Education Briefs for Jan. 5, 2017


TCAT highlighted in report on increasing Tenn. college graduates

The Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) has released a new report examining the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and their role in meeting a statewide initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential by 2025.

tcat-memphis-small-logoTCATs are Tennessee’s public colleges for technical skills training. More than 60 programs are offered at 27 locations across the state, ranging from practical nursing to automotive technology. Each TCAT is connected to local industry and program offerings vary by location, depending on what industries are present in the area.

Student outcomes across the TCAT system are noteworthy. In the 2014-15 school year, 82 percent of students completed their program, 87 percent secured a job related to their field of study, and 95 percent passed their licensure examinations.

Initiatives such as Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect are increasing enrollment at TCATs. Full-time equivalent enrollment is at its highest level in the past decade.

If the number of credentials awarded increases at about the same rate as enrollment, TCATs will meet their share of the Drive to 55 goal.

The report is complemented by an infographic explaining the relationship between TCATs and the Drive to 55 goal, as well as a map of TCAT main campuses and satellite locations.

The report and accompanying materials are available on the Comptroller’s website at

In other TCAT news, Bartlett residents learned in late November that their city will be the home of a new TCAT satellite campus. It will support a new medical device institute focused on developing journey worker machinists and people with other key skill sets who are needed to support the growth of the area’s 47+ medical device companies. (For details, see the earlier Bartlett Express story at

Legislative leaders praise revamped Teacher Preparation Report Card

Click image to go directly to the 2016 Tennessee Teacher Preparation Report card.

Click image to go directly to the 2016 Tennessee Teacher Preparation Report card.

Some of the Tennessee Legislature’s top education leaders have praised the state’s revamped Teacher Preparation Report Card. The new report card, unveiled on Dec. 15, shows how Tennessee’s colleges and universities and other teacher preparation providers are training new teachers for success in classrooms.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) said, “The newly redesigned report card provides a transparent look at the effectiveness of Tennessee’s educator preparation providers. Not only is it a much more user-friendly tool for prospective teachers, school districts and other education stakeholders, it promotes continuous improvement and innovation of our teacher preparation programs.”

House Education Administration and Planning Chairman Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville) said, “As a tool, it provides more detailed and clear information that promote strong partnerships between local school districts and the preparation providers to make sure that the providers are meeting the needs of the districts. This includes high-needs districts.”

The revamped report card is the result of a partnership with the State Board of Education, Tennessee Department of Education, and Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The agencies received comprehensive feedback from education stakeholders across the state during the redesign process.

House Education Instruction and Program Committee Chairman John Forgety (R-Athens) said, “Research shows that teachers have the most impact of any in-school factor on student achievement. That is why our teacher preparation programs are vital to our efforts to improve student achievement in Tennessee.”

Cordova seminary gets accreditation reaffirmed

mabts-logoMid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS), located at 2095 Appling Road in Cordova, has received reaffirmation of its accreditation through 2026 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The reaffirmation process is conducted every 10 years, and the seminary’s reaffirmation comes after a series of vigorous reviews—both on-site and off-site—to ensure that it is continuing to provide the resources, programs, and services to accomplish its mission of excellence in teaching and learning.

MABTS received a commendation for excellence from the visiting on-site teams in 2006 and 2016. In late March, the school hosted a SACSCOC on-site reaffirmation committee in preparation for the December reaffirmation announcement. In the on-site committee’s final report, they included the following statement:

“The On-Site Reaffirmation Committee interacted with the MABTS community in a variety of ways during the on-site visit. A recurring theme was obvious to the entire committee during these interactions—the entire seminary community embraces a strong and unified commitment to the institution’s core values and mission. This sense of family provides encouragement and support that serves the seminary well and enhances not only the educational elements of the institution, but also its outreach and presence in the communities in which it resides.”

For more information about MABTS, call (901) 751-8453 or visit