1960s 1970s 1990s
1980s 2000s Five Decades of Distinction CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Congratulations Tri-County Technical College on 50 years of service to the citizens of Oconee County
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ANNIVERSARY Tri-County has educated workers, managers, and executives across the entire job spectrum - providing a crucial service to labor force and economy of Oconee County. Hereâ€™s to 50 more years....
Brought to you by YOUR Oconee County Government
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Congratulations Tri-County Technical College for 50 Years of Quality Education.
Clemson, SC | 864.654.6582 | www.trehel.com
The Beginning F
or 50 years Tri-County Technical College has been serving the citizens of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. In 1962 Tri-County Technical College made South Carolina history by becoming the first multi-county technical institute in the State. Never before had several counties pooled their resources to create a postsecondary educational facility in South Carolina. Tri-County Technical Education Center opened the doors of Pickens Hall September 10, 1963, with fewer than 500 students in seven disciplines and later attracted 919 students during its first year of operation. The curricula included electronics technology, machine tool, welding and other engineering technologies. Since that time, Tri-County Technical College has grown from a technical education center with one building in Pendleton to a comprehensive community college with four campuses in its three-county service area. Academic offerings include technical
This was how the Tri-County Technical College campus looked when the premiere technical school in the state opened for business in 1962. As the first multi-county school of its kind in South Carolina, it offered seven programs of study. Today, it offers more than two dozen.
Tri-County Technical College Timeline (1961 â€“ 2012) 4
tri-county technical college
A central element in the new Technical Education System was Special Schools, a program of customized training for all of the new and diverse manufacturing jobs that leaders envisioned would be attracted to the State. The first Special Schools program was held in 1961 for Jacobs Chuck Manufacturing in Clemson.
Tri-County was founded in 1962 when the tri-county residents pooled their resources to plan the College after Act 323, Section 23, of the South Carolina General Assembly established the State Committee for Technical Education and provided for the establishment of regional centers.
and health education training, business and public services majors, university transfer offerings and college credit courses for high school students. Around 12,000 residents enroll annually in non-credit courses in continuing education. Growth during the past five years has been especially significant, as more and more citizens are making Tri-County their college of choice. Last year, the College served more than 9,000 people at its four campuses in Anderson, Easley, Pendleton and Seneca. In addition to quality instructional programs taught by faculty with real-world backgrounds who can offer one-on-one instruction, the College is dedicated to student success with financial aid, counseling, career services and advising from the time of admission until graduation. Throughout 2012, special events will unite faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, friends and partners together to honor the past—and the future—of Tri-County Technical College. For a historical timeline chronicling the College’s milestones via photos and information, go to www.tctc.edu/50. The link also highlights a calendar of events for the year.
The founders of Tri-County Technical College were: from left, Senator Earle Morris, Pickens County; Senator J. B. Lawton, Anderson County; Senator Marshall Parker, Oconee County; Senator Donald Russell; Senator John West; and founding Chairman Aubrey Marshall.
Mountain Rest’s Collins was first student
t has been 50 years since Hughie Dewitt Collins stood in front of Pickens Hall to pose for a photo with Board Chairman Aubrey Marshall, welcoming him as the first student to enroll at the new Tri-County Education Center. “I had just graduated from Walhalla High School (Class of 1962), and it was a big deal to get to come to Tri-County,” said the Mountain Rest native. “It was exciting to attend the first twoyear college in the area,” said Collins, who enrolled in Electronics classes. “Looking back, being the first to enroll is a proud moment for me, to be part of Tri-County’s history,” he added. “I’m glad I’ve lived long enough to see it help all of the people it has through the years. When I returned to celebrate the College’s 40th anniversary in 2001, it was like a different world, with the expansions and additions. When I was here, there was a room for the electronics classes and another room for the math classes in Pickens Hall.” After earning an Electronics certificate dur- Aubrey Marshall, founding chairman of the Area ing the first year of classes, he planned to beCommission, greets Dewitt gin the second year, “but I volunteered for the Collins of Mountain Rest, service before I was drafted,” he said. Collins the first student to enroll enlisted in the Army in 1963 and spent four at Tri-County. years in the service. He was stationed in the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served in Vietnam. After getting out of the service, he went to work in the Adjutant General’s office in Columbia as a maintenance supervisor. He stayed there 15 years. He moved back to Oconee County in 1988 when he took a job as transportation supervisor with the School District of Oconee County. After 20 years, he retired, but not for long. He now is the camp host for a campground in Cherry Hill. Hughie and Sandy, his wife of 16 years, still reside in Mountain Rest. By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Sen. Fritz Hollings: Father of technical education in SC
enator Ernest F. (Fritz) Hollings is recognized as the father of South Carolina’s system of technical education. Senator Hollings is credited for opening the door to higher education in 1962 for thousands of South Carolinians who wouldn’t have had this opportunity without the creation of the State’s system of 16 technical colleges. At the end of February, President Ronnie Booth visited with Senator Hollings in his office at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston to present the former senator and the father of South Carolina’s system of technical education with a copy of the College’s 50th anniversary book, Five Decades of Distinction. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the College, this book chronicles the events which have shaped the College into the role model for community college education that it is today and documents its longstanding history with business, industry, donors, local school districts and colleges and universities. Through stories accompanied by historic and present-day photographs, this commemorative book illustrates the College’s longstanding mission, the 1961 legislation which founded the Technical College System in our State, which states: “The greatest single resource that South Carolina has is its people.” On pages 14 and 15, Sen. Hollings, who was then governor, recalls the early days of Tri-County in an excerpt of his May 27, 1977, speech at the dedication of Wilson, Halbert, and Cleveland halls. In the 1950s, poor economic conditions in the State and the lack of workforce training prompted Hollings, who was governor of South Carolina from 1958–1966, to establish training opportunities to keep citizens from leaving the state and to spark economic growth. The governor commissioned a group of legislators and representatives of the State Development Board to look at the state’s depressed economy at that time. The committee traveled around the U.S. viewing technical education systems in other states. After
a year-long study, they reported that that the only way for South Carolina to improve its economy would be to develop its most valuable resource — its people. Less than a year after the committee filed its report, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties leaders talked about working together to become a part of the movement to improve the economy in the region and state. Political leaders and economic developers believed that an investment in the knowledge of all South Carolinians would be reimbursed through an expanded economy. Tri-County was founded in 1962 when the tri-county residents pooled their resources to plan the College after Act 323, Section 23, of the South Carolina General Assembly established the State Committee for Technical Education and provided for the establishment of regional centers. Governor Hollings signed Act 905 of the General Assembly on April 7, 1962, creating what would eventually become Tri-County Technical College. After 39 years in the Senate, Hollings retired in January of 2005 as the fifth most senior member of the Senate and the fourth most senior Democrat. Today, at age 90, he resides in Charleston with his wife, Peatsy. By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
Governor Ernest (Fritz) Hollings signed Act 905 of the General Assembly on April 7, 1962, creating what would eventually become Tri-County Technical College.
tri-county technical college
Senators J.B. Lawton of Anderson County, Marshall Parker of Oconee County, and Earle Morris of Pickens County, joined Senator John C. West of Kershaw County, representative of the State committee, to request funds from the General Assembly for the original funding of $500,000 for Tri-County. Their efforts were successful, and construction began on a hilltop donated by Clemson University approximately two miles south of Clemson on Highway 76 in Pendleton. Pickens Hall was the first building on site.
Tri-County TEC opened September 10, 1963, with W.T. (Bill) Yarborough as executive director. It attracted 919 students during its first year of operation. The curricula included electronics technology, machine tool, welding, and other engineering technologies. Tri-County was the first of the State’s 16 technical colleges designed to serve multiple counties.
298 Memorial Drive • Seneca, SC 29672 • (864) 882-3351
Oconee Medical Center congratulates Tri-County Technical College on its 50th Anniversary. Together we have enjoyed an outstanding partnership and we look forward to another glorious 50 Years!
Celebrating 50 Years of TriCounty Technical College Excellence— Educating, Enlightening, and Equipping Students for the Future!
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ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
298 Memorial Drive • Seneca, SC 29672 • (864) 882-3351
alhalla native W.T. (Bill) Yarborough served as the first Executive Director, beginning in September 1963 when the College opened its doors until his resignation in 1971. Under his eight-year leadership, the College grew from one building and 272 students to three structures and more than 1,600 students. Tri-County exceeded all other technical colleges in South Carolina in total enrollment growth during the fiscal year 1970 – 71. During Mr. Yarborough’s tenure, the College added two buildings, Anderson Hall in 1968 and Miller Hall in 1970. He laid the groundwork for accreditation by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools, which was granted in 1971. Mr. Yarborough was a pioneer in the technical education system, having helped to establish Greenville Technical Education Center and serving as its Associate Director before coming to Tri-County. He graduated from Walhalla High School where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. He earned his degree in Education in 1957 from Clemson University, where he is remembered as a tremendous athlete who set 37 basketball records. He still holds eight of those today. Mr. Yarborough, who died July 27, 1996, at his home in Leesville after a brief illness, is survived by his widow, Carolyn Few Yarborough, and their four adult children. By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
The Trilon, the three-column structure at the front of the campus, became symbolic of the united efforts of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties to provide for Tri-County Technical College. The upward direction of the columns symbolizes the College’s continuously advancing programs and services, and the band around the Trilon represents the unified approach of the College toward providing programs and services to all the counties as though they are one community. A modernistic sign, made of concrete and metal, read on each side, Tri-County TEC. The sign stood 15 feet in height.
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Tri-County Technical (Education Center’s) College’s first commencement exercise was on the lawn in front of Pickens Hall Sunday, August 15, 1965, at 7 p.m. Fortyfive graduates received their awards in Electronics Technology, Technical Drafting and Design, Industrial Electronics, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Automotive Mechanics, Machine Shop, and Welding.
Seven Buildings Named After Justices
Tri-County Oconee Campus offers more opportunity
Seven buildings on the Pendleton Campus are named to honor seven of the eight original rulers, or justices, of the Old Pendleton District in 1790. Those justices are Andrew Pickens (Pickens Hall), John Miller (Miller Hall), John Wilson (Wilson Hall), Benjamin Cleveland (Cleveland Hall), William Halbert (Halbert Hall), Robert Anderson (Anderson Hall), and Henry Clarke (Clarke Hall). A building is not named after Justice John Moffett.
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Oconee County residents were eager to have a college in their own backyards. In the fall of 2007, administrators and educators from Tri-County and the Oconee County School District joined representatives from Oconee Medical Center, Oconee County Council, and legislators and community members as they gathered to dedicate the Tri-County Technical College Oconee Campus at the Hamilton Career Center. Jessica Allen, LPN grad, left, The Oconee Campus offers university transfer classes, as and instructor Carol Henry well as the Practical Nursing program and dual enrollment are in the lab. options for high school students. The LPN diploma program at the Oconee Campus gives area students twice-a-year entry into the LPN curriculum. There are two classrooms and a science lab, allowing these three courses to be offered at the same time, creating a centralized Oconee County location for Tri-County courses. The Secondary Transition Enrollment Program (STEP), also called dual enrollment, allows qualifying high school students the opportunity to gain high school and college credits at the same time by taking college-level courses in their high schools or career centers, as well as on Tri-Countyâ€™s campuses or online. STEP participants must prove they are ready for college-level work, obtain permission from their high schools, and meet certain criteria, such as passing the COMPASS placement test for English and math. Most school districts also award dual credit so the courses can count toward graduation requirements. Students who take two or more courses in the same semester qualify for lottery tuition assistance.
