TCAT diploma cover

Even though there was no graduation ceremony, TCAT diplomas are just as valuable in a Post-COVID-19 world

ELIZABETHTON — The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused changes in the way things are done at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton, but the mission of providing a quality technical education is still being accomplished. This past spring, students matriculated solely online for a portion of the school year, but still mastered the topics they needed.

Some of those students are now graduating, but because of the social distancing requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there will be no graduation ceremony.

Also because of COVID-19, there are increased online classes benefitting students who do not live close to campus. TCAT Elizabethton is offering an online dietary manager training program approved by the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals, which can be completed in eight months.

The program is designed to prepare graduates for the National Credentialing Examination to become a certified dietary manager. These professionals are employed by hospitals and correctional facilities, among other food production facilities. The online status of the course means that geography should not be a factor in a student enrolling in the course.

The program consists of 714 web-based hours and 150 hours of field training experience.

Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent, recent TB skin test or chest X-ray prior to field training, and pay tuition and fees. There is no out-of-state tuition fee.

The program is approved for the Federal Pell Grant and Tennessee Lottery Education Scholarship, the latter for residents of Tennessee. Include the TCAT school code, #005281, on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (

Go to the TCAT Elizabethton website,, and select dietary manager. For assistance, contact Lisa Blackburn at