The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Covington is one of 24 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and 37 total institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system that are located across the state, serving the citizens of Tennessee. The TBR and the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee System are coordinated by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). THEC was created by the General Assembly in 1967 to achieve coordination and unity in the programs of public higher education in Tennessee. The TBR system was created by legislation enacted by the 1963 General Assembly of Tennessee, Chapter 229 of House Bill 633. Chapter 181, Senate Bill 746-House Bill 697, of the Public Act of 1983 transferred the governance of the state technical institutes and area vocational-technical schools from the State Board of Education to the Tennessee Board of Regents. The transfer became effective on July 1, 1983. By action of the Tennessee Legislature in 1994, the school name changed from Covington State Area Vocational Technical School to Tennessee Technology Center at Covington. In 2013, the Legislature unanimously approved changing the name of the state’s technology centers to the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.
The Tennessee Board of Regents, the governing body for Tennessee College of Applied Technology Covington, underwent a major shift in 2017 because of the FOCUS Act of 2016 and the appointment of a new Chancellor, Dr. Flora Tydings. The FOCUS Act seeks to ensure the state’s Community Colleges and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology are organized, supported, and empowered in efforts to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential. Largely this involved the development of local governing boards for each of the six universities thus allowing TBR a greater focus on the 13 community Colleges and 24 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. Additional TBR efforts under the leadership of Dr. Tydings included the retitling of the chief administrative officer of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Covington’s Director to President; the movement towards all 37 campuses in the TBR system operating with shared services; and, the restructuring of the TBR organization uniting the community and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology through common offices and services.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology Covington had its beginnings in 1965 and opened its first classes in October 1966. The site for the school was chosen in May of that year. Tipton County and the City of Covington entered into a partnership basis in June 1965, to provide 15 acres of land necessary for the school’s site. This land is located on Highway 51 South in Covington. Construction of the structure, designed and financed by the State, was begun in fall of 1965, and the building was accepted by the state from the contractor in July 1966. The service area of the school includes Tipton County and portions of Haywood, Fayette, Lauderdale and Shelby counties.
The first class organized was Office Occupations, beginning in October 1966, with 16 trainees enrolled. Programs in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating, Auto Mechanics, Industrial Electricity/Electronics, Sheet Metal and Combination Welding were instituted in early 1967. Programs in Technical Drafting, Machine Shop, Practical Nursing Education, General Building Trades, Industrial Maintenance and Technology Foundations were added with Welding and Sheet Metal combined into Metal Fabrication. Industrial Electricity/Electronics, General Building Trades, Welding, Technical Drafting and Metal Fabrication have been phased out.
Computer Operations Technology was opened in October 1999 at the main campus; Auto Mechanics was placed on in-active status in 1999, but was re-opened at the main campus in January 2001 under the name of Automotive Technology. Evening/Weekend Practical Nursing class was opened in Munford, Tennessee in April 2001, but was brought back to the main campus in July 2008, due to reduction in the Colleges’ state appropriations. Machine Shop added Welding to its curriculum and changed the name to Machine Tool Technology. The program name for Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating has changed to Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. In January 2006, TTCs began operating on a trimester schedule. A full-time Welding Technology program was added in July 2007. In January 2014, Business Systems Technology was renamed as Administrative Office Technology (AOT). One year later, AOT added the Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma to its on-ground curriculum. Industrial Maintenance added an Automated Industrial Production certificate to its curriculum in January 2015.
The Healthcare Facility was added in 2019 and houses our Practical Nursing, Dental Assisting Techology and Pharmacy Technology programs. Dental Assisting Technology and Pharmacy Technology first classes were on September 3, 2019.
Also in 2019, TCAT Covington was awarded a Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Grant to begin a new program. The Digital Agronomy program began on September 1, 2020.
Directors and Presidents
Mr. Walter Fletcher
Mr. Joe Martin
Mr. William N. Ray
Dr. Youlanda Jones