Stories @ TCAT

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Crossville has earned VETS Campus certification by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, certifying the college’s commitment to programs and services to help veterans succeed as they pursue their education.

The VETS Campus program was established by the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act, enacted by the state legislature in 2014 to assist veterans of military service in continuing their educations. The Act details a rigorous set of seven programs, requirements and qualifications that colleges and universities must meet to earn VETS Campus certification.

Veterans and active-duty military personnel may be eligible to earn academic credit for their military training and experience, depending on the applicability of the credit to their chosen program, under provisions of the VETS Act.

Generally, the Act requires colleges to prioritize outreach to the veterans, allocate resources for their successful transition from military service to college, and successfully deliver services that create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.

“The TCAT Crossville recently received and is proud to be part of the VETS program in conjunction with the Tennessee Board of Regents and the Department of Veterans Affairs. VETS is an acronym for Veterans Education Transition Support, which assures the Veterans that TCAT Crossville has set goals to ensure they will succeed while enrolled at the campus. In doing so, the campus is currently providing services and support for veterans to promote a positive learning experience. The campus has monthly meetings with our Veterans regarding any issue or information they need to assure their success. We all owe a great debt to our Veterans and TCAT Crossville is committed to helping them be successful in their training here," said TCAT President Cliff Wightman. “I also want to thank our staff and faculty here at the school, many of which are Veterans for their help in getting the TCAT Crossville VETS approved.”

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) administers the program, awards the certifications, and reviews the institutions for renewal of their certifications. Last week, THEC announced the program’s two newest VETS Campuses – TCATs Crossville and McMinnville – increasing to 17 the number of colleges in the public College System of Tennessee now officially designated as VETS Campuses.

“We’re delighted that TCAT Crossville and TCAT McMinnville have achieved this important milestone and made their campuses even more welcoming to our veterans than ever. It is an honor to have veterans at our institutions. We have a duty to serve them as they served us,” said Regina Watkins, director of veteran enrollment and benefits at The College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

All 13 community colleges and now four technical colleges are now VETS Campuses, and the goal is for all 24 technical colleges to earn certification. The remaining 20 TCATs are working hard to earn VETS certification, and the goal of the Tennessee Board of Regents and the Office of Student Success is to assist all TBR colleges in achieving this designation by the end of 2023.

Specific requirements of the VETS Act include mentoring and support programs for student veterans; creating and maintaining a process for assessing prior learning that grants academic credit to veterans for transferable training and experience attained through their military service; conducting annual surveys of student veterans’ views, needs, issues and suggestions; providing special orientation programs for student veterans; special outreach to veterans, and more.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology strives to produce the high-quality workers that industry demands; preparing students for the work world is the goal of this school and placement figures vary. In 2021-2022 TCAT Crossville had 88% of graduates being placed in jobs related to their training. These successful results provide the community businesses and industries with better trained employees. As of January 2023, 17 programs are available. They are Administrative Office Technology, Automotive Technology, Building Construction Technology, Collision Repair Technology, Computer Information Technology, Cosmetology, Diesel Powered Equipment Technology, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration - HVA, Hybrid Electric Vehicle, Industrial Maintenance and Electrical Systems, Machine Tool Technology, Masonry, Power Sports Technology, Practical Nursing, Surgical Technology, Truck Driving, Welding Technology - AWS

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings has prioritized service to veterans across the system. She established the Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans, which honors veterans in the campus communities annually during the colleges’ Veterans Day observances. She established a veterans service office at the level to assist veterans and the colleges.

“Our college communities are strengthened by the presence of veterans and active-duty personnel – as students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Dr. Tydings said. “The experience and perspective they bring are an important part of the broad diversity of people and backgrounds on our campuses that benefits everyone. We are committed to serving them as they served our country. I thank our presidents, our faculty and our entire campus communities for their work in ensuring that veterans are served and welcomed.”

Information on resources for veterans interested in pursuing their education, is available at

Additional information on financial assistance, academic credit for military training and experience and other resources for veterans is available at

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The Tennessee Board of Regents governs the College System of Tennessee – the state’s public community colleges, colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus.

For more information contact:

Tammie McCloud

VA State Certifying Official



Bill Bruce

SVA Chapter Advisor



Rick Locker

Director of Communications

TBR - The College System of Tennessee

615-366-4417 (office), 615-354-4050 (mobile)


Regina Watkins

Director of Veteran Enrollment and Benefits

Office of Student Success

TBR - The College System of Tennessee

Phone 615-366-0798 | |