For the last few years, former high school English teacher, David Roper, 42, worked toward acceptance into medical school by completing his prerequisite classes at Tri-County. He is now a student at the Medical University of South Carolina and received a National Health Service Corps Scholarship.
Because he has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, he only needed science prerequisites to apply to medical school. He decided to earn them at his local technical college because of Tri-County’s affordability and the chance to ease back into college with other non-traditional students.
“I’ve taken nearly every science course offered at Tri-County. Instructors are prepared and engaging. They make science relatable and practical and understandable. The classes here prepared me for the Medical College Admissions Test (or MCAT, a four-hour standardized exam for prospective medical students),” he said.
He’s grateful for the Ruby Hicks Endowed Scholarship that he has received for the past three years through the College’s Foundation. Since fall 2010 he received the Hicks Scholarship plus lottery tuition. He maintained a job as Patient Liaison at Baptist Easley ER for the last year and a half.
Husband and wife Medical Laboratory Technology graduates Michael and Amy Byrd of Anderson enrolled at Tri-County several years ago after being laid off from a local textile plant. Michael, now 34, worked there from age 18 through 30; Am , 33, had been there for nine years. In 2009 they both decided to go back to school and they both chose the MLT program. “We wanted a rewarding, secure job,” said Michael. “We both had a shared goal—to do well academically and find a job. We had a purpose, and we never missed class.”
It paid off. Michael, who dropped out of high school and didn’t earn his GED until he was 30, graduated with a 4.0 as the MLT Outstanding Graduate. Amy wasn’t far behind with a 3.96, making only one B during her tenure at Tri-County. Both received Hayden Abney Fulp Memorial Scholarships through the College’s Foundation, along with Pell grants and student loans.
Both passed the national registry exam and are working at area hospitals.
Their teenage son, formerly a B - C student, is taking a page from his parents’ book and buckling down in his studies. “Since we entered college, his grades have improved, as well as his work ethic. Hesawusstudyingeverynight. Before,we couldn’t help him with his chemistry homework. This year, we tutored him,” said Amy.
Since 2008 MLT graduates have earned their national credentials by scoring a 100 percent pass rate on the National Certification Exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Austin Smith, of Easle , was among the 2013 graduating class of the BMW Scholars Program. He received an Industrial Electronics Technology degree at summer commencement and has been hired as an Equipment Service Associate (ESA) for the BMW plant in Spartanburg.
In his remarks at the scholars’ graduation ceremon , former BMW President Josef Kerscher said to the scholars, “We are doing world-class manufacturing, and we need a world-class workforce. With your qualifications, you are prepared for our future.
Jayne Hucheson, a 2011 graduate of the Veterinary Technology program, was chosen from 150 applicants for the only veterinary technician/technologist zoo internship in the United States. She is working at the Tulsa Zoo, located in Mohawk Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.
Every member of the scholars class, which included students from Tri-Count , Greenville Technical College, and Spartanburg Community College, were placed in full-time jobs in the manufacturing area.
The College’s Welding students took home one first-place, two second-place, and two third- place awards at the annual State Welding competition.
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