ANDERSON --- Tri-County Technical College marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of its first community campus - the Anderson Campus - Monday with a celebration of accomplishments and a look ahead to opportunities in the near future.
The College's second campus opened its doors to the Anderson community March 1, 2007, with three primary goals, said Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, president of Tri-County. "We wanted to bring our services closer to where you live and work; to increase our involvement in the Anderson community; and to expand educational opportunities in both credit and non-credit programs offered at the facility."
Initially, two flagship, two-year programs (Associate in Arts and Associate in Science) were offered in their entirety. They were followed by Criminal Justice Technology and Early Childhood Development
Corporate and Community Education programs include Commercial Truck Driving, Heavy Equipment Operation; Customized Training for Business and Industry, Handgun Safety and Proficiency, Office Skills, Small Business Workshops and more.
Tommy Dunn, chairman of the Anderson County Council, said in the 10 years since the Anderson Campus opened its doors, Anderson County has recruited $3 billion in new and existing industry and as a result, more than 6,300 jobs have been created. "The Anderson Campus is vital to Anderson County in terms of job creation," he said. "Job training and other services provided here and at the main campus in Pendleton give us a major competitive edge as we work to bring business and industry to the area and to improve the overall quality of life for the citizens of Anderson County. These education and job training services are needed to advance the lives and career goals of our citizens," he added.
"With the Anderson Campus as a centralized location, Anderson County residents can better balance their time between their educational needs, family life and career obligations."
Rep. Brian White summed it up by saying, "These 10 years have been wonderful. We look forward to the next 50 years. 50 is going to be fabulous."
ANDERSON CAMPUS MILESTONES:
Technical Career Pathways
Recently, the campus added the first year of Mechatronics and Industrial Electronics Technology as part of an expanded program plan to support the area's advanced manufacturing opportunities.
The Technical Career Pathways (TCP) program began at the Anderson Campus in August 2013. The TCP program allows participants to graduate with a college certificate as high school seniors and transition directly into an associate degree program at the College or enter the workforce.
That first year, seven Crescent High School students from Anderson School District Three completed a Tri-County Basic Electronics Certificate before they even graduated from high school. Six went on to enroll in associate degree programs in technical areas. This program was initially funded through a special proviso in the State Legislature. Today, more than 100 high schools students are enrolled in the TCP programs within all seven school districts in the College's service area. The vast majority continue on after high school graduation to earn an associate degree in a technical field at Tri-County.
QuickJobs Development Center
The Anderson Campus QuickJobs Development Center opened October 11, 2013. It is located across the street from the Anderson Campus. The facility was funded by a grant to Anderson County from the Appalachian Regional Commission through the S.C. Department of Commerce and by Tri-County Technical College. The Corporate and Community Education Division teaches training courses specifically based on locally identified needs and shortages. The SC Works Center - Anderson is housed at the QuickJobs Development Center.
*The Campus also is the site of the Nation's only full-scale reproduction of a one-teacher Rosenwald School. These schools were built in the early 20th century for the education of African Americans in the rural South. The 900-square-foot reproduction Rosenwald School was constructed in 2012 by students in the College's Building Construction program.
"We have reached many milestones here... and even greater things lie ahead," said Dr. Booth. "Most significant will be our partnership with the new Anderson Institute of Technology that will serve students in Anderson School Districts Three, Four and Five. Three school districts coming together to do this is amazing and a testament to the leadership in the districts." It will be built next door to the Anderson Campus.
"This co-location of our facilities will allow us to come together in ways we have yet to imagine. Students can move seamlessly between high school classes and college classes in one high-quality, integrated educational experience at the same location. It will increase opportunities for students to participate in the Technical Career Pathways programs. We can create new pathways that complement offerings at the Institute. We have the opportunity to create a model of collaboration for South Carolina and even for the rest of the country," he said.