DCHS to Partner with Tennessee College of Applied Technology in McMinnville For Dual Enrollment Program

August 17, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

For several years, DeKalb County High School and Motlow State Community College have partnered to offer a dual enrollment program in which students can earn college credits while still enrolled in high school.

For the first time, high school juniors and seniors on a vocational path in the Machine Tools Technology Program at DCHS will have a similar opportunity through a dual enrollment partnership between DCHS and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in McMinnville. At the high school level, the class is applied toward a student’s high school diploma while at TCAT students are receiving hours toward their programs certificate or diploma.

Benefits of the program include students being able to complete a college education at an accelerated rate; making it easier for them to transition into their college program of study; and providing a cost-effective way to earn college hours for free through the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation’s (TSAC) Dual Enrollment Grant.. Students who do not meet TSAC Dual Enrollment Grant eligibility requirements may still dual enroll but they would be responsible for the tuition/fees.

The Board of Education Thursday night voted to enter into a dual enrollment agreement with TCAT.

“We have dual enrollment agreements with Motlow and other colleges but what we are trying to do is to establish a dual enrollment program for students in machining so they will actually get credit for work here (DCHS) and don’t have to do as much when they get there (college program),” said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps.

Cripps praised Todd Cantrell, the local instructor of the DCHS Advanced Manufacturing Class, for taking the metals program to a new level.

”DeKalb County is lucky to have Mr. Cantrell running this program. We have had other schools and industries come in to look at our program to see how it operates. Since he (Cantrell) has been here the interest in the program and the number of kids going into tool & die, welding, etc. has grown. The coolest thing is to see him working with the academic side. We have a great vocational program that works with our academic classes like physics and others and to see those two sides come together is amazing. Todd can tell you I can’t build anything with my hands and we have a lot of students like me but through this program they can learn how to do things with Todd and the other vocational teachers to get hands-on experience. That’s why I am anxious to get this dual enrollment program up and going for Todd and our students so we can give them an opportunity to shorten their time in the classroom and get to work,” said Director Cripps.