Fast Facts

4,962 Student Enrollment

Fall 2022 numbers

1,173 Dual Enrollment Students

Fall 2022 Numbers

94.8% Job Placement Rate

2019-2020 A.A.S. & Technical Certificate Graduates

91% of students would recommend

Columbia State to a friend or family member. (2021 Community College Survey of Student Engagement)

2020-2021 Community College of the Year

Columbia State is honored to be named the 2020-2021 TBR SOAR Awards Community College of the Year! 

The Tennessee Board of Regents established the SOAR Awards in 2019 to recognize and honor the outstanding students, faculty and staff members; the major accomplishments of the colleges, and the philanthropists, volunteers and partners who support them.

“On behalf of Columbia State, we are deeply honored," said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. "I think every community college across the state deserves this award. We have had such a challenging year, so to be selected from among our group of sister colleges is more than an honor; it is something we are extremely proud of."

“I can’t say enough about the faculty and staff of Columbia State. We have five campuses and this staff and faculty work as a team, caring about students, finding new ways to work with the students and obtain successes for them, regardless of where that student comes from, what their background is and what they walk in the door with, from academic skills or social skills,” Smith said.

Read the announcement.

View the SOAR Awards ceremony here:

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

TBR college of the year
Top 150 Community College

In 2019 and 2017, Columbia State was named as one of the top 150 community colleges in the country by the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. 

The Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

Columbia State and 149 other community colleges were selected from a national pool of more than 1,000 public two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes in three areas:

  • Performance (retention, graduation rates including transfers, and degrees and certificates per 100 full-time equivalent students)
  • Improvement (awarded for steady improvement in each performance metric over time)
  • Equity (evidence of strong completion outcomes for minority and low-income students) 

2021-2022 Degrees & Certificates Awarded

1,086 Total Degrees & Certificates

677 Associate Degrees

273 Associate of Applied Science Degrees

136 Technical Certificates

AACC Awards of Excellence

In Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership - Finalist Award
Tennessee Valley Public Power Association partnership

2020, 2018 & 2014 AACC Award of Excellence
in Advancing Diversity - Finalist Award

2018 AACC Award of Excellence
in Student Success - Finalist Award

2018 AACC Award of Excellence
in Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership - Finalist Award
Maury Regional Medical Center partnership

2021-2022 Licensure Pass Rates

96% Nursing

(National Average: 82.5%)

100% Paramedic

(National Average: 75%)

93% Emergency Medical Technician

(National Average: 68%)

Tree Campus USA

2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 & 2017 Tree Campus USA

Columbia State was recognized as a Tree Campus USA college by the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Campus USA is designed to award national recognition to college campuses promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.

logo of Tree Campus USA
2017 & 2013 Bellwether Award Finalist

The Bellwether is an extremely competitive recognition awarded for ‘cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating.' The award is given by The Assembly of the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida.

Participate, Lead, Succeed: Building a Bridge to Graduation
The project was based on the Columbia State President’s Leadership Society, which targets Columbia State students early in their college career to help lay a foundation for success and serves as a graduation pipeline.

Model for aligning mission, funding and budgets.

Digital Community Colleges Survey Award

3rd Among Mid-sized Colleges

4th Among Mid-sized Colleges

7th Among Small Colleges

2013 Workforce Innovation Award
The award was given by The Council on Workforce Innovation in Tennessee and highlighted public and private partnerships that exist at Columbia State in the areas of film crew technology and healthcare programs,  as well as the emergency medical services/paramedic and engineering systems technology programs.