The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Northwest 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 Newbern State Area Vocational Technical School to Tennessee Technology Center at Newbern. 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 Northwest, 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 the 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.
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Northwest is a post-secondary and adult institution that provides programs (less than two years) to serve the training needs of a broad geographic area by providing technical instruction and skill training in trade, technical, and other occupations. The instructional programs are designed to prepare persons for employment and to upgrade the skills and knowledge of persons who have already entered the labor force.
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Newbern became the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Northwest on May 3, 2022. The Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Ripley and Covington merged with TCAT Northwest effective September 1, 2023.
Directors and Presidents
Mr. Wallace Sexton (1966-2007)
Mr. Brian Collins (2011-2012) Interim (2007-2011)
Ms. Donna Hastings (2012-2017)
Dr. Youlanda Jones (2017-Present)