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Tennessee College of Applied Technology – McMinnville earns important VETS Campus certification, recognizing its commitment to help veterans succeed in their education

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology – McMinnville 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.

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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.

“TCAT-McMinnville is honored to be a VETS campus. We exist to assist all students, and we are particularly proud to welcome our Veterans who have dedicated their lives to serving our country,” said Dr. Melody Edmonds TCAT-McMinnville President.

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

“We’re delighted that TCAT – McMinnville has achieved this important milestone and made the campus 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.

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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.

TCAT – McMinnville offers a variety of programs which include Automotive Technology, Building Construction Technology, Computer Information Technology, Cosmetology, Industrial Electricity, Industrial Maintenance, Machine Tool Technology, Massage Therapy, Practical Nursing, Truck Driving, and Welding.

TBR 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, and the system-level veterans service office to assist veterans and the colleges.

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“Our college communities are strengthened by the presence of veterans and active-duty personnel as students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Dr. Tydings said. “They and 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, and I thank our presidents, faculty and 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 https://www.tn.gov/thec/veteran.html

Additional information on financial assistance, academic credit for military training and experience and other resources for veterans is available at https://www.tbr.edu/student-success/veterans-and-military- families-support

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