The presidents of two Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology have been re-elected to the governing board of the Council on Occupational Education, the national accrediting agency for occupational education institutions in higher education.
Dr. Carol Puryear, president of TCAT Murfreesboro, and Dr. Jeff Sisk, president of TCAT Jackson, were re-elected to new three-year terms on the 19-member Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
The Commission is COE’s governing board and the decision-making body for all accreditation actions of the Council.
In addition to Puryear and Sisk, James D. King, retired president of Northeast State Community College and former executive vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, remains a member of the COE Commission in a term that runs through this year. With three commission members, Tennessee has more members of the governing board than any other state.
Puryear and Sisk were re-elected to new three-year terms during COE’s recent Annual Business Session. Seven others were either elected or re-elected to new terms on the Commission.
Puryear also was re-elected to a new three-year term on the COE Committee on Accreditation Standards and Conditions. And King was re-elected to the Committee on Nominations.
Two other TCAT presidents also serve on key COE committees: Dr. Arrita Summers, president of TCAT Dickson, is a member of the COE Appeal Panel, and Dr. Myra West, president of TCAT Livingston, is a member of the COE Committee on Policies and Rules – both in terms that end in 2022.
The Council on Occupational Education came into existence in 1971 as the Commission on Occupational Educational Institutions (COEI) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional accrediting association for schools, colleges and universities in 11 states. As a unit of SACS, COEI provided accreditation services to postsecondary occupational education institutions primarily in the SACS region.
The Council on Occupational Education was incorporated in 1994 as a non-profit education organization and became a fully operational agency with a new national scope the following year, when its staff, assets and resources were transferred from SACS to the Council. Its mission is assuring quality and integrity in career and technical education.
The 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology are COE-accredited public institutions spanning the state and serving more than 29,000 students annually as the state’s premier providers of career and technical training powering Tennessee’s economy. The technical colleges, along with the state’s 13 community colleges, comprise the College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.