Article by W. Clay Crook-
The special guest speaker for the April 6, 2021 meeting of the Lexington Rotary Club was Dr. Jeff Sisk, President of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT). He started his career in Lexington working at the Lexington TCAT.
There are two higher education systems in the state of Tennessee- the UT system and the Board of Regents, which includes the 27 TCATs across the state. They used to be called State Area Vocational Schools and were placed so that they would be thirty minutes of any population. “We train welders, machinists, and LPNs,” he said, “the backbone of the economy.”
The graduation rate is about 85%, it’s a very focused curriculum, based more on training than education. “Training is mastering your own words, and education is mastering someone else’s. In layman’s terms, if I’m in a plane, I want a well-trained pilot, not necessarily a well-spoken one.” The students are tested in applied math, applied reading, and technical skills. “We don’t write term papers!” he laughed.
“I wish I had known about TCATs years ago. I was born in Bemis, raised in Malesus, and graduated from South Side.” He didn’t make it through college, “I didn’t know how to succeed, I didn’t have the emotional maturity,” and joined the Army National Guard, became more disciplined, and…
For the complete story, see the April 7th edition of The Lexington Progress.