Don C. Garrison was appointed executive director following the resignation of W. T. Yarborough. TEC was accredited by Southern Association of College and Schools. Upon the recommendation of the Commission on Colleges, delegates to the annual SACS convention in Miami unanimously voted December 1, 1971, to grant the College a 10-year accreditation.
Tri-County was the second technical institution in the state to gain approval to offer college parallel courses after the South Carolina General Assembly enacted Act 1268 on May 25, 1972, making it possible for technical education centers to add Associate in Arts and Associate in Science to schedules.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Dr. Garrison’s legacy continues to influence Tri-County community
nding a 32-year tenure at the helm of one of S.C.’s largest technical colleges, Dr. Don C. Garrison announced in 2002 his plans to retire as president of Tri-County Technical College. “It’s been a joyous journey, and I believe Tri-County’s best days are yet to come,” said Dr. Garrison, whose entire professional life was devoted to education in South Carolina. From the time he assumed the presidency at Tri-County in 1971 until his retirement on June 30, 2003, he was known as a tireless advocate for technical education and he placed Tri-County at the forefront of two-year colleges in the U.S. Dr. Garrison began his career as Tri-County’s second president on November 1, 1971. He led the College from a technical education center offering seven technical courses to a comprehensive two-year college featuring 20 associate degree, 8 diploma and 37 certificate programs at the time of his retirement. The College, under Dr. Garrison’s leadership, was often recognized for its contributions to economic development. When Venture Packaging announced plans in December, 1994, to locate a plant in Anderson County to employ 400 people making plastic food packages, the president of the company said, “Our final decision to locate in Anderson was based on South Carolina’s pro-business environment, Anderson’s proximity to I-85 and to the guidance and professionalism of Dr. Don Garrison, whose influence proved vital to our commitment.” His leadership in community college and technical education was recognized numerous times with local, state and national honors. One of his most coveted awards came in 1983 when he was named President of the Year by the American Association of Community College trustees. In 1988, in respect for his dedicated service, the College endowed a perpetual scholarship in his name that is given annually to a student who exemplifies his standards of excellence. In announcing his retirement in 2003, Dr. Garrison said, “I leave Tri-County knowing that the College is in good shape in pursuit of its primary mission to be a tool for economic development by providing unexcelled educational opportunities for the people of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. Tri-County is known nationally and internationally for its contributions to economic development and for its excellence in education. Tri-County couldn’t have risen to its prominence in higher education, locally and nationally, without total community involvement and support. And I am grateful to everyone for that kind of support.” Dr. Garrison passed away in 2010. By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
Textile Management Technology Department was added. The first awards banquet was held with Senator Ernest Hollings as the speaker.
tri-county technical college
The name of the institution was changed by act of the State Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education on April 10, 1974, to Tri-County Technical College.
Clemson University’s administration approved the College’s request of a transfer of 34.66 acres of land to the College. The land transfer gave 30.52 acres of woodlands along the northwest crescent of the-22 acre campus.
Booth seeks role model status for Tri-County Technical College
resident Ronnie Booth’s vision, from the beginning, was for Tri-County Technical College to be viewed as the role model in community college education — a model that others strive to emulate. “Achieving such an ambitious vision takes time and work, but achieving it is definitely possible,” he said. Over the last eight years, since accepting the job as Tri-County’s third president on July 1, 2003, Dr. Booth has led the College to such noteworthy accomplishments as being named one of the fastest-growing technical college among the 16 in the State; establishing the extremely successful Bridge to Clemson program, a first of its kind in the state; and envisioning and opening three community campuses in just four years. From the beginning, making college accessible, available and affordable to residents across the tri-county region was a top priority for him and the Commission. “One of the first questions I was asked in my interview with the Commission was had I developed and/or opened new campuses, and I had,” he said. The vision for a campus convenient to the Anderson County community became a reality December 2, 2005, when officials broke ground on the future site of the College’s first community campus located on a 38.95-acre piece of property near the intersection of Standridge Road and Michelin Boulevard. A campus in Oconee followed in 2008 and in 2011 the Easley Campus opened its
doors. In addition, the Oconee and Easley Campuses have QuickJobs Development Centers for workforce and industry training funded by grants from the State Department of Commerce. These campuses, along with the classrooms at the Watkins Community Center in Honea Path, serve several of the College’s goals by bringing its services closer to residents, increasing community involvement, and expanding educational opportunities. Another goal was to meet the needs of business and industry training which was achieved in 2005 with the opening of the Economic Development Center on the Pendleton Campus. It was funded by Anderson, Oconee and Pickens county councils, readySC, and the College. The Center is used to provide training for new and expanding industries through the readySC program. More partnerships were unveiled as the College began to work with four-year colleges and universities to expand the educational opportunities for graduates. In 2005, he launched a new Gateway to College program for high school dropouts, and the Bridge to Clemson program was created. In addition, the College has articulation agreements that allow graduates from several Tri-County career programs to be accepted with junior standing in specific majors at Clemson. Tri-County also has transfer agreements with Anderson University, Erskine College, Lander University, Limestone College, USC College of Engineering, and USC Upstate.
The College has grown in size and reputation over the years with fall 2010 enrollment reaching 6,941 students — the largest in Tri-County’s history. The record-breaking numbers of students who are making TriCounty their college of choice are making a wise and marketable investment in their futures and themselves. “I want Tri-County Technical College to become the college of choice for our area because we provide value, excellent instruction, superb service, and a clear path to success for our students,” said Dr. Booth. By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
The first memorial to military veterans from Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties who died in Vietnam is located at the main entrance to the Pendleton Campus. The College dedicated its Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the first in the State, on May 25, 1980.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Veterans Memorial a first in Upstate
he first memorial to military veterans from Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties who died in Vietnam is located at the main entrance to Tri-County’s campus and continues to attract visitors each year. The College dedicated its Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the first in the State, on May 25, 1980, with the honorable William Jennings Bryan Dorn, former commander of the South Carolina American Legion, addressing the crowd. “This is the most inspirational ceremony I’ve ever attended,” said Dorn. President Don Garrison conceived the idea of the memorial which is an impressive lighted flag plaza at the main entrance to the campus. It has three 3’ x 5’ marble markers listing the names of the veterans from the tri-county area who paid the supreme sacrifice in Vietnam. The flags, poles, monuments and stonework were provided by contributions from the students, faculty and staff, Veterans Club of Tech, the American Legion and the family and friends of the late Johnny Purser. Two other monuments memorialize Purser, former coordinator of Tri-County’s Veteran Affairs until his untimely death in an automobile accident on August 4, 1978, and tell the purpose of the plaza. The center monument is engraved with this message: “In Memoriam: This patriotic plaza is dedicated to the memory of the courageous men of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties who paid the supreme sacrifice in the Vietnam conflict. Their answer to the call of their country distinguishes them as eternal bearers for free people everywhere.”
The first and only memorial to the military veterans in Upstate South Carolina who paid the supreme sacrifice in Vietnam was dedicated May 25, 1980. Here, Dr. Don Garrison participates in an annual Memorial Day service.
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Congratulations Tri-County Technical College for 50 Years of Service to Oconee County.
502 East Main strEEt
Walhalla, south Carolina 29691
tri-county technical college
Powell continues to serve his alma mater proudly
n the early 1970s John Powell served as the leader of the student body of TriCounty Technical College. The Oconee County real estate developer and business entrepreneur is again serving in a leadership position at his alma mater, this time as a member of the College’s nine-member Commission. Powell is a commission member representing Oconee County. He is the second alumnus in the history of the College to serve on its governing board. Powell said he is honored to serve his alma mater “because Tri-County touches so many people in our three counties by serving their educational needs and consequently positively changing their lives and lifestyles. I wanted to be a part of that. Tri-County changed me,” said Powell, who, since graduating, has maintained a close connection to the College by serving on various boards and continuing to spread the word about a place that gave him career direction and many fond memories. Powell served as the college’s second Student Government Association president and was select-
ed as a student member of the Governor’s Drug Abuse Council in SC in 1972. “I still feel a real connection to the Pictured with Tri-County student leader and graduate John Powell, College,” said Powsecond from left, are Darwin Addis of Walhalla, business technology ell, who, to date, is instructor; Steven Scott of Liberty, head of business technology; and the first and only Durell Rochester, business technology instructor. alumnus to serve on the College’s Foundation Board, was the day Powell Real Estate has 16 sales agents Alumni Association’s second president and in three offices. He also owns a cattle farm, which he maintains by himself in the eveis now serving on its board of directors. During his tenure as president of the nings. In addition, he has been involved in Alumni Association, he helped to organize the creation of 36 subdivisions, including the first annual golf tournament in 1987, being a partner in Falcon’s Lair Golf Comwhich has continued through munity in Walhalla. In 2002 he and good the years with proceeds from friend, Rick Cook, formed a partnership. past tournaments enabling Today they have nine Subway franchises in the Alumni Association to en- the Upstate. dow two scholarships through Giving back to the community is key to the College’s Foundation, to Powell so he didn’t hesitate when asked to make professional develop- chair a fundraising campaign to build Our ment opportunities available Daily Rest, a homeless shelter in Oconee to faculty and staff and to County. He is very active in his church, name rooms at the Pendleton Welcome Wesleyan Church, where he and Anderson Campuses. In leads a Small Group and sings in the choir. 2009 he received Tri-County Powell resides in West Union with his Technical College’s Distin- wife, Joyce. They have four adult children, guished Alumni Award. Joy, James, Mark and Cliff and four grandPowell entered the real es- children. tate business in 1973 and toBy Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
Student center groundbreaking.
Soon after Clemson University announced it would terminate its Associate Degree Nursing program in 1981, the College initiated the process of implementing the program. Tri-County began its Associate Degree Nursing program in the fall quarter of 1981.
Alumni Association formed.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Fond memories of college remain part of Moore’s life
very time Jan Murray Moore passes by Tri-County Technical College on Highway 76, headed to Clemson football games, the Atlanta resident points out her alma mater to her husband and two sons, amazed at how much it has changed since the 1970s when she was a medical assisting student. “I’m a proud Tri-County Technical College graduate,” said the Chester native. “Attending Tri-County was a turning point for me. It made me realize I could do it. I received positive reinforcement from my teachers who believed I could do well and I did,” she said. “When I think back on my days at Tri-County, they are among my fondest memories because it changed my direction at a young age. At 18, I was unsure of a career choice. I spent one year at Clemson but I was overwhelmed. I was from a small high school in Chester and I didn’t know how to apply myself. I knew I had to make a change and researched my options and entered Tri-County’s medical assisting program where I found small classes and caring instructors. We had an all-female class. My fondest memories are the personal, lasting relationships that were made. Mrs. Wilma Bell and Mrs. Juanita Mouchet (instructors) made learning fun.” While a student at Tri-County, she was named Miss Tech 1973, and participated in lots of campus events and did television spots for the College. In 1974 she transferred to the University of South Carolina where she majored in Nursing. At USC, she was crowned Miss South Carolina USA, progressing to the national pageant
Tri-County President Dr.
