Stories @ TCAT

James Linville of Unicoi is the 2017 Technical Student of the Year at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Elizabethton. 

Linville, who is scheduled to complete the 20-month training program and receive a diploma as a Diesel Technician in December, was chosen by a panel of judges after explaining how his studies at TCAT Elizabethton improved his quality of life.

Later this year, Linville will compete for regional Student of the Year and a berth in statewide competition sponsored by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Linville said he enrolled in the diesel training program at TCAT Elizabethton because “it seemed like the best training around and did not require a lot of time.  This is a good course. If  you are here to learn, it is great” he said.

Diesel Power Equipment training provides student with practical experience in the repair and maintenance of diesel engines, fuel system, electric systems, clutch and transmission, hydraulics, drive-lines, axles, frame suspension and diesel truck and tractor steering. Students can also earn Snap-on certification, including safety, torque, multi-meter, wheel balance and alignment, scan tool, precision measurement instruments and pro-cut.

Linville was very complimentary of student access to computerized information on diesel mechanics at TCAT Elizabethton.  He said there is a lot of math, subtractions and clearance involved in the training program.. “You can look up anything you need,” he said.

This past summer, Linville was living a double life. He was a student by day and a baseball coach by night.  TCAT offers classes during the day and evening. Monday-Friday.

TCAT has developed partnerships with a variety of diesel vendors, including Chrysler, Cummings, Ford and Freightliner, according to Tim Ward, instructor.  “Four TCAT students have already been placed with Ford,” he said.

There are a variety of things that utilize diesel power, including light duty trucks, generators, and road tractors, to mention a few, “The generator training program is growing. We are getting into it more and more. Propane retrofit is another training opportunity on the horizon,” Ward said.

Currently at TCAT Elizabethton, the diesel program completion rate is 96 percent and the job placement rate is 100 percent. The cost to enroll in the 20-month diesel program is approximately $11,449, which includes tuition, fees, books and supplies. Financial assistance, up to $7,775 per year, is available to qualifying students.

Applications are being accepted now for the spring trimester that begins Jan. 5, 2018.