Board of Regents approves new career programs, name change for TCAT Crossville, fee revisions

Tennessee Board of Regents to meet Oct. 31 to consider criteria for next president of TCAT Memphis

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved new career and technical education programs at four technical college campuses, a name change for Tennessee College of Applied Technology Crossville, a revised fee schedule, and other items on its quarterly meeting agenda Wednesday.

Regents also received a presentation on the College System’s new Careers Start Here interactive data dashboard, which tracks aggregate employment and earnings data of graduates of TBR colleges. The new data tool, made possible by a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will assist colleges with program development and student career advising. More details will be issued soon.

The board governs the College System of Tennessee – the state’s public Community Colleges and Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs). The full meeting was livestreamed is archived for viewing on the TBR website at The full agenda, executive summary and detailed board materials are posted online at the same TBR meeting link.

New programs for students approved include a new Heavy Equipment Operator program at TCAT Elizabethton’s new Boones Creek Campus, projected to start in Spring 2025, and Information and Infrastructure Technology programs at TCAT Jackson’s main campus and its campuses in Lexington and Whiteville, projected to start this Fall trimester.

The board approved the renaming of TCAT Crossville to Tennessee College of Applied Technology Upper Cumberland, effective May 3, as another step in its consolidation with TCAT Livingston, which is expected to be fully implemented in Fall 2025 pending approval of the colleges’ accreditation agency. When fully implemented, they will be designated as the TCAT Upper Cumberland Crossville Campus and the TCAT Upper Cumberland Livingston Campus. Both will maintain their existing teaching locations and operations to serve students and industry in the Upper Cumberland region.

The board’s action on non-mandatory fees results from an initiative of the business and finance officers at the colleges and at the system office to clean up, consolidate and standardize the comprehensive fee list maintained by the system office. "Non-mandatory fees" are assessed students only in specific classes and programs, while “mandatory fees” are assessed all students enrolled at the college.

As a result of the revisions, the online course fee for students in online courses would be standardized at $25 per credit hour – an increase for students at eight community colleges and a decrease at two others. In addition, fees in certain classes at two community colleges would be altered, resulting in increases in four courses and decreases in lab fees associated with two courses. The board also approved two policy changes reflecting the fee revisions.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved a resolution honoring former TCAT Harriman President Danice Turpin, who retired March 1 after 35 years of service in the TBR system, the last 16 as president of TCAT Harriman.
  • Conferred Faculty Emeriti designations on five distinguished retired faculty members.
  • Received a report on the Regents Awards for Excellence in Philanthropy, honoring the Stowers Machinery Foundation, presented at Pellissippi State Community College in September, and the Sells and Quertermous Families, presented at Dyersburg State Community College in November.
  • Received informational updates on plans to improve student learning supports, legislation affecting the college system, Fiscal Year 2022-23 financial performance results, and college composite financial indexes.

The TBR spring quarterly meeting is held in conjunction with the College System’s 6th annual Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition (SOAR) events, which recognize the colleges’ outstanding students, faculty, staff, philanthropists, volunteers and partners. SOAR activities included TBR Day on the Hill, in which student government leaders, SkillsUSA postsecondary officers and college presidents visited with legislators, attended committee hearings and toured the State Capitol Wednesday. The activities continue Thursday with a Student Honors luncheon recognizing Phi Theta Kappa and National Technical Honor Society students, and the main SOAR Awards Dinner.

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 24 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.