CLEMSON — Tri-County Technical College President Ronnie L. Booth highlighted the five best reasons students are making Tri-County their college of choice in his remarks to the Class of 2017.
The college’s summer commencement was held Aug. 7 at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson where 349 students received degrees, diplomas and/or certificates.
Booth led with the number-one reason to attend Tri-County:
1. You chose Tri-County because your best friend’s tuition bill at another college is more than you paid for your first house — or more than your parents paid for theirs.
“While we must charge tuition in order to pay our bills, our Commission works tirelessly to keep costs in line in order to ensure that an education at Tri-County is affordable and accessible. The end result is an affordable education that does not saddle our students with an inordinate amount of debt. The fact that you chose Tri-County tells me that you can do math and that you understand value,” said Booth.
2. You chose Tri-County because you would rather take classes with 18 new friends than with 200 of your best friends.
“At Tri-County, our typical class size is around 18 to 19. We believe by having small classes, students get the attention they want and need,” said Booth. “Truth is, most all of us learn better in a smaller and more connected environment. We learn best when there is opportunity for continual give and take, instruction then conversation, theory then practice. This can only happen in a consistent manner in smaller classes. By attending Tri-County you have been able to form lasting relationships with fellow students and with faculty. These relationships will serve you well over the years if you continue to take advantage of them.”
3. You chose Tri-County because you understand the importance of taking classes from a fully-qualified faculty member instead of a new graduate assistant.
“At Tri-County, most of our faculty have many years of work and teaching experience. Most of our adjunct, part-time, faculty members still work in the field in which they teach. We see this as a significant strength. It is important to us that our students have the opportunity to learn from those who actually practice in their field. Technology and knowledge grow at such a speed today that what was learned a dozen, or even five, years ago is out of date. We want our students to be exposed to the realities of their chosen field and how theory may or may not work in practice. Our students are taught by both full- and part-time faculty who are both subject matter experts and have ‘walked the talk.’”
4. You chose Tri-County because you realize that a certificate, diploma or associate degree can lead to a career path that will reward you financially just as much as, if not more so, than a four-year degree.
“Many of you who are graduating tonight are now in a position to move ahead in your current job. Others of you are seeking your first job or a promotion, and you are positioned to find one with significant financial and life rewards. Others of you who plan to pursue additional education have seen the wisdom of obtaining a credential now to position yourself for the next step in life. Whatever the case, the statistics paint a clear picture of the significant opportunities available to those who graduate from a two-year college. Newspapers and other news sources daily highlight the ‘skills gap’” in the job market. Our graduates are in demand.”
5. The fifth and final reason students choose Tri-County is:
“You chose Tri-County because you are more concerned with your future earnings than with the winning record of your college football team. I’d wager a bet that many of you enjoyed a lot of great college football a stone’s throw away from where you are sitting right now. That’s a win-win!”
“I hope that when you look back on this day, you will still be proud of the choice you made to attend and graduate from Tri-County. You saved money. You learned from the best. You benefited from smaller class sizes and greater attention to your needs. You are well-prepared to begin or advance in a great career, and you still had the opportunity to enjoy a lot of good college football along the way,” he said.
“Class of 2017, you have chosen well, and you are off to a great start. I am confident you will continue to make smart choices throughout your life and career, and those smart choices will pay off in more ways than you can imagine,” he said.
Pickens County graduates
Central: Danny William Adams, Manufacturing Production I; Richmond Rodolfo McGowan Angeles, Manufacturing Management and Leadership; Patrick Logan Barber, General Technology – Welding; Kaili Danielle Frazier, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Dusti Dawn Michelle Glover, Practical Nursing; Courtney Lynn Keaton, Associate in Arts; Jeffrey H. Miller, Associate in Science; Jack Benjamin Nichols, Associate in Arts; and Amanda Christine Nicks, Associate in Science
Clemson: Danish Ali, Associate in Arts; Heath Barron, Associate in Science; Sandra Epling Bridges, Associate in Science; Ethan Shane Carver, Multi-Process Welding; Cameron Nicolas Chadbourne, Associate in Arts; Dorothea A. Dinius, Associate in Science; Dylan Douglas Getsinger, Associate in Science; Darius Narada Gleaton, Criminal Justice Technology; and Kimball Walton Prosser, Associate in Arts
Easley: Kayla Rosalee Bader, Practical Nursing; Jacob Joseph Billingsley, Computer Technology; Scott Michael Bonnell, Computer Technology; Taylor Darren Burbage, Criminal Justice Technology; Amanda A. Carlson, Associate in Science; Russell Aaron Casio, Criminal Justice Technology; Crystal B. Crocker, Management; Darci Deal, Associate in Science; Anna Haley Gilstrap, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Melissa Jean Gubbins, Practical Nursing; Ryan K. Holcombe, Media Arts Production; Kelley Lee Johnson, Medical Assisting; Mary Katherine McConnell, Surgical Technology; Parker Alan Monteith, General Technology – Mechatronics; Virginia Halie Nalley, Management; Destiny Alexis Noble, Medical Assisting; Jordin Paige Phoenix, Administrative Office Technology; Faith Elizabeth Powell, Associate in Science; Luis Jesus Quesada, Practical Nursing; Thorne Mark Ravan, General Technology – Mechatronics; Samantha Alexandra Ricker, General Technology – Welding; Taylor Christian Ryals, Practical Nursing; and Ellison Kendrick Stancil, General Engineering Technology
Liberty: Amanda Diane Alexander, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Christopher Ryan Bell, Computer Technology; Stacia Shanae Brown, Nursing; Gibson Julianne Burdette, Medical Assisting; Colie Donavan Clardy, General Technology – Welding; Jacob Ryan Gantt, General Technology – Welding; Holly Paige Gillespie, Associate in Arts; Chelsea Brooke Hudgens, Associate in Science; Evan David James, General Technology – Mechatronics; Abigail Victoria Lawson, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Meagan Brooke Pilgrim, General Technology – Early Childhood; and Donovan Russell Francis Stettner, CNC Programming and Operations
Pickens: Jessica Renee Bagwell, Associate in Science; Joseph S. Bellino, General Technology – Mechatronics; Austin Cody Breazeale, CNC Programming and Operations; Tyler Jacob Bryant, Associate in Science; Robert Damein Burnett, General Technology – Welding; Zachary Caravano, Industrial Electronics Technology; Sean Christopher Clayton, Engineering Graphics Technology; Christopher M. Colburn, II, CNC Programming and Operations; Daniel Lee Cummings, General Technology – Mechatronics; Traci Ann DeHaan, Associate in Arts; Brandon Lee Duncan, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Cameron Hanson, CNC Programming and Operations; Skyler Chayse-Regan Hughes, General Engineering Technology; Jessica Anderson Landers, Practical Nursing; Kimberley Dawn Morgan, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Morgan Ann Stewart, Medical Assisting; Tyler Jared Stockton, Digital Photography; Austin Andrew Taylor, General Technology – Mechatronics; and Jacob Donald Tomlinson, CNC Programming and Operations
Six Mile: Jacob Andrew Deaton, Industrial Electronics Technology; Hunter Brian Gibby, CNC Programming and Operations; Sarah Leighann Gravely, Practical Nursing; Steven Cory Pilgrim, Media Arts Production; Tiffany Nicole Robinson, Medical Assisting; Megan Mariah Smith, Practical Nursing; Jake Brandon Willimon, Industrial Electronics Technology; and David Austin Youngblood, Engineering Graphics Technology