7th graders explore vocational opportunities in TCAT Elizabethton tour

Eddie Pless & Jimmy Kee
Posted On: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

In a first-time field trip, all 7th graders from T. A. Dugger Junior High School toured Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton on Tuesday.

“We want to let them know what’s available,” said TAD Principal Chris Berry. “They’re getting to tour the facilities and to see what TCAT has to offer vocationally.

TCAT offers more than a dozen programs that can be completed in 12 to 20 months. These include Administrative Office Technology, Automotive Technology, Computer Information Technology, Diesel Powered Equipment Technology, Industrial Electricity, HVAC/Refrigeration, Machine Tool Technology, Millwright Skills, Pipefitting, Practical Nursing and Welding. There is also a one trimester course in Phlebotomy Technician Certification.

For the past several years, program completion, job placement and licensure pass rate have all been in the 90-percentile range, said College President Dean Blevins. TCAT Elizabethton students typically graduate with zero debt. Tennessee Promise grants for high school seniors offer two years of free tuition at TCAT Elizabethton, after other applicable financial aid has been applied.

“We’re always looking for new opportunities to partner with schools, so that students know they can get a quality education and build a career right here in Elizabethton. It’s important for students to start thinking about these pathways as early as 7th grade, and we’re excited to be a part of that conversation with these students,” Blevins said.

8th graders recently attended CareerQuest at East Tennessee State University, which is organized by First Tennessee Development District and highlights the four primary vocational career areas in this region. Berry said the 7th grade trip is an opportunity to get similar exposure.

Once these students are enrolled at Elizabethton High School, they will have access to 19 Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study. Several of those CTE programs build a foundation for TCAT programs, offer industry certification pathways, and are aligned to in-demand jobs across the region.

For more information about TAD, call 423-547-8025 or visit www.ecschools.net. For more information about TCAT Elizabethton, call 423-543-0070 or visit www.tcatelizabethton.edu.

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