At the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Meeting held on April 7, 2020, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Hohenwald was named the 2020 Technical College of the Year recognizing the accomplishments, successes and goal attainment of the college over the last year, particularly institutional and outreach with community partners throughout the south central area.
President Kelli Kea-Carrol commented, “On behalf of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Hohenwald, there are no words to express my appreciation to the Tennessee Board of Regents and SOAR Selection Committee in being nominated and selected as the 2020 Technical College of the Year. I am truly honored to receive the award on behalf of all of our faculty, staff and students, who have worked extremely hard over the last year to accomplish the goals we set before us. In the last couple of years, we have successfully opened seven campus sites, continued to increase our full-time enrollment and dual enrollment to an all –time high, while achieving greatly improved institutional financial indicators, where TCAT Hohenwald is ranked in the top 4 colleges in four of TBR indicators of technical colleges across the State of Tennessee. Additionally, we have substantially expanded our partnerships throughout the south central area in our service area counties of Lewis, Wayne, Perry, Lawrence, Maury and Hickman with area employers, all of the school systems working with Directors and CTE Directors, local area government entities, Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Boards, Rural Development and South Central Tennessee Development District, who has served as our main grant partner for both LEAP and GIVE. This award and recognition is a true result of TEAM effort!
The vision and goals of the institution could not have been accomplished without the faculty and staff, as well as the support of the businesses and industries we serve---to also include the active partnerships of our local area elected officials to include our County and City Mayors, City Managers, area legislators, to include Senator Hensley and our state representatives, Rep. David Byrd, Rep. Scott Cepicky, Rep. Clay Doggett and Rep. Kirk Haston. A key and truly important player in our success has been the backing and support of the Tennessee Board of Regents under the direction of Chancellor Flora Tydings. She has been a true inspiration---attending several of our on-campus events and has only been a phone call away, particularly during our period of unrest with COVID-19, continued, Kea-Carroll.
Though the TCAT year and trimester have been slowed by the Corona Outbreak, the remainder of the 2020 year is predicted to be a monumental year for TCAT Hohenwald! The TCAT Hohenwald year began with the on-campus announcement by Governor Bill Lee officially announcing a one-million dollar GIVE Grant to TCAT Hohenwald. The GIVE (Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education) Announcement was made to a “packed house” of the TCAT Hohenwald Student Body, Chancellor Flora Tydings, as well as other TBR representatives, area legislators, college constituents. With the GIVE Grant, TCAT Hohenwald plans to expand other technical educational opportunities and program offerings to students to including two business entrepreneur centers within two local area high schools to provide dual enrollment and certification with Administrative Office Technology, provide student work-based learning opportunities between students and local area employers, and to provide an industry and community requested Emergency Medical Technician Program, along with securing additional equipment to fully train students in areas associated with Industrial Maintenance specifically within the Machine Tool area of expertise.
The TCAT Hohenwald Faculty and Staff include: Justin Osborne – Automotive, Alaina Long – Administrative Office, Stephanie Stanfill – Aesthetics, Jennifer Calhoun – Cosmetology, Brittany Staggs – Cosmetology Adjunct, Christina Hammond – CAD & Digital Graphics, Shirley Brown-Harrison – Electronics & Electro-Mechanical, Jeff Tatum – Industrial Maintenance & Welding, Machine Tool – Kevin Hinson, Patient Care – Clint Natske, Practical Nursing – Valaurie Dunn & Jenny Brewer (Lewis Days), LeAnn Hankins (Lewis Evenings), Kendra Richardson (Maury) and Lisa Hunt (Wayne), Jacquie Coble - Surgical Technology, Earl Hamilton - Automotive (Maury), Tom Knickerbocker - Building Construction (Maury), Industrial Maintenance Sites – Brad Woodall (Lawrence) Nick White (Wayne), Jeff Staggs & Tyler Cozart (Maury), Phillip Tatum (Perry) and Billy Spencer - Welding (Perry). TCAT Hohenwald Staff include: Randy Young - Vice President, Sally Mercer – Allied Health Coordinator, Andrea Cooper – Student Services, Melanie Hines – Financial Aid, Magan Davis – HR/Admin., Tony Harris – IT, Alyssa Jude – Procurement/Student Services Admissions, Macy Lomax – Bookstore/Student Records, Kenneth Carroll – Facility Maintenance and Kelli Kea-Carroll, President.
Each member, of our faculty and staff have unique talents to contribute to the success and formation of Team TCAT Hohenwald, which is attributed to be being “student-centered” with an emphasis on student success, fully is evidenced by our continued sustainment of academic benchmarks above our accrediting body’s required indicators. TCAT Hohenwald boasts a Completion Rate of 92%, Placement- 92% and Licensure rate of 95% respectively. These statistics demonstrate the expertise of the Faculty’s ability to relay the information to our students. Additionally, another notable highlight of the college is the 99% national pass rate of students on the CAHEEP Surgical Technology Exam for eight years running! To our students, a deepest thank you for always representing the best of TCAT Hohenwald when passing those exams and locating that career opportunity that will sustain the life you’ve always wanted!
With the COVID-19 Crisis, the Faculty and Staff of TCAT Hohenwald quickly pursued an online means of delivering technical education to student with use of D2L and MicroSoft Teams. To further support students TCAT Hohenwald applied for a TBR Laptop Loaner Program through Vice Chancellor Wendy Thompson with use of Access & Diversity Funds. The TCAT was able to purchase 10 laptops to assist students with technology needs associated with online transitioning. At this time, all laptops are being utilized!
To further support the choice of TCAT Hohenwald being the Technical College of the Year, TCAT was selected and honored as Business of the Year for 2019 by the Hohenwald/Lewis County Chamber of Commerce for outstanding strides and outreach in industry and community under direction of Ms. Debbie Landers. Shortly following, TCAT Hohenwald was recognized for outstanding community development with our LEAP Grant resulting in Peoples Bank President Mr. Autry Gobbell “gifting” a building to TCAT Hohenwald to continue our very important work in Wayne County; the donation was in conjunction with Wayne County Government, Mayor Jim Mangubat, Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development - Rena Purdy and Christine Chapman.
TCAT Hohenwald has enjoyed an “open welcome” in each of our other service counties of Lewis, Perry Lawrence, Maury and Hickman with similar circumstance of provision of facilities and assistance with program set up to meet industry need. All of the “LEAP” Partners contributed to our success of TCAT’s ability to open seven site locations to meet industry need. Additionally, TCAT Hohenwald opened sites of Automotive Technology and Building Construction in conjunction with Maury County Schools CTE Offerings. With GIVE, TCAT Hohenwald plans further expansion to include many of the LEAP Partners and Sites, but to multiply to include many others including new area employers all signing MOUs to assist in meeting grant requirements.
In consideration of high school students, TCAT recognizes dual enrollment opportunities with area high schools, with juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for dual enrollment. High school students receive instructional credit for program hours of completion based upon the trimester of enrollment and scheduled hours. Additionally, TCAT works with area CTE Directors on further credit measures, such as articulation of particular program alignment
To summarize TCAT Hohenwald efforts, 2020 stands to be a continued monumental year for TCAT Hohenwald. Much appreciation is expressed to the Tennessee Board of Regents, our faculty & staff, students and community partners of which there are too many to specifically name, with an award truly recognizing the efforts of not only TCAT Hohenwald, but that of our South Central Area partners.