Student Handbook


The Tennessee Board of Regents establishes the admissions requirements for age, status, counseling, and testing. The Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology maintain an open-door policy for admission into most occupational programs, however, educational requirements for program admission may vary from program to program. Most programs will admit students with a special education High School Diploma or a Certificate of Attendance. Students are informed by the instructor that job placement in some fields may not be obtained without a regular high school diploma. Due to licensing requirements, some programs require a regular high school diploma, GED or HiSET.

General Admission Policy

Persons seeking admission to the College must be at least 18 years of age or have a high school diploma or equivalent. Prospective students are encouraged to apply at any time. Steps to apply are as follows:

  • Discuss career objectives with Student Services and consult with instructor/tour program, if desired, and choose one program of study.
  • Complete an application for enrollment online.
  • Have a financial plan for attending the institution which may include financial aid, Veterans' educational benefits, scholarships, cash, check, money order, or some major credit cards.
  • Provide Tennessee College of Applied Technology with sealed, official high school transcript/diploma, College transcript/degree, or GED or HiSET scores.

Prospective students who are foreign nationals (non-U.S. Citizens or non-Permanent U.S. Residents) are permitted to enroll at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology. It is up to the prospective student to determine what, if any, affect enrollment might have on their immigration/visa status in the U.S. To be eligible for state-funded financial aid or other assistance, prospective students must meet the requirements of the Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA) T.C.A. §4-58-101 et seq.

The completed application for enrollment will be added to the program interest list on the date the application is received by the College. The applicant will be notified about this action by letter. Periodic letters will thereafter be sent to those with applications on lengthy interest lists to confirm their continued interest. When an opening becomes available, notification will be sent to the next applicant on the interest list, along with a scheduled orientation date. If the applicant declines or does not respond to the notification of an opening in the desired program, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology may decide to delay the applicant's entry to the next available vacancy. If the applicant declines the opportunity for enrollment twice, their enrollment application will be retired, and the student removed from the Priority Wait List. After an enrollment application is retired, an applicant may still re-apply at any time.

Prior to, or upon, the first day of attendance at Tennessee College of Applied Technology, each new student will participate in a group orientation session, which acquaints him or her with institutional policies, functions, and personnel. The orientation process is an ongoing program which involves departmental orientation, safety policies, and development of work attitudes, habits, and behaviors which help the student to use the resources available to him/her most effectively while at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology. Applicants who cannot attend their assigned orientation should reschedule with Student Services in advance. Those failing to attend their assigned orientation who still desire to attend should reapply.

In addition to the general admission criteria, specific educational and physical requirements must be met by applicants, either with or without an accommodation, in the following programs:

Cosmetology 10 H.S. Credits or GED score of 450 or a passing HiSET score. Provide official H.S or GED or HiSET transcript prior to enrollment.
Dental Assisting H.S. Diploma, GED or HiSET; Information Session; Passing score on Achievement Test; Satisfactory Physical with all required immunizations; Three References.
Practical Nursing H.S. Diploma, GED or HiSET; Information Session; Passing score on Achievement Test; Three References. Clinical sites will require a Satisfactory Physical with all required immunizations; Pass Drug Screen; and background check. Proof of medical insurance and costs for clinical site requirements are the responsibility of the student.
Pharmacy Technology H.S. Diploma, GED or HiSET. Clinical sites will require a Satisfactory Physical with all required immunizations; Pass Drug Screen; and background check. Proof of medical insurance and costs for clinical site requirements are the responsibility of the student.

HESI Admission Assessment

The HESI Admission Assessment is a computerized entrance exam for the Practical Nursing and Dental Assisting programs. Minimum scores of 70 in both the reading and math sections are required for admission to these programs. HESI scores are considered valid for a maximum of two years. The test may be taken twice each trimester. A fee is required to take the HESI exam. Please contact the Nursing or Student Services Departments for the fee amount.

Technology Foundations

Technical College Learning Support Policy (TBR Policy requires that students who do not present valid ACT, SAILS, or other approved valid assessment scores, that demonstrate college readiness based upon established cut scores, or other documentation will be placed into the appropriate learning support course for applied mathematics, graphic literacy, and reading for information as defined by the academic program requirements.

Students with transferable college-level coursework may be exempt from the Technology Foundations Learning Support course or completing assessments.

Institutions will provide or may require, assessment(s) to allow students to challenge placement into Technology Foundation Learning Support if they have not met established criteria.

A first-time or transfer student, entering without valid assessment score or college level coursework not meeting transferable requirements will be enrolled into the appropriate subject area Technology Foundation Learning Support course along with the paired technical college program coursework or may be given the option of challenge testing to place into the technical college program without learning support.

The purpose of the Technology Foundations program is to provide a comprehensive program of activities that will enable students to develop and/or enhance their basic academic skills, life skills, and job skills. The Technology Foundations program will provide supplemental skill training necessary for students to reach their fullest potential in the workplace. Students must complete Technology Foundations to graduate.

Ability to Benefit

Ability to Benefit is the U.S. Department of Education established criteria, through a provision of the Higher Education Act, that must be met by a person who does not have either a regular high school diploma, General Education Diploma (GED), or High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) Exam to receive federal financial aid. All students must meet the admission requirement(s) for their programs of study; students without a high school diploma who are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance and wish to apply for federal student aid may be admitted under Ability to Benefit provisions set forth by the Department of Education.

