MVP Regional News Editor
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Paris will have a new location after the Paris-Henry County Industrial Development Board announced a donation of 20 acres of land for a new campus. The announcement came after the 50-year lease on the current location expired this year and the Henry County governing board decided to retain ownership of the property. Henry County officials are looking to utilize the building for its school system in the future.
TCAT Paris President Willie Huffman said the Paris location was the only county-owned TCAT building in Tennessee. Huffman is also president of TCAT McKenzie. The new campus will be state-owned, and construction is expected to be complete in about four or five years. Huffman said the donated land will allow for future expansion of the campus, potentially housing classrooms for community college courses and night classes for four-year colleges. Building plans include a state-of-the-art facility with larger classrooms and expanded workshops.
Huffman said the new campus won’t impact the TCAT McKenzie location. The only exception is a potential merger of the two colleges, with a possible name change to TCAT Henry-Carroll.
Both campuses provide courses for students in Benton, Carroll, Henry and Weakley counties.
While the Paris and McKenzie campuses have a handful of duplicate courses, there are some classes that are location-specific.
Duplicate certification courses offered at both locations are Information technology Systems Management, Industrial Maintenance/Integrated Automation and Welding Technology.
Additional courses offered in Paris are Collision Repair Technology, Cosmetology, Health Information Management Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Motorcycle/ATV Repair, Outdoor Power Equipment, Practical Nursing and Residential Building Maintenance.
In McKenzie, additional courses include Automotive Technology; Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Major Appliance Repair.
Most of the above-mentioned courses take approximately one year to earn certification.
Huffman said with the announcement by the Ford company for the Blue Oval City manufacturing facility under construction in West Tennessee, TCAT is in close communication with the auto company to ensure there is curriculum and coursework at TCAT that aligns with the company’s needs.
Full-time students attend Monday through Friday, approximately 30 hours each week. There are part-time class options for non-traditional students. Although courses began last week, TCAT offers open enrollment at any time for its trimesters, with classes offered in the spring, summer and fall.
Huffman said 98 percent of students attending classes receive financial aid. One hundred percent of students leave TCAT programs with no student loan debt.
Through the Tennessee Promise program, there is no cost for high school graduates to attend TCATs. Dual-enrollment programs are also offered for high school students, allowing them to earn course credits upon graduation.
To learn more about enrolling in classes, contact TCAT Paris at 731-644-7365 or TCAT McKenzie at 731-352-5364. There are also campuses located in Benton and Weakley counties. Call TCAT Paris for more information about the Benton County campus. Call 731-364-2417 for more information about the Weakley County campus.