Tennessee community and technical colleges leading the charge for seamless transfer in EV programs

Person Working on Electric Vehicle

A Regional Articulation Convening focusing on academic pathways in the electric vehicle (EV) industry between Tennessee’s community and technical colleges was held Oct. 20 at Jackson State Community College. The event fostered advancement in the areas of technical education and statewide articulation agreements by bringing together faculty and staff from both community and technical colleges to craft new articulation agreements that make it easier for students to transfer from one program to another.

“Creating pathways in EV production technology, automated manufacturing and other key areas is important in ensuring Tennessee business and industry have a pipeline of skilled workers that meet the challenges of the future,” said Dr. Tachaka Hollins, TBR assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs. “By leveraging partnerships between community colleges and technical colleges, we’re creating educational pathways that are seamless, efficient and effective.”

TCAT faculty and staff worked with their fellow community college colleagues to review and compare coursework in each of their college’s respective EV-related programs to help create three articulation pathways. Articulation pathways reviewed were EV Production Technology to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Engineering System Technology, EV Production Technology to an AAS degree in EV Engineering Technology, and Industrial Maintenance Integrated Automation to an AAS degree in Engineering System Technology.

By creating seamless pathways between these programs, students can use credentials earned at a TCAT and apply them toward an AAS degree at a partnering community college without needing to retake courses or waste time learning skills they have already earned.

“With EV-related careers expected to increase steadily over the coming years, these agreements will be vital in ensuring Tennessee has a strong, well-educated workforce to meet industry needs,” said Dr. Sisk.

The convening builds upon the Center’s strong foundation of statewide workforce development and career training laid by said Dr. Jeff Sisk, executive director for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Center for Workforce Development, TBR staff, and other college faculty and staff members who have been assessing the needs of Ford’s BlueOval City megasite which is slated to begin production of the company’s second-generation electric truck in 2025.   

Additionally, apprenticeships offered through TBR’s Center for Workforce Development and Center for Apprenticeship we’re discussed, including how they can provide a unique combination of on-the-job learning and classroom instruction that produces highly skilled workers. The Center is dedicated to partnering with EV and EV-related businesses to create customized apprenticeship programs that can benefit them, their communities, and the state’s economy.

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.