The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro is one of 24 TCATs and 37 total institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system that are located across the state, serving the citizens of Tennessee. The TBR and the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee System are coordinated by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). THEC was created by the General Assembly in 1967 to achieve coordination and unity in the programs of public higher education in Tennessee. The TBR system was created by legislation enacted by the 1963 General Assembly of Tennessee, Chapter 229 of House Bill 633. Chapter 181, Senate Bill 746-House Bill 697, of the Public Act of 1983 transferred the governance of the state technical institutes and area vocational-technical schools from the State Board of Education to the Tennessee Board of Regents. The transfer became effective on July 1, 1983. By action of the Tennessee Legislature in 1994, the school name changed from Murfreesboro State Area Vocational Technical School to Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro. In 2013, the Legislature unanimously approved changing the name of the state’s technology centers to the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.
The Tennessee Board of Regents, the governing body for TCAT Murfreesboro, underwent a major shift in 2017 because of the FOCUS Act of 2016 and the appointment of a new Chancellor, Dr. Flora Tydings. The FOCUS Act seeks to ensure the state’s Community Colleges and TCATs are organized, supported, and empowered in efforts to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential. Largely this involved the development of local governing boards for each of the six universities thus allowing TBR a greater focus on the 13 community Colleges and 24 TCATs. Additional TBR efforts under the leadership of Dr. Tydings included the retitling of the chief administrative officers of the TCATs Director to President; the movement towards all 37 campuses in the TBR system operating with shared services; and, the restructuring of the TBR organization uniting the community and TCATs through common offices and services.
TCAT Murfreesboro and Campuses
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro is one of forty institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System, the seventh-largest system of higher education in the nation. The Tennessee Board of Regents is the governing board for this system, which is comprised of thirteen community colleges and twenty-seven technical colleges, enrolling more than eighty percent of all Tennessee students attending public institutions of higher education. The Tennessee Department of Education governed the college until 1983 when House Bill 697 and Senate Bill 746 transferred control to the Tennessee Board of Regents. The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro is situated on approximately thirteen acres of land on Highway 96 near Interchange 78 on Interstate 24. The college provides service statewide, as well as locally, including all or parts of seven counties Rutherford, Williamson, Davidson, Wilson, Cannon, Coffee, and Bedford. In 1975, the vocational addition was added to the existing physical plant. Four programs began in February 1976: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Automotive Mechanics, Office Occupations, and Welding. The first students graduated in February 1977. Local industry needs made it possible for the college to begin an Industrial Electrical Program in July 1984. The Tennessee Board of Regents approved, and the legislature funded, an expansion of the existing facility in 1996-97. This expansion doubled the size of the physical facility. The new programs added were: Dental Assisting, Pharmacy Technician, Drafting & Computer-Aided Design, Machine Tool Technology, and Computer Information Technology. In addition, the Surgical Technology Program was added in January 2001 and the Practical Nursing Program was added in July 2001. In September 2007, the Phlebotomy Program was added. The Biomedical Technician Program was added in September 2008 as an off-campus site at Independence High School in Thompson’s Station, TN. The Cosmetology Program was added in June 2010 as an off-campus site at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro and moved to the main campus in May 2013. The Concrete Technology Program was added in January 2011 as an off-campus site at Greer Center in Lebanon, TN.
The Smyrna Branch Campus was opened to classes starting January 2017 and is located at 663 Ken Pilkerton Drive in Smyrna, TN. The Smyrna Branch Campus houses programs such as Automotive Technology, Industrial Electrical Maintenance/Mechatronics, and Machine Tool, as well as new programs to the college, Collision Repair Technology, and Welding Programs.