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Tri-County Tech teams with Columbia College on degree program

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Tri-County Technical College President Ronnie Booth and Columbia College President Elizabeth Dinndorf sign an associate to bachelor’s degree program agreement. (Photo provided)Tri-County Technical College President Ronnie Booth and Columbia College President Elizabeth Dinndorf sign an associate to bachelor’s degree program agreement. (Photo provided)

Staff Report
gsanews@scbiznews.com
Published Nov. 19, 2015

Starting in January, Tri-County Technical College has a new, cost-saving path to a bachelor’s degree in health communication for working adults and students who have earned associate degrees. An agreement with Columbia College will allow enrollees to earn a bachelor’s degree in two years on the Pendleton campus.

Applications are being accepted for the Tuesday and Thursday evening program, which is Tri County’s first with a private school. Enrollees will pay $385 per credit hour instead of the $725 per hour cost paid by traditional day students attending part time at the Columbia College campus. Columbia College will handle financial aid and tuition.

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The health communication program will initially provide for Tri-County graduates with health-related associate degrees, such as pre-pharmacy, pre-veterinary, veterinary technology and associate degree nursing. Holders of associate degrees in other areas may also gain eligibility.

Tri-County President Ronnie Booth and Columbia College President Elizabeth Dinndorf signed an agreement Wednesday.

“At Tri-County, we are committed to increasing access to higher education for the citizens of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties, including access to a bachelor’s degree by way of applied associate degrees in our career programs,” Booth said in the statement, “Many of our students complete a two-year applied associate degree in a career program so they are prepared for immediate entry into the workforce. We have made a concerted effort to create pathways that will allow them to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree, should they choose to do so, without loss of time, credits or money.”

Dinndorf said working adults have been attending evening classes in Columbia since 1980 and “we realized there was a need beyond our campus.”

“We know our state’s technical colleges provide a valuable educational experience, and we wanted to provide a convenient opportunity for those students to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree,” Dinndorf said.

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