Tri-County Technical College Celebrates
Five Decades of Distinction 1962 - 2012
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April 1, 2012
CONTENT Introduction: Tri-County Turns 50!..................................................................................... 4 Senator Fritz Hollings: Father of SC Technical System.................................................... 5 Tri-County Presidents Lead the Way.................................................................................. 6 Tri-Countyâ€™s First Student.................................................................................................... 8 Student Success, Faculty Engagement Still Points of Pride............................................. 8 Tri-County Commission Member Born Leader.............................................................. 10 Beauty Queen Displays Compassion and Courageousness ......................................... 11 Broadcasting Student Saw Endless Possibilities............................................................. 12 Tri-County Helped Woman Blaze New Trails.................................................................. 13 Former Tri-County Student Returns to Alma Mater . ................................................... 14 Tri-County Education Prepares Student for Life............................................................. 15 Five Decades of Distinctionâ€“Tri-County Technical College Timeline.......................... 16 Technical Degree Ensures Employability........................................................................ 18 Tri-Countyâ€™s First MISTER Making a Difference at Blue Ridge Elementary.............. 18 A Phenomenal Success: Upstate Schools Celebrate Bridge Program ......................... 19
Connect to College Program Offers Students a Chance to Redefine Themselves................... 20 More and More Nursing Graduates Pursue Advanced Degrees......................................... 22 Westside Senior to Enter College This Fall with Sophomore Status................................................. 23 QuickJobs Program Making a Difference in the Upstate............................................. 24 Goodwill 2011 Graduate of the Year Benefits from QuickJobs Training............................................... 25 Tri-County Students Chosen as BMW Scholars......................... 26 Veterinary Technology Grad Chosen for Prestigious Internship at UT.................................................. 26 Pre-Pharmacy Program Offers Value.......................................... 27 L.P.N. Student/Entrepreneur Receives Provisional Patent for Simulators . .............................. 28 Industrial Technology Center Tri-County Graduates To Offer Real-World Impacting Upstate Industry.......................................................... 29 Industrial Technology Center To Offer Real-World Training.......................................................30 The Future of Tri-County Technical College...................................................... 31
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April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Tri-County Turns 50! For 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 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 noncredit courses in continuing education. Growth during the past five years has been especially significant, as more and more citizens are making TriCounty 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 oneon-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 TriCounty 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.
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April 1, 2012
Senator Fritz Hollings:
From One Leader Who Is Creating Our Next Generation Of Leaders!
Father of SC Technical System By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
and 15 of the book, Senator 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 1950’s, 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. Governor Hollings 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 filed a report that said 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 Senator Fritz Hollings autographs copies of Five Decades of the economy in the region Distinction for the College’s library and archives. and state. Political leaders and economic developers believed that an investment in the knowledge of all Charleston to present the former senator South Carolinians would be reimbursed and the father of South Carolina’s system through an expanded economy. of technical education with a copy of the Tri-County was founded in 1962 when College’s 50th anniversary book, Five the tri-county residents pooled their Decades of Distinction. In honor of the resources to plan the College after Act 50th anniversary of the College, this 323, Section 23, of the South Carolina book chronicles the events which have General Assembly established the State shaped the College into the role model Committee for Technical Education for community college education that it and provided for the establishment of is today and documents its longstanding regional centers. Governor Hollings history with business, industry, donors, signed Act 905 of the General Assembly local school districts and colleges and on April 7, 1962, creating what would universities. eventually become Tri-County Technical Through stories accompanied by College. historic and present-day photographs, After 39 years in the Senate, Hollings this commemorative book illustrates the retired in January of 2005 as the fifth College’s long-standing mission, the 1961 most senior member of the Senate and legislation which founded the Technical the fourth most senior Democrat. Today, College System in our State, which states: at age 90, he resides in Charleston with “The greatest single resource that South his wife, Peatsy. Carolina has is its people.” On pages 14
Senator Ernest F. (Fritz) Hollings is recognized as the father of South Carolina’s system of technical education, and 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 2012, President Ronnie Booth visited with Senator Hollings in his office at the Medical University of South Carolina in
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April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Tri-County Presidents Lead the Way By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
Walhalla 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. A pioneer in the technical education system, he helped to establish Greenville Technical Education Center and served as its Associate Director before coming to Tri-County. Under his eight-year leadership, TriCounty Technical 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 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. He died July 27, 1996, at his home in Leesville after a brief illness, and is survived by his widow, Carolyn Few Yarborough, and their four adult children. Ending 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–more than four decades– was devoted to education in South Carolina. W.T. (Bill) Yarborough Dr. Garrison began his career as TriCounty’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. From the time he assumed the presidency at Tri-County until his retirement on, Dr. Garrison was known as a tireless advocate for technical education. placing Tri-County at the forefront of two-year colleges in the U.S. A dynamic leader, his impact on the College’s direction during these three-plus decades resulted in financial stability, outstanding facilities, enrollment growth and maximum community service. “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,” Dr. Garrison said when announcing his retirement. “TriCounty 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.” 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 probusiness 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 (the premier association representing more than 1,200 community and technical colleges). 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 his final commencement speech in 2003, Dr. Garrison told the graduates, “The key to success in life is attaching yourself to a cause that is greater than yourself.” Dr. Garrison suffered a fatal massive stroke and passed away February 28, 2010. Even after his death, he still had a profound impact on the lives of countless people both within the College and the community. From the beginning, President Ronnie Booth’s vision 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. It was among his final accomplishments at his previous job as Vice President for External Programs at Gainesville College in Georgia. 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. “We are meeting the expectations of the community by offering two flagship, two-year programs in their entirety (Associate in Arts and Associate in Science). This lays the foundation for developing our other signature programs such as criminal justice, culinary arts, early childhood Dr. Don C. Garrison development, and automotive technology,” he said. 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.
April 1, 2012
Dr. Ronnie L. Booth
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. In February 2005 the College announced funding for the LPN-to-Professor Initiative, which addresses the shortage of nurses and nurse educators. For the first time ever, four area hospitals (AnMed Health, Cannon Memorial Hospital, Oconee Medical Center, and Baptist Easley Hospital) joined forces with Clemson University and Tri-County to address the future shortage of nurses in the workplace and nursing faculty within Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. 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. Also in 2005, the Bridge to Clemson program was created. It is designed for recent high school graduates who narrowly missed admission to Clemson because of limited space and high demand. The program enrolled 560 students in the fall of 2011 -- its largest class to date. In addition to the Bridge to Clemson program, the College has articulation agreements in place 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 Tri County their college of choice are making a wise and marketable investment in their futures and themselves. “The availability of lottery and other means of financial aid makes education more affordable for many,” said Dr. Booth. “People understand our value proposition and that attending Tri-County is a smart investment of time and money. I want Tri-County Technical College to become the college of choice for our area because we provide value, excellence instruction, superb service, and a clear path to success for our students.”
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April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Student Success, Faculty Engagement Still Points of Pride By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College By Lisa Garrett Tri-County Technical College Audrey Marshall, right, founding chairman of the Area Commission welcomes TriCounty’s first student, Hughie Dewitt Collins
Tri-County’s First Student It 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 two-year college in the area. Looking back, being the first to enroll is a proud moment for me, to be part of Tri-County’s history,” added Collins, who enrolled in Electronics classes. “I’m glad I’ve lived long enough to see it help all of the people it has through the years,” reflected Collins. “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 during the first year of Hughie Collins classes, he planned to begin the second year, “but I volunteered for the service before I was drafted,” he said. Collins enlisted in the Army in 1963 and spent four 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, staying there for 15 years. Collins 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. He resides with his wife of 16 year, Sandy, in his hometown of Mountain Rest.
