Happy New Year! Thank you so much to everyone who takes time to read and follow BuildMeUpButtercupBlog, diary of a middle-aged mom in construction school. I really appreciate the comments and encouragement, and I’m so grateful when people share the blog with friends who might enjoy it.
Looking back at the first trimester and ahead to the new year, I realize that returning to school has been a very powerful jumpstart for my creativity and energy. It has indeed built me up. I hope I’ve been able to share some information about the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Nashville (TCATN) that might help build you up, too.
In fact, so many people have asked me about the program, either for themself or for a friend or family member, that I thought I’d share a few quick details that might motivate anyone on the fence about heading back to school.
1. January 4 starts the new trimester at TCATN, the long, low, light-colored buildings just past Target on White Bridge Road. (If you reach a red-brick campus, you’ve gone too far. That’s Nashville State Community College. Totally different institution. I like to think of it as the Columbia to our NYU, or vice versa.)
2. BuildMeUpButtercupBlog is specifically about the Building Construction Technology course. BCT meets four days a week 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and lasts 16 months, with modules including carpentry, electricity, HVAC, and plumbing. It comes with about a $6,000 tab, all in. There are also full courses in cosmetology, nursing, HVAC, welding, auto body repair, dental technology, IT, drafting and more. It’s worth taking a spin through the buildings to see what piques your curiosity.
3. You can go back to school for FREE. (Talk about burying the lede…I know, I know.) I did not take advantage of state-funded scholarships, because I wasn’t sure how committed I was to the project at first and I didn’t want the state to foot the bill for what might be my temporary whim. (Turns out, it’s not a whim.) But if my experience is any indicator, the folks at TCATN really WANT YOU TO TAKE THE MONEY. They will even walk you through the FAFSA. This seemed too good to be true, but they broke it down really simply, with a few questions that went something like this: Are you a Tennessee resident? Have you ever used this scholarship before? Are you currently in prison? Sounds like there’s a lot of money for Tennesseans who want to head back to school. (Check out TN Reconnect.)
4. Folks in the administration office are unbelievably helpful, so if you’re even remotely curious about a program, just stick your head in the office and introduce yourself to Mark, Charlene, Mr. Lenz, and the team. Then swing by the Building Construction Technology classroom and say hey to me. I’m the girl in overalls.