Don Garrison crowns where she was named third runner-up in Jan Murray Miss Trithe 1976 Miss USA pageant. County Tech of 1973 After graduation she began working as as 1972 title holder a registered nurse, but in 1978 she left Jeanne Allen looks on. nursing and made a career move to the airlines. For 11 years she was a flight attendant for United Airlines. On July 19, 1989, on a flight from Denver to Chicago — now infamously known as Flight 232 — her life changed. “It was a defining moment for me,” said Moore, who was working the day the DC-10 was disabled by an engine explosion, crashed and burned while attempting an emergency landing at Sioux City, Iowa. “It was unique because we were in the air for about an hour knowing we were going to crash. We spent the hour preparing for an emergency landing. It was the middle of the summer and there were children who were traveling alone. We paired them with adults. We went into a mode of survival. We were too busy to be scared. I had flown for 11 years and had never had anything alarming happen to me. When we attempted to land in Sioux City, Iowa, the plane broke apart and was thrown in various directions away from the wreckage. It was a miracle that 184 survived with 116 casualties.” She took time off to re-evaluate her life, and, in 1993, she reactivated her nursing license with the intention of going back to work in hospitals. That same year her best friend from Chester introduced her to Dr. John E. Moore, a cardiac and thoracic surgeon. The couple married in 1994 and has two sons, now 14 and 11. She is a stay-at-home mom now. By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
At its first meeting on June 7, 1985, the Tri-County Technical College Foundation Board elected officers and adopted fundraising goals. The board adopted a five-year fund-raising goal of $4,575,000. They also adopted a oneyear goal of $85,000 to support capital improvements and program services.
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Student Center opened.
College at the Anderson Mall and Information Center opened.
Tri-County’s first MISTER still impacting young lives
ooking back, 32-year-old Tony Webb can recall only a handful of male teachers during his elementary or middle school years. The educational landscape is similar today, but the Call Me MISTER program seeks to change the face of education in America by putting more African American males in classroom as teachers and role models. Nationally known and in its 12th year, Call Me MISTER is a scholarship teaching program developed by Clemson Universit. Webb, who earned an associate in arts degree in 2006, was Tri-
County’s first graduate, or MISTER, to enter the program where black males are recruited, trained and certified to become elementary teachers in S.C.’s public schools. The program is a collaborative effort between Clemson and Benedict College, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Morris College and others. Webb, who transferred to Clemson University where he earned an elementary education degree with honors in 2009, now teaches fourth grade at Blue Ridge Elementary School in Seneca.
Tri-County’s Job Training Partnership Act programs led the State System in the number of participants enrolled, placed in employment, placed in trainingrelated positions, and who completed the training.
He tells his students today that he struggled academically in high school and even college, where he initially earned a computer technology degree from Tri-County in 2004. He became energized about the teaching profession after finding the Call Me MISTER program on the Internet and decided to change careers. “They invited me to the induction ceremony and I was sold,” he said. He continued to struggle in university transfer studies, but through the support of Tri-County and the MISTER program, things started to turn around. “I went from being a high school student who barely graduated to being named to the President’s List at Tri-County. There were teachers along the way, in high school and college, who encouraged me and saw potential in me I didn’t know I had,” said Webb. “Tri-County teachers are supportive of where you are and where you need to be to be successful.” “I credit Tri-County, the Call Me MISTER program and the wonderful mentors I have had. Tri-County bridged the academic gap for me to be successful at Clemson. The MISTER program helped with personal issues and provided the confidence boost I needed. Years ago, I never thought I could be a Clemson graduate,” he said. As academic coach for the MISTER program at Tri-County, Dr. Gwen Owens, dean of Tri-County’s Arts and Sciences Division, actively recruits for the program. “I work closely with department heads and advisors to get the word out. And our young men are great ambassadors for the program,” she said. “There are already qualified African American males in the educational pipeline who would make excellent candidates for the program,” said Dr. Owens. “They just need to hear the message from Tony and others. Teaching is stressful, but it is truly a rewarding career.” By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
Dean of Students Al Norris receives A. Wade Martin “Innovator of the Year” award for the State Tech System in April 1987.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Bacher is part of new generation of Tri-County nursing graduates
r. Lynn Lewis remembers when only a handful of associate degree nursing graduates indicated that they would be pursuing advanced degrees. The Tri-County dean of the Health Education Division has also watched all of that change. “Only three or four would be baccalaureate bound,” she said. “Now, in addition to hearing where they will be employed, you hear that up to one-third of graduates plan and have a timeline to earn both BSN and MSN degrees, and even doctoral degrees, as part of their nursing future.” Karlin Bacher, ER charge nurse at Oconee Medical Center, is one of those new generation graduates. A Tri-County graduate in 2007, Bacher went on to earn a BSN at Clemson (2011) while continuing to work full time. He now plans to go to graduate school. In the past, there were barriers, such as time constraints, finances, and a need for personalized advising in their coursework. “Today, students now have a vision and the reality of access to universities. They know that if academically qualified, they can succeed and gain advanced degrees established initially by the LPN to Professor initiative (Clemson University School of Nursing) and through the continued support of our area hospitals,” says Dr. Lewis, who credits the program with beginning the vision to allow local nurses to move seamlessly through each scope of the practice level while staying in the local workforce. “It truly maximizes a person’s ability to envision and achieve success in nursing education in an environment that ultimately benefit the overall health of our community,” she added. Several years ago, a $1.2 million grant from the Duke Endowment enabled four area hospitals (AnMed Health, Cannon Hospital, Oconee Medical Center, and Baptist Easley) to join forces with
Surgical Technology, Practical Nursing, and Dental Assisting added to the College’s list of diploma programs.
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Clemson University and Tri-County to address the future shortage of nurses in the workplace and nursing faculty within Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. Bacher was in the earliest classes to use human patient simulators and enhanced lab facilities funded by the grant. “I was interested in the medical field and considered the premed track but I got my feet wet with a nursing degree, liked it and have stayed, “ said Bacher. “I like the pace of the ER and the variety. There’s nothing predictable about the ER environment and I learn something every day. It’s rewarding work,” he said. “I work with a great team of people. I love the camaraderie. At least half of the ER staff at Oconee Medical Center are Tri-County nursing graduates. That’s a testament to the program,” he said. By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
Vice President George H.W. Bush visited the campus on February 25, 1988, the first time a President or vice president of the U.S. had ever visited the College.
Troubleshooter Tami Mealor credits Tri-County with groundbreaking success
ami Mealor is a bit of a trailblazer. In 1979 Mealor was the first female troubleshooter hired at Michelin’s Sandy Springs plant. Being the lone female on a crew of several troubleshooters in the plant’s NZB department didn’t seem unusual to the Liberty High School graduate who had been the only female in her high school vocational classes and later the sole female graduate in Tri-County’s 1979 Industrial Electronics Technology class. She also later worked as Michelin’s only female technical recruiter. In 1994 when she joined BMW’s maintenance team as part of the maintenance staff in the Paint Shop, she initially was the only female in the maintenance department and later others were hired. “Things have changed since I graduated in 1979. Today females are working in the technical field where opportunities are abundant,” said Mealor. “Today’s industries are highly automated. Robotics and mechatronics are today’s technology,” she said. “You have to be multi-skilled and proficient in math and science.” That’s what she tells students from middle school through high school when she goes to career fairs and schools to talk about the tremendous technical opportunities available to them in the workforce. An example is the BMW Scholars program, the workforce development program that allows students a chance to pursue their education, gain necessary hands-on experience and become viable candidates for positions at BMW. The scholars program gives students exposure to manufacturing experience and offers them a multiskilled education. “Tami is the perfect person for this job,” said Bunny Richardson, communications specialist in Corporate Communications at BMW in Greer. “She’s a hands-on manager and is able to develop her associates’ skills without micromanaging. She has trained to do these jobs in the past as a technician and she makes sure her team is prepared. She’s been in their shoes and knows how to motivate a team.” “We’re always training,” added Richardson. “Cars change, parts change, technology changes. We’re always looking forward and making sure our associates have the training they need.” That includes Mealor, who currently is attending a workshop that focuses on sustainability of equipment and the workforce. “One of the things we talk about is what keeps associates happy. I believe in getting to know my group. I regularly do a management walk through and talk to team members. We have positive conversations. It’s important to get to know your team and to give praise. People want to be commended for a job well done,” said Mealor, who is pursuing a B.S. in computer science through Limestone College’s online program. “My two-year degree has served me well at jobs in two major manufacturing companies,” said Mealor. “Tri-County really prepared me for that first job at Michelin.” By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
Clemson University Professor Everett Laitala, a member of the governing board since its inception from 1962 – 1977 and former chairman, was inducted into the College’s Order of the Trilon, an honorary society which recognizes community and state leaders who have contributed to the development of Tri-County Technical College and the State Tech System.
Longtime Chairman J.B. Ouzts retired from the Area Commission in April 1989 and Bruce A. Norton replaced him as Chair.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Tri-County students chosen as BMW Scholars
ichael Bellamy always wanted to work in the maintenance field. He just never dreamed he’d have the opportunity, as a Tri-County student at age 20, to train for his dream job at the BMW plant in Greer as part of the company’s new BMW Scholars program. “If you are in the technology field, there is no better place to work than this worldclass automotive facility,” said Bellamy, a Mechatronics major. “I never expected this opportunity just right out of high school,” said Adam Grantz, also a Mechatronics major and BMW Scholar. At a 2011 August 3 press conference, BMW executives announced a new BMW Scholars program that partners with Greenville and Tri-County Technical Colleges and Spartanburg Community College. The workforce development program allows selected students to attend class full time while working part time at BMW. “This is a new way to recruit and train local talent. Technicians are critical to our operations,” said Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing Company. The program allows students a chance to pursue their education, gain necessary hands-on experience, and become viable candidates for positions at BMW. During this process, BMW assists with students’ tuition, books,and supplies. Students must be full time and maintain a minimum 2.8 GPA. The company will recruit 35 scholars annually. The first 15 now are working in job rotations at the plant. Seven of those are Tri-County students. “The technical colleges play a key role in workforce development and will take on a bigger role in the future with training,” said Annmarie Higgins, BMW’s vice president of human resources. “The scholars program gives students exposure to manufacturing experience and offers them a multi-skilled education,” she said. Students are employed in five major manufacturing concentrations and work 20 hours a week, which they are paid for. “This experience qualifies them as viable candidates for positions here at the completion of their degrees,” said Higgins. “We’ve been in rotations in the Paint, Assembly and Body shops so far,” said Adam. We’ve gone from assembling a vehicle to keeping the machine running. It’s nice to go from theory in the classroom to application in the plant.” Adam and Michael would like to continue their education at Clemson University after graduating from Tri-County and are optimistic about joining the BMW team as Equipment Service Associates. “I’d love to retire at BMW. It’s somewhere I want to stay,” said Michael.
