The Tennessee College of Applied Technology – McMinnville (TCAT McMinnville) is located in the center of an eight-county service area--Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Grundy, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren, and White counties--on the northern edge of McMinnville. Access to the school is directly off Hwy. 70S, the main east-west thoroughfare in Warren County. The campus consists of four buildings of classrooms, shops, and offices; a library shared between TCAT McMinnville, Motlow State Community College (MSCC), and Tennessee Technological University; and a storage building. The facilities are adequate for both instruction and non-instructional needs by faculty, staff, and students.
Legislation enacted by the 1963 Tennessee General Assembly (House Bill 633) authorized the State Board of Education to locate, establish, construct, and operate a network of vocational-technical schools (1994 name changed to Tennessee Technology Centers and in 2013 name changed to Tennessee College of Applied Technology – McMinnville) geographically located so that every citizen in Tennessee would be within commuting distance of one of the schools. The McMinnville location was approved in 1964. Construction of the school was completed just in time to enroll the first students in July 1966, in six full-time programs. The first graduates were presented their diplomas in 1967.
There have been three additions to the original building. In 1970 three shop areas and four classrooms were constructed, and in 1981, an additional shop area was built. An outside storage building was constructed in 1989. In 1996, 5,000 square feet of classroom space and a staff lounge was added. In 1983 governance of the area school system was changed from the State Board of Education to the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), and Motlow State Community College (MSCC) became the lead institution for the TCAT McMinnville. The lead institution concept is primarily a business arrangement and is more fully described in other sections of this document. The operational procedures, enabling legislation, and the by-laws are included in the TBR Policy Manual and House Bill 633.
In 1988, the MSCC McMinnville center was constructed on about 8 acres of the TTC at McMinnville’s campus. In the fall of 1992, the Tennessee Technological University (TTU) Residence Center relocated from the local high school and was given office space in the TTC at McMinnville’s administration building. Also in the fall of 1992, available space was converted into a bookstore and a learning resource center to be used by all three TBR institutions. In 2008 the learning resource center relocated to the MSCC campus. Although the physical location is now at the MSCC McMinnville Campus, students from TTU and from the TCAT McMinnville have the same access to the materials, media services, computers, and available assistance as they did when the learning resource center was located on the TTC McMinnville campus.
Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law legislation to change the name of Tennessee Technology Centers to Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, effective July 1, 2013. State Rep. Harry Brooks of Knoxville and State Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville co-sponsored a bill to change the name. After research into the best naming options, Tennessee College of Applied Technology was introduced as the best option to meet the needs of students in the region and the expectations of employers and industry leaders. The legislation received unanimous support from the Tennessee General Assembly. On July 1, 2013 our campus became the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – McMinnville (TCAT McMinnville).