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 nearly 50 years ago 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. “Our world of work is about teamwork and is often project based. So we are modifying how we teach. So much in today’s manufacturing world is done in team-based work cells. That model is huge in terms of engaging how work is done–not in isolation, but in teams,” he said. The Engineering and Industrial Technology (E&IT) Division works on creative team-based projects, service learning opportunities, and community outreach initiatives. This year the Welding students collaborated with the Hanna-Westside Career Center to turn a junk car into an IMCA-class race car. “By expanding their learning opportunities, we are connecting learning to doing,” Dr. Booth said. The College is also working to create more partnerships with fouryear colleges and universities to expand the educational opportunities for graduates. In addition to the Bridge to Clemson program, currently in its sixth year, Tri-County has transfer agreements with Anderson University, Erskine College, USC Upstate, Southern Wesleyan University, and USC’s College of Engineering. “Our partnerships with senior colleges are changing the way we define success for many of our students,” said Dr. Booth. “In the past, it was enough to see them graduate from what we sometimes refer to as terminal degree programs, which are the career-ready programs in our Business and Public Services, Health Education, and E&IT Divisions. We are now creating new pathways that allow our students to take advantage of additional education beyond Tri-County without loss of academic credit. Now we work with senior institutions to develop agreements that provide pathways to baccalaureate degrees for students in applied science programs.”
April 1, 2012
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,” he said. Learning communities reengage students in a holistic, comprehensive approach to learning, said Dr. Booth. “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 (certification exams, for example). 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,” Dr. Booth continued. “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.”
Tri-County Technical College will enhance the first-year student experience with nearly $2 million in U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Title III Strengthening Institutions grant funds. Tri-County was among 48 institutions nationwide and the only applicant from South Carolina to receive funding for the proposed five-year plan to more powerfully focus on student learning and success for first-time postsecondary students. The proposal’s two key components are expanded options for learning communities and a web-based comprehensive academic support network to connect students with resources for goal planning, advising, and other support services. “The grant will build on successful efforts and initiatives the college has had in providing meaningful learning experiences, and to make them even stronger,” said Katy Goforth, Activity Director for the grant. This funding will pay for resources to help Tri-County expand its current Learning Excellence Initiative, or LEI, that focuses on the meeting first-time college students’ needs for connection and community. The grant proposal, named Learning through Community and Connections (LC2) outlines a plan for providing students opportunities to become part of focused learning communities within the College and to connect to a webbased academic support network linking them to resources that can help them to succeed at Tri-County. “LEI develops a sense of community and provides an academic support network “Title III funding will help us to reach more students,” added Goforth.
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April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Tri-County Commission Member Born Leader
By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
John Powell, second from left, is pictured with, from left, Darwin Addis of Walhalla, Business Technology instructor; Steven Scott of Liberty, head of Business Technology; and Durell Rochester, Business Technology instructor.
In the early 1970’s 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 ninemember 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 John Powell 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. He says Tri-County offered exactly what he was interested in–practical experience combined with classroom knowledge. He served as the College’s second Student Government Association president and was selected as a student member of the Governor’s Drug Abuse Council in SC in 1972. “I still feel a real connection to the College,” said Powell, who, to date, is the first and only alumnus to serve on the College’s Foundation Board, was the Alumni Association’s second president and is now serving on its board of directors. He also was a longtime member of the Business Technology Advisory Committee. During his tenure as president of the Alumni Association, he helped to organize the first annual golf tournament in 1987, which has continued through the years with proceeds from past tournaments enabling the Alumni Association to endow two scholarships through the College’s Foundation, to make professional development opportunities available to
faculty and staff and to name rooms at the Pendleton and Anderson Campuses. In 2009 he received Tri-County Technical College’s Distinguished Alumni Award, which highlights his dedication to his alma mater. The recipient of this award must have been awarded a degree, diploma or certificate from TriCounty; must have graduated at least one year ago; and must have made significant contributions to the College, the Alumni Association or the community. Powell entered the real estate business in 1973 and today Powell Real Estate has 16 sales agents in three offices, and Powell, who sells just like the rest and vows that will never change. He also owns a cattle farm, which he maintains by himself in the evenings. In addition, he has been involved in the creation of 36 subdivisions, including being a partner in Falcon’s Lair Golf Community in Walhalla. In 2002 he and good friend, Rick Cook, formed a partnership. Today they have nine Subway franchises in Upstate SC. In 1992 he was elected to the Oconee Medical Center Board of Directors and served as chairman from 1995 – 1998. He also chaired the Hospital’s Building Committee and the Oconee County School Task Force. He is a former member of the State Disabilities and Special Needs board and currently serves on the board of directors for Table Rock Retreat Center and the Business Education Industry Organization in Oconee County. Giving back to the community is key to Powell so he didn’t hesitate when asked to chair a fundraising campaign to build Our Daily Rest, a homeless shelter in Oconee County. He is very active in his church, Welcome Wesleyan Church, where he leads a Small Group and sings in the choir. Powell resides in West Union with his wife, Joyce. They have four adult children, Joy, James, Mark and Cliff and four grandchildren.
April 1, 2012
Miss Tri-County TEC 1973, Jan Murray.
Jan Murray Moore credits Tri-County Technical College as a turning point in her life.
Beauty Queen Displays Compassion and Courageousness
After graduation she began working as a registered nurse at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, Next she moved to Columbia and worked at Midlands Center in the infirmary area for the state. In 1978, she made a career move. For 11 years she was a flight attendant for United Airlines. In fact she had a dual career, an ideal career she said, as a flight attendant who practiced nursing during days off from the airlines. But 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 DC10 was disabled by an engine explosion and crashed and burned while attempting an emergency landing at Sioux City, Iowa. The engine fan assembly had failed, sending engine parts through the right horizontal stabilizer. The flight crew quickly realized that they had lost all three hydraulic systems that powered the aircraft’s flight controls. The flight was full with 296 passengers, a crew of 10 and three pilots, recalled Moore. 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.” Moore took time off to re-evaluate her life. “You get to know yourself. I didn’t know my own strength.” She stopped flying for a year and a half. She returned for nine months but said, “It was never the same, so I decided to stop.” In 1993, Moore 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. Today Moore is a stay-at-home mom, but she keeps her nursing license current. “I’d like to return to the profession when my sons are older,” she explains.
By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
Every 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, SC, 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,” continues Moore, “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. The instructors, Mrs. Wilma Bell and Mrs. Juanita Mouchet, made learning fun.” While a student at Tri-County, she was named Miss TEC 1973. “I never thought I would win,” she said. While Miss TEC, she 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. “Lots of my credits transferred and that was a definite plus,” she said. At USC, she was crowned Miss South Carolina USA. “Developing confidence was the biggest plus of the pageant. It prepared me for interviewing for jobs,” she said. She progressed to the national pageant where she was named third runner up in the 1976 Miss USA pageant.