Michael Bellamy never dreamed he’d have the opportunity, as a Tri-County student, to train for his dream job at the BMW plant in Greer as part of the company’s new BMW Scholars program. But, Tri-County is all about making dreams come true and that is exactly what is happening for Bellamy.
By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
Along with 15 other colleges in the State, Tri-County switched from the quarter calendar to semesters beginning the summer term 1992, and the first semester began August 1992.
The Self Foundation approved a grant in the amount of $101,079 to provide equipment for Medical Laboratory Technology and to increase the number of health care graduates.
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The College received its largest-ever gift $715,862 from the estate Ernest H. and Ruby Sharp Hicks.
Foundation contributions exceeded $1 million during 1993 – the first time ever.
sparked by Mutual
Interests benefits the
In 2010, the government of Oconee County partnered with Tri-County to create a small satelite campus training center in Seneca, SC. QuickJobs was born.
And it all started with Oconee County.
The goal was to provide on-site courses and job training for local citizens without the commute to the main campus. Two years later, hundreds of citizens have received valuable job training and the program has expanded into Pickens and Anderson. “I take a lot of pride in knowing that Oconee County stepped forward and supported this program from the start. As the years go by and Tri-County’s satellite campuses educate thousands of workers, it’s nice to know it all started here in Oconee County.” Scott Moulder, County Administrator
Brought to you by YOUR Oconee County Government CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Griffith’s experiences at Tri-County paved the way to mentor others
ften, within five minutes of the first day of class, Dana Griffith has told students in her public speaking classes that she is a Tri-County graduate. “I tell them, ‘I used to be one of you,’” said Griffith, a 1983 Radio and Television Broadcasting (RTV) graduate and the College’s first Alumni Association president. “I started at Tri-County. I was 29 years old, divorced, with two kids, and I worked three jobs and made all A’s. You can do it, too,” said Griffith, who went on to earn a B. S. in Industrial Education from Clemson University and an M. Ed. degree in Industrial Education Graphic Communications. “I had such a meaningful, life-changing experience at Tri-County,” says Griffith, who also served as the editor of The Prism, the College’s newspaper, in the 1980s. “I have a real allegiance to this College,” said Griffith. “I enjoy the diversity of teaching at a community college. Students are willing to disclose themselves based on life experience. In their public speaking, each one brings something different to the table because of their diverse life experiences,” she said. “I hope to be a mentor to them, like former RTV Department Head Charlie Jordan was for me and many others,” she added. “Our entire RTV class really bonded and I consider Charlie to be a good friend and mentor in my life. Many times over the years I have called him for
advice or just to say hello,” said Griffith. “He really helped me to make major life decisions,” she said referring to 1982 when she was wrestling with whether to get her bachelor’s at Clemson or to go to work. “I had a job offer in Georgia and an acceptance letter to Clemson. Charlie advised me to go to work and get some experience and get my bachelor’s down the road, which is exactly what I did. It was the best decision I ever made. If I had gone to Clemson then, I never would have had my opportunities in radio,” she said. After graduating from Tri-County in 1983 Griffith began her career as a morning news anchor for WFBC-FM in Greenville and later was promoted to news anchor and remained there until 1990. She was news director at Rock 101 for a year until she returned to Clemson University to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s. During that time she worked as an adjunct instructor for the RTV program from 1994-99. After graduating from Clemson, she worked as an account executive manager in Atlanta and later as a packaging consultant for Olympic Packaging Corp. from 2000-2008. She returned to her alma mater in 2009 and is a faculty member in the English department. “I always thought I would work my way back to teaching. I saw the job opening at Tri-County and I immediately applied. It’s what I want to do the rest of my life. I feel a part of Tri-County. It feels like home.”
In June 1994, the Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens county councils approved $12.5 million in their county appropriations for construction of the Health Sciences Laboratory Building. August 1992.
The Ruby S. Hicks Library/Administration Building became the first building named for a benefactor in May 1996.
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Foundation assets exceeded $6,000,000, placing it among the Top 100 for Community Colleges in U.S.
The College expanded options for high school seniors to get a head start on their college studies through Technical Advanced Placement (TAP) and by offering numerous Tri-County courses on high school campuses.
Holland-Davis sees endless possibilities in her life
irginia Holland-Davis’s life has been full of opportunities. She’s had a career in radio and television broadcasting that has spanned three decades and included meeting and interviewing such giants as Minister Farrakhan, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Cosby, Roy Ayers, Miss Universe, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Shirley Caesar, Smokey Robinson and dozens more. Over the years, she’s been a DJ, news anchor, writer, program director, music director, promotions director and talk show host at some of the largest Southeastern radio and television stations. She’s interviewed and dined with “the great” Muhammad Ali, Bill Cosby, Ralph Nader, Shirley Chisholm, Maya Angelou, Michael Forbes and other political, financial and cultural leaders in America. She also has worked with many major record artists and their promoters. A professional highlight includes being the only black reporter/ talk show host in the 1980s to interview Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. during the height of his controversial book tour promoting segregation. “All of these opportunities stemmed from my roots in Tri-County Technical College’s Radio and TV Broadcasting (RTV) program,” said the 1977 graduate. “Once that seed was sewn back in the 70s while at Tri-County, I saw endless possibilities,” she said. “Tri-County’s RTV department really prepared me for everything. I’ve done a lot of different work but the jobs all relate like pieces to one big puzzle. The puzzle has been completed and now I want to return one day to Tri-County as an instructor to show others that with passion and planning and opportunity and perseverance, there’s nothing you can’t do,” says Holland-Davis, who has worked and lived in Atlanta for the last 27 years.
“I want to return one day to Tri-County as an instructor to show others ... there’s nothing you can’t do.” — Virginia Holland-Davis The Seneca native always wanted to be a professional writer. After graduating from Seneca High School in 1974, she received a journalism scholarship to Clark College in Atlanta. Two weeks prior to beginning her freshman year, she learned she had lost her room assignment, thwarting her plans because although the scholarship was in place, the housing was not. “I had to rethink this,” she said. “I went to Columbia Commercial College, a private business school, for a year and was not happy. I called my father, and said I’ve made a decision. I finished the semester but left the college. I realized I didn’t want to take dictation. I wanted to give it,” she says, laughing.
Tri-County was close to her home so she entered the university transfer program at first but then strategized a “fast track” way to move ahead with her career. She switched to the RTV program. “This was an opportunity. I loved it. It really worked to my advantage. Former Department Head Charlie Jordan offered me my first opportunity when he sent my tape to the owner of WXYZ in Greenville and asked me to go see him. The job was mine when I got there. Charlie handpicked me and I appreciated that. That first job started my career,” said Holland-Davis, who married 1976 Tri-County graduate Quinton E. Davis of Anderson. They have a son, Quinton Anthony Holland Davis, 25, who like his mother is a photographer and works in video production. Recently Holland-Davis, accompanied by her father, Warren Holland, of Seneca, visited the campus where 35 years ago she was named the editor of the student newspaper, The Prism, and was crowned the first black Miss TEC. “I loved representing Tri County. I was proud to be a student. I was humbled and honored that my peers had chosen me to represent them. I had won the Miss Senconian and many other pageants in the past, but being Miss TEC was special. First, it awarded me a full-ride scholarship. It exposed me to more responsibilities directly tied to the College. I carried the title with great pride. I think being Miss TEC also played a part in opening up opportunities for me through exposure,” she said. There have been other firsts since she graduated and began working in the field of communications. She became the first black female DJ in this market and in the Southeast in 1977 when she joined WXYZ, a 100-watt R & B AM radio station, where she stayed two years doing the news, spinning records and producing her own shows. Before relocating to Atlanta in 1985, she and Tri-County instructor Ron Talley had a graphic arts and publishing business named Holland Davis, Talley. “We published some early generation black greeting cards that were very successful and we partnered on a local magazine, News and Views (I was editor-in-chief and he was photographer) out of Greenville. We did some milestone stories including an exclusive with Homer Jordan, then a star quarterback with University of Georgia and astronaut Charles Bolden, the first black astronaut who was a featured guest at Tri-County during a special event,” she remembered. She also was editor-in-chief of a regional newspaper, The Palmetto Leader, located in Greenville, and also reported for another local newspaper, Focus News in Greenville. CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
She moved to Columbia in 1977 when she was recruited by some scouts in the area covering a Clemson football game. She went to WOIC radio where she was a popular DJ, news anchor and live talk show producer. She also produced gospel and jazz shows. She continued her professional voice talent work, writing for television, producing commercials and hosting talk shows, such as Live at the Sanctuary, a Christian entertainment production that she owns.
Virginia Holland, second from left, was crowned Miss TriCounty TEC November 13, 1975. Pictured with her from left are Joan Forshee, second runner-up; Linda McCall, first runner-up; and Madeline Timmons, third runner-up.
When she moved to Atlanta, she welcomed another opportunity to work for Random House publishers She re-started her business under V. Holland-Davis Company, a media management and public relations company where she represented clients like Bronner Brothers hair products and Hollywood celebrity J. Anthony Brown. She’s been published in magazines such as ShopTalk, a hair industry magazine, served as editorin-chief of Gospel Music and Ministry Connection (GMMC), an international gospel music and ministry magazine, and was part-
owner/writer/ photographer for Fast Forward for Atlantans on the Move magazine, an international cultural and lifestyle magazine. She also served as managing editor of Smart Shopper (predecessor for Upscale magazine) and was a music reviewer for Charisma (gospel lifestyle and ministry) magazine. Today she still works in communications and currently owns V. Holland-Davis Company, LLC, Urban Global Missionary, Inc., a social enterprise with ministerial focus, and 7Twelve Marketing, a division of V. Holland-Davis Company. “I have in development a College Prep Project where I, along with other associates, assist traditional and non-traditional students in preparation for entry or re-entry into college. I currently mentor and tutor grad students from different colleges and universities engaged in the classroom or using online modalities.” While battling breast cancer and enduring more than 20 surgeries that stemmed from complications associated with her cancer, Holland-Davis earned a double bachelor’s in Urban Global Economic Development and Bible Education with certification as a Christian Education teacher and graduated magna cum laude from mBeulah Heights University. She also has an MBA and a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. She is currently working towards a Psy. D. at the University of the Rockies in Colorado Springs, CO, and is working on a doctorate in divinity. Most recently, she worked as an enrollment counselor at University of Phoenix at the Atlanta campuses while maintaining her companies. Over the years her awards include Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities; Collegiate All-American Scholar; National Dean’s List, Who’s Who Among Professionals and Entrepreneurs in Atlanta, 1991; SuccessGuide, 1990; Role Model of the Year (National Coalition for Unity and Peace) 1990; and Outstanding Young Woman in America, 1979, 1980,1982,1988. “None of this would have happened without that first opportunity at Tri County,” she said. “I’ll never stop,” she added. “One day I’d like to return to TriCounty as an instructor, not only to teach, but to motivate and inspire. I’m very grateful. I always said that things happened the way they were supposed to — my deciding to change directions while at Columbia Commercial College, deciding to give up my journalism scholarship at Clark College and sticking with my program at Tri-County. It was all God’s plan. And I honor it.”
