Student Handbook

General Information

What is a Tennessee College of Applied Technology?

A Tennessee College of Applied Technology is an institution which serves people in a specific geographical area within the state of Tennessee consisting of two or more counties that offers technical/occupational education. Tennessee has 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. 26 of them (all except Chattanooga) are freestanding institutions. Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology are the state's premier providers of workforce development in the state of Tennessee. The 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and their employees provide state-of-the-art technical training for workers to obtain the technical skills and professional training necessary for advancement in today's competitive job market. Through their workforce development mission, the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology help businesses and industries satisfy their need for a well-trained, skilled workforce. Under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology offer certificate and diploma programs in more than 50 distinct occupational fields as well as customized training for business and industry.


Statewide Mission

The Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology continue to serve as the premier providers for workforce development throughout the State of Tennessee. The Colleges fulfill this mission by:

  • Providing competency-based training through superior quality, traditional and distance learning instruction methods that qualify completers for employment and job advancement.
  • Contributing to the economic and community development of the communities served by training and retraining employed/unemployed workers.
  • Ensuring that programs and services are economical and accessible to all residents of Tennessee.
  • Building relationships of trust with community, business, and industry leaders to supply highly skilled workers in areas of need.

TCAT Purpose

The purpose of Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology's curricula is to provide instruction whereby individuals may be trained or retrained for employment, and to upgrade skills and knowledge of employed workers. Each program offered will assist the student in acquiring the skills, knowledge, understanding, and attitudes which contribute to proficiency and competency in his or her chosen field.

The Colleges fulfill this purpose by providing training through four types of programs:

  1. Full-Time Preparatory programs are designed to prepare persons for employment in specific or closely related occupations. These programs are offered on a six-hour per day basis. The length of programs can vary depending upon the requirements of the occupation.
  2. Part-Time Preparatory programs are designed to prepare persons for employment in specific or closely related occupations. The part-time preparatory program is offered on less than full-time basis. Length of training ranges from a few months to four years depending upon the entrance requirements of the occupation. Part-time is classified as any hours less than 30 per week.
  3. Supplemental programs are designed to assist employed workers to improve or upgrade skills and increase technical knowledge necessary for present employment or to acquire new skills and knowledge for a higher level of employment. The length of supplementary courses varies from two to several weeks. Content of the courses is determined by the specific needs of the members of the class. Time and frequency of meetings are arranged according to the convenience of the group for which the class is organized.
  4. Special Industry and Public Service programs are offered to business and industry upon their request. These classes can be conducted in the College or place of employment of the class members. Specialized and intensified courses to meet specific requirements of industry may be offered when the need arises.