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April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Broadcasting Student Saw Endless Possibilities By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
irginia Holland-Davis’s life has been full of opportunities. She’s had a career in College. I carried the title with great pride. I think being Miss TEC also played a part in radio and television broadcasting that has spanned three decades and included opening up opportunities for me through exposure,” she said. meeting and interviewing such giants as Minister Farrakhan, Dizzy Gillespie, There have been other firsts since she graduated and began working in the field Bill Cosby, Roy Ayers, Miss Universe, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Shirley Caesar, Smokey of communications. She became the first black female DJ in this market and in the Robinson and dozens more. Southeast in 1977 when she joined WXYZ, a 100-watt R & B AM radio station, where Over the years, she’s been a DJ, news anchor, writer, program director, music director, she stayed two years doing the news, spinning records and producing her own shows. promotions director and talk show host at some of the largest Southeastern radio and Before relocating to Atlanta in 1985, she and Tri-County instructor Ron Talley had a television stations. She’s interviewed and dined with “the great” Muhammad Ali, Bill graphic arts and publishing business named Holland Davis, Talley. “We published some Cosby, Ralph Nader, Shirley Chisholm, Maya early generation black greeting cards that were Angelou, Michael Forbes and other political, very successful and we partnered on a local financial and cultural leaders in America. She magazine, News and Views (I was editor-inalso has worked with many major record artists chief and he was photographer) out of Greenand their promoters. ville. We did some milestone stories including A professional highlight includes being the an exclusive with Homer Jordan, then a star only black reporter/talk show host in the 1980s quarterback with University of Georgia and to interview Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. during the height astronaut Charles Bolden, the first black astroof his controversial book tour promoting segnaut who was a featured guest at Tri-County regation. “All of these opportunities stemmed during a special event,” she remembered. She from my roots in Tri-County Technical College’s also was editor-in-chief of a regional newspaRadio and TV Broadcasting (RTV) program,” per, The Palmetto Leader, located in Greenville, said the 1977 graduate. “Once that seed was and also reported for another local newspaper, sewn back in the 70s while at Tri-County, I saw Focus News in Greenville. endless possibilities,” she said. She moved to Columbia in 1977 when she “Tri-County’s RTV department really prewas recruited by some scouts in the area covpared me for everything. I’ve done a lot of differering a Clemson football game. She went to ent work but the jobs all relate like pieces to one WOIC radio where she was a popular DJ, news big puzzle. The puzzle has been completed and anchor and live talk show producer. She also now I want to return one day to Tri-County as an produced gospel and jazz shows. She contininstructor to show others that with passion and ued her professional voice talent work, writplanning and opportunity and perseverance, ing for television, producing commercials and Virginia Holland, second from left, was crowned Miss Tri-County TEC November 13, 1975. Pictured there’s nothing you can’t do,” says Holland-Dahosting talk shows, such as Live at the Sanctuwith her from left are Joan Forshee, second runner-up; Linda McCall, first runner-up; and Madeline vis, who has worked and lived in Atlanta for the ary, a Christian entertainment production that Timmons, third runner-up. last 27 years. she owns. The Seneca native always wanted to be a professional writer. After graduating from When she moved to Atlanta, she welcomed another opportunity to work for Random Seneca High School in 1974, she received a journalism scholarship to Clark College in House publishers She re-started her business under V. Holland-Davis Company, a Atlanta. Two weeks prior to beginning her freshman year, she learned she had lost her media management and public relations company where she represented clients like room assignment, thwarting her plans because although the scholarship was in place, Bronner Brothers hair products and Hollywood celebrity J. Anthony Brown. She’s been the housing was not. “I had to rethink this,” she said. “I went to Columbia Commercial published in magazines such as ShopTalk, a hair industry magazine, served as editorCollege, a private business school, for a year and was not happy. I called my father, and in-chief of Gospel Music and Ministry Connection (GMMC), an international gospel musaid I’ve made a decision. I finished the semester but left the college. I realized I didn’t sic and ministry magazine, and was part-owner/writer/ photographer for Fast Forward want to take dictation. I wanted to give it,” she says, laughing. for Atlantans on the Move magazine, an international cultural and lifestyle magazine. Tri-County was close to her home so she entered the university transfer program at She also served as managing editor of Smart Shopper (predecessor for Upscale magafirst but then strategized a “fast track” way to move ahead with her career. She switched zine) and was a music reviewer for Charisma (gospel lifestyle and ministry) magazine. to the RTV program. “This was an opportunity. I loved it. It really worked to my advanToday she still works in communications and currently owns V. Holland-Davis Comtage. Former Department Head Charlie Jordan offered me my first opportunity when he pany, LLC, Urban Global Missionary, Inc., a social enterprise with ministerial focus, and sent my tape to the owner of WXYZ in Greenville and asked me to go see him. The job 7Twelve Marketing, a division of V. Holland-Davis Company. “I have in development was mine when I got there. Charlie handpicked me and I appreciated that. That first job a College Prep Project where I, along with other associates, assist traditional and nonstarted my career,” said Holland-Davis, who married 1976 Tri-County graduate Quinton traditional students in preparation for entry or re-entry into college. I currently mentor E. Davis of Anderson. They have a son, Quinton Anthony Holland Davis, 25, who like and tutor grad students from different colleges and universities engaged in the classhis mother is a photographer and works in video production. room or using online modalities.” Recently Holland-Davis, accompanied by her father, Warren Holland, of Seneca, visWhile battling breast cancer and enduring more than 20 surgeries that stemmed ited the campus where 35 years ago she was named the editor of the student newspaper, from complications associated with her cancer, Holland-Davis earned a double bachThe Prism, and was crowned the first black Miss TEC. elor’s in Urban Global Economic Development and Bible Education with certification “I loved representing Tri County. I was proud to be a student. I was humbled and as a Christian Education teacher and graduated magna cum laude from Beulah Heights honored that my peers had chosen me to represent them. I had won the Miss Senconian University. She also has an MBA and a Master of Science in Psychology from the Uniand many other pageants in the past, but being Miss TEC was special. First, it awarded versity of Phoenix. She is currently working towards a Psy. D. at the University of the me a full-ride scholarship. It exposed me to more responsibilities directly tied to the Rockies in Colorado Springs, CO, and is working on a doctorate in divinity.
April 1, 2012
Tri-County Helped Woman Blaze New Trails By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
Virginia Holland-Davis has enjoyed three decades in journalism.
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. One day I’d like to return to Tri-County 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.”
Tami 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, who, in the last 10 years at BMW’s Greer plant has worked as section manager of the Paint Shop IT Group, manager of the Paint Shop’s Maintenance Group and last year became manager of the Central Maintenance Group in the Body Shop. “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 multi-skilled education. Fourteen BMW Scholars work as Equipment Service Associates (ESA) and rotate through Mealor’s department where they get practical experience coupled with their education at Tri-County and other Upstate technical colleges. “I like interacting with them and watching their skills evolve. I worked full time while a student at Tri-County and went to school full time while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. It’s hard but it can be done,” she said. “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. “Flexibility is a key word at BMW. 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
Tami Mealor helped lead the way for women in the industrial technology field.
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. “I love the versatility of my job”” said Mealor. “Every day is different. Even when I plan my day, something new hits my desk, there is a lot of prioritizing. Tri-County really prepared me for that first job at Michelin and my two-year degree has served me well at jobs in two major manufacturing companies.”