Veterinary Technology grad chosen for prestigious internship at UT Jayne Hucheson, a 2011 graduate of the Veterinary Technology program, is among the three veterinary technology students, chosen nationwide from 20 applicants, to participate in a year-long paid internship program at the University of Tennessee (UT). The University’s Veterinary Technician Internship Program is the only one of its kind in the country. The veterinary technician internship program is a rotating internship for graduate veterinary technicians through the Small Animal Teaching Hospital. It is designed to offer the technician the opportunity to increase knowledge and gain practical experience in an educational environment. Only graduates of AVMA-accredited Veterinary Technology programs are considered. Core rotations include anesthesia, radiology, internal medicine, surgery, oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, and day and after-hours ICU. Elective rotations include avian/exotics, rehabilitation, integrative medicine and nutrition.
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Student success, faculty engagement still points of pride
hen President Ronnie Booth talks about measuring student success, he looks at more than good grades, graduation rates and getting a job. Those three factors always are critical in gauging the success of students, but today the term ‘student success’ has a broader definition than when Tri-County Technical College was established in 1962, he said. “I define student success as taking students from where they are to where they need to be; getting them on the right path at the right time, and equipping them with the tools they need for continued success in life. But our students are here for various reasons—to gain transfer credits, to learn a skill for their job, to retrain for a new career and/or to earn a degree or certificate,” he said. “We have always had support systems to help students get to their goal. Now we are more engaged in the process. We are providing more resources than ever (a robust orientation process, better informed and constructed assessment, in-depth advising, more accessible tutoring, internships, rigorous study sessions to prepare for certification exams, etc.) and working hard to ensure that more students take advantage of the appropriate services in order for them to be successful. The focus is to help students to be successful by getting elbow deep with them in their own learning, not just show them a path. It’s about engaging with students as full partners in their own learning.” What goes on outside of the classroom is just as important as the lectures and the labs. Tri-County’s cooperative education program is designed to help meet the needs of local industries in their search for highly skilled technicians. The co-op experience blends classroom studies with real work
experience. Currently, the College has several active co-op education programs with Michelin, Duke Energy, BorgWarner and BMW, among others. One of the most recent and powerful campus initiatives to improve student success is the College’s Learning through Community and Connections (LC2) plan that provides students opportunities to become part of focused learning communities within the College. It also connects students to a web-based academic support network linking them to resources that can help lead to success at Tri-County and beyond. “This translates into greater opportunities for students to be successful. We believe LC2 will help more students to successfully complete their coursework, persist to the second semester, and to continue on and graduate,” Dr. Booth said. Learning communities reengage students in a holistic, comprehensive approach to learning, he added. “We want to help them to become lifelong learners. This is part of the College’s mission. We don’t stop at the course level or end of program outcomes. As an institution, we have changed exponentially. Our environment has changed, our funding model has changed, the needs of individuals have changed, and our mission has expanded. But the heart of what we do remains the same. “We live in a different world than we did 50 years ago. The College has had to reinvent itself, but the constant over the years is our individual attention and one-on-one interaction with students. But we are now giving more focus to individual needs than ever before. Our focus on student success, individual learning, and engagement with faculty are points of pride for us. It’s at the core of what we do.”
Four years ago, the Foundation kicked off its first-ever Major Gifts Campaign aimed at moving the College toward achieving role-model status among community colleges in the United States. The College is working toward a goal of $7 million and developed four initiatives to address community demands. They include: expanding educational opportunities, improving technology and equipment, enhancing opportunities for student success, and promoting economic and community development. “Your gift may directly or indirectly provide funding for a scholarship, change a life for the better, strengthen a business or industry, provide better local health care or ensure a safer community. The choice of how your gift can make a difference is up to you. But one thing is certain. An educated community is the primary resource necessary to create and maintain a healthy, productive and prosperous community,” President Ronnie Booth said. “We look toward the Foundation dollars to provide students with scholarship, travel abroad and service learning opportunities, to keep faulty current in their fields and to help keep pace with technology at all of our campuses,” said Dr. Booth. “As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we reflect on our accomplishments, but as we move toward the next 50 years, we see improvements that we must make if we are to achieve role-model status,” he said. “We want to be the best community college in the nation and to do that we need additional resources,” said Dr. Booth. “An investment in Tri-County is an investment in the community – and that results in a stronger economic base due to a trained workforce. To be successful, we need the community’s support in reaching our goals.” The campaign will end in December 2012 at the conclusion of the College’s celebration of its 50th anniversary. For more information, contact John Lummus, vice president for Economic and Institutional advancement, at 646-1548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Tri-County tackles teen dropout rate
Connect to College provides pathway to academic success
he students in Connect to College, a dropout recovery program offered by the school districts of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties and TriCounty Technical College, come from all kinds of socioeconomic and academic backgrounds. Like many high school students today, they struggle with family issues, peer pressure, health and financial problems and even substance abuse. Some also face the additional challenge of being teen parents. What differentiates Connect to College (C2C) students from most teens, though, is that for one reason or another, they left high school before earning their diploma. “We’ve learned that these students can achieve academically, but usually there were social or motivational issues that prohibited them from doing well in the traditional high school setting,” said Diana Walter, director of Connect to College, formerly known as Gateway to College. “I tell students the past defines you only if you let it,” said Walter. “We provide a safe
earn both high school and college credit and may simultaneously complete both the high school diploma and a postsecondary credential. Carly Heventhal has taken full advantage of C2C’s many opportunities since finding the program in the summer of 2011. As a 10th-grade dropout with only 12.5 high school units, she admits she was on the wrong track. After a series of dead-end, part-time jobs, she took the advice of her uncle, an adjunct instructor at Tri-County, who urged her to apply to C2C and to move in with him and his wife. “It was always of dream of mine to go to college and Connect to College gave me that opportunity. It’s a way to get back on track and succeed,” said Heventhal, who made the President’s List her first semester. She is scheduled to graduate in August 2012 with 40 semester hours of college credit and her high school diploma from T.L. Hanna High School. In addition to youth who left one of the
“We provide a safe community where we help them get back on track and celebrate their successes.” — Diana Walter Director of Connect to College
community where we help them get back on track and celebrate their successes. You have to have resources to have options and we provide support they wouldn’t otherwise have,” she said. Using a dual credit model, C2C students
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high schools in Anderson Oconee, or Pickens counties, Heventhal represents another segment of the population C2C strives to serve —youth who’ve dropped out of schools in other states and now live in the local area.
For Carly Heventhal college was always just a dream … that is until Tri-County Technical College conceived Connect To College, which provided her with an opportunity to make her dream come true.
Congratulations Tri-County Technical College for Fifty Years of Service to the Upstate! Blue Ridge Electric Co-op: 1-800-240-3400, www.blueridge.coop • Blue Ridge Security: 1-888-407-7233, www.blueridgesecuritysystems.com
How Time Flies... The Oconee County Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Tri-County Technical College, it’s staff, students past and present, and it’s administration on 50 wonderful years. Your contributions to Oconee County and beyond will last far beyond another 50 years!
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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
How Connect to College found its Tri-County connection In 2005, Tri-County was among four community colleges in the United States to receive threeyear implementation grants from Portland Community College (Oregon) to replicate their nationally recognized Gateway to College program. Funding for the grants was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tri-County received a $300,000 grant to address needs of at-risk and dropout youth through a Gateway to College program. Since opening in August 2006, the local Gateway program has served hundreds of deserving youth in the tri-county area. Over the past five years, the program evolved to the point where more local discretion was needed in order to better support and shape the program’s future. Tri-County’s program transitioned out of the Gateway to College National Network (GtCNN) in December 2011 and now operates independently of GtCNN. As part of the transition, the program adopted a new name— Connect to College (C2C). In addition to the new name, one of the more significant programmatic changes enables students to take courses in the first semester that meet their specific educational needs, according to their level of academic preparation. This change makes it possible for some students to graduate in just one semester instead of two or even three semesters as was required in the past. For other students, the change means being able to skip over developmental math, English, or reading classes if their test scores indicate they can handle higher-level courses and if the developmental courses are not specifically needed to meet a requirement for the high school diploma. “The district superintendents, along with the president and commissioners of Tri-County Technical College, are committed to offering a quality, responsive dropout recovery program for the region that connects high school and postsecondary study for youth who need and deserve a second chance. This program, built on a solid foundation made possible by GtCNN and its signature Gateway to College program, will continue to fill a unique niche in the educational offerings for youth in Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties,” said Diana Walter, director of Connect to College.
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“The dropout problem is bigger than most people realize. We get calls all the time from students who moved here from other parts of South Carolina or from other states, or students who’ve dropped out of private schools, online schools, or even home school situations,” Walter said. “In the first semester, we really work to instill in our students a love of learning, and we try to build their sense of confidence that they can be successful,” Walter said. “Students achieve due to a combination of factors that help them get refocused, including a change of environment, the attention of College faculty, and the help of their C2C support specialist who serves as a mentor and coach, as well as a liaison with campus and community services. It’s about making education relevant to your life and transferring that knowledge and the feelings of accomplishment from one situation to another. “Students can redefine themselves here and really turn their lives around. Many come with labels other people have given them or that they’ve applied to themselves. We provide a support system and a way to get beyond the past,” Walter added. Since 2007 the program has graduated 50 students and seen 394 students earn 3,974 college credits. “Not everyone who enters the program stays,” says Walter, “and I’ve had to accept that success comes in different packages. There are no failures, just different levels of success. Some students enter the program, stay for a semester or even less without receiving a diploma, but have learned to navigate a college campus. Many times they return months or years later, back and ready to try again. Sometimes they want to try C2C again, other times they’ve earned their GED and want to continue their college studies. It happens over and over again. They have been working minimum-wage jobs and realize they need a high school credential and a degree and they remember us.” By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
Tri-County continues to grow Since the doors of Pickens Hall opened on Sept. 10, 1963, Tri-County Technical College has grown from a technical education center with one building in Pendleton to a comprehensive community college with four campuses in its three-county service area. Academic offerings include technical and health education training, business and public services majors, university transfer offerings and college credit courses for high school students. These students are making their way across the main Pendleton campus.
