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.
The I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) program meets students where they are and helps them get to where they want to be-in education and in the workforce. I-BEST 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. Through partnerships with local Adult Education Centers, community organizations, and local industry leaders, I-BEST offers students a pathway that works for them based on their needs. Our pathways have many different “on ramps” that can culminate with Associate’s Degree completion at TCTC. Students have the opportunity to earn college credit, industry-recognized certifications, and other career-focused credentials.
All I-BEST students receive comprehensive and individualized support services, including academic and career advising, to help ensure their success-both in college and in their careers. The program focuses on STEM career fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) -where jobs and opportunities are growing in our area.
Students may enroll in I-BEST as part of a partnership with the local Adult Education Centers, working on their GED study and testing while getting started on one of our pathways. Students who already have a GED or high school diploma can enter directly into the pathway, earning 8 hours of college credit, 2 industry-recognized certifications, and acquire other valuable tools to help them succeed academically and professionally. In addition, they will qualify to graduate with a Tri-County Technical College certificate. From there, I-BEST students continue their personal pathways by entering the workforce full-time, by continuing their studies, or by combining work and study towards an Associate’s Degree.
I-BEST Career Pathways
Smart Start Over
Smart Start/Start Over (COL 120) is a free tuition, one-semester, 3-credit hour course designed for those who are considering attending Tri-County Technical College. Students will learn skills and habits of mind needed for success in the workplace or college. The curriculum builds awareness of local opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) careers. Additionally, personal education and career planning is integrated with a Personal Success Plan (PSP).
Comprehensive Studies Department
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.
English Plus Co-Requirement
The ENG Plus Co-Req. model allows students to complete developmental (ENG 150) course work and curriculum (ENG 101) course work simultaneously, rather than in sequence. Students receive additional support for ENG 101 within the ENG 150 course, increasing likelihood of sauces. Eligibility must be determined by the English/Reading program director for Comprehensive Studies.
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.
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 ENG 031, ENG 032 and ENG 100. 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 MAT 031, MAT 032, MAT 101, and MAT 102. 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 Dean of Academic and Career Foundations.