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Former Tri-County Student Returns to Alma Mater By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
Today, Dana Griffith teaches in the English Department at Tri-County Technical College.
The first Alumni Association officers were: seated, Dana Robertson, president; and (standing, from left) Bob Chiles, vice president for membership, now deceased; Scott Webber, treasurer; and Dot Bradley, secretary. Not pictured was John M. Powell, vice president of special events. The Alumni Association was established in May 1985 by graduates and former students committed to furthering the goals of the College through their active support of its programs and activities. Officers were officially inducted into office on May 30, 1985.
Bosch is committed to supporting worthy causes in the communities where we work and live. It’s one more way we can help enhance the quality of life for our neighbors, employees and our customers.
BOSCH Invented for life
Often, 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 1980’s. “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 TriCounty 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,” said Griffith. “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.”
April 1, 2012
Tri-County Education Prepares Student for Life Wanda 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 Wanda Johnson 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
By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
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 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. “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.
Wanda Johnson, pictured with Lew Holton, received the James R. Longo Scholarship.
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.”
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
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. 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.
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 Ernest (Fritz) Hollings signed Act 905 of the General Assembly on April 7, 1962, creating what would eventually become 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.
The Ruby S. Hicks Library/Administration Building became the first building named for a benefactor in May 1996.
1994 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.
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 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. Forty-five graduates received their awards in Electronics Technology, Technical Drafting and Design, Industrial Electronics, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Automotive Mechanics, Machine Shop, and Welding.
Textile Management Technology Department was added. The first awards banquet was held with Senator Ernest Hollings as the speaker.
1972 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.
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. 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.
1997 Foundation assets exceeded $6,000,000, placing it among the Top 100 for Community Colleges in U.S.
The name of the institution wa by act of the State Board of Te Comprehensive Education on 1974, to Tri-County Technical C
Clemson University’s ad approved the College’s req transfer of 34.66 additional acre the College. The land transfer acres of woodlands along the crescent of the-22 acre campu
President Don C. Garrison delivered his final graduation speech before retiring from Tri-County Technical College following 32 years as its president. Dr. Ronnie L. Booth was named Tri-County’s new President.
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.
Officials brok of Anderson Economic D on the Pend
First-Ever Economic Impact Tri-County is a sound investm Dr. Booth’s vision is for Tri-C the role model for commu education.
April 1, 2012
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. 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.
Dean of Students Al Norris receives A. Wade Martin “Innovator of the Year” award for the State Tech System in April 1987.
Alumni Association formed. 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 one-year goal of $85,000 to support capital improvements and program services. Student Center opened. College at the Anderson Mall and Information Center opened.
as changed echnical and n April 10, College.
dministration quest of a es of land to gave 30.52 e northwest us.
ke ground on the future site Campus. Development Center opened dleton Campus.
Study says ment. County to be unity college
Tri-County’s Job Training Partnership Act programs led the State System in the number of participants enrolled, placed in employment, placed in training-related positions, and who completed the training.
The College embarked on a journey to become a role-model community college committed to learning college principles and concepts. Inaugural class entered Bridge to Clemson, a first of its kind, invitation-only program in South Carolina that blends the traditional academic experience at Tri-County with the social and cultural experiences of being a Clemson University student. Now in its sixth year, the Bridge to Clemson program enrolled 560 freshmen from all over the United States in the fall of 2011.
Surgical Technology, Practical Nursing, and Dental Assisting added to the College’s list of diploma programs. 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. 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.
College, community dedicated first community campus in Anderson. Veterinary Technology program expanded with evening program. Tri-County is first technical college in the state to offer Pre-Pharmacy. Fall semester at Oconee Campus at the Hamilton Career Center began. First Gateway to College graduates crossed the finish line.
Longtime Chairman J.B. Ouzts retired from the Area Commission in April 1989 and Bruce A. Norton replaced him as Chair. To support the S.C. Commission on Higher Education Program of Access and Equity, TCTC Access/Equity made a goal to recruit, retain, graduate and employ more minorities. Industrial and Business Development Center opened.
The College formally kicked off the public phase of its five-year Major Gifts Campaign to raise funds for programs and students. The goal is to raise $7 - 9 million dollars by the end of 2012. The Commission approved the College’s 10-year vision plan, called Transforming Lives, Shaping the Community. The College honored Dr. Mendel H. Stewart for his 32 years of dedicated service as a faithful member and chair of the College’s Commission.
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.
The College’s fall 2010 enrollment reached 6,941 students – the largest in Tri-County’s history. Health Education Division graduates continue to meet and/or exceed state and national average scores on certification exams, with four of the programs reporting 100 percent pass rates in 2010. Tri-County Technical College received nearly $2 million in U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Title III Strengthening Institutions grant funds. The QuickJobs Development Center, located at site of new Easley Campus, opened.
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.
The College kicked off its golden anniversary celebration with a community reception January 26, 2012 on the Pendleton Campus. During the program, leaders from the three-county area talked about Tri-County’s important role in the community. Speakers included Clemson University President James F. Barker; George B. Patrick, III, deputy secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce; Senator Larry Martin, chair of the Pickens County Legislative Delegation; Senator Thomas Alexander, chair of the Oconee County Legislative Delegation; Rep. Mike Gambrell, chair of the Anderson County Legislative Delegation; and Tri-County Technical College President Ronnie L. Booth.
2011 College opened its third community campus in Easley with 407 students enrolled during the spring and an additional 549 enrolled in fall 2011.
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Tri-County’s First MISTER Making a Difference at Blue Ridge Elementary By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
Brandon Adger chose a General Engineering Degree from Tri-County Technical College.
Technical Degree Ensures Employability By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
When 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 TriCounty 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 enjoy 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 hands-on 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 Tri-County. 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.”
Looking back, 32-year-old Tony Webb Tri-County. There were teachers along can recall only a handful of male teachers the way, in high school and college, during his elementary or middle school who encouraged me and saw potential years. The educational landscape is in me I didn’t know I had,” said Webb, similar today, but the Call Me MISTER who resides in Anderson. “Tri-County program is looking to change the face teachers are supportive of where you of education in America by putting more are and where you need to be to be African American males in the classroom successful,” he added. as teachers and role models. Webb credits Tri-County, the Call Me Nationally known and in its 12th MISTER program and his wonderful year, Call Me MISTER is a scholarship mentors with his success. “Tri-County teaching program developed by Clemson bridged the academic gap for me to be University to meet the shortage of successful at Clemson. The MISTER African American male teachers in South program helped with personal issues and Carolina’s elementary schools. Webb, provided the confidence boost I needed. who earned an associate in arts degree Years ago, I never thought I could be a in 2006, was Tri-County’s first graduate, Clemson graduate,” he said. “It feels or MISTER, to enter good to go back the program where to Pendleton High black males are and to speak to kids recruited, trained who are struggling and certified to like I did, and to see become elementary teachers who knew teachers in S.C.’s I had the potential public schools. and for them to see The program is a that I graduated collaborative effort from Clemson. I between Clemson always tell these and Benedict teachers thank you College, Claflin for believing in University, South me when I didn’t Teacher Tony Webb is a role model in the classroom. believe in myself.” Carolina State As academic coach for the MISTER University, Morris College and others. program at Tri-County, Dr. Gwen Webb, who transferred to Clemson Owens, dean of Tri-County’s Arts and University where he earned an Sciences Division, actively recruits elementary education degree (high for the program. “I work closely with honors) in 2009, now teaches fourth department heads and advisors to get the grade at Blue Ridge Elementary School word out. And our young men are great in Seneca. He tells his students today that ambassadors for the program,” she said. he struggled academically in high school “There are already qualified African and even college, where he initially American males in the educational earned a Computer Technology degree pipeline who would make excellent from Tri-County in 2004. candidates for the program,” said Dr. After finding the Call Me MISTER Owens. “They just need to hear the program on the Internet, Webbbecame message from Tony and others. Teaching energized about the teaching profession is stressful, but it is truly a rewarding and decided to change careers. “They career,” added Dr. Owens, who taught invited me to the induction ceremony and I was sold,” he said. He continued for 19 years in the public schools. “Many to struggle in university transfer studies, may be initially turned off by the starting salaries of teachers, but, like Tony, but through the support of Tri-County they realize they can make a long-term and the MISTER program, things started difference. Not just for the moment, but to turn around. “I went from being a high school student who barely graduated to they can have a lifetime impact on young people’s lives.” being named to the President’s List at
April 1, 2012
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.