Johnson’s desire to make a difference leads to a degree in criminal justice
anda Johnson learned a great deal about being a good law enforcement/probation agent -- and listener -- from former Tri-County Criminal Justice Department Head Lew Holton and his lectures. “He taught us to think outside the box as we addressed issues that had to stay inside the box. The law is the law,” said the 1995 Criminal Justice graduate who has made a career in the Anderson County criminal justice system. “He provoked us to think and to discuss ideas. Many times class would end and we would all go outside Oconee Hall where the conversation and the learning continued. Lew always stressed it’s important to treat people with respect.” By day Johnson works as a probation agent and victim services coordinator South Carolina’s Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (SCDPPS). “I entered the criminal justice field because I wanted a career where I can make a difference right away,” she said. Several months before graduating from Tri-County’s Criminal Justice department in 1995, she landed her first job as a public servant in Anderson County Summary Court working for then-Chief Magistrate Carl Anderson. “I am interested in people’s right to due process. I had the opportunity daily to help individuals find their way through the criminal justice system,” she said. After five and one half years in the Summary Court office, she accepted a job at the Anderson County Detention Center where she was an administrative coordinator. In 2001 she accepted an offer to join SCDPPS. Johnson completed the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy and was sworn in as a field probation agent in 2002. “It can be a challenging profession at times but I truly
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Congratulations Tri-County Technical College for 50 Years of Preparing Local Citizens for the Jobs of Tomorrow.
Making Oconee County A Better Place To Live, Work, Play And Visit Post Office Box 241 • Walhalla, SC 29691 CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
enjoy serving the public,” she said. She has been in her current position since 2005. You can catch her on the stage of local night spots or at seasonal events like the Anderson Block Parties, Artisphere, Main Street Fridays and Fall for Greenville, belting out rhythm and blues standards and developing an instant rapport with her legion of fans. “Music is my glorified hobby; it’s my joy,” she said. Growing up in Belton, singing with her parents, Hattie and the late Jake Johnson, her eight sisters and grandmother, was second nature. “Our voices were our instruments,” recalled Johnson, who never pursued singing professionally until 1999.
“Today, I tell people that if they are going through a bad time, you’ll be amazed what people will do for you. People at Tri-County wanted me to succeed.” — Wanda Johnson “God has given me a gift,” she said. “I have no formal training but singing is like breathing to me.” Johnson’s perspective wasn’t always so clear. While a student at Tri-County, her 10-year marriage began to dissolve, along with her self-esteem. “I was in a state of emotional upheaval. I was two semesters away from graduation, and I was seriously considering dropping out. School really mattered to me but I couldn’t handle it. It was a big deal because I was the first in my family to go to college but because I was separated, the money wasn’t there anymore.” At her lowest point, she finally broke down and told Holton about her marital situation and her thoughts of abandoning college. “I told him I may have to drop out because I wouldn’t be able to pay for the next semester’s tuition out of my pocket. Lew zeroed in on the bigger picture and immediately said, ‘You can’t quit. We’re going to get through this.’ He talked to me about applying for a Pell grant and told me about scholarship opportunities.
He encouraged me and helped me to see that I could make it. He was my eyes when I couldn’t see things clearly. When I was saying I can’t make it, he saw my capabilities and for that I’ll be forever grateful.” College scholarships, such as the James R. Longo and the J. B. Ouzts Memorial Scholarships through the College’s Foundation, were ‘gold,’ in her words. “Without them, there would have been no college,” she said. She said Holton and classmates rallied to help her through a difficult period in her life. “Today, I tell people that if they are going through a bad time, you’ll be amazed what people will do for you. People at Tri-County wanted me to succeed. The fact that I graduated at all is my biggest honor — and I attribute it to Lew and my classmates who were in my corner.” In fact, Holton knew she could succeed not only academically, but on stage as well. After hearing her sing, he and several others invited her to a local blues club which was hosting Open Mike Night. Holton talked with the band members, and later that evening Johnson was invited to sing on stage. They offered her a job before the evening was over. Johnson’s current boss, Agent in Charge Gerald Black, is another who has stood by her through the years and was her supervisor when she did a student internship with the office in 1993. “Wanda is an excellent agent and she deals with people exceptionally well. The victims love her because she has a good ear and is a good sounding board. She’s there for them and walks them through the process. Back in 1994, I knew it was just a matter of time before she came back to work for us. She loves the job. This is where she belongs.” After earning a B.S. in business administration from Southern Wesleyan University in 1998, Johnson found herself with more time to devote to performing. In 1999, she began musical career with her Charleston-based band, Shrimp City Slim (www.shrimpcityslim.com) and has traveled abroad for tours in Poland, France, China and Italy. She also has served as the opening act for blues legend B.B. King. Johnson writes much of her own music. For most festival and road dates, she is accompanied by Charleston-based pianist/composer Shrimp City Slim (Gary Erwin) and his band. For local appearances in the Upstate, she is joined by The Upstate Rhythm Section which includes her husband, Conger Purcell, on guitar. She also has released three CDs, “Call Me Miss Wanda,” “Natural Resource,” and “Hold What You Got.” By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
The Foundation named the largest in Technical College System and remains so today.
The Health/Science building opened fall semester of 1998 with a full schedule of classes.
tri-county technical college
The Accounting, Business Technology, and Office Systems Technology programs received accreditation through the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
The Foundation received a $1 million gift from Abney Foundation, the largest single financial gift to the College.
‘A phenomenal success’ Upstate schools celebrate Bridge Program
or incoming college freshmen, the initial university experience can be daunting. Responsibilities between their final year of high school and the first year of college increase greatly and, for some students, help is nowhere to be found. The Bridge program at Tri-County Technical College was designed, as its name would suggest, to increase access to Clemson University for qualified applicants, while simultaneously assisting student to achieve success. Started in fall 2006 with 231 students, the Bridge Program began as a distinctive invitation-only program for talented students applying to Clemson University. If accepted, the student spends freshman year attending Tri-County with the intention of transferring to Clemson University in the fall of the following year. During the year at Tri-County, a student must take a minimum of 30 transferable credit hours and earn a 2.5 grade point average to successfully transfer. Bridge students are encouraged to live in the Highpointe at Clemson apartments, where upper class resident advisors coordinate social programs and provide academic assistance to Bridge students. Daily transport is provided to the Tri-County and Clemson campuses during the school year. “I have continued to keep close ties to those workBridge students receive ing for the Bridge Program, and I have never seen a information from Clemson representatives at the Get group of people more devoted to student success,” said Sophomore Ready event. Maghan Knight, who participated in the Bridge program from 2009-10. “This program truly equips students with the tools and knowledge to be
“Tri-County values our partnerships with South Carolina’s senior institutions and is always willing to explore opportunities that may arise for future partnership programs so that we can best serve our students.” — Jenni Creamer Bridge Program representative
A Clemson representative offers advice to rising sophmores in the Bridge program.
This year, Tri-County added to its list of bridge and transfer agreements with postsecondary institutions, opening doors for even more eligible students to make easy transitions to four-year colleges and universities.
New partners include: • Anderson University • USC Upstate • Lander University • Limestone College • USC • Erskine CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
successful as freshmen at Tri-County Successful students Technical College and connects them who have made the transfer to Clemson to Clemson resources.” offer advice to rising To meet the Bridge students’ needs, sophomores in the Tri-County offers specifically tailored Bridge program. programs, like a learning lab for science, a writing center and math workshops. Tutoring and supplemental instruction are offered at the Bridge Student Success Center. Outside of the classroom, Tri-County offers Bridge participants access to student organizations, athletic teams and plenty of campus-sponsored events. To keep students informed, Bridge meetings are held at both Tri-County and at the Student Center at Highpointe. “There are so many different activities Bridge students can participate in at both Tri-County and Clemson. I really enjoyed it because I was still able to do Clemson’s marching band, and I am able to use all the resources Clemson students can use as well,” said Bridge student Heather Frazier. Each year, 70 to 75 percent of Bridge students meet the requirements for transfer. “The Bridge Program has been a phenomenal success,” said Clemson Director of Admissions Robert Barkley. “The program has more than doubled since its inception, and it is a major factor when it comes to making a Clemson education more accessible ... especially for South Carolinians. Over 1,200 students have enrolled at Clemson University after successfully completing the Bridge requirements. “Tri-County values our partnerships with South Carolina’s senior institutions and is always willing to explore opportunities that may arise for future partnership programs so that we can best serve our students,” said Jenni Creamer, Bridge Program representative. By Amber Thompson, The Journal
The Student Success Center at Highpointe offers tutoring, social events and informative meetings for Bridge Participants.
Dr. Mendel Stewart receives order of merit.
Dr. Ronnie Booth
Economic Development Center.
tri-county technical college
Not your typical dorm The Highpointe Apartments and the Bridge Program
s numbers in the Bridge program grew, the need for larger, better-suited housing grew as well. When construction started, the Highpointe apartments at the former site of the JP Stevens textile plant, were intended to be for-sale condos but, because of the central location between Tri-County Tech and the Clemson campus, the apartments soon became an optimal location for Bridge students. Tri-County Tech entered into an agreement with Highpointe, LLC, the developers of the apartments, for Bridge participants to be housed there via a memorandum of understanding which ends in 2014. According to officials, housing Bridge students together was always an important need for the program, as it allows the students to form friendships in both academic and living environments. “Clemson and Tri-County wanted to simulate how freshmen on campus would feel,” said Will Huss, president of Trehel Corporation, contractors for Highpointe. “Recreating the freshman experience was a big influence on the design of the apartments. Both
students and some members of the Bridge staff (such as resident advisors) live at Highpointe.” Academic help is only a short walk away for the Bridge students. One of the impressive features of the Highpointe apartments is the Academic Success Center located nearby. This building (also constructed by Trehel) is well-equipped and allows easy access to Bridge students looking for tutoring and assembly space for the entire Bridge program. The Highpointe apartments are leagues ahead in amenities when compared to typical student housing. Besides the Academic Success Center and the luxurious apartments, the complex boasts many other comfortable features as well, including spacious fourbedroom apartments, a lagoon-style pool and lazy river, 24-hour manned security at the gate, an exercise room and a commonmeeting space clubhouse. Currently, the complex houses more than 500 Bridge student, not including the students who attend Clemson who live there as well. By Amber Thompson, The Journal
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The impact on upstate industry How Tri-County graduates have affected the workforce
or the last 50 years, Tri-County Technical College graduates have been making a positive impact on workplaces throughout the Upstate. Area industries and service providers have benefited immensely from the knowledge and skills Tri-County graduates gain in their time spent on campus. Industries in Oconee and Pickens counties have had the greatest impact on their workforce, hiring thousands of graduates over the last 50 years. Industries in Oconee and Pickens counties in particular have enjoyed the fruits of Tri-Countyâ€™s instructional
At top: A graduate of Tri-County Technical College, Mike Bramlett now works as a Product Engineer at Borg Warner. At left: Tri-County graduate Jana Laney is subcontracted through HTI and works at Borg Warner.
tri-county technical college
At left: Gary Green, a graduate of Tri-County, works as the Customer Returns Manager at Itron. At right: A Tri-County graduate, Amyie Crane now works as a Meter Repair Technician II at Itron.
