Academic and Career Foundations
Academic and Career Foundations offers coursework and pathways to prepare students for college and career success. Our Comprehensive Studies coursework includes developmental and transitional math, English, and reading. We also offer courses in college, career, and life skills. Our Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) pathways offer students the opportunity to earn a college certificate as well as industry-recognized certifications and training, all in one semester.
Our mission is to cultivate in students the foundational knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for success in their college, career, and life experiences. We focus on helping students successfully transition from where they are to where they want to be; we prepare students with the hard skills to succeed in their college and work careers while also instilling in them the soft skills they need to reach their goals now and after leaving college.
I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) is a nationally recognized workforce development program designed by Washington State community colleges and adapted for Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties by Tri-County Technical College. Local I-BEST programs are created, offered, and enhanced through collaborative partnerships between the College, School Districts, Adult Education Centers, and employers throughout the tri-county area. Thus, students who have not yet completed a high school diploma or GED may be eligible for the program. Local industry partners help provide work-based learning opportunities and job placement. Students who are currently enrolled in a Tri-County credit or noncredit program are not eligible for the I-BEST program.
Smart Start|Start Over
Whether they’re just getting started or starting over, students can ease their way into earning college credit through COL 120: STEM College and Career Readiness. This course builds skills and habits of mind for college and work success. Students will:
- Accomplish academic and job tasks using problem-solving and teamwork
- Apply personal responsibility
- Use learning strategies
- Explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers
- Earn a skill award appropriate for entry-level work
Through discussion, guided practice, and class projects, students will identify and use appropriate resources; apply strategies to succeed in college courses; participate actively in a collegiate learning environment; develop a global perspective; and apply personal responsibility to reach education, work, and personal development goals. This course is designed for students who are participating in the Technical Skills for Success (TSS) initiative.
I-BEST Career Pathways
Manufacturing Production I Certificate
Graduation Credits Required: 8
This certificate prepares students to transition from a job in non-manufacturing sectors to entry-level positions in manufacturing and to continue technical and post-secondary study needed for career growth and advancement.
Personal Care Aide
Graduation Credits Required: 8
This certificate prepares students for personal care aide positions in home or health care environments. Students will develop skills and mindsets needed to work effectively with diverse clients and to optimize the quality of life. Students will attain industry-recognized certifications in key areas such as safety, infection control, basic dementia care, and privacy. Students will also develop life and organizational skills needed for success in health care fields and will create personalized career plans for continued growth and professional development.
Comprehensive Studies is a part of the Academic and Career Foundations Department at Tri-County Technical College.
The mission of the Comprehensive Studies Department is to cultivate in students the foundational knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for success in college and life. The department focuses on helping students successfully transition from where they are to where they want to be; the department prepares students with the hard skills to succeed in their college and work careers while also instilling in them the soft skills they need to reach their goals now and after leaving college.
Comprehensive Studies offers developmental and transitional courses in math, reading, and English to prepare students for success in their college-level coursework. The department also offers College Skills classes, which aim to teach students valuable college and life skills for success.
The Comprehensive Studies Department has a variety of course offerings and learning experiences designed to best meet students’ needs. Students placing into developmental coursework have three tracks to choose from to complete their requirements: the Traditional Track, the Fast Track, or the Express Track. Which track is right for a student depends on a variety of factors. Developmental students should choose which track to start with the assistance of an academic adviser.
Traditional Track developmental courses include
. Each course is a 14-week class delivered in the traditional lecture format in the classroom, following standardized syllabi and topical outlines. Upon successful completion of a traditional track course, students either move to the next course in the sequence or, with the permission of the Comprehensive Studies Department Head, can retest to determine if a higher placement is appropriate. Students who begin on the Traditional Track can stay on that track or opt to switch later to the Fast Track or Express Track.
Fast Track classes allow students to complete a sequence of courses in a shorter but faster-paced time period. Fast Track courses are offered in 6-week back-to-back sessions. For example, students who place into
may elect to take a 6-week
followed by a 6-week
and attempt to complete both requirements in one semester instead of spending 14 weeks on each. The Fast Track program allows student to move through their developmental sequence and into their college-level courses more quickly.
Express Track English and Math
Students who place into pre-curriculum English or math courses (
) can enroll in one of the Express Track classes (
). Express Track classes utilize computer software in a computer lab setting. After completing a diagnostic test to determine exactly what the student knows and doesn’t know, each student will be placed on an individualized “Learning Path.” These classes are designed to take the instructors “off the stage” and put them in the classroom to offer individualized, on-demand instruction based on individual student needs.
Why Express Track?
Express Track students spend more than 80% of their time actually doing math and English work. Because they will be practicing, learning, and mastering what they individually need to know, students can progress through as much of their pre-curriculum sequence as possible and move into the credit classes required for their programs more quickly.
After Express Track
A student’s math and/or English placement after completing the Express Track experience is based on successful completion of the modules on an individualized Learning Path. Because of the individualized nature of the Express Track, students exit at different levels. The class instructor or a Comprehensive Studies adviser will help students determine their next steps.
MyMathTest is an online system for diagnosing and refreshing knowledge of mathematics. It contains two programs for students to use to refresh math skills to prepare for the Math Placement test. Students interested in the possibility of self-remediation via this tool should contact the Comprehensive Studies Department.
Developmental courses are courses designed to help students prepare academically for college-level learning. Developmental courses (those numbered less than 100) generate no credit hours, do not affect the GPA, and do not count toward graduation. Comprehensive Studies offers the following developmental classes:
College Skills Courses
College Skills courses are courses designed to give students the tools needed to succeed in college. Some College Skills courses transfer to some (but not all) universities. Students have the responsibility of determining whether or not one of these courses is transferable to any potential transfer institutions. A student cannot receive credit for both
. Comprehensive Studies offers the following college skills courses:
Transitional courses are courses designed to help students transition into college-level work more effectively. Comprehensive Studies offers the following transitional courses:
This English Express course develops practical oral and written communication skills at an accelerated pace utilizing modular learning and covers the material included in
. Successful completion of the required modules in this course allows a student to move on to college-level English.
This Math Express course covers the material included in
. This course utilizes a modified Emporium model of modularized learning to help students who need developmental classes more quickly and successfully move into college-level math classes.
Standards of Progress for Comprehensive Studies Students
- Reasonable progress is determined by the completion of one 0-level course within a maximum of three (3) terms and entry into a higher course level developmental course (i.e. is a first course and is a second course; is a first course and is a second course; is a first course and is a second course).
- The total number of credits in which students may enroll in developmental coursework may not exceed 30 semester hours.
- If students enroll late or withdraw from 0-level courses and the enrollment time is less than, but not including, 50 percent of the term, the term will not be counted as one of the three allowed to complete a 0-level course. If students enroll late or withdraw from 0-level courses and the enrollment time is 50 percent or more, the term will be counted as one of the three allowed to complete a 0-level course.
- Any exceptions to these guidelines must be evaluated by the Associate Dean, Academic and Career Foundations and approved by the Dean of the College Transitions Division and the Chief Academic Officer.
Placement testing is provided in an effort to help students achieve success in their chosen programs of study. Placement testing provides information that helps students and advisers in determining initial course placement. The purpose of placement testing is to make sure students have the necessary skills in reading, writing, or math to be successful in achieving their educational goals. Note that placement scores may serve as prerequisites for enrollment for a variety of courses. Prerequisities are noted for each course in the course listing section of the Catalog.