Those words will either thrill you or make you cringe. When I was a student, for the most part I cringed at the thought of my summer ending and being “forced” to learn things that I could not foresee using in my future. Around the time I went to college. My attitude toward “Back to School!” began to change, as I was beginning to see the advantages of learning about things I might just use at some point. I saw that I was nearing the end of my education, and I began preparing to get a job in my profession.
“Back to School!” has a very different connotation for a student’s first semester at college. The transition between high school and college (for traditional students) or between work and college (for adult students) can be jarring due to differences in expectations, responsibilities, and schedules. Tri-County Tech is working on making that transition the best it can be for all students regardless of their previous situation by creating a new department. Soon, all aspects of entering Tri-County Tech will be handled by the “College Transition” Department. This will include the dual-enrollment of high school students who are taking college classes for high school graduation requirements, recruiting students from high schools to attend TCTC as freshmen, the Bridge to Clemson program, and working with local industry to develop programs that produce graduates with skills needed for business. This new department will also cover the transition period when a student first arrives, as it will house the Comprehensive Studies Department and College Skills classes, both of which give students the ability to succeed here.
Other colleges, big and small, have seen the importance of the transition period and have departments like this. Here at TCTC, many individuals were working to accomplish these things independently. We will transition from the old way of doing things, where many departments were helping their students acclimate to college, to the new way, a standardized procedure that will surely help many more students persist in their college experience and eventually succeed.