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TCAT Programs, Changes, and Modifications : TCAT-060

Policy/Guideline Area

Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology

Applicable Divisions



The following shall serve as guidelines for submitting proposals for new programs, program modifications, Special Industry Training, inactivation of programs, termination of a program, and reporting of part-time programs at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.

This policy should serve as a resource for the development of all Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology proposals.


  1. Process for TCAT Program Proposals That Must Be Taken to the Board
    1. Beyond those delegated responsibilities, the Board reserves to itself the authority to review and approve all proposed actions pertaining to establishment of vocational-technical diploma and certificate programs per Policy 2:01:02:00.
    2. Planning for new continuing programs should be an integral part of the Five-Year Strategic Plan of the TCAT.
      1. The TCAT President should send a letter of intent to the Chancellor at least six (6) months prior to the planned period for starting the program relating the purpose and scope of the proposed action.
      2. If the Board staff has questions related to plans to start the program, they will be communicated to the president early in the process.
      3. The TCAT staff should communicate its intent to start a new program with the lead institution in its primary service area and seek assistance, if necessary, in preparing the new program proposal.
    3. The proposal should be submitted on TBR-TCAT Format 1 (Exhibit 1). The major criteria used by College of Applied Technology staff in evaluating program proposals are:
      1. Program is appropriate to the role and scope of the TCAT.
      2. Need for the program is evident (supported by supply and demand data).
      3. Program does not unnecessarily duplicate existing delivery in the primary service area.
      4. Fiscal resources are available to initiate the program. If not, an analysis of need is included in the proposal.
      5. Space and equipment are available or plan is in place to provide necessary accommodations. If funding is needed, requirements are identified in the proposal.
      6. There is a plan for articulation of the new program with existing programs within the school and with programs at other institutions, if appropriate.
      7. Instructional personnel are available with appropriate qualifications to implement the proposal.
      8. Plan for addressing assessment and basic education is evident.
      9. Level(s) of exit (certificates) are addressed.
  2. Process for TCAT Program Proposals Approved by Board through Delegated Authority
    1. Other than new programs, TCAT proposals may be approved by the Board through delegated authority to the Chancellor.
      1. Summaries of these proposals will be reported monthly to the Board, with a 30-day period following for Board concerns.
      2. Any proposal identified by a Board member during this 30-day period will be brought before the full Board at its next quarterly meeting.
    2. Institutions shall provide, to the Chancellor, proposals related to the following or as stated in Policy 2:01:02:00:
      1. Establishment of Program Options.
      2. Substantial Revision of the Curriculum of Existing Programs.
      3. Consolidation of Existing Vocational-Technical Programs.
      4. Inactivation of a Vocational-Technical Program.
      5. Termination of a Vocational-Technical Program.
      6. Establishment or Revision of Institutional Policies and Standards Covering Student Admission.
      7. Current on-ground programs that will be converted to a fully online delivery format.
    3. The President should communicate their intent to modify a program to the Chancellor at the earliest sign of need, then proceed with completion of the TBR-TCAT Format 2 (Exhibit 2) by deadline established by the Chancellor’s Office.
    4. The following criteria should be considered in requesting a program modification:
      1. Termination of a Program.
        1. Placement rate is low in jobs trained for or in related jobs. (Below 65% for two consecutive years).
        2. Student demand is below desired standard. (Below an annualized FTE of 13 students).
        3. High attrition rate and/or low rate of completers. (Below 50% for two consecutive years).
        4. The president should address reassignment of space and disposition of personnel and equipment.
      2. Inactivation of a Program
        1. A program may be placed on inactive status for a maximum of three years. If it is not reactivated by the end of the third year, the program is automatically terminated.
        2. Conditions described in 1. a., b., and c. which are considered to be of a temporary nature may be used as justification for inactive status of a program. Rationale for potential reactivation of program should be clearly demonstrated.
      3. Modification of an Existing Program
        1. Any substantive change in the title, curriculum, or method of delivery in a program should be requested in advance on TBR-TCAT Format 2.
        2. Justification must address supply and demand, student interest, personnel impact, costs, space and equipment.
  3. Process for Academic Proposals Requiring Only Notification to Chancellor
    1. Changes to existing academic programs not listed above, that require no new costs or minimal costs that the campus will fund through reallocation of existing resources or through sources such as grants and gifts, may be approved through an established process by the institution per Policy 2:01:02:00.
    2. The Chancellor must be informed of such changes prior to implementation.
      1. Such action includes, but is not limited to, establishment of new credentials and changes such as the modification of the title of a program.
      2. Notification should be in a form of a letter addressing the above mentioned items.
  4. Special Industry Training
    1. Requests for approval of special industry training should be submitted to the Chancellor for transfer of funds prior to program operation. (Requests for approval are required only when TBR Central Office funds are requested).
    2. The request should be submitted on TBR-TCAT Format 3 (Exhibit 3).
  5. Reporting of Part-Time Programs
    1. A report listing all part-time programs currently in operation should be submitted to the Chancellor on a quarterly basis.
      1. The reports should indicate program title, part-time program code, enrollment, cost and projected length of program (in hours).




T.C.A. § 49-8-203


November 16, 1984 AVTS Sub-Council meeting; January 15, 1989 AVTS Sub-Council Meeting; February 14, 1989 Presidents' Meeting; August 17, 2004 Presidents’ Meeting; August 18, 2004 Directors’ Sub-Council Meeting; May 15, 2007 Presidents’ Meeting; May 16, 2007 Directors’ Sub-Council Meeting.

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