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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Types of Students Are Well-Suited to C2C?
Connect to College (C2C) appeals to a very diverse student population, all of whom faced challenges of one type of another that caused them to leave high school before completing their diploma. We find that Connect is the best fit for students who are
- Focused on a career goal that requires some education or training beyond high school;
- Committed to earning their high school diploma as well as a college credential;
- Personally committed to being successful through Connect to College;
- Proactive about using academic and personal support services;
- "Solution finders" rather than "excuse makers" when they encounter difficulties.
What Types of Students Are Not Well-suited to C2C?
Connect to College is definitely not the right fit for everyone who's had difficulty being successful in a traditional high school setting. Specifically, the program is not for students who
- Are doing well in high school and just want a different learning environment and/or to make an early transition to college;
- Earned a high school certificate but didn't pass one or more sections of the HSAP (State exit exam);
- Completed a GED but now think they'd rather have a high school diploma;
- Want to complete their high school diploma as quickly as possible so they can enter the military, start a job, etc.;
- Are not interested in earning a college credential;
- Are not willing to put the time and effort into college-level study.
How long does it take to graduate?
Depending on the number of units an individual student needs for the high school diploma, it may take only one semester or as long as three years. Some students can also complete a postsecondary credential at the same time they earn their high school diploma. Others continue seamlessly at Tri-County for several more semesters until they complete their associate degree or other College credential or until they transfer to a university. Connect to College students are strongly encouraged to take full class loads while they're in the program, which they may do during day or evening hours, and they are all required to take at least two courses each summer term.
How Much Does it Cost?
The program covers the costs for tuition and textbooks. Students are required to pay College fees each semester and to cover their own costs for transportation, child care, and supplies. Students must also pay any debts they owe to Tri-County Technical College (such as library fines and parking fines). There is no financial assistance available to offset the cost of fees, transportation/child care, supplies, or fines. Connect to College does not provide van or bus transportation.
What kind of support will students receive?
Connect to College provides comprehensive academic and personal support services. Each student is under the care and guidance of a Support Specialist who serves as an advisor and mentor. The Support Specialist works with each student to create and maintain an individualized educational plan showing exactly which courses are needed to graduate with the high school diploma and a college credential, and when the student can expect to graduate.
Connect to College also provides comprehensive academic support services - including daily Academic Success Lab, small group study sessions, supplemental online learning activities, and individualized tutoring.
What is C2C Like?
There are no special classes for C2C students at Tri-County Technical College. All classes are regular college classes taught by college faculty. Connect students are integrated into these classes along with other Tri-County students. (Sometimes there will be several Connect students in the same section of a course but there are no sections only for Connect students.
During the second semester and beyond, students typically take four courses, according to their individual needs as outlined in their educational plan. These courses may be required to meet prerequisites (like needing to complete a basic math class with a grade of "C" or higher before registering for the next level course), to meet high school requirements, to meet college degree or transfer requirements, or a combination.
What Happens When a C2C Student Graduates?
Once the student has completed requirements for the high school diploma, and all the proper paperwork has been submitted and processed, he/she is awarded the high school diploma during Tri-County's commencement ceremony. The College has two ceremonies each year - one in May and one in August. (Connect students can, and do, graduate in December. Depending on the number of graduates, there may be a special ceremony for them or they may march in the May ceremony.) During the graduation ceremony, the principal or superintendent from the student's sponsoring high school actually awards the diploma. The president of Tri-County Technical College and other dignitaries also participate in the ceremony and personally congratulate each graduate. If the graduate is simultaneously receiving a postsecondary credential, he/she marches twice - once with the students graduating through Connect to College and again with other Tri-County students who are receiving the same postsecondary credential.
If a C2C graduate needs additional credit to complete his/her postsecondary credential or to transfer, his/her Support Specialist will work to ensure a smooth transition into a "regular" college student status. Among the most important services is making sure the student receives all available financial aid that he/she qualifies for as a high school graduate. Even though the student has transitioned into a "regular" college student status, Connect staff are still a resource. Our grads are always part of the "C2C family!"
Are C2C students "regular" college students?
Yes! Connect students have a College ID and a College parking decal - just like any Tri-County Technical College student. Connect students take College courses taught by College faculty with other, "regular" Tri-County students. There are no special classes for C2C students. Curriculum is not modified for younger students, and students who do not meet expectations cannot continue in the program.
C2C students have full access to all College facilities, services, and activities (except intercollegiate athletics).
Does the dual-credit approach work?
Yes. Students leave traditional high schools for lots of reasons, but most students are academically capable of achieving high standards, if given a different environment in which to learn. At the point they decide to leave high school, many feel discouraged because they're so far behind their friends and peers. By using the dual credit approach, Connect enables students who work hard and apply themselves to catch up and accelerate at the same time.
How can students enroll in the program?
To be eligible to continue in Connect to College, students must
- Be making reasonable progress toward graduation.
- Maintain eligibility to receive South Carolina Lottery Tuition assistance (i.e., achieve a GPA of 2.0 after attempting 24 or more credit hours at the end of each summer term).
- Adhere to all College policies and procedures regarding student conduct.
- Satisfy all debts and financial obligations to the College (including, but not limited to semester fees, parking and library fines, etc.).
What can students achieve in this program?
Students can earn their high school diploma and a Tri-County Technical College certificate, diploma, or associate degree-or a significant amount of credit toward one of these postsecondary credentials. Connect to College is not a GED program.
Why do local school districts support Connect to College?
The public high schools in Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties want all their students to graduate and go on to bright, promising futures. However, despite their best efforts, and many excellent programs, sometimes a traditional high school or even an alternative school setting just isn't the right "fit" for a student. That's where Connect to College may provide an answer.
Our partner school districts recognize and appreciate the difference that C2C can make in the lives of students. For Connect students, learning in an adult environment, the flexibility of a college schedule, and the chance to earn college credits while completing high school make the program the right "fit."
How is Connect to College Funded?
Costs to operate Connect to College (including all instructional and student support costs) come from a variety of sources:
- K-12 State funds allotted through students' sponsoring high schools (public high schools in Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties);
- Lottery Tuition Assistance tuition grants to students;
- Tri-County Technical College funds;
- Tri-County Technical College Foundation funds (for partial funding of the Book Exchange service);
- Student-paid fees;
- Grants and donations to the Tri-County Technical College Foundation.