TCAT Memphis & Bartlett High School plan partnership providing early college credit

Bartlett High School

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Memphis and Bartlett City Schools will unveil a new partnership Oct. 17 to provide college-level machine tool training to juniors and seniors at Bartlett High School. The partnership between the TCAT and the school district includes the placement of a machine tool technology lab on the Bartlett High campus to promote early college credit for in-demand skills. 

The new machine tool technology lab and equipment will be unveiled during an event at the high school that will include demonstrations of the equipment. The lab will specifically focus on developing skills to meet the demands of employers in West Tennessee. Students will receive training on equipment such as lathes and mills, including how to use and program the machines for professional purposes.

The equipment matches the technology utilized by many local medical device manufacturers in the Shelby County area. Memphis is the second largest producer of medical device components in the nation. 

“With the emphasis on postsecondary credentials in the Drive to 55 initiative, Tennessee is creating a seamless pipeline between high school, postsecondary education, and workforce,” said Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) Executive Director Mike Krause. “By shortening the pathway to a college credential for these students, the program is directly addressing a shortage of qualified machine tool technology workers in the area.” 

The TCAT provided the new machine tool equipment for the lab. Students will use the lab as part of their dual enrollment courses; curriculum will mirror content from classes held at TCAT Memphis and reflect industry standards for machine tool technology training. Students who enroll in the program during their junior year, and continue through their senior year, will complete their first trimester at TCAT-Memphis before even graduating from high school. 

“These students will have a unique opportunity to train on the latest machine tool technology equipment,” said TCAT-Memphis Director Roland Rayner. “Not only will they get the skills they need to find jobs in our community, but they will gain early exposure to higher education and understand what postsecondary training can provide to them.” 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the lab on Oct. 17 will include remarks from state and local officials, as well as education leaders. 

Event Information 

What: Ribbon-Cutting for Machine Tool Technology Lab at Bartlett High School 

Where: Bartlett High School, 5688 Woodlawn St., Bartlett, TN 38134 

When: Monday, October 17th at 10:30 am 

Who: TCAT-Memphis and Bartlett High School 

Speakers: State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, THEC & TSAC Executive Director Mike Krause, Tennessee Board of Regents Vice Chancellor James King, TCAT-Memphis Director Roland Rayner, Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, Bartlett City Schools Superintendent David Stephens, TCAT-Memphis Assistant Director Nathan Garrett 


The Tennessee Higher Education Commission was created in 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly. The Commission develops, implements, and evaluates postsecondary education policies and programs in Tennessee while coordinating the state’s systems of higher education, and is relentlessly focused on increasing the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential. 

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 serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.