“We believe the (technical) training provides students with a strong background and skill-set to be effective employees.” — Larry Smith, Schneider Electric Plant Manager
labors, hiring thousands of graduates to man their assembly lines. During its 16 years in South Carolina, Borg Warner has hired several Tri-County graduates. Todd Bennington, the Vice President of Seneca’s Borg Warner plant, says with the array of degrees and qualifications they hold, Tri-County graduates offer exactly what industry is looking for. Likewise, Oconee-based Schneider Electric has hired a significant number of Tri-County graduates since starting operations in South Carolina in 1986.
Thank you for providing 50 years of quality education to the citizens of the Tri-County area Offices in Seneca, Walhalla and Westminster 864-882-2765 • www.oconeefederal.com CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
At top: Kent Dickard, a graduate of Tri-County Technical College, now has a career at Itron as the Sr. Manufacturing Process Technician. Above: Patrick Bryson with Oconee Medical Center’s biomedical engineering department works on a water purification system that supplies chemistry equipment. Many of the technical jobs, in addition to nursing, are addressed by the programs at Tri-County.
tri-county technical college
TCTC grads at Schneider have certifications and degrees in Industrial electronics technology and other electronics-oriented certifications. Many of the firm’s highest earning employees are graduates of TriCounty Tech. “They are extremely easy to work with — Tri-County always finds a way to meet our needs,” said Schneider Plant Manager Larry Smith. “The South Carolina technical college system is a huge asset. We believe the training provides students with a strong background and skill-set to be effective employees,” Schneider Electric offers employees many opportunities to move-up and get promotions in their engineering group, and currently, most of that group consists of graduates of Tri-County. Oconee Medical Center has been making a difference in the Upstate for more than 65 years, and for many of those years, graduates of Tri-County Tech have been an integral part of the staff. Currently, OMC employs over 1,400 people and at least 136 of those employees attended Tri-County. “Some of them have clinical positions such as in nursing or lab. Others have biomedical engineering or business back-
At left: Adam Shick, RN (right) of Mountain Lakes AccessHealth and a student at Tri-County Technical College, reviews data with Cortni Nations, director of the Accesshealth program. At right: Angel Morehead works in the Laboratory at Oconee Medical Center. Here, she is pictured processing a blood sample in a blood gas analyzer. More and more of Tri-County’s programs are designed to meet the specific needs of the Upstate workforce.
grounds,” noted OMC Director of Marketing Heather Goss. Similarly, officials at Johnson Controls said Tri-County graduates have worked hard for the firm and that 10 Tri-County graduates are currently working throughout the West Union plant, which manufactures battery components. In West Union, Itron is a cutting edge manufacturer of electric meters, and Human Resources Director Sue Gray said about 90 percent of Itron’s technicians have a degree from Tri-County in industrial electronics technology.
“The relationship between Itron and Tri-County Technical College has been very valuable over the years. Tri-County has the necessary knowledge to completely understand our business,” Gray stated. As unsure as the economy has been the past few years, industry leaders know one thing for certain: a good education is key. And, all of them concur that Tri-County has consistently produced graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to become valuable assets in the local workforce. By Amber Thompson, The Journal
Education. Powered by Duke Energy. Our childhood dreams can come true. Education makes that happen. Duke Energy is proud to support educational endeavors in the communities we serve. Congratulations to TriCounty Technical College on 50 years of service to our community.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Program’s hands-on training helped in Adger’s success
hen Brandon Adger graduated from Tri-County Technical College in 2002, he wasn’t among the hundreds of college graduates pounding the pavement in search of
a first job. He spent his senior year in high school in Robert Bosch Corporation’s prestigious apprenticeship program that provides participants with an opportunity to begin technical training (while still in high school or as a current Bosch associate). Adger was the only Youth Apprentice from Pendleton High School who took classes at Tri-County during his senior year and received dual college credit. With a General Engineering Technology degree in hand, he was promoted from apprentice to manufacturing technician. He worked at Bosch for five years as a technician in the Ceramics Department and later for AT&T. Three years ago, he began working as an Electric Transmission Technician at Duke Energy substations in the Anderson-Oconee areas. “I really en-
2011 Philanthropist of the Year AT&T is the 2011 recipient of the Tri-County Technical College Foundation’s Philanthropist of the Year award. The company was honored November 17, 2011, at a meeting of the College’s Foundation Board. Jane Sosebee, AT&T’s legislative director for the State of South Carolina and a former member of Tri-County’s Foundation Board, accepted the award on behalf of the company. Presenting the award is President Ronnie L. Booth.
tri-county technical college
joy what I do because I get to help people. The job is a challenge, and it’s different every day, but that makes it interesting. I’m constantly learning new skills,” he said. A technical degree offers a wide variety of career options in the manufacturing sector, as well as small business ownership. “The beauty of the program is you get handson training with experienced instructors. The skills you learn here can take you anywhere.” In addition to working full time at Duke Energy, he is an evening adjunct instructor for Tri-County’s Industrial Electronics Technology program. “I appreciate the doors Tri-County opened for me and the opportunities that presented themselves because of TriCounty. Teaching is a way to give back to my alma mater,” he said. “I tell my students there are jobs for technical grads — good paying jobs with good companies with opportunities to move up the ladder. A segment of today’s workforce is nearing retirement, and students will have the chance to be hired and to advance in jobs if they work hard and do what they are supposed to do.” By Lisa Garrett, Tri-County Technical College
The QuickJobs Program An integral component of upstate industry
ven in this struggling economy, there are a number of jobs that remain unfulfilled. Employers seek candidates with skills their companies need immediately, and Tri-County Technical College has a program that puts job seekers on the direct path to finding a job. QuickJobs has training programs that give future job-candidates the skills and knowledge needed in competitive industry fields. Current QuickJobs programs include: certified nursing assistant, emergency medical technician, medical administrative assistant, commercial driver’s license, pre-highway construction, electrical wiring, computer service technician, Administrative Microsoft Office specialist, medical administrative assistant, and nedical office/electronics health records. Currently, there are 96 participants in the QuickJobs programs. “All are in-demand by local business at this time. CNA is always in demand and companies are always looking for CDL drivers,” said Richard Parker, director of business and industry training at Tri-County. While the program does not have formal agreements with local industries, employers often contact the QuickJobs administrators about potential candidates for employment. “We work with local companies in several ways, including passing company information on to enrolled students, arranging company/student interviews, and working with local staffing agencies to connect students with job openings,” Parker stated. Local resident Rodney Hollingsworth has one of these success stories thanks to the QuickJobs program. After being laid off from his construction job after 30 years, Hollingsworth enrolled in the nurse aide QuickJobs program and after five weeks was offered a job at Clemson Downs. “This is the best job I’ve ever had,” he said. “I love the residents and seeing their faces and making them smile. I enjoy taking care of them and talking to them about their families. If you just spend extra time with them — maybe 10 or 15 minutes a day — it changes their lives and makes them smile.” Whether starting a new career or simply finding a better one, TCTC and QuickJobs can give potential employees the skills to find that dream job. Industry experts say that future jobs will require specific, occupational training, and QuickJob’s training specifically targets fields experiencing growth.The partnership between TCTC and QuickJobs is a major asset to the Upstate and its residents. By Amber Thompson, The Journal Tri-County Technical College contributed to this story.
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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Goodwill 2011 Graduate of the Year
Morgan credits QuickJobs Training
t the age of 16, Liberty resident Devon Morgan quit school to work in the cotton mills. “ I had been in manufacturing and construction all my life,” said Devon, now 33. “Once the mills started fading out around here, people like me had nowhere to go, so last year, I decided to make a change.” After getting his GED, Devon learned about the job training opportunities offered by Goodwill Industries. “Goodwill sent me to Tri-County Technical College. They paid my way there and they also helped me financially while I was attending school. I have to give a lot of credit to Melissa, my case manager at Goodwill, for believing in me.” “Devin turned out to be an excellent student. He was determined, he had drive, and he wanted to be somebody,” said Melissa Lust, CDS Case Manager, Goodwill Industries of Upstate/ Midlands SC.” Although Devon started out a little hesitant, by the end of the program his confidence was up because he knew that whatever he put his mind to he could succeed.” At the Tri-County Oconee campus in Seneca, Devon took a nineweek course in Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, or MSSC, to earn his Manufacturing Technician Certification. “The MSSC course taught me skills needed in high-performance manufacturing such as processes and production, safety, maintenance and quality and continuous improvement, to name just a few,” explained Devon. “I’ve got to say, the instructors at Tri-County were awesome. The day I graduated from Tri-County, I had a job.” Today, Devon works at Tri-Tech in Liberty as a welder fabricator building mobile kitchens for the military. “I’ve always been a hard worker, but last year was my most productive. I started a job that I love, I won the Ralph Walker Graduate of the Year award given by Goodwill Industries, I got to meet Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the award ceremony, and I got engaged to my best friend, Jessica Hayes. Last year was an awesome year.” Devon offers this advice to others looking to make a change in their lives. “Believe in yourself. Study hard and it will work out. it worked out for me. It will blow your mind.”
tri-county technical college
Current Quickjobs and Career Certificates • Administrative Microsoft Office Specialist • Basic 911 Telecommunicator Certificate • Computer Service Technician • Culinary Arts Baking Certificate Program • Culinary Arts Certificate Program • Commercial Truck Driving • Customer Service Certificate • EKG Certificate • Electrical Wiring Certificate • EMT Basic Certificate • Fiber Optics Certification • Floral Design Certificate Program • Framing & Matting Certificate Program • Freight Agent Training/Truck Driving • General Office Receptionist • Health Information Specialist Certificate • Horticulture & Landscaping Certificate • Hospital & Medical Coding Specialist • ISA Arborist Certification Exam Prep • Income Tax Preparation • Interior Design Certificate program • Landscape Design Certificate Program • MSSC Certified Production Technician • Mediation Certificate • Medical Administrative Assistant Program • Medical Office/Billing & Electronic health Records • Medical Transcription Certificate • Nurse Aide Certificate • Office Skills Center • Patient Care/Multi-skilled HC Technician • Personal Trainer Certificate • Personal/Home Care Aide Certificate • Pharmacy Technician Certificate • Phlebotomy Technician Certificate • Photography Specialist Certificate • Physical Therapy Aide Certificate • Pre-Highway Construction Inspector • Private Security Officer Certificate • Real Estate Courses • Residential Home Inspector • Sewing Courses • Turf grass Management Certificate Program • Upholstery • Warehouse Technician Certificate Program • Web Design Certificate
Industrial Technology Center to offer
ocated approximately four miles from the Pendleton campus and housed in a 42,000 square-foot building on five acres of land once used by the Virginia Products Tobacco Plant, TriCounty Technical College’s Industrial Technology Center promises to be a state-of-the-art training facility when renovations are completed at the end of this year. “We considered several options as we looked at ways to expand our technical facilities. When we found this site and its close proximity to the main campus, we felt it met all the criteria we had set for expansion,” stated Doug Allen, acting dean of the Engineering and Industrial Technology Division for TCTC. “Centrally located, the facility will serve the three-county area supported by TCTC.” The programs scheduled to move to the new location are welding, which presently has a waiting list for enrollment, and HVAC, which has seen recent growth as well. “The welding program is a five semester day program that prepares graduates for employment opportunities in construction and metalworking,” explained Allen. “Night students can expect to complete requirements in eight to nine terms. The program features primarily a hands-on, project-based environment where students learn practical, real-world techniques from basic to advanced welding. Students learn to weld steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and pipe, as well as robotic welding techniques, brazing and other skills needed in the workplace. Oconee Nuclear, Darby Metal Works and a number of commercial construction firms, just to name a few, hire our graduates.”
