Acknowledging The Best in Technical Knowledge
Even 50 years after its founding, the Council on Occupational Education (COE) remains one of the most respected names in academic accreditation. Receiving COE accreditation is an honor and a privilege reserved for technical institutions whose programs and practices either meet or exceed COE’s high standards of educational quality and student achievement. Schools that maintain COE accreditation stand above and apart from all others for their integrity, excellence, and the value they offer to students. These institutions also provide employers with the confidence that graduates possess the skills and knowledge needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Achieving and maintaining accreditation is an impressive accomplishment, and, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we have been highlighting deserving institutions who have been with COE since the very beginning. One of these deserving institutions is TCAT Hartsville.
High Standards Are Par for the Course
TCAT Hartsville has brought the promise of a quality education, the potential for workplace opportunities, and the privilege of lifelong learning to individuals, businesses, and industries across five counties in northern Middle Tennessee since 1965. From high school students and graduates wanting to advance their education to adults looking to upgrade and learn new skills, TCAT Hartsville fulfills these needs with a range of programs, including Automotive Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Practical Nursing, Machine Tool Technology, and more. The school’s level of educational excellence has not only earned COE accreditation but has maintained it for 50 years.
And just as higher standards are par for the course at TCAT Hartsville, they are also a part of the course because the school teaches that personal attitude is just as important as professional aptitude. This has resulted in many programs having a 90% to 100% job placement rate.
“We believe that industry wants students to learn work ethics as much as new skills,” explains Ms. Mae Wright, President of TCAT Hartsville. “That’s why we teach them the importance of dedication, discipline, and reliability that they need to succeed in the workforce.”
The Assurance of Accountability
COE accreditation is an honor that TCAT Hartsville is proud to uphold, which is what it must do every six years when this status needs to be reaffirmed. This process demands conducting an extensive self-study and hosting a COE visit to demonstrate that the school is maintaining the same high educational standards as initial accreditation.
“Reaccreditation is necessary because it keeps us accountable for what we say we’re doing,” says Ms. Wright.
While preparing for this process may take months of hard work and cooperation, faculty and staff try to enjoy the process because they are well aware of the rewards of this recognition.
“To be nationally accredited is what every school should want,” Ms. Wright adds. “Industry is looking for that. Students are looking for that. Faculty are looking for that. You don’t want a local accreditor, you want a respected national accreditor like COE.”
Celebrating 50 Years of Accreditation: A Remarkable Achievement
TCAT Hartsville was one of 21 institutions first accredited by the newly-formed Council in 1971. Throughout the last 50 years, the institution conducted no less than eight self-studies and hosted many visits to ensure compliance with the standards of accreditation at intervals averaging every six years. Notably, throughout the last half-century, TCAT Hartsville consistently maintained its ‘good standing’ status with the Council, having never been placed on any type of restrictive violation status which would call into question the quality and integrity of its administration, operations, or programs. This solid reputation and well-documented compliance with standards that ensure quality and integrity in career and technical education is truly a remarkable achievement.