Stories @ TCAT

An online program that received commendation from the State of Tennessee in 2008 for “innovative credit“ programming at TCAT Elizabethton has paid dividends for hundreds across the U.S. resulting in good paying jobs.

The online Certified Dietary Manager training program at TCAT Elizabethton takes eight months to complete. Since its inception, it is still growing by leaps and bounds, preparing graduates for jobs.

Lisa Blackburn, program coordinator, said “Currently, there are a number of job openings throughout the U.S. for skilled food service professionals.”

Patricia Henderson, student services coordinator at TCAT Elizabethton, contacted the American Job Center to recruit students to the online program. A meeting has also been held with First District Congressman Phil Roe to ask him to encourage veterans leaving service to enroll in the online dietary manager training program

At a recent meeting of the program advisory committee, Blackburn said the CDM program currently had a 97 percent program completion rate and 100 percent job placement rate. There are 54 students, including 34 new students, now enrolled in the program.

The program consists of 714 web based hours and 150 hours of field training experience. The program is approved for the Federal Pell Grant and Tennessee Lottery Education Scholarship for Tennessee residents.

To be admitted to the CDM training at TCAT Elizabethton students must have a high school diploma or equivalent and a TB skin test or chest x-ray prior to field training. There is no out of state tuition fee. 

Program graduates receive certification by the Nutrition and FoodService Professionals. Bessie Hambrick is chairperson of the CDM Advisory Committee at TCAT Elizabethton.

One recent addition to the program curricula is OSHA culinary certification in the first trimester. Careersafe online is offering the 10 hour OSHA course

In other business, the committee voted to repeat sponsorship of a successful conference held in the spring to allow CDM instructors and receptors to receive credit for teaching.

For additional information, contact Blackburn at TCAT Elizabethton, 423-543-0070, ext. 1017 or visit