Tennessee Wesleyan University (TWU) officials have announced the efforts that will be made to transition students from Hiwassee College to the Athens-based school.

Following Hiwassee College’s closure announcement on March 28, TWU President Dr. Harley Knowles released a statement of support. In his statement, Knowles indicated that TWU administrators were working on a policy that would help ease the transfer transition for current Hiwassee students.

According to TWU officials, the consensus of TWU faculty has been as supportive as possible when evaluating credits from Hiwassee College classes.

“We want to make this transition as easy as possible, but also continue to make sure all TWU students — current and future — are well-prepared to enter graduate school or their career of choice,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Grant Willhite said.

While the document does not detail specific course equivalencies, officials noted that it provides current Hiwassee students the assurance that every effort will be made to keep them on track for timely graduation.

The following are some of the efforts TWU will make to accommodate Hiwassee College students who transfer to Wesleyan:

• TWU will accept Hiwassee students who are in good standing at Hiwassee College and who meet the minimum transfer admission requirements at TWU.

• TWU will accept all academic credits earned at Hiwassee, with the exception of remedial credits. TWU will evaluate all credits transferred into Hiwassee from other institutions. Efforts will be made to find equivalencies to TWU courses to accelerate degree completion.

• Hiwassee College will provide TWU with a list of courses offered at Hiwassee for the past three years and provide syllabi for evaluation of course equivalency, if necessary.

• TWU will waive the requirement that no more than 90 hours may be transferred from all institutions.

• TWU will waive the requirement to complete 25 percent of the degree (30 semester hours) for students who transfer greater than 90 credits and can complete their degree path in less than 30 hours (subject to SACSCOC approval of cohort).

• TWU will make every effort to apply the general education curriculum from Hiwassee toward the completion of the general education curriculum at TWU.

• TWU will provide Hiwassee College students with timely financial aid packages and will make every effort to match the current net tuition cost at Hiwassee. For Hiwassee College students who enroll full time at TWU for Fall 2019, TWU will offer last dollar summer transfer scholarships to offset the cost of summer courses at TWU in Summer 2019.

• TWU will make every effort to offer the courses necessary for the timely completion of degrees for Hiwassee College transfer students.

“Tennessee Wesleyan University and Hiwassee College share a history and mission under the umbrella of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church,” Willhite added. “With an understanding of this shared history and a deep concern for the students of Hiwassee College, we established this degree completion and transfer agreement with the hope that these students will find a welcoming community here.”

A key feature of this agreement is the affordability statement, which includes the establishment of a last-dollar scholarship for Hiwassee College students who enroll in both Summer and Fall 2019 courses at TWU.

The Hiwassee Legacy Scholarship will be awarded after HOPE and Pell scholarships have been applied to the student’s account.

“There may be cases where students need to catch up to their classmates or need to make up a failed course. The establishment of this last-dollar award could relieve some of the current anxiety by helping make their college experience more affordable,” Assistant Vice President of Financial Aid Lacey Weese explained. “We believe that our institutional aid is highly competitive and that Hiwassee students will receive similar or better award packages after we evaluate their FAFSA and transcripts.”

All Hiwassee students will have the opportunity to visit campus on April 18 during a Hiwassee College-specific visit event, Experience Wesleyan.

Hiwassee students will have the opportunity to meet with faculty advisors to review their transcripts, as well as meet individually with financial aid to identify scholarships and other aid they may receive. Students can also submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended prior to the event and bring their Hiwassee financial aid award letter.

“The entire TWU family is ready to find ways to support the current and future students of this historic institution. We especially want current students to know that their dream of a college degree isn’t over,” Willhite noted. “There is a community here ready to welcome and support them as their college journey continues.”

Students interested in applying to TWU can complete the online application at https://portal.tnwesleyan.edu/ICS/Admissions/ and submit all transcripts to the admissions office.

It costs nothing to apply and there are no application deadlines for admission or merit scholarships.

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