A Phenomenal Success: Upstate Schools Celebrate Bridge Program Written & Photographed by Amber Thompson The Journal
This year, Tri-County added to its list of bridge and transfer For 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 to Clemson 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 to Clemson 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 campus during the school year. “I have continued to keep close ties to those working for the Bridge Program, and I have never seen a group of people more devoted to student success,” said Maghan Knight, who participated in the Bridge program from 2009-10. “This program truly equips students with the tools and knowledge to be successful as freshmen at Tri-County Technical College and connects them to Clemson resources.” To meet the Bridge students’ needs, Tri-County offers specifically tailored 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-
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
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Connect to College Program Offers Students a Chance to Redefine Themselves By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
The students in Connect to College, a dropout recovery program offered by the school districts of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties and Tri-County 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 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. The program’s purpose is to serve academically capable youth age 17 to 20 who, for various reasons, have not been successful in a traditional high school environment but who have career goals that require postsecondary education. Using a dual credit model, students earn both high school and college credit and may simultaneously complete both the high school diploma (meeting all requirements of the South Carolina Department of Education) and a postsecondary credential (meeting all Carly Heventhal set to graduate C2C requirements of Tri-County Technical College). program this year. 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. “I chose the wrong crowd and made bad decisions,” she said of living in Florida several years ago. 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 by earning all A’s during 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. She credits Walter with enabling her to be admitted to the program, as well as helping her work through residency issues and personal problems. “She believed in me and didn’t pass judgment,” said Heventhal. “Carly is unique but she’s also typical of most C2C students,” said Walter. “They all have faced challenges of one sort or another that caused some real hardship in their young lives,” she said. In addition to youth who left one of the 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. “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,” said Walter. Financial support for the program comes through Lottery Tuition Assistance, College exemption, district flow-through funds, student-paid fees, as well as the College’s Foundation, which helped pay Heventhal’s tuition until this spring when she was granted SC residency. “I’m grateful to the donors who didn’t know me but who cared enough to fund my tuition so I can get my high school diploma,” said Heventhal, whose long-term goal is to go to medical school and be a doctor. 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. That’s not a failure, just a delay,” she explained. “They know they can come back. They may not come to Connect to College but when they earn their GED and come back to tell us, we cheer for them and celebrate their success. And then talk about what comes next,” said Walter. “We don’t advertise the program through the media because we never want to appear to be encouraging a young person out of a traditional high school education. Over these five years, even with a low-key approach, information about the program has spread very effectively throughout the community. We get nearly 200 calls each semester from people requesting information or advice. Sometimes, the call is from an adult who heard about us and is seeking assistance for themselves about diploma options and how to continue at Tri-County after finishing a high school credential. We always offer help and encouragement, even if the person isn’t eligible to apply to our program.”
April 1, 2012
Congratulations on 50 wonderful years!
In 2005, Tri-County was among four community colleges in the United States to receive three-year 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. Following the national Gateway model, the program enabled high school dropouts age 17 to 20, who demonstrated the necessary academic ability, to earn both high school and college credit. Upon successful completion of the program, students received a South Carolina high school diploma from a sponsor public high school in Anderson, Oconee, or Pickens counties and college credit from Tri-County Technical College.
In memory of Francis Lesesne Crocker
Custom Synthesis, LLC
864.261.8146 | www.customsynthesis.net
Since opening in August 2006, the local Gateway program has served hundreds of deserving youth in the tricounty 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 programâ€™s future. Tri-Countyâ€™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 nameâ€”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 (when they need only a few units and meet various academic criteria), 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 â€“ 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.
Tri-County Tri-County Technical CollegeFoundation Foundation Techical College
â€œThe 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,â€? said Diana Walter, director of Connect to College.
Congratulations on 50 years of service!
Anne S. Ellefson, Managing Dirctor | 75 Beattie Place, 11th Floor, Greenville, SC
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
More and More Nursing Graduates Pursue Advanced Degrees By Lisa Garrett Tri-County Technical College
Karlin Bacher enjoys his work as an ER nurse.
Dr. Lynn Lewis remembers when only a handful of associate degree nursing graduates indicated that they would be pursuing advanced degrees when faculty gave career plan updates at the annual pinning ceremony. “We heard where future nurses were going to work, but you didn’t hear advance education as part of their future plans,” said Dr. Lewis, who is dean of the Health Education Division. “Only three or four would be baccalaureate bound. 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.” 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 (Associate Degree RN, BSN, MSN and beyond) 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 Clemson University and Tri-County to address the future shortage of nurses in the workplace and nursing faculty within Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. The original grant allowed Tri-County to add more nursing faculty members and a dedicated nursing admissions liaison: the result was twice yearly clinical admission for nursing students and more educational flexibility. “With the advice and recommendation of our community advisory board members and under the leadership of Janet Fuller, nursing department head, the department has doubled the intake of students, from 60 to 120 generic students yearly and revamped the curriculum course scheduling to include evening lecture, weekend and night clinicals, for maximum student scheduling flexibility. This additional flexibility was made possible by the cohesive team of nursing faculty who embraced the change needed for greater students success,” said Dr. Lewis. Karlin Bacher, ER charge nurse at Oconee Medical Center, graduated in 2007 and went on to earn a BSN at Clemson (2011) while continuing to work full time. Bacher was in the earliest
classes to use human patient simulators and enhanced lab facilities funded by the grant. He now plans to go to graduate school. “I was interested in the medical field and considered the pre-med track but I got my feet wet with a nursing degree, liked it and have stayed, “ said Bacher, who works the 7 pm–7 am shift. He chose Tri-County because it was affordable and local. He received an Alumni Association scholarship, along with the Mary Jane Lucas Memorial scholarship through the College’s Foundation, in addition to lottery tuition assistance helped with books and tuition costs. “These scholarships gave me time to focus on my studies and left me with little debt at graduation. I’m happy to say I paid off my college debt in four months,” Bacher said. He returned to Tri-County to take his prerequisites to enter Clemson’s BSN program. “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.
Tri-CounTy TeChniCal College on
years of serving the
area and beyond.
