Student Handbook

Academic Policies & Procedures

Grading Policies and Progress Standards

Students are evaluated on skill and theory in each program during the academic term. Grade and attendance records are maintained as part of the student record. 

Instructors shall have a course outline/curriculum that stipulates the customary length of time for a module of study. Instructors shall consult with their advisory committees on their course outline/curriculum. Instructors shall communicate their program’s specific pace/progress schedule to every incoming student. 

Since all occupational training offered in the area Colleges involves technical knowledge and occupational and employability skills, students are encouraged to apply themselves to achieve success in their chosen vocational objective.

Student Progress

A. Evaluations of student achievement toward a program's identified occupational competencies are recorded for each student at the end of 432 hours of instruction that comprise a term. Those evaluations shall be based on the following scale of progress:

  • A = 90 – 100
  • B = 80 – 89
  • C = 70 – 79
  • D = 60 – 69
  • F = 0 – 59
  • P = Pass
  • CONT = Continuing/Incomplete
  • W = Withdrew

B. Grades for courses will be determined as described in course syllabi. Students will be graded in the following categories:

  1. Skill Proficiency
  2. Theory/Related Information

Grading Scale and Progress for All Programs (except Nursing & Truck Driving)

Grade Scale (except Nursing & Truck Driving)

A (90-100) F (0-59)
B (80-89) P = Pass
C (70-79) CONT = Continuing/Incomplete
D (60-69) W = Withdrew

Each student will be evaluated on a term basis. The term grade report will reflect each student's progress in the categories of Skill Proficiency and Related Information (theory).

A student must maintain a "D" or better average per course code and an overall combined average of a "C" or better for the 72-day period of instruction, which comprises a term. Failure to maintain the required grade average will result in suspension at the end of the term. Additional retention standards for specific programs may be established based on accrediting or licensing requirements.

Pace/Progress: Instructors shall have a course outline/curriculum that stipulates the customary length of time for a module of study. Instructors shall consult with their advisory committees on their course outline/curriculum. Student Services personnel shall communicate the concept of pace/progress to new enrollees during orientation. Instructors shall communicate their program's specific pace/progress schedule to every incoming student. Instructors shall create and maintain a grading system whereby those students not maintaining the stated pace/progress for a specific module of study will receive a grade that reflects that lack of pace/progress. Instructors shall inform all students, existing and new, of the grading policy.

Since all occupational training offered in the area Colleges involves technical knowledge and occupational and employability skills, students are encouraged to apply themselves to achieve success in their chosen vocational objective.

Grading Scale and Progress for Nursing & Truck Driving

Nursing and Truck Driving students receive a theory grade in each subject. Academically, grades of A, and B are considered satisfactory progress; grades of C, D or F are considered unsatisfactory progress. A student who receives an unsatisfactory academic grade at the end of the term or unit will be suspended from the program due to failure to progress. All grades/grade averages will be calculated to the tenth place. If the tenths place is 0.5 or greater the next higher whole numerical number will be assigned. (i.e. 79.5 = 80) If the tenths place is 0.4 or less the numerical grade will be rounded down. (i.e., 79.4 = 79). Students must maintain a satisfactory average (80) for each unit of the curriculum.

Grade Scale for Practical Nursing & Truck Driving

A (90-100) D (60-69) Failing
B (80-89) F (0-59) Failing
C (70-79) Failing  

Once grades have been awarded and posted, they may not be changed without written authorization of the instructor and the approval of the President unless altered pursuant to a grade appeal. Students enrolled in the Practical Nursing and Truck Driving programs must maintain a satisfactory average of 80 for each unit of study.

Grade Point System

A. The following grade point system is to be used in grade point average (GPA):

A: 4 points per customary clock hour
B: 3 points per customary clock hour
C: 2 points per customary clock hour
D: 1 point per customary clock hour
F: 0 points per customary clock hour

B. The grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of customary clock hours for the courses which the student attempted. Customary clock hours in courses from which the student withdraws or in which the student receives grades such as pass/fail are not considered when determining the GPA.

