are traditionally held each fall.
The college also offers an intramurals program during the fall and spring semesters with tournaments held throughout the academic year. Intramural sports currently include wiffle ball, bowling, golf, ping-pong, and pool.
All student athletes, as well as students and faculty, are welcome to get or to stay in shape at the college’s fitness center. The facility is free and provides state-of-the-art fitness equipment, including free weights and cardiovascular equipment. Students may also want to start a spontaneous basketball game or tennis match at the fitness center’s gymnasium. Tennis rackets, tennis balls, and basketballs can be borrowed from the fitness center.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.