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needs. We heard what employers were saying. They needed a facility to help meet the skilled labor demand and to connect these students—their future employees—to today’s workplace. Students who are training in this facility are one step closer to the world of work. It’s not a sterile lab. It looks and feels and sounds like a work environment.”

Transitioning to a four-year university is the goal for the College’s 2,000-plus University Transfer students. “We’ve made that easy by providing articulation agreements as a pathway to successful admission to Clemson and other Upstate colleges,” he said. These agreements between higher education institutions facilitate the transfer of course credits from one school to another.

Dr. Booth said that cost is a big part of the reason students begin their college career by attending the first two years at Tri-Count , adding that small classes and academic rigor are additional reasons to choose Tri-County. “Other schools want our students because they are well prepared,” he said.

The Bridge to Clemson program, now in its eighth year with a record near-700 students enrolled for fall 2013, is a collaborative initiative between Tri-County and Clemson University that blends University Transfer classes at Tri- County with Clemson campus life. It is specifically designed for recent high school students who narrowly missed admission to Clemson because of limited space and high demand.

“Bridge to Clemson is a huge success and has opened opportunities we never guessed for relationships between the College and other institutions. We have set the standard, and when I travel all over the countr , people approach me and want to talk about Bridge. We’ve raised the profile of our College and our academic standing. I attribute that to faculty who are doing really good work,” he added.

This summer the Clemson University Class of 1963 made a generous donation in support of the Bridge to Clemson Program as part of its Golden Anniversary celebration. To

date, the group has raised more than $750,000 toward a commitment of $1 million to endow the Bridge program as part of Clemson’s “The Will to Lead” capital campaign.

“The Class of ‘63’s donation is an endorsement of what the program does for the State, universit , and the students. They stepped up and believed in the partnership strongly enough to invest $1 million to support students in this program. The Bridge program continues to open up opportunities for further collaboration with Clemson,” Dr. Booth said.

Many students attend Tri-County through scholarships, thanks to the generosity of our Foundation Board partners, individuals, and business and industry who invest in students’ futures through Foundation-sponsored scholarships and endowments. “We also look to the Foundation to provide support for students in travel abroad and service learning opportunities, to keep faculty current in their fields, and to help keep pace with technology at all of our campuses. These gifts may directly or indirectly provide funding for a scholarship, change a life for the better, strengthen a business or industr , provide better local health care, or ensure a safer communit ,” he said.

“At the end of the da , the question is, ‘Are we meeting the needs of the community?’ The answer is yes, we are, in creative ways that we never thought possible.”

“Through these partnersh p , we are connecting people to a


ith an intentional focus

on student succes , we’ve taken the mystery out of career choices for students. We’ve developed clear career pathway , along with employment opportunitie , through co-ops and internsh p , and offer students detailed data

about jobs and wages.”

~Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, President

YourCommuni y,YourCollege| 5

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