Student Handbook

General Admission Policy

Persons seeking admission to the College must be at least 18 years of age or have a high school diploma or equivalent. Prospective students are encouraged to apply at any time. Steps to apply are as follows:

  • Discuss career objectives with Student Services and consult with instructor/tour program, if desired, and choose one program of study.
  • Complete an application for enrollment online.
  • Have a financial plan for attending the institution which may include financial aid, Veterans' educational benefits, scholarships, cash, check, money order, or some major credit cards.
  • Provide Tennessee College of Applied Technology with sealed and/or official high school transcript/diploma, College transcript/degree, military transcripts, or GED or HiSET scores.

Foreign Nationals/Non-Immigrants, may enroll as students, regardless of immigration status, if they otherwise meet TCAT program enrollment requirements. The College is not a participant in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) or SEVIS and does not process F and/or M student visas or issue I-20 documents. Non-immigrants who wish to enroll at the College should consider whether enrolling at the College will negatively impact their visa status prior to enrolling at the College.

To be eligible for state-funded financial aid or other assistance, prospective students must meet the requirements of the Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA, T.C.A. 4-58-101 et seq.), which requires proof of identity and U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Resident status,  or lawful presence in the U.S. Contact the Student Services office at the College for information about acceptable documentation for purposes of EVEA verification.

The completed application for enrollment will be added to the program interest list on the date the application is received by the College. The applicant will be notified about this action by letter. Periodic letters will thereafter be sent to those with applications on lengthy interest lists to confirm their continued interest. When an opening becomes available, notification will be sent to the next applicant on the interest list, along with a scheduled orientation date. If the applicant declines or does not respond to the notification of an opening in the desired program, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology may decide to delay the applicant's entry to the next available vacancy. If the applicant declines the opportunity for enrollment twice, their enrollment application will be retired, and the student removed from the Priority Wait List. After an enrollment application is retired, an applicant may still re-apply at any time.

Prior to, or upon, the first day of attendance at Tennessee College of Applied Technology, each new student will participate in a group orientation session, which acquaints him or her with institutional policies, functions, and personnel. The orientation process is an ongoing program which involves departmental orientation, safety policies, and the development of work attitudes, habits, and behaviors which help the student to use the resources available to him/her most effectively while at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology. Applicants who cannot attend their assigned orientation should reschedule with Student Services in advance. Those failing to attend their assigned orientation who still desire to attend may need to reapply.

In addition to the general admission criteria, specific educational and physical requirements must be met by applicants, either with or without an accommodation, in the following programs:

Cosmetology 12 H.S. Credits or GED score of 450 or a passing HiSET score. Provide official and/or copy of H.S. or GED or HiSET transcript prior to enrollment.
Surgical Technology H.S. Diploma, GED or HiSET; Information Session; Passing score on Achievement Test; Satisfactory Physical with all required immunizations; Three References.
Practical Nursing H.S. Diploma, GED or HiSET; Information Session; Passing score on HESI Test; Three References. Clinical sites will require a Satisfactory Physical with all required immunizations; Pass Drug Screen; and background check. Proof of medical insurance and costs for clinical site requirements are the responsibility of the student.
Truck Driving

18 years of age; D.O.T. medical exam; negative drug screening test taken within 24 hours of payment. Drug test has to be done within 30 days of the start date and at the designated facility and when to obtain by the school. Also, a random test may be done at any time. Current Moving Violation Record from Department of Safety (student can have no more than three speeding violations and/or accidents for the past three years and no alcohol or drug-related convictions in the last five years); TN resident; valid TN driver's license; commercial driver's license permit (DPA). 

State law (Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-2107) requires that prior to being hired as a school bus driver, a school board will need to conduct a criminal background check, and the school board will decide whether to issue a Certificate of Eligibility. ii. State law requires school bus drivers to be at least twenty-five (25) years of age to hold the (S) endorsement and drive a school bus in Tennessee;

The school board decides whether to issue a Certificate of Eligibility and whether to hire an individual. The TCAT does not make those decisions. iv. If you have been convicted of a crime, TCAT urges you to review state law and Tennessee Department of Safety eligibility criteria to determine whether you are eligible to be hired as a school bus driver. Do so prior to enrolling.

HESI Admission Assessment

The HESI Admission Assessment is a computerized entrance exam for the Practical Nursing and Surgical Technology programs. Minimum scores of 70 in both the reading and math sections are required for admission to these programs. HESI scores are considered valid for a maximum of two years. The test may be taken twice each trimester. Additional HESI test approval must be granted by the D.O.N. A fee is required to take the HESI exam. Please contact the Allied Health or Student Services Departments for the fee amount.

Student Insurance

Nursing and Allied Health Liability Insurance

All nursing and allied health students are required by clinical affiliates to purchase special liability insurance applicable to their program. More information may be found through the Nursing Handbook.

TBR Student Health Insurance Exchange

Other Tennessee College of Applied Technology students interested in obtaining health insurance coverage can access information about the TBR Student Health Insurance Exchange online at or by calling 1-800-647-4104.

Technology Foundations/Learning Support

Technical College Learning Support Policy (TBR Policy requires that students who do not present valid ACT, SAILS, or other approved valid assessment scores, that demonstrate college readiness based upon established cut scores, or other documentation will be placed into the appropriate learning support course for applied mathematics, graphic literacy, and reading for information as defined by the academic program requirements.

Students with transferable college-level coursework may be exempt from the Technology Foundations Learning Support course or completing assessments.

Institutions will provide, or may require, assessment(s) to allow students to challenge placement into Technology Foundation Learning Support if they have not met established criteria.

A first-time or transfer student, entering without a valid assessment score or college-level coursework not meeting transferable requirements will be enrolled into the appropriate subject area Technology Foundation Learning Support course along with the paired technical college program coursework or may be given the option of challenge testing to place into the technical college program without learning support.

The purpose of learning support is to enhance academic success in technical college programs and increase the likelihood of program completion that will prepare students for career success in their chosen field of study.