C. Finally, a single student transcript will include term and cumulative GPA calculations. The cumulative calculation will be used in determining the required GPA for graduation, honors, and financial aid eligibility. The term calculation will be used when determining suspension.

D. For the purpose of increasing mastery in a course when such is necessary for program progression or for the purpose of increasing the GPA, institutions may permit students to repeat courses in which their final grades are C or lower. Allied Health programs may outline specific repeat course guidelines in their respective Allied Health student handbook.

E. In computing the GPA, the question of how to count repeat courses must be specifically addressed in the Student Handbook of each institution. In the event a student repeats a course, the repeat course grade is calculated into, and the original grade is excluded from the GPA. If courses are repeated more than twice (three attempts), GPA is calculated using the third attempt and all subsequent attempts.

Retention Standards


1. A student who fails during any term to attain a cumulative GPA at or above the level indicated below for the customary clock hours attempted or the average grade per course will be placed on suspension at the end of the term.

a. Standards:

I. A student must earn a "D" (60) or better per course for each term and an overall 2.0 GPA or better per term.

II. Allied Health Programs require a "B" (80) or better per course for each term.

III. Truck driving programs require a "B" (80) or better per course for each term.

2. Additional retention standards for specific programs may be established by the college based on accreditation or licensing requirements applicable to a program.

Worker Characteristic Grading (Work Ethic Program)

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 80 percent of workers who lose their jobs do so not because of lack of occupational skills, but because of poor work ethics. The mission of technical education is to provide business and industry with trained workers who possess both strong occupational skills and good work habits.

Business and industry leaders have identified essential worker characteristics that should be taught and practiced to help develop a viable and effective workforce.

The ten worker characteristic traits identified are:

1. Attendance 6. Productivity
2. Character 7. Organizational Skills
3. Teamwork 8. Communication
4. Appearance 9. Cooperation
5. Attitude 10. Respect

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology has incorporated a worker characteristic course focusing on the worker characteristics to be taught each term. These sessions are conducted throughout the term, depending on the class schedule. Each student will receive a worker characteristics course grade, which will be recorded on the student's transcript.

Graduation/Program Completion

Graduation Requirements

Graduates of Tennessee College of Applied Technology are usually considered for entry-level employment in their respective occupations. Satisfactory completion may be achieved by demonstrating proficiency based on the occupational entry requirements.

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology awards two (2) types of educational credentials. A certificate of completion may be awarded to any student who reaches a job proficiency level and to any supplemental student who completes objectives for upgrading necessary skills and knowledge within a program of study. A diploma may be awarded to students who demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in a program. (See each program area for those job titles designed as complete courses of study.)

Students are requested to complete an exit interview upon completion of their training program.

Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies are held each trimester. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in this occasion, when the student's family and friends, as well as the College faculty and staff, are given the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of our graduates. The Student Services Office will notify students of the graduation application procedure as well as all deadlines leading up to the event, including arrangements necessary to receive the cap and gown, as well as the appropriate credential(s).

Awards Issued Upon Program Completion

Awards and transcripts are typically issued within three to four weeks following completion of a program of study.


Exit Interview

Students leaving the College are requested to complete an exit interview. This questionnaire will provide useful information to the College regarding the quality of programs, instructional equipment, our services, and student employment information. Before leaving the College, the student should complete an exit interview with the Student Services Office.

Testing Center

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology has partnered with a variety of companies to establish testing and training solutions that utilize state-of-the-art, web-based curriculum, and assessments.

Testing opportunities available at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology may include*, but are not limited to the following:

  • HESI (Allied Health Entrance Exam)
  • Surgical Technology
  • National Healthcare Association - Certified Medical Administrative Assistant
  • IC3 Certification (Certiport)
  • Medical Billing and Coding Certification Exams (NHA/ATI)
  • MOS - Microsoft Office Specialist (Certiport)
  • NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills)
  • QuickBooks (Certiport)
  • ESCO 608

*Please contact your campus staff for what is available at your campus.


