The Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology joined other technical and community colleges across the nation in hosting National Technical Letter of Intent Signing Day ceremonies on Thursday, February 15. Modeled after signing day ceremonies for NCAA athletes, National Career and Technical Education Day recognizes students who have chosen to pursue a technical career pathway in the upcoming 2018-19 school year.
In a capacity-filled room at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Dickson, President Arrita Summers welcomed future students and delivered a reassuring message to their parents. “We want you here and congratulate you on taking the first step toward a rewarding and highly-skilled career pathway. This is the bridge to your future. Parents, TCAT-Dickson is committed to providing your sons and daughters with a quality, hands-on educational experience that will support them and their future families. Your children will graduate from TCAT-Dickson with strong prospects for placement in good-paying jobs and with little or no tuition debt upon completion.”
Following traditional signing day protocol, future students for each respective program were announced and seated at a signing table with other students holding the same program interest. Each student signed their letter of program intent, donned a Tennessee College of Applied Technology baseball cap, and was acknowledged with applause by family, friends, and school administrators for making such a strong, public statement about their future educational endeavors.
Over 100 local area high school students from Dickson County, Creekwood, Cheatham County Central, East Hickman, Hickman County, Santa Fe, and Houston County high schools were recognized at the Dickson campus signing. An additional 88 students representing Jo Byrns, Kenwood, Montgomery Central, Northwest, and Rossview high schools made the same commitment at the TCAT-Dickson’s Clarksville campus the following day.
At the conclusion of the signing event, Robert Mitchell, a retired military veteran and college advisor for AdviseTN at East Hickman High School, was beaming with pride. Over 25 percent of the students participating in Career and Technical Education programs at the high school are interested in continuing their postsecondary studies at a Tennessee College of Applied Technology. “This is a rewarding day for me to see all our students, and especially our four homeless students, make this commitment to continuing their education at TCAT-Dickson. Their futures will be brighter as a result of the life-changing step they took today.”
To commemorate the occasion, students and their families gathered in front of the selfie wall to snap photos for sharing on social media.
The main campus of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Dickson is located at 740 Highway 46 South in Dickson. The college offers certificates and diplomas in 15 career programs of study: Administrative Office Technology, Automotive Technology, Computer Information Technology, Cosmetology, Dental Assisting, Diesel-Powered Equipment, Digital Graphic Design, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration, Industrial Electrical Maintenance/Mechatronics, Machine Tool Technology, Mechatronics, Pharmacy Technology, Pipefitting and Plumbing Technology, Practical Nursing, and Welding Technology. Time to completion varies by program selection. Some can be completed in less than 12 months while others may take up to 20 months.
TCAT Dickson participates in the TN Promise for these students, as well as, the TCAT Reconnect program for adult students who meet eligibility requirements. These grants are a last-dollar scholarship that can be utilized to pay for tuition in TCAT-Dickson programs. Contact Admissions@tcatdickson.edu for details.
TCAT-Dickson is a constituent college of The College System of Tennessee and is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. 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 partnership serving approximately 100,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.