Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Newbern has officially changed its name to Tennessee College of Applied Technology Northwest, in recognition of its broader northwestern Tennessee service area.
In addition to its main campus in Newbern, the public technical college also offers career and technical education at its extension campuses in Bells, Dyersburg and Union City.
“Our college’s faculty, staff and students are excited about our new name because it better reflects the entire area we serve,” said TCAT Northwest’s president, Dr. Youlanda Jones. “We’ve been serving the people of Northwest Tennessee with quality education for 57 years, to enable them to enter and advance in high-demand career and technical fields. That legacy will only improve as we move forward.
“We’ve adopted a new slogan that reflects that tradition -- ‘New Name, Same Mission’,” she said.
The institution began classes in June 1965, originally under the auspices of the State Board of Education as one of the state’s Area Vocational-Technical Schools. Governance of the Area Vocational-Technical Schools transferred to the Tennessee Board of Regents in 1983. The institutions’ names were later changed to Tennessee Technology Centers. In 2013, the Tennessee General Assembly changed their names to Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.
In an average academic year, TCAT Northwest enrolls about 900 full-time and 260 part-time postsecondary students and just over 300 dual-enrollment high school students from across the area.
The name change, which went into effect Tuesday, May 3, is also the next step in the college’s planned merger with TCATs Covington and Ripley, all under the TCAT Northwest name, effective Fall 2023. The Tennessee Board of Regents approved the merger last December. All the existing campuses and teaching locations will maintain their operations and continue to fully serve students and industries across the region.
The Covington, Newbern and Ripley campuses have been led by a single president for several years, and several operational functions at all the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology – including purchasing and payroll processing and information technology systems – were previously consolidated at the Board of Regents system office. The administrative merger of the three colleges will continue the move toward more efficient service and operations, clearing the way for training program expansions.
Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said the merger and new name will enable TCAT Northwest to better serve students, business and industry. “Governor Bill Lee and the General Assembly have provided historic increases in taxpayer funding for career and technical education, and those resources will be directly focused on more program opportunities for our students,” she said.
“In addition, Ford’s Blue Oval City project and its suppliers and vendors will bring thousands of new jobs and career opportunities to West Tennessee, and TCAT Northwest is prepared to help train residents for those opportunities,” Tydings said.
The college will update its website, signage and materials over time.
TCAT Northwest will offer 23 separate career and technical education programs for students:
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.