Monday, June 6, 2011

            Students in one of the public speaking classes at Tri-County Technical College's Anderson Campus say the smaller class size is just one reason why students enroll in summer school classes at the College's Anderson, Pendleton and Easley campuses.  From left are (front row) Cashandra Seabrook, of Anderson, John Kluge, of Easley, and Catherine Forrest, of Anderson and (back row) Julie Garrett, of Anderson, Tanisha Hammond, of Anderson, and Alise Turner, of Westminster. 



Smaller Class Size Just One Reason Why Students Choose Summer Classes at Tri-County


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        6/3/2011

                                                                                                            (By Lisa Garrett)

            ANDERSON --- Tanisha Hammond stopped and took a deep breath before she entered the classroom on the first day of her summer-term Public Speaking class at Tri-County Technical College's Anderson Campus.

            It was the only class left for the 33-year-old Anderson resident to complete the prerequisites to enter the Associate Degree Nursing program in the fall.  "Public speaking is intimidating.  I dreaded standing before a large classroom and giving a speech so I had avoided the class by dropping it three times since 2009," she recalled.  She hoped that summer school would offer a smaller class -- and it would be only five weeks of writing and delivering speeches. "When I entered the classroom and saw a small group of students, and I looked at my instructor, who was smiling, I had a good feeling about it.  I felt comfortable," she said. 

            Smaller class size is just one reason why students enroll in summer school classes at Tri-County's Anderson, Pendleton and Easley campuses.

            Many are returning students or recent high school graduates trying to get an early start on fall semester by taking general education courses.  Others are older, first-time students easing into academics after a lengthy absence from the classroom. Some are transient students taking a course or two this summer to transfer to a "home" institution.

            "Since we often have smaller classes in the summer, an instructor has more time to work one on one with individual students to meet their academic needs.  An instructor can see where the students are coming from and adjust his or her teaching style to meet individual needs and learning styles of students," said Robin McFall, English department head.

            Students save money by attending summer classes at Tri-County. Cost savings translate to just  $142.75 per credit hour.  If a student takes two classes or six credit hours, lottery tuition assistance is available. 

            Also, college students need 30 hours and a 3.0 grade point average to maintain their LIFE scholarships.  McFall says if a student doesn't have the 30 hours or G.P.A., he or she can take courses in the summer that can count toward requirements of maintaining a LIFE scholarship in the fall.  "You must pay for these courses out of pocket, but you can keep your scholarship with the 3.0 and 30 hours," she added.

            Students can choose from five and 10-week sessions.  The first session ends June 16 and the second five-week session of classes begins June 22.  Day classes are available in the Arts and Sciences Division (English, biology, public speaking, music, art, foreign language, economics and Western civilization), along with computer science, accounting, business, management and early childhood education classes.   Contact the Admissions Office at 646-1550 or for more information.

            Twenty-two year-old Julie Garrett of Anderson likes the options of summer school.  "You can choose between five- and ten-week classes and you can go for one session or the entire summer."

            She also likes the affordability of Tri-County.  She says college is financially feasible for her with lottery tuition assistance and a small student loan.  This summer she is taking four classes, including a lab.  "I pay for books and a small amount of tuition," she said.

            Also a first-time college student, Garrett is studying to be a nurse, She works as a Certified Nurse Aide at NHC and will continue there as she studies at Tri-County and later transfers to Clemson's BSN program.  "I'm a shy person, she said.  "This speech class has really boosted my self esteem and improved my communication skills."

            Catherine Forrest, 29, who just spent the last 11 years in the Air Force, is taking four classes this summer at the Anderson Campus which is close to her home. To be eligible for the GI Bill, she must take a minimum of two classes.  She plans to earn an associate in arts degree and will transfer to Clemson to study cultural or international studies.  "I heard Tri-County has a good transfer program.  I liked the low cost and smaller classes.  I had never been to college so I wanted to ease into it."   She added that small classes allow more time to ask questions and to discuss the materials.  "There's time for constructive feedback from our peers and the instructor," she said.

            Cashandra Seabrook, a 19-year-old graduate of Westside High School, said Tri-County was her first choice because of its Medical Laboratory Technology program.  My advisor told me about the agreement with Clemson University that allows Tri-County graduates with an Associate in Applied Science degree in medical laboratory technology, who meet specific criteria, to enroll as juniors at Clemson. Qualified students will be accepted in the Bachelor of Science in microbiology degree program, with a concentration in biomedicine. With a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology and two years of work experience, graduates will be eligible to take the board exams for certification as a clinical laboratory scientist, the highest accreditation level.

            Summer classes have been convenient for her work schedule at the Anderson County Library.  "In 10 - 15 minutes, I can drive to the campus," she said.  

            Summer school allowed John Kluge, 40, of Easley, to work his full time job at YH America in Easley and take the mid-morning speech class Monday - Thursday get to his afternoon job.  "I've taken classes in Pendleton and Easley and now I'm here for the summer," said the Industrial Electronics Technology major.  "I knew it would be difficult.  I'm not an A student, but instructors really get to know you and work with you.  I went through a layoff after 10 years at a local company so I needed a degree to get back into the workforce," said Kluge.  

            Alise Turner, 45, of Westminster, also is returning after several years away from the classroom.  She is an Associate Degree Nursing major.  "My kids are grown and in college and my time at home got quiet.  I enjoy the smaller classes of summer school.  With small classes, you can interact with fellow students and really get to know each other. I expected to get three credit hours for this class, but the bonus has been a fun class with interesting people who have become friends."

            "I've taken most of my classes at the Anderson Campus, except for my first semester," Hammond, a medical tech at North Pointe, said.  "I like seeing the same people and meeting between classes. We share notes and we help each other. I've made a lot of friends here. I like the interaction within a small class.  But even if this public speaking class had 30 persons, I would love it."


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