Postsecondary Education


Academic Common Market

A tuition-savings program for college students in SREB member states who want to pursue degrees not offered by in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.

During calendar year 2017, 2,130 degree programs were available, 152 institutions participated and 3,355 new students were certified for study.

In 2017,132 Tennessee students participated in the Academic Common Market, saving, on average, $13,609 each and a collective total of $1,905,230 in tuition

ACM State Representative: Corey Gheesling, Director of Academic Programs,Tennessee Higher Education Commission. >

Regional Contract Program

Gives students the opportunity to earn a professional health degree from participating institutions in other states through in-state tuition rates at public institutions, or reduced tuition at private institutions. More than 600 students participate each year.

Number of out-of-state students who enrolled in Tennessee programs in 2018-19: 204

Residents of other states may contract for entry into Meharry Medical College and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for Dentistry, and Southern College of Optometry. These Tennessee institutions received over $4 million from other SREB states. >

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement 

A nationwide system to offer more high-quality distance education programs for students and ease the regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states. By participating, colleges and universities in the SREB region save almost $30 million annually.

Tennessee is an approved member of SARA.

Colleges and universities in Tennessee saved $8.9 million for initial authorization and save $2.6 million annually on renewals, according to estimates in a return-on-investment study by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

Tennessee SARA representative: Julie Woodruff, Assistant Executive Director of Postsecondary School Authorization and Lead Attorney, Tennessee Higher Education Commission. >

Fact Book and Data Exchange

Fact Book

The SREB Fact Book on Higher Education is a compilation of comparative data on topics including demographics; college enrollment, retention, progression and graduation; tuition and fees; student financial aid; state support for postsecondary education; and faculty salaries. The Fact Book is published bi-annually, but the data are updated annually and made available on the SREB website.​

Tennessee leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education and Tennessee: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education.

SREB-State Data Exchange

An annual collection of postsecondary education data that are submitted by representatives (i.e., Data Exchange coordinators) of postsecondary education system offices. The data collected include degrees conferred, student retention and progression, time to degree, student credit hours taken by high school students and by college students in courses using distance education technology, state funding for postsecondary education, and tuition and fees.

SREB-State Data Exchange tables are posted on the SREB website.

Tennessee’s Participating agency and SREB-State Data Exchange Coordinator: Crystal Collins, Tennessee Higher Education Commission >

Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.

As of November 2018, six Tennessee institutions are members, listed here with their representatives to the Council:

East Tennessee State University: Wendy Nehring, Dean
Middle Tennessee State University: Jenny Sauls, Director
Southern Adventist University: Barbara James, Dean
University of Memphis: Lin Zahn, Dean
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis: Wendy Likes, Dean
Walters State Community College: Cheryl McCall, Director >

Doctoral Scholars Program

Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP) hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,100 attendees. The data below reflect Ph.D. Scholars who are funded by the state or by individual institutions.

Tennessee scholars since 1993: 111
Tennessee scholars funded in 2018-19: 1
2018 Institute attendees from Tennessee: 24
Graduates since 1993: 83
Graduates currently employed: 68
Percent employed in education: 90

Tennessee Ph.D. students in the DSP have attended these institutions since 1993:

East Tennessee State University
Georgia State University 
Meharry Medical College
Tennessee State University
Tennessee Technological University
University of Memphis
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Vanderbilt University >