Students Learn About New Opportunities for Post-Graduation Training
Communications Director Weakley County Schools
Several Junior and Senior students from each Weakley County high school are more informed about post-graduation job training opportunities after a recent visit to Tennessee College of Applied Technologies.
Students who participate in the Weakley County Schools Transition School to Work Program [TSW] toured the TCAT Newbern campus to explore training course options available post-graduation.
Students met with instructors from several TCAT programs and were introduced to a variety of extended educational opportunities. They learned about programs that offer training in Automotive Technology, Building Construction Technology, Computer Aided Design Technology, Computer Information Technology, Cosmetology, Diesel Powered Equipment Technology, HVAC, Industrial Maintenance, Machine Tool Technology, Practical Nursing, Truck Driving, and Welding Technology.
The college’s faculty provided a tour of the campus. Students watched as TCAT students worked on classwork, projects, and activities in the classroom environment. Instructors answered questions about program requirements, equipment and skills needed, job outlook, income potential, and available employers in the region. TCAT’s Student Services personnel also explained the registration process and how to apply for funding.
Kandace Jackson, TSW Case Manager, mentioned that funding sources are available to help cover the costs of attending TCAT.
“TCAT’s Student Services staff explained to our group that most students who attend earn a program certificate and incur little to no debt. Most students qualify for funding sources such as TN Promise, TN Reconnect, or others that help cover the expenses of their education and training. The TCAT faculty and staff encouraged students to come back and take some time exploring options of interest. It was a great experience for the students,” said Jackson.
The informative visit received positive reviews overall. Some of the students who attended are now closer to making their post-graduation plans for continuing their education.
Savannah McKnight, a Gleason High School Senior, likes the options that a TCAT provides.
“What I love about TCAT are the course options. You can take one course now and later come back if you want to get another certification,” McKnight explained. “The TCAT Newbern staff helped me understand the factors around TN Promise, and they also talked to us about work and scheduling. I’m weighing my options in my two areas of interest which are the Welding Program and obtaining my CDL in the Truck Driving Program.
Mikey Sloan, a Junior at Westview High this year, enjoyed learning about the many programs offered.
“All of the programs we learned about are great. I think they would lead to jobs that are creative, difficult, and fun. I want to travel, kind of roam a bit, so the Truck Driving Program sounds good to me,” said Sloan.
Dresden High School Senior Tyler Biggers is considering several TCAT programs after high school.
“I’ve toured a few TCAT facilities, and I’m interested in a couple of different programs. At this point, it’s between Welding or Mechanics. I appreciate that the Transition to Work Program helps us connect to exploring options and getting new ideas for future jobs,” said Biggers.
Tanner Birdwell, a Junior at Greenfield High, said his visit helped to confirm his plan to attend TCAT Newbern after graduation.
“I work at a local Auto Body Shop right now and I want to continue working in the field. I really like the Diesel-Powered Equipment Technology program at Newbern and seeing the classroom on the tour. They have a great setup. It is even complete with an exhaust outtake that keeps students safe from carbon monoxide. The trip helped me decide to apply to attend TCAT Newbern after graduation,” said Birdwell.
The Weakley County Schools TSW Program is designed to prepare students for the transition from school to work or post-secondary opportunities through job-exploration counseling, work-based learning, work-readiness training, self-advocacy training, and post-secondary counseling. Program staff includes Kandace Jackson (Transition Case Manager), Keith Douglas (Workplace Readiness Specialist at Westview, Martin Middle, Sharon), and Matthew Hunt (Workplace Readiness Specialist at Greenfield, Gleason, Dresden).
For more about Weakley County Schools, visit weakleycountyschools.com.