Anderson Oconee Pickens
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Tri-County’s Oconee Campus at the Hamilton Career Center Begins Fall Semester with Full Slate of University Transfer Classes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7/26/2007
SENECA --- When registering online for classes at Tri-County Technical College last semester, Tristan Axson thought there was a glitch in the registration process when the Hamilton Career Center popped up as the class location.
“It threw me for a second,” said Axson, who quickly chose the Seneca location to take a Western Civilization class. “Everything else was closed out. I was able to get the class at a convenient time for me.”
Taking Tri-County Technical College classes at the Hamilton Career Center makes a lot of sense to Axson and other Oconee County residents. He didn’t have to make that 25-minute trek to the Pendleton campus, and he could take a university transfer class close to home.
“It’s five minutes from my home so it saved me gas and travel time,” said Axson, who works 18 hours a week, in addition to attending college. “It was the best time to fit in with work and my other classes,” said Axson, who took other classes at the Pendleton campus.
Fall semester at Tri-County Technical College’s Oconee Campus at the Hamilton Career Center begins August 20 with a full slate of university transfer classes for those Oconee County residents who want to save time while pursuing a degree in the evening. Classes include Art History and Appreciation, Biology, English Composition, American Government, Developmental Math, Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra and Probability and Statistics, along with Medical Terminology/Anatomy and Physiology.
“We’ve had a presence in Oconee County for years, but now we will have a building we are sharing with the Career Center,” said Amanda Blanton, director of Collaboration at the College. “The Career Center will occupy it in the daytime, and we will be there at night,” she said.
“We are catering to working adults by offering late afternoon and early evening classes in the university transfer curriculum this semester,” said Blanton. “Oconee County residents can save travel time to Pendleton and can choose classes that meet just once a week,” she added. “Having a presence in Oconee County is a benefit to all residents, especially those on a tight work schedule or those adults who want to ease back into college,” added Blanton.
“The classes were smaller so you have more personal time with the instructor,” said Axson, who jokingly added, “and I didn’t have to climb ‘Cardiac Hill,” referring to a steep hill behind Oconee Hall. “I could park on level ground just a few steps from the classroom building.”
The classes also are convenient for high school students, who can choose to take dual enrollment classes to get a head start on college through a variety of general education classes, Blanton added.
Dual enrollment classes have been offered by Tri-County in individual area high schools for years, said Blanton. In the past if the class didn’t meet enrollment, the class wasn’t offered at the school. “At the Hamilton Career Center, we combine the numbers from all schools with the adults. If you aren’t interested in an early class, you can take an evening class. It’s a more effective way to offer courses to all students in the Oconee County School District.”
The School District and the Health Education Division at Tri-County are working on offering a pathway to the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) curriculum. Students interested in that career pathway are aware of what courses to take in high school so they can seamlessly transfer into Tri-County’s LPN program through dual enrollment and articulation. Next spring semester juniors and seniors at the Hamilton Career Center will take high school classes and dual enrollment classes and will be fast tracked into the LPN programs. This gives them a head start on classes, and their general education classes will be Registered Nurse (R.N.) requirements so they can move more quickly into the RN major if they choose.
The new building currently under construction is connected to the existing facility that housed the Career Center’s LPN program for years. “We have two classrooms and a science lab so we can run three courses at the same time,” she said. “This creates a centralized location for all Tri-County courses,” said Blanton. Once the new building is dedicated in September, it will officially become the Oconee Campus at the Hamilton Career Center, she said.
“Eventually students will take their classes at the Pendleton campus to fulfill degree requirements, but they can get one semester of university transfer out of the way at their own pace,” she said.
“We hope to broaden high school offerings in the future because we have a great facility to offer courses there,” she said.
Blanton says bringing Tri-County Technical College to Oconee County came to fruition because of collaboration between Oconee County School District, Oconee Memorial Hospital and the College.
“There’s no way this could have happened without all of the partners working together,” she said. Last year, Tri-County partnered with the Oconee County School District and Oconee Memorial Hospital to develop a collaborative articulation agreement to expand nursing opportunities for Oconee County high school students. The result is a seamless pipeline for high school students to take courses in the health profession and then articulate to Tri-County.
Persons interested in registering must first come to the Pendleton campus to go through the registration process. Classes are filling up – already the dual enrollment English sunrise course is full, and there are more than 60 dual enrollment students registered for fall classes, said Blanton.