Credit for Previous Training from Other Institutions/Experience

Students may be given credit toward program completion requirements upon demonstration of common competencies. Students may request credit for prior education, training, or work experiences, and may do so based on:

  1. Credit from a sister Tennessee College of Applied Technology
  2. Credit from all other institutions, work experiences, certifications, etc.

Credit for the previous training can be established by:

  1. Testing: A student may demonstrate proficiency through oral, written, and/or skill performance. The test will be administered by the program instructor and the completed test maintained as part of the student's testing files. Recommended credit must be documented on a prior credit request form and filed in the student's folder in the Student Services Office.
  2. Transcript: Prior credit may be granted to students by transcripts from other schools. Credit earned from other sources must be from institutions that are accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or whose acceptance is required by a state or federal approving agency, including:
    1. Other TBR schools. The instructor should evaluate the transcript to ensure that credit is given only for those courses or units that coincide with units of instruction for this program.
    2. Schools not governed by TBR, but which have an articulation agreement with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology. Credit will be given as specified in the articulation agreement.
    3. For students who are transferring from a program certified by a state or national governing board such as practical nursing, cosmetology, or NATEF (ASE), credit may be granted for completed certified units as prescribed by the certifying agency.
    4. Institutions not governed by TBR, but which have courses similar to the program of instruction at Tennessee College of Applied Technology.

Upon pre-enrollment/enrollment, students desiring credit for prior education, training, or work experiences must complete a Previous Training/Experience Form, available from the Student Services Office. The prior credit form should be completed by the student and instructor and submitted to the Student Services Office by the end of the first term of the student's enrollment. Students should identify prior credits, via an official transcript, including a course description(s), that the student feels are a match for a course(s) in the Tennessee College of Applied Technology program of study. Past work experience will be evaluated for currency, type of equipment used and length of employment. Students seeking such credit should submit supporting documentation to their instructor for review and recommendation(s) for credit towards completion of a program of study. The instructor's role is only to recommend whether to grant credit towards a certificate or diploma based on past education, training, or work experiences. Based on the information submitted, the instructor will recommend the amount of credit to be given or recommend that the student complete a challenge test to determine credit. The instructor will then forward recommendation(s) to the Student Services Office. After assessment of previous education, training and/or experience the student will be enrolled in training at the student's documented proficiency level. The time normally required for training will be shortened accordingly.

Re-Admission Policy

A student who previously attended Tennessee College of Applied Technology who either withdrew or whose attendance was otherwise terminated must re-apply for admission by completing a new enrollment application. Due to processing of financial aid, students desiring to enroll in a new program of study and use financial aid, or did use financial aid in a prior term, will experience a 60-day waiting period for re-admittance.

Service Member Re-admission

Military reserve and National Guard personnel who are mobilized to active military service within six months of attendance at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and who plan to return to the College, will have their tuition assessed as per TBR policy B-60.

Re-admission from Academic Suspension (All programs except Allied Health)

A. The president may consider for readmission the applicant who has been suspended.

B. Criteria that the president will consider in assessing candidacy for readmission are as follows:

1.  Assessment of the candidate's willingness to address those deficiencies that contributed to the prior suspension, and

2.  Assessment of the likelihood that the readmitted student may succeed in pursuing their training objective.

Readmission for Nursing Students

Any Tennessee College of Applied Technology nursing program student who was previously suspended for failing to meet academic standards in the nursing program must reapply for admission to return to the program. If the student is seeking readmission to the first term, the regular application process will apply. The applicant will be required to attend an orientation session and submit the necessary applications. References, transcripts, and HESI scores are considered valid for two years from the time of their initial receipt.

If an individual seeks to reapply to the second or third trimester of the nursing program, the applicant must complete the Tennessee College of Applied Technology application for the term they plan to enroll. The student must also submit a letter requesting readmission to the specific term to the Health Sciences Coordinator.

The Health Science Coordinator will review each case and may recommend readmission to the college President. Criteria that the Nursing Coordinator will consider in determining readmission include demonstration of the student's willingness to address the deficiencies that contributed to the prior suspension and assessment of the likelihood that the readmitted student may succeed.

Any student suspended for poor attendance must sit out one full term before being readmitted to the program. Any student suspended for academic failure may request readmission to the next available class. Readmission is dependent upon clinical availability and is not guaranteed. Re-enrollment is determined on a first-come, first-served basis.

Any student who has been suspended twice from the nursing program due to violation of attendance, academic, and/or clinical performance may be denied readmission. After a period of five years from the date of the second termination, an individual may apply to the nursing program and be given consideration for readmission. Transfer credit for this admission will not be considered.

Transfer from another Nursing Program

Students who have completed nursing courses at another nursing program and seek to enter the program in the second or third term of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology nursing program may apply for enrollment. The application process for transfer students includes:

  • Submit completed application for enrollment.
  • Submit official copy of high school transcript or high school equivalency.
  • Submit official transcript from previous nursing education program.
  • Submit proof of at least a 750 score on each of the HESI end of course exams for the term(s) that are being granted credit. The costs of the HESI exams are the responsibility of the applicant. If an applicant has had the HESI end of course exams within the previous two years, an official copy of the test results can be provided in lieu of retesting.

Applicants will be accepted to the program based on classroom space and clinical availability. If all application materials are received, acceptance is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is given to previous Tennessee College of Applied Technology students seeking re-enrollment.

After notification of conditional acceptance to the program, the following items required by clinical sites must be completed and submitted prior to enrollment:

  • Satisfactory drug screen within the previous six months,
  • Satisfactory criminal background screening within the previous six months,
  • Proof of current CPR certification, and
  • Up-to-date physical/immunizations.