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April 1, 2012
Westside Senior to Enter College This Fall with Sophomore Status By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College It’s 96 days and counting until Lauren McCall works. I’ve developed my listening skills,” she said. graduates from Westside High School and will She can’t say enough about English instructor Art Scheck, Rachael Madeline, her art be heading off to film school this fall to pursue a instructor, and Butch Merritt, who teaches photography. “They are so knowledgeable longtime goal of becoming a cinematographer. about their subject matter. The classes have been so enlightening. Tri-County’s small class She has received acceptance letters from size and one-on-one time with instructors really make the difference.” Savannah College of Art and Design and from the She took the art class to better prepare herself for filmmaking. “In class I’ve learned how University of South Carolina and is waiting to hear to constructively critique my own work, as well as others. It’s a cool feeling to have people from the Los Angeles Film School and School of see the world the way you see it.” Visual Arts of New York City. Because she elected to “Lauren is one of those special students who has set goals for herself and has established take dual enrollment classes at Tri-County Technical an action plan to reach those goals,” said Merritt, who is a career counselor at the Anderson College’s Anderson Campus, through Westside’s Campus, in addition to teaching photography classes. “As a career counselor for many pilot Westside Early College Academy (WECA), years, I have been extremely impressed with her personal/professional vision for the she will enter college future. I am convinced she will achieve great this fall with at least things. Taking college courses while still 21 college credits enrolled in high school is just one of the many and a sophomore resources that she uses as an advantage. The status. “It’s a pretty opportunities are available and I recommend cool feeling,” said all students utilize what they can. There is an McCall, who has old proverb, ‘If you don’t know where you are taken English 101 and going, you will probably end up somewhere 102, Public Speaking else’s. Lauren knows where she is headed and and Art 101 and is there is no limit of what she will accomplish.” currently enrolled in “My mom always told me if I want to pursue Math 120 and Art 111. a career as a filmmaker, I have to find ways to The Secondary stand out,” she said. Since she was in the ninth Transition Enrollment grade, McCall has worked with Creative Video Program (STEP), Production in Williamston producing videos also called dual and DVDs of community events. Recently she enrollment, allows launched her own website, laurenmccallmedia. qualifying high com, which features her photography, school students the videography and music videos. opportunity to gain This past July she placed first in a national Lauren McCall taking STEPs to become cinematographer. high school and competition sponsored by the International college credits at the Pentecostal Holiness Church. She also same time by taking produced a video for Robert Bosch’s anniversary college-level courses in their high schools or career celebration which the company singled out as the best and has shown in its plants. “My dad centers, as well as on Tri-County’s campuses or works at Bosch and the company had a contest among its associates and their families to online. produce a video about what Bosch does for their family. It helps my dad pay for my dream STEP participants must prove they are ready for – attending film school.” college-level work, obtain permission from their high “I was so surprised when I learned that Lauren is a dual enrollment student because of schools, and meet certain criteria, such as passing her maturity and diligence,” said Madeline, who currently teaches a studio art class McCall the COMPASS placement test for English and math. is taking. “She has excelled in every project and test. Her motivation and her creative drive Most school districts also award dual credit so the will take her far. She will be an excellent filmmaker.” courses can count toward graduation requirements. Students who take two or more courses in the same semester qualify for lottery tuition assistance, added Blanton. The classes are offered at the request of the high The vision for a campus convenient to the Anderson County community became a reality when Tri-County schools and include English, mathematics, speech, Technical College’s second campus opened its doors March 1, 2007. Located near the intersection of general psychology, sociology, history, American Standridge Road and Michelin Boulevard, the Anderson Campus has general classrooms for both credit and government, and economics. non-credit programs, computer and science labs, conference rooms, culinary arts facilities and more. “My credits at Tri-County will easily transfer to The Associate in Arts and Associate in Science programs are offered in their entirety, along with criminal any of the colleges I’ve applied to,” said McCall, an justice, early childhood development. administrative office technology, with culinary arts coming this fall. honor student at Westside. “It also lifts some of the President Ronnie Booth said that making college accessible, available and affordable to residents across the tri-county region remains a priority. The College has addressed the diverse needs of individuals by financial burden of paying for college.” opening campuses in Anderson, Seneca, and Easley and by expanding online and evening offerings–in She says her time spent as a Tri-County student short, finding new and different ways to meet individuals’ needs and schedules has been a meaningful experience. “I’ve learned about college atmosphere and how it
Anderson Campus Offers Accessible Programs
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
QuickJobs Program Making a Difference in the Upstate By Sheril Bennett Turner Anderson Independent Mail
As the financial climate of the past couple of years forced some industries to shut their doors, limit hiring and lay off employees, Tri-County Technical College strived to offer solutions in workforce and industry training through their QuickJobs Program. “The QuickJobs Program at Tri-County is a conglomeration of short non-credit courses taught in the Corporate and Community Education Division,” stated John Lummus, Vice President for Economic and Institutional Advancement. “These programs allow working adults, the unemployed, and the underemployed to quickly and inexpensively obtain skills matching the needs of area businesses and industries, aiding them in finding employment.” Programs offered through QuickJobs include training and certifications in manufacturing, health care, food preparation, and variety of other areas that are skills specific. Most courses last three months or less and are conveniently offered at the Tri-County Tech QuickJobs Development Centers. “Tri-County Technical College has two operating QuickJobs Centers at this time, one in Oconee County at the Hamilton Career Center, and one in Pickens County at the Tri-County Easley Campus,” said Mr. Lummas. “These centers were built using grant funds from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and have approximately 5,000 square feet of classroom and lab space allowing for all types of workforce training.” On March 9, 2012, groundbreaking began on the newest QuickJobs Center to be located at the Tri-County Anderson Campus on Michelin Avenue. Partially funded by a grant from South Carolina Department of Commerce through its Appalachian Regional Commission program, the new Center will be a convenient addition for the residents of Anderson County. “The QuickJobs Centers are important to the communities that they serve because they give the citizens of the counties a place to receive first class training that will increase their skills and hopefully lead to better employment prospects,” explained Mr. Lummas. “These centers are located near the population centers of the counties to provide for easy access. They are also equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that will allow for the most up-to-date training possible.” According to the school’s 2010-11 annual report, Tri-County Technical College had more than 12,000 students enrolled in corporate and community education programs.
QUICKJOBS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS Easley Campus
1774 Powdersville Road, Easley, SC 29642 864-220-8888 Toll-free within 864 area code: 1-866-269-5677, ext. 8888
Oconee Campus at the Hamilton Career Center
Hamilton Career Center, 100 Vocational Drive Seneca, SC 29672 864- 886-4555 Toll-free within 864 area code: 1-866-269-5677, ext. 1500 (Information Center at Pendleton Campus)
Groundbreaking Ceremony: March 9, 2012 511 Michelin Blvd., Anderson, SC 29625 864-260-6700 Toll-free within 864 area code: 1-866-269-5677, ext. 6700
April 1, 2012
Current Quickjobs & Career Certificates
Devon Morgan has a new career at Tri-Tech in Liberty.
Goodwill 2011 Graduate of the Year Benefits from QuickJobs Training By Sheril Bennett Turner | Independent Mail At 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 nine-week 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.”
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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
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Tri-County Students Chosen as BMW Scholars
Jayne Hutcheson has a passion for animals.