“The HVAC program is a five semester day program as well, and can be completed at night in eight to nine terms,” Allen continued. “It primarily serves the residential market, but students are trained on some commercial applications as well.” Designed to simulate a real-life industrial setting, the structure will use various types of construction techniques in the retrofitting process to be used later as teaching tools in the classroom. The renovated building will house updated equipment and provide additional space for instruction. “Students will be able to fully complete programs at the ITC facility by taking all major courses and general education requirements on site,” explained Allen. “Classrooms, computer labs and offices will be located in the front section of the building. The bulk of the area will be used to create a real-world manufacturing environment where students will learn everything from safety considerations to lean manufacturing techniques. “There will be 72 weld booths, up from the 28 that are presently in our welding lab, which will help serve those students waiting to get into the program. The expansion will also help the HVAC program put more focus on commercial applications to compliment the present curriculum by enlarging the laboratory space,” he said. Director of Development, Elisabeth Gadd, has been actively seeking community support for the new facility and says there are 30 room-naming opportunities for the Industrial Technology Center. By Sheril Bennett Turner, Anderson Independent Mail
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Tri-County proud of stellar pre-pharmacy students It came as no surprise when former PrePharmacy advisor Galen DeHay heard that four of Tri-County’s pre pharmacy students who transferred to Presbyterian College’s School of Pharmacy are standout students in academics and leadership roles on the Clinton campus. Dr. Laura Fox, assistant dean, professional and student affairs, associate professor of pharmaceutics at Presbyterian College (PC), reported at a recent TriCounty pre-pharmacy advisory committee meeting that there are four students in the PharmD program at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy who completed prepharmacy coursework at Tri-County. “All four have excelled in the School of Pharmacy,” said Dr. Fox, who chairs the advisory committee. “They are stellar students who invested the time and effort needed to be successful students at Tri-County while the College provided the resources for them to be successful,” said DeHay, former science department head, who now serves as director of planning and institutional effectiveness. “Our program is developing a reputation for producing top-quality pharmacy students.“ Alan Rusnak, Morgan Fleming, Marshall Price and Claire Reid are among the many students who have recognized the value of Tri-County’s prerequisite courses needed to apply for entrance to pharmacy school. The curriculum gives students the courses they need to apply to any pharmacy school in SC. “Our program provides students the same opportunities to enter a school of pharmacy that a four-year college or university would — at a fraction of the cost,” said DeHay. Tri-County was first technical college in the State to offer this package of classes. “Tri-County can be proud of these students,” sad Dr. Fox Fleming, originally from Winston Salem, is president-elect of the Kappa Epsilon Professional Pharmacy Fraternity and a member of the Pharmacy Student Governance Association. Price, of Anderson, is a member of the Pharmacy Honor Council. Claire Reid, of Anderson, is treasurer of the National Community Pharmacists Association. Rusnak, of Clemson, serves on the assessment committee for the PC School of Pharmacy and last December competed, as a second-year student, in the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy Clinical Skills Competition. “Academically, we see no difference between students who have completed 65 hours of pre-pharmacy coursework in two or three years and our four-year degree students,” said Dr. Fox.
tri-county technical college
Rusnak, who scored in the 99th percentile on his Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) in 2010, says his Pre-Pharmacy degree prepared him for the specialized test that helps to identify qualified applicants to pharmacy colleges. “Tri-County quickly became an option because it offers a skillsbased approach. A lot of my friends said the science program at TriCounty is really doing things right and the instructors are on top of things. And Tri-County is a better value than four-year colleges and universities,” said Rusnak, who holds a B. S. in Criminology from Florida State University, “Tri-County’s Pre-Pharmacy program is a rigorous curriculum. The instructors care about the students and take the extra time with those who need it and really challenge students to excel. I’m impressed with the educational level of the instructors. They have experience in their fields and it shows in their teaching.” Price, of Anderson, worked as an engineer at a Honea Path plant until his job folded during a lagging economy. “I had done the same thing for 30 years,” said Price, who has bachelor’s degrees in physics and engineering and a master’s in business. “I was ready to try something new. I really liked the convenience of Tri-County and its affordable tuition.” So did Reid, who chose Tri-County because of its value. “I attended Tri-County on a LIFE scholarship. My advisor (DeHay) told me I could take all of my pharmacy prerequisite classes at TriCounty. The LIFE scholarship paid for my first two years at TriCounty and I paid for only the third year.” She was accepted at three pharmacy schools and chose PC which is close to her home. Fleming, who earned a business degree from Clemson, made the decision to pursue a career in pharmacy after working at CVS in Clemson and talking with pharmacist Danny West, who also was an adjunct instructor at Tri-County. “I decided to make a change to pharmacy. I began taking the needed prerequisites at Tri-County,” said Morgan, who received the Harold Sullivan scholarship, through Tri-County’s Foundation, that paid for her books. Excluding loans from other colleges, all four left Tri-County with little or no student debt, thanks to lottery, LIFE and College Foundation scholarships. “Most of my friends were at least $20,000 in debt after college,” said Rusnak, who graduated from Tri-County debt free. Price agrees. “ I’ll take my $2,000 educational loan any day of the week.”
Bright future ahead for Tri-County Technical College Booth is focused on complete community integration
ifty years ago, Tri-County Technical College opened its doors, offering area residents a chance to become better-educated individuals. Today, Tri-County President Dr. Ronnie Booth said that mission continues and he has high hopes for the school’s future. “Historically, this college has been concerned with ‘punching tickets’ – getting students in and out the door so they can get jobs,” he stated. Now, he added, Tri-County has more of a focus on complete community integration: working with industry to create jobs, sustaining existing jobs and helping small business owners get started. “Tri-County is the hub for education in our three counties. We have a large part in the role of economic development,” Dr. Booth commented. Tri-County has campuses in Anderson, Easley, Pendleton and at the Hamilton Career Center in Seneca. In time, Tri-County aspires to have more of a presence in Oconee County, Dr. Booth said. However, looking ahead, he said the emphasis will remain a on being a 2-year technical college, giving students the option to complete technical certifications needed for their intended careers, and allowing other students to complete 2 years with the intention of completing a 4-year degree elsewhere. Currently serving 7,000 students, Dr. Booth said that the school could potentially grow to 8,500 a semester. With that potential, however, comes the reality of existing facilities that desperately need upgrading, and the need for other facilities not yet in existence. “I would like for there to be one building for students to say ‘Help!’ and it’s there,” he said.
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Congratulations on 50 Years of Instilling Excellence Itron is proud to recognize Tri-County Technical College for its commitment to quality education.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
“Tri-County is the hub for education in our three counties. We have a large part in the role of economic development.” — Dr. Ronnie Booth Tri-County Techincal College President
Dr. Booth said that in a recent survey conducted by the school, students overwhelmingly responded with the need for more places to study. The current library is too small to house study spaces and the student center is too loud to study effectively. “We have a need for more, better-equipped space,” Dr. Booth said. “The key to a decent job is a good education.” The college president went on to say that Upstate South Carolina and Georgia employers have needs that just are not being met, an issue that comes up every time a potential new employer looks at the area. “If the work force is lousy, industries won’t locate there,” he said. “With an education, opportunities can arise where they were never expected before.” Growing to meet the changing demands of the area must be a strategic effort. “It isn’t growth for growth’s sake,” Dr. Booth said. “Currently, there is no financial incentive for growth, as the federal government has cut back immensely on assistance to colleges.”
The College is governed by the Tri-County Commission, a ninemember board comprised of three representatives from each county. Currently serving on the Commission are W. H. “Ham” Hudson, chair, Oconee County, seated middle; Leon “Butch” Harris, vice chair, Anderson County, seated second from left; and D. Pruitt Martin, secretary/treasurer, Anderson County; seated fourth from left. Also pictured, seated, Thomas F. Strange, Pickens County, and Helen P. Rosemond-Saunders, Oconee County; and standing, J. Allard “Al” Young, Anderson County; W. Milton Ponder, III, Pickens County; George N. Acker, Pickens County; and John M. Powell, Oconee County. Also pictured is President Ronnie L. Booth.
tri-county technical college
Because of these cuts, new strategies had to be devised on how best to serve the community. The school’s growth has to be driven by student demand. “We had to tell ourselves, ‘Wait – what makes sense?’” Dr. Booth said. “The planning had to be a marketing mix. What products were in demand? We are growing where we can afford to grow,” Dr. Booth commented. While the strategies the school takes for growth have become more complicated in recent years, Tri-County will remain an integral part of Upstate South Carolina because of the commitment the school has for students’ success. As the world and economy evolve and change, Tri-County looks for ways to change with it, better suiting the needs of the students and the local community. By Amber Thompson, The Journal
Downtown senecA sc 6th
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Live in Concert Saturday May 26 at 8 p.m.
LIttLe RIveR BAnD
FRIDAY MAY 25
the JAMIe wRIght expeRIence
kIcks oFF senecA Fest thuRsDAY nIght At 6:30 p.M.
Beginning Friday May 25 at 6 p.m.
CLASSIC CAR CRUISE-IN 3 P.M. SoUL FEAthERS 6:30 P.M. pARt tImE pARty tImE 8:30 P.M.
sAtuRDAY MAY 26 5K RoAD RACE 8 A.M. BIKE Show 10 A.M. Prizes for Best of Show BLUEGRASS 10 A.M.-12 P.M. Featuring Chatuga Ridge, True Blue at 3 p.m and StoneEcho at 6:30 p.m.
96.3 wGoG The Promenade and Townville Walk featuring Artists Music and Flowers
HUgE LASER SHOW Saturday May 26
Fourth of July huge Celebration
VISIT WWW.SENECA.SC.US fOR dETAILS WHILE YOU’RE HERE, VISIT OUR PARTNERS...
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
We’re Proud of Our Past… For 50 years, people just like you have chosen Tri-County Technical College for hands-on career training and university transfer classes.
But We’re Focused on an Even Brighter Future And it’s a future we hope will include YOU!
Enroll Today for Summer and Fall Semesters www.tctc.edu/apply
ImPOrTanT DaTES July 30 July 30 August 2 August 20
MAin PhOne 864-646-8361 GenerAl inFOrMATiOn 864-646-1500
AdMissiOns 864-646-1550 FinAnCiAl Aid 864-646-1650
CAreer serviCes 864-646-1577 Tdd/vOiCe 1-800-735-2905
Admissions deadline (includes Application for Admissions, application fee & proof of high school credential) Financial Aid deadline (More options may be available if you complete your FAFsA prior to June 1, so don’t delay.) registration deadline Fall Classes Begin
TOll-Free (within the 864 area code)
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