Dickson County Higher Education Center Announced for Dickson and Surrounding Communities
DICKSON, Tenn. (November 8, 2023) – In a joint effort, Tennessee College of Applied Technologies (TCAT) Dickson, Nashville State Community College, TriStar Horizon Medical Center, and The Jackson Foundation have unveiled plans for the construction of a state-of-the-art Dickson County Higher Education Center, which is set to be located on TriStar Horizon’s Natchez campus off Highway 46, just south of Interstate 40. The $35 million project is funded through a state appropriation approved by the Tennessee General Assembly, with support from Governor Bill Lee.
The Dickson County Higher Education Center aims to serve not only Dickson but also the surrounding communities by offering residents a new space to pursue college degrees, technical and career certificates, as well as workforce program certifications.
TCAT Dickson will play a significant role in the academic programming at the center. The Jackson Foundation has pledged an undisclosed financial gift to support the project and will also have offices at the facility.
Dr. Arrita Summers, president of TCAT Dickson, expressed excitement about the new educational opportunity, stating, “The investment of a Higher Education Center in Dickson County is a large step that represents Dickson’s growing stature. This educational space serves as a foundation for collegial relationships between multiple higher education partners, that could one day include four-year courses, to provide our residents opportunities for high skills and high wages. TCAT Dickson is proud of our inclusion in this campus.”
Nashville State Community College will establish its permanent Dickson campus at the Higher Education Center, reaffirming its commitment to the area and expanding its educational offerings.
Nashville State President Dr. Shanna L. Jackson said, “Our students and employees have experienced a lot of change the past year, but one thing that hasn’t changed is Nashville State’s commitment to be a valuable education and workforce solution partner. We are thrilled to announce the Higher Education Center and work alongside our partners and the community to increase access and successful educational outcomes that lead to careers.”
TriStar Horizon Medical Center has generously donated the required nine acres of land for the Dickson County Higher Education Center. The location will be conveniently situated one mile south of Interstate 40 on TriStar Horizon’s Natchez Campus.
Cindy Bergmeier, chief executive officer of TriStar Horizon Medical Center, stated, “TriStar Horizon Medical Center is honored to collaborate with these respected organizations and provide resources to support the growth and development of our future healthcare workforce in Dickson County and the surrounding communities.”
The project’s inception resulted from discussions between The Jackson Foundation and TriStar Horizon Medical Center, which had independently engaged with Nashville State and TCAT.
Doug Jackson, president and executive director of The Jackson Foundation, Inc., shared his thoughts on the initiative: “The Jackson Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to continue to support higher education in Dickson County. It was a dream of Dr. Jimmy Jackson and a continuing goal of the Board of Trustees Foundation to bring higher education to Dickson and surrounding communities. We are excited about the possibilities and the partnership with the Tennessee Board of Regents and Nashville State Community College.”
Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial expressed support for the expanded educational opportunities, emphasizing their importance for local students and the community’s overall growth and progress.
“With more educational opportunities available, students in Dickson and surrounding counties can enhance their skills and knowledge, which can help them succeed in their future endeavors. It also highlights the importance of education, which is crucial for our community’s overall growth and progress,” said Mayor Rial.
The Renaissance Center served as the home for Nashville State Dickson for several years until its sale in July 2022. During the Fall 2022 semester, TCAT Dickson housed Nashville State. As a short-term solution, Mayor Weiss and the Dickson City Council offered the former Senior Citizen Center (206 West Walnut Street). Nashville State has been operating from this temporary location since January 2023 and will remain there until the Dickson County Higher Education Center is constructed and ready for use.
Mayor Weiss expressed excitement about the decision to construct a higher education campus in the city, saying, “We are excited about the decision to construct a campus for higher education and look forward to a long and productive relationship for continued and new educational opportunities in our city.”
An announcement regarding the expected opening date of the Dickson County Education Center will be made at a later date.