Tri-County President Ronnie L. Booth Receives Award for
Commitment to Advancement of Access and Equity Causes in State
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/10/2006
CONTACT: LISA GARRETT, 646-1506
(By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON --- Tri-County Technical College President Ronnie L. Booth is the recipient of the Access and Equity Leadership Award for his strong commitment to students and their achievements.
The award was given by the S.C. Professional Association for Access and Equity and is presented to a president, dean, or chancellor of a higher education institution in S.C. for outstanding commitment and support of programs and activities that encourage access and equity in higher education.
In her nomination, Nita Colman, director of Tri-County’s Gateway to College program, outlined Dr. Booth’s dedication to offering new educational opportunities to students.
“Dr. Booth is a leader with a mission,” said Colman. “He truly believes that the reason we exist is because of our students. After becoming president of Tri-County in 2003, he started looking at some of the major concerns in the tri-counties, and one area that concerned him was high school dropouts. He believes that there is the potential for all students to achieve.”
Last October it was announced that Tri-County Technical College was among four community colleges in the United States selected this year to receive grants from Portland Community College in Oregon to address the needs of at-risk and dropout youth through its nationally recognized Gateway to College program.
Dr. Booth had worked for a year-and-a-half with college and school district officials to explore the possibilities of developing a program to serve at-risk students and recent high school dropouts in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.
This fall Tri-County’s Gateway to College program will initially enroll 50 students who will begin the journey of earning their high school diploma while simultaneously earning a postsecondary credential.
The grant enables the College to implement the Gateway to College program on its campus to serve the needs of students who have recently dropped out of high school or who have the academic capability but are struggling in a traditional high school environment.
“As a new replication site for this program, Dr. Booth is committed to improving the educational status of students while at the same time improving the economic standards of students who thought they had no other options,” said Colman.
In addition, a new collaborative effort between Clemson University and Tri-County will increase accessibility for students who want to attend Clemson University. Known as Bridge to Clemson, the program allows selected students who didn’t make the fall freshman class to participate in a program that blends classes at Tri-County with campus life at Clemson. This initiative offers 200 students the opportunity to receive their first year of education at Tri-County and have access to the university’s programs, activities and services.
“Dr. Booth’s insight into the needs of students and the community has made this dream become a reality,” said Colman.
Dr. Booth became Tri-County’s third president in 2003. He moved to the area from Georgia where he served as vice president for external programs at Gainesville College in Gainesville, GA. He also served as the college’s Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for two years.
He held various positions in higher education before joining Gainesville College. He served as assistant dean of the School of Education for External Programs, associate professor of Education, vice president for Student Affairs and Corporate & Community Education and vice president of Administrative Services at Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.
At Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA, he served as director of Admissions and Enrollment Management. He also has held various staff positions in financial aid at the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and Columbia International University in South Carolina.
He holds a B.S. in Business Administration, an M. Ed. in Student Personnel Services and a Ph. D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policies from the University of South Carolina, and an M. A. in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.