Library / Media Services

Media resources are available to the students in their program of instruction. Resource materials may include (reading material, catalogs, texts, magazines, online resources, etc.). In addition, students may use the multimedia equipment located in their program.  During college orientation, students will be oriented to technology (email, portal, etc.) as well as covered during program orientation to email, wi-fi, eLearn/D2L, etc.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology meet a minimum requirement of at least three years of experience and formal training in the area in which they instruct. In addition, each instructor that has prior experience and training is involved in continuing education to ensure that they are knowledgeable in the latest technology relevant to their prospective programs.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is an educational program that combines classroom instruction with practical work experiences directly related to the student's curriculum. This combined classroom study and work experience is a meaningful way for students to learn and to assist in making informed career choices while earning credit. Students interested in Cooperative Education should meet with their instructor to discuss co-op opportunities. The instructor must submit a co-op request form to the President or designee for approval. The student, instructor, employer, financial aid department, and President must sign the formal co-op agreement.

Live Work

Live Work is performed by students as part of their training program. Such work can be done in school or on a job site and includes service, repair, or production jobs. All projects must be selected with the approval of the instructor and must fit into the training program. Work can only be accepted if it can be completed within a reasonable timeframe, and projects cannot be allowed to remain in the Tennessee College of Applied Technology possession if not being actively worked on. Live Work projects will be assessed for timely completion.

Live Work Fee and Cost of Service Fees

Live work project owners must pay for all expenses related to the project. For off-campus live-work projects, an instructor must always be present with students. All projects are to be completed under instructor supervision and released only after a thorough final inspection. The fee schedule shall be made available to project owners prior to the completion of the project agreement form. Payment of the live work fee will be paid once the agreement form is signed. The fee for the cost of services received is due upon completion of the project.

Relationship to Training

Live work projects performed by students enhance the technical training of students. The Tennessee Board of Regents Guideline Tennessee College of Applied Technology A-30, Instructional Projects at Colleges of Applied Technology, is the basis for all live-work projects performed at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology. Live work will be conducted when training programs require such projects for the acquisition of occupational skills leading to employment. Live work will be assigned to individual students by their instructor as part of the student's training program. All services are to be performed only by students with the instructional assistance of their instructor.

Live Work Projects

Many of the training programs at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology provide repair services and/or live work. The scope and extent of each project will be well-defined before acceptance. Eligible persons may request appropriate training programs to perform needed repairs or services. An instructor shall be responsible for selecting and scheduling individual projects, which may be selected only from authorized categories. No work may be performed from a category that has not been authorized. An instructor may give priority to a project belonging to a student, provided it meets established training objectives.

The sources of individual projects may include those offered by:

  1. Students
  2. Tennessee College of Applied Technology employees and their immediate families
  3. Members of the school's advisory committees
  4. Personnel and institutions of the Tennessee Board of Regents System
  5. Tennessee College of Applied Technology Retirees
  6. Civic Groups
  7. Governmental agencies, and
  8. Non-profit organizations.

Live work may be performed for the public as a much-needed source for skill training. The College President may authorize individual projects offered from individuals and groups not listed above in the event appropriate projects are not available from the above sources.

Administration of Live Work

Administration and control of live-work projects are the responsibility of the instructor. All work performed must be approved in accordance with the President and TBR Guideline Tennessee College of Applied Technology A-30. Persons requesting repair service from various training departments at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology must first be authorized.


Customer Obligations

The person, program, institution, or organization for which live work is done shall:

  1. Sign a Live-Work Agreement form as provided in Guideline A-30 in advance of any work or inspection.
  2. Assume all responsibility for the results of the work being done by students.
  3. Bear all actual costs of material and parts involved.
  4. Pay a service charge according to schedule as prescribed by the section on service charges and established by the institution's administration to cover indirect expenses.
  5. Tipping of students or faculty is not permitted.