PICKENS COUNTY — Tri County Technical College highlighted a decade of success with their Bridge to Clemson program at the school’s annual report luncheon held at the Pendleton campus recently.
“I can tell you this program is not only unique, it is one-of-a-kind in so many ways, but I think it’s one of the best examples of collaboration in the country,” said Dr. James P. Clements, president of Clemson University.
Clements stated that when the bridge to Clemson program was conceived, it was a prime example of great minds coming together to think outside the box.
“It was ahead of it’s time 10 years ago and it’s still ahead of it’s time,” Clements said. “It is a model of collaboration and a model of creating new pathways. There are some others (similar programs) out there and around the country … however, there’s nothing like this. What makes the Bridge program unique is the residential experience that the Bridge students have and the fact that the resources and great people and staff and activities — both at Tri County Tech and at Clemson — are available to them.”
As part of the requirements for students wishing to participate in the Bridge program, Bridge students have to live in four-person apartments at Highpointe of Clemson, located four miles from Tri-County and two miles from Clemson.
Participants in the program must also enroll at Tri County their freshman year and be prepared to start course work in the fall semester.
Once enrolled, students are required to earn a minimum of 30 transferable credit hours and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average during their freshman year.
If all requirements are met, students will be admitted to Clemson for the subsequent fall semester, effectively bypassing a majority of the Clemson admission application process.
“According to the higher education report card that was introduced last year, the average graduation rate for six years at a university is 44 percent,” said Clements. “Of incoming Freshman, only 44 percent will graduate in six years. The Bridge program almost doubles that — we’re hitting 82 percent. That’s unbelievable. Unbelievable.”
Clements said the number of students enrolling in the Bridge program is growing every year and that currently 1,700 students — roughly 10 percent of Clemson University’s student body — came onto campus via the Bridge to Clemson program.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.