By Lisa Garrett Tri-County Technical College Michael 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 world-class 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. Michael Bellamy enjoys his “dream job” The workforce development program at BMW. 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. (Both Michael and Adam are LIFE scholars.) 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.” 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.
Veterinary Technology Grad Chosen for Prestigious Internship at UT By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College Providing compassionate care for animals is what Jayne Hutcheson is passionate about. While a student in the Veterinary Technology program and a weekend employee at the Animal Emergency Clinic of Greenville, she had many diverse and unique opportunities to build a strong foundation as a veterinary technician. One month after graduating in May 2011, she began to broaden those opportunities. She 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 AVMAaccredited Veterinary Technology programs are considered. “I am so excited. I love this field, and I love caring for animals,” said Hutcheson. “I am so honored and humbled to be chosen. I hope to do everybody proud.” Currently, Hutcheson is participating in a rotating internship in a small animal hospital at the university, said Janet Jones, clinic director at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. Core rotations include anesthesia, radiology, internal medicine, surgery, oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, and day and afterhours ICU. Elective rotations include avian/ exotics, rehabilitation, integrative medicine and nutrition. “This program prepares her to be more marketable in a teaching hospital or a large referral hospital,” said Jones. “She goes to rounds and seminars with residents and interns. We were looking for students who stood out – those who demonstrate an interest in learning
more. We aren’t looking for future veterinarians. We choose those who want to continue to work as veterinary technicians.” Hutcheson is the first Tri-County graduate chosen for the program. “I will get a taste of it all and will be taught by the best under the direction of licensed veterinary technicians. My expectations from this internship are that it will further my knowledge and competency of the skills I already possess and provide me with exposure to those areas that I have not experienced,” Hutcheson said. She says Tri-County prepared her for her job at the Greenville Emergency Clinic and for the upcoming internship. “I have worked with and been taught by skilled veterinarians and instructors. I’ve learned how to think and act quickly.” “Jane is self-motivated in every aspect of her life,” said Dr. Peggy Champion, head of Tri-County’s Veterinary Technology program. She also has leadership skills, which she has utilized in her responsibilities as the president of her class and National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) student chapter. Of all the students I have taught over the years, Jayne is definitely one of the very best. If I were still in practice, I would hire her at any cost because she will be an incredible asset,” said Dr. Champion.
April 1, 2012
Pre-Pharmacy Program Offers Value By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
t came as no surprise when former Pre-Pharmacy advisor Galen DeHay Rusnak, who scored in the 99th percentile on his Pharmacy College Admission heard that four of Tri-County’s pre-pharmacy students who transferred Test (PCAT) in 2010, says his Pre-Pharmacy degree from Tri-County prepared to Presbyterian College’s School of Pharmacy are standout students in him for the specialized test that helps to identify qualified applicants to pharmacy academics and leadership roles on the Clinton campus. colleges. Dr. Laura Fox, assistant dean, professional and student affairs, associate “Tri-County quickly became an option because it offers a skills- based approach. professor of pharmaceutics at Presbyterian College (PC), reported at a recent TriA lot of my friends said the science program at Tri-County is really doing things County pre-pharmacy advisory committee meeting that there are four students in right and the instructors are on top of things. And Tri-County is a better value than the PharmD program at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy who completed four-year colleges and universities,” said Rusnak, who holds a B. S. in Criminology pre-pharmacy coursework at Tri-County. “All four have excelled in the School of from Florida State University, Pharmacy,” said Dr. Fox, who chairs the advisory committee. “Tri-County’s Pre-Pharmacy program is a rigorous curriculum. The instructors “They are stellar students who invested the time and effort needed to be care about the students and take the extra time with those who need it and really successful students at Tri-County while the College provided the resources for them challenge students to excel. I’m impressed with the educational level of the to be successful,” said DeHay, former science instructors. They have experience department head, who now serves as director in their fields and it shows in their of planning and institutional effectiveness. teaching.” “Our program is developing a reputation for Price, of Anderson, worked as an producing top-quality pharmacy students.“ engineer at a Honea Path plant until his Alan Rusnak, Morgan Fleming, Marshall job folded during a lagging economy. Price and Claire Reid are among the many “I had done the same thing for 30 students who have recognized the value of years,” said Price, who has bachelor’s Tri-County’s prerequisite courses needed to degrees in physics and engineering and apply for entrance to pharmacy school. The a master’s in business. “I was ready curriculum gives students the courses they to try something new. Like Alan and need to apply to any pharmacy school in SC. Morgan, I only needed a few classes “Our program provides students the same for my prerequisites. I really liked opportunities to enter a school of pharmacy the convenience of Tri-County and its that a four-year college or university would–at affordable tuition.” a fraction of the cost,” said DeHay. So did Reid, who chose Tri-County Tri-County was first technical college in the because of its value. “I attended TriState to offer this package of classes. County on a LIFE scholarship. My “Tri-County can be proud of these students,” advisor (DeHay) told me I could take all sad Dr. Fox. ”As part of the inaugural class of my pharmacy prerequisite classes at of students at Presbyterian College School of Tri-County. The LIFE scholarship paid From left, Alan Rusnak, Marshall Price, Morgan Fleming and Claire Reid Pharmacy, these four have taken on leadership for my first two years at Tri-County and roles within the school.” I paid for only the third year.” She was Fleming, originally from Winston Salem, accepted at three pharmacy schools and chose PC which is close to her home. is president-elect of the Kappa Epsilon Professional Pharmacy Fraternity and a Fleming, who earned a business degree from Clemson, made the decision to member of the Pharmacy Student Governance Association: pursue a career in pharmacy after working at CVS in Clemson and talking with Price, of Anderson, is a member of the Pharmacy Honor Council. pharmacist Danny West, who also was an adjunct instructor at Tri-County. “I Claire Reid, of Anderson, is treasurer of the National Community Pharmacists decided to make a change to pharmacy. I began taking the needed prerequisites at Association. Tri-County,” said Morgan, who received the Harold Sullivan scholarship, through Rusnak, of Clemson, serves on the assessment committee for the PC School of Tri-County’s Foundation, that paid for her books. Pharmacy and last December competed, as a second-year student, in the American Excluding loans from other colleges, all four left Tri-County with little or no Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy Clinical Skills Competition. student debt, thanks to lottery, LIFE and College Foundation scholarships. “Academically, we see no difference between students who have completed 65 “Most of my friends were at least $20,000 in debt after college,” said Rusnak, who hours of pre-pharmacy coursework in two or three years and our four-year degree graduated from Tri-County debt free. students,” said Dr. Fox. Price agrees. “ I’ll take my $2,000 educational loan any day of the week.” Seventy-three percent of PC’s pharmacy students have a four-year degree and The job market looks good for this group who plan to graduate in 2014. Currently 27 percent completed the 65 hours of pre-pharmacy coursework required for the job market is fairly open, especially in South Carolina, where there is a real need admission to the School of Pharmacy in two or three years. in our rural areas, said Dr. Fox.
