The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) educational system is accredited by the Tennessee Department of Education. A team of dedicated, highly qualified teachers who hold valid Tennessee teacher’s licenses are also certified and licensed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). The Commissioner serves as the Superintendent of the system.
TDOC’s school system provides offenders with comprehensive academic programs, vocational programs, and library services. The department’s adult basic education and high school equivalency (HSE) programs complement one another and work collectively to improve offenders’ competency in basic learning skills, occupational aptitudes, and general reading/literacy levels. Further, these programs prepare offenders for the socioeconomic/occupational environment they will encounter upon their return to the community.
All facilities offer adult basic education and high school equivalency test preparation. College programs leading to an associate’s degree are offered at two male facilities and one female facility.
Vocational training is offered in 12 of 14 facilities. Courses offered include Automotive Mechanical Technology, Barbering, Carpentry, Cosmetology, Construction, Culinary Arts, and HVAC & Refrigeration. In addition, offenders may be offered Career Management for Success/Release for Success (CMS/RFS). CMS/RFS classes are 12 weeks of cognitive behavioral instruction presented in a real-world context, emphasizing the basic practical skills and knowledge inmates will need for successful reintegration.
All vocational programs follow a curriculum approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and provide a Department of Education certificate upon graduation. A select number of vocational programs also offer certification through the Department of Labor and Apprenticeships.
Each facility maintains a library which provides access to leisure reading materials, including fiction and non-fiction books, and magazine and newspaper subscriptions; audiovisual equipment; academic and vocational material; and personal enhancement reference materials. The libraries also maintain the necessary legal volumes required by federal and state laws and TDOC policy.
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HSE and Vocational Certificates Earned
HSE Certificates Vocational Certificates 2007-2008 786 1,342 2008-2009 727 1,468 2009-2010 710 1,585 2010-2011 806 1,476 2011-2012 652 3,869* 2012-2013 618 3,672
*This number increased due to the addition of a 12 week Introduction to Career Management For Success/Release For Success class.