Registration under way for accelerated degree program at Pellissippi State

posted in: AHEAD, Cohorts | 0

The Accelerated Higher Education Degree (AHEAD) program at Pellissippi State Community College continues its growth with a new Computer Accounting concentration in spring semester. Classes start Jan. 17, and registration began Oct. 29.

The college also starts new “cohorts” in two long-running AHEAD degree choices, Management and Culinary Arts.

AHEAD is designed to meet the needs of busy adults and working parents. Concentrating in Culinary Arts, Management or the new Computer Accounting option leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration.

Most students enrolled in the program work full time, have a family and seek a path to promotion in their career, according to Roger Crowe, a faculty member who has taught Management classes in AHEAD since its onset in fall 2007.

“They’re usually moving along in their careers but have reached a point where they either have to have a degree of some kind to move up the ladder or they feel like they just need additional training,” said Crowe. “In some cases, they realize they should have gotten a degree way back when and they’re trying to make up for that.

“But I’d say that the majority of the AHEAD students see the necessity of a degree in order to make progress from where they are now.”

AHEAD provides two ways to accelerate earning a degree: shorter-length courses and credit for prior learning. The program also is newly offering Management and Culinary Arts in a cohort-style format. In a cohort, a group of students follows the same set schedule and progresses through the program as a unit. Cohorts benefit students by giving them a ready-made framework to support one other.

Like Crowe, faculty member Denise Reed has taught classes in AHEAD since the beginning of the program. She says the coursework is rigorous and intensive and the students bring a high level of commitment to the program.

“You have to have such a determination that you’re going to succeed and do this. I’m so proud of the students for all they accomplish in such a short amount of time,” she said.

AHEAD degree programs are designed for completion in two years or less. In addition to Computer Accounting, Management, and Culinary Arts, AHEAD degrees are offered in Industrial Maintenance and Teaching. The program also provides students with the opportunity to earn an A.S. (Associate of Science) 41-hour General Education certificate.

To learn more about AHEAD, visit or call Celeste Evans at (865) 539-7381.