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
L.P.N. Student/Entrepreneur Receives Provisional Patent for Simulators By Lisa Garrett | Tri-County Technical College
his semester, Tri-County Technical College nursing students began practicing their clinical skills outside of the classroom setting with a portable nursing kit that contains low fidelity simulators conceptualized and designed by fellow Practical Nursing major Tanya Mikkelson. Mikkelson, of Easley, a Practical Nursing student at the College’s Easley Campus, recently received a provisional patent for the kit that contains low fidelity simulators for a tracheotomy, male and female catheters, nasogastric intubation, wound care, an injection pad and an IV pad. In just four short months, Mikkelson has gone from college student to entrepreneur, as her work progressed from an idea to a business–called SimuMed–and she has been pitching her products to nursing schools all over the state. “I’m learning as I go,” said Mikkelson, of her first business venture. Her first sale was to Tri-County– the nursing department bought 92 of the kits, which will be used by students this semester–with several four-year universities agreeing to purchase kits for the fall 2012 semester. She says she was inspired to create these simulators out of necessity. “We students were asking how to practice our skills at home but there was no easy way to do so,” she says. “The simulators were all in the college labs, and there weren’t mobile units for students to purchase to practice on at home. There are simulators available to schools but not to individuals,” she said. Mikkelson says she didn’t know just how great the need was until she started doing research on the Internet. “So I decided to design a part (or low fidelity simulator) to practice on,” said Mikkleson, a self-taught artist who sells her stained glass, pottery, drawings and paintings. “The more you practice these skills, the more confident you are in your lab check offs,” said Mikkelson, also a former paramedic and patient care technician, and a married mother of three who returned to the classroom last year. “Every time we would have a check off, I would make a prototype for that procedure. There were lots of late nights. It was definitely trial and error,” she said. But after 12 weeks of design and lots of research, she perfected her design and found a manufacturer. “I found Russell Todd, owner, of Widget Works in Pennsylvania, who has been working with me and manufactured the first round of orders for Tri-County,” she explained. Along the way, she contacted the Clemson University Small Business Development Center to get advice and assistance with a creating a business plan, acquiring a business license and obtaining a patent. When pitching her products, she began with Tri-County. “I showed them to my instructor, Practical Nursing Program Coordinator Julie Vernon, who advised me to make a presentation to Nursing Department Head Janet Fuller.” “I was blown away when Tanya presented her prototypes to me,” said Vernon. “These are the most realistic simulators I have ever seen. They are anatomically correct and are as close to real skin as you can get,” she said. “Tanya is so compassionate. At the root of this endeavor is her desire to help others. She used her artistic abilities to help herself and her classmates,” added Vernon. “This was so exciting for me. I found out that the instructors want this as badly as the students do. As far as I can tell in my research, this product is a first of its kind. Every college I have approached has said, ‘we need this,’” said Mikkelson. In the future, Mikkelson wants to produce an instructional DVD to accompany the product kits and will continue to add prototypes as she completes her L.P.N. degree.
Tanya Mikkelson demonstrates her patent-pending simulator kit.
Easley Campus Brings College Closer to Pickens County Residents The College’s newest and third community campus in Easley was dedicated in late 2010. “Community-based education is so important,” said Dr. Booth “We are thrilled to have a campus where Pickens County residents live and work.” The Easley Campus is located on Powdersville Road and gives the College a presence in each of the three counties. The campus better serves the citizens of Pickens County by offering credit and continuing education courses to residents. The campus features an Academic Building, which houses classrooms, offices, a multi-purpose room, student lounge and science labs, as well as the QuickJobs Training Center, a 4,600-square-foot building used for employee and workforce training. The Academic Building is a 40,000-square-foot facility funded through State capital reserves of nearly $6 million. In addition to its signature programs, Practical Nursing, University Transfer, and Industrial Electronics, this fall the Campus offer Criminal Justice, Management and Medical Office Specialist, in addition to the Early Childhood Development and Entrepreneurship/Small Business certificate programs in their entirety. Professional and personal interest classes include Certified Nurse Aide, transportation (truck driving CDL) office skills, and leadership training.
April 1, 2012
A graduate of Tri-County Technical College, Mike Bramlett now works as a Product Engineer at Borg Warner.
Adam Shick, RN (right) of Mountain Lakes AccessHealth and a Tri-County student, reviews data with Cortni Nations, director of the AccessHealth program.
Tri-County graduate Amyie Crane now works as a Meter Repair Technician II at Itron.
Tri-County Graduates Impacting Upstate Industry By Amber Thompson | The Journal
Photographed by Jessica Nelms
For 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 in particular have enjoyed the fruits of Tri-County’s instructional labors, hiring thousands of graduates to man their assembly lines. During its 16 years in South Carolina, Borg Warner has hired several TriCounty graduates. Todd Bennington, the Vice President of Seneca’s Borg Warner plant, says with the array of degrees and qualifications they hold, TriCounty 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. 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 Tri-County 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.
Angel Morehead works in the laboratory at Oconee Medical Center. She is pictured processing a blood sample in a blood gas analyzer.
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 backgrounds,” 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 TriCounty has consistently produced graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to become valuable assets in the local workforce.
Gary Green, a graduate of Tri-County Technical College, works as the Customer Returns Manager at Itron.
Tri-County graduate Jana Laney is subcontracted through HTI and works at Borg Warner.
April 1, 2012
Five Decades of Distinction
Industrial Technology Center To Offer Real-World Training Written by Sheril Bennett Turner Anderson Independent Mail
OUTSTANDING JOB TriCounty Technical College!
Copyright © 2012 Michelin North America, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michelin Man is a registered trademark of Michelin North America, Inc.
Industrial Technology Center in Sandy Springs Welding and HVAC Programs (opening Spring Term 2013) 5321 Highway 76 • Pendleton, SC 29670 For more info: (864) 646-1812
Located approximately four miles from their Pendleton campus and housed in a 42,000 square-foot building on five acres of land once used by the Virginia Products Tobacco Plant, Tri-County 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 threecounty area supported by TCTC.” The programs scheduled to move to the new location are the Welding Program, which presently has a waiting list for enrollment, and the HVAC Program, 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 Mr. Allen. “Night students can expect to complete requirements in eight to nine terms. The program features primarily a hands-on, projectbased 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,” Mr. Allen continued. “It primarily serves the residential market, but students are trained on some commercial applications as well. Like all of our technical programs, HVAC is project based and centered heavily in a laboratory environment. Our students and faculty work with
community groups and do a variety of project-based activities. McGee Heating and Air and Stiles Heating and Cooling are just a couple of the local companies that have recently hired graduates. Graduates from both of these programs are in high demand and we are working diligently to recruit more folks in to these areas.” 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 Mr. 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.” Director of Development, Elisabeth Gadd, has been actively seeking community support for the new facility and says there are 30 roomnaming opportunities for the Industrial Technology Center. “We are very proud of the new Industrial Technology Center located in Sandy Springs. We have had a very positive response from local industries in expressing support for the center. Clearly, the welding and HVAC workers are in great demand in the community, therefore, local industry is enthusiastic about the expansion. We have already sold a few rooms and several other businesses are currently considering which rooms they would like to name.” “Hands-on projects are a big part of what we do to educate and prepare students at Tri-County Technical College for the high-tech world we see in the Upstate,” said Mr. Allen. “Being able to educate more students in a realworld atmosphere will benefit both the community and the growth of industry in our service area.”
April 1, 2012
The Future of Tri-County Technical College Written & Photographed by Amber Thompson | The Journal
50 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 Tech is the hub for education in 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. 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.” 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.
Tri-County President Dr. Ronnie Booth plans for the future success of the college.
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
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Tri-County Technical College 50th Anniversary tabloid that ran in the Anderson Independent Mail.