Tri-County Technical College operates as an open admissions college as required by the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended. As such, Tri-County Technical College makes every effort to minimize geographic, financial, and scholastic barriers to the post-secondary programs and services offered by the College. A high school diploma or high school equivalent credential (e.g., GED), though desirable, is not a prerequisite for admission to the College, but is required for admission to diploma and degree programs.
In order to promote achievement by individuals with varied potential, open admissions is defined as a practice which (1) admits to the College all citizens who can benefit from available learning opportunities, and (2) places into specific programs of study those students whose potential for success is commensurate with program admission standards.
General Admissions Requirements
Applicants to certificate, diploma, or degree programs must meet the following requirements for admission to the College.
- Complete an application for admission.
- Submit a non-refundable application fee. Exceptions to payment of the application fee requirement are as follows:
- Returning students who apply within three years of the last term of post-secondary enrollment at Tri-County;
- Readmitted students who reapply within one year of the most recent term of post-secondary admission to Tri-County;
- Service area high school seniors who apply during college application events sponsored by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education or by the College;
- Students applying to enroll in targeted academic programs such as Dual Enrollment, Bridge Programs, Connect to College, 1+1 Consortium Agreements (Dual Enrollment students who apply to continue at the College after high school graduation are required to pay the application fee);
- Connect to College students transitioning to Tri-County as first-time post-secondary students within two terms of their high school graduation;
- Current Tri-County Technical College employees; and
The application fee payment may be deferred based on economic hardship (e.g., unemployment, ward of court, free and reduced lunch) by submitting an application fee deferral request form, which is available on the public website and in the Admissions Office.
The application fee requirement will be evaluated and determined as students apply to the College. The fee amount is subject to change but will be published on the public website and communicated through correspondence from the Admissions Office. Additional exceptions to the above list must be approved by the Dean of College Transitions, or designee.
- Provide satisfactory placement test scores or transcripts showing math and English college coursework.
- Satisfactory placement test scores are COMPASS writing, reading, and math scores taken within the past three years. A minimum reading score of 37 is required for admission. Students not eligible for admission based on the reading score will be referred to Adult Basic Education or other literacy programs as appropriate.
- Proof of college credit level English and math courses (e.g., 101, 155 or higher) require a minimum grade of “C” or higher.
- Bridge to Clemson students may be admitted prior to completion of the COMPASS requirements.
- Submit a final, official high school transcript from an accredited or approved institution or an approved official high school equivalency score report prior to admission.
- Graduating high school seniors will be admitted pending receipt of final, official high school transcript. A priority deadline for receiving transcripts is established for each term and published on the website. Students who have not submitted final, official transcripts by the tuition payment deadline as published on the enrollment calendar each term will have their schedules cancelled and a hold will be placed on their registration until the transcript has been received.
- Official, college transcripts showing completion of a college associate’s or higher degree from an accredited or approved college or university may be submitted in lieu of an official high school transcript.
- If a student indicates on the admissions application that no high school diploma or approved equivalency was received, the student will be coded with the No High School Diploma or approved equivalency (NH) admission type and will be admitted only into a certificate program.
Minimum Age for Admission
Applicants to the College must be 17 years of age to be admitted. Applicants younger than 17 years of age who do not have a high school diploma or approved equivalency and who are not seeking Dual Enrollment are required to meet with the Dean of College Transitions, or designee, for an assessment interview to determine readiness for admission. Regardless of age, all students must meet program specific admissions criteria and requirements.
Dual Enrollment Students
Applicants who will take college courses while also enrolled in high school courses may be admitted as dual enrollment students. Dual enrollment applicants are admitted into the appropriate certificate program (University Studies or an approved career pathway certificate) once the application for admission is submitted and the permission form is obtained with appropriate signatures from the parent or guardian and the high school principal. Home schooled students must provide permission from the parent or guardian and from the school district or an authorized educational agency with jurisdiction over the home school. No application fee is required. High school students who are not juniors or seniors must receive permission to enroll from the Director of High School Engagement and Outreach, or designee.
Connect to College Students
Applicants who desire to take college courses (and possibly high school courses offered through VirtualSC) and who are sponsored by a public high school in Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties may be admitted as Connect to College (C2C) students. Applicants are admitted into the appropriate certificate program (University Studies) once the application for admission is submitted and the C2C office obtains the sponsorship form with appropriate signatures from a high school or district official. No application fee is required.
Applicants enrolled at another college desiring to transfer one or more Tri-County courses to their home college may be admitted as transient students. Applicants must submit an application for admission, pay application fee, and submit the Transient Coursework Approval form prior to registration. Satisfaction of course prerequisites must be verified by submitting official/unofficial transcripts.
Applicants not seeking admission into a degree, diploma, or certificate program may be admitted as non-degree students. Applicants must complete an application for admission, submit the application fee, and take the College’s placement test. Exceptions to testing may be granted on a case by case basis by the Dean of College Transitions, or designee. All course prerequisites must be satisfied.
International applicants are those non-citizens or non-permanent residents of the United States who hold visas that are eligible for post-secondary studies or who have documented and verified lawful presence in the country. Tri-County does not issue Form I-20s for F-1 student visas. The College does allow international students who hold valid F-1 student visas issued from other institutions to apply as transient students. Eligible international applicants must meet all admissions requirements as outlined in this Catalog and must maintain visa status and immigration documents in the manner required by the Department of Homeland Security. Any international student who does not maintain the appropriate status will be withdrawn from the College. Exceptions to the standard admissions requirements may be granted by the Dean of College Transitions, or designee.
Developed by American College Testing (ACT), the COMPASS test is an untimed computer-adaptive placement test that measures skills in reading, writing, and math. Even though COMPASS is a computer-based test, very little computer skills are necessary to complete the test. COMPASS is not a pass/fail test. 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.
All students (except transient students) must take the placement test and score a minimum of 37 on the reading portion of the test prior to acceptance. Students not eligible for admission based on their reading score will be referred to Adult Basic Education or other literacy programs as appropriate. Students may be exempt from all or a portion of the COMPASS test if they have completed college courses in English or math at the 101 level or higher from an accredited or approved institution with a minimum grade of “C” or if they have previously taken COMPASS or ASSET and have sufficient scores. COMPASS placement test scores are valid for three years. Students who are unsure if they need to take the COMPASS test should contact Admissions to determine if placement testing is required.
SAT, ACT, or other standardized test scores cannot be substituted for the placement test. The COMPASS placement test is given in the Assessment Center in Miller Hall on the Pendleton Campus. Testing hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The COMPASS placement test is also given on a limited basis at the Anderson, Easley, and Oconee Campuses. For further information about testing schedules call 864-646-1300.
A picture ID is required for placement testing. Acceptable forms of identification are a state-issued picture ID (a driver’s license, for example), a military ID, or an official school ID (high school or college). Use of a scientific or ACT-approved graphing calculator is allowed during COMPASS testing. To prepare for the test, view sample questions, and review calculator guidelines visit www.tctc.edu, click on the links Admissions and Placement Testing.
There is no charge for initial COMPASS testing. If a retest is needed or requested during a three-year period, one may be taken at a cost of $10. An academic advisor or the Assessment Center can help determine if retesting is needed. Other fees are applicable to complete placement testing or to have test scores sent to another institution.
Alternative placement testing for students with disabilities is available as approved by the College’s Disability Services Coordinator, Pendleton Campus, Student Center, Suite 155, 864-646-1564.
For more information about placement testing, call 864-646-1300 or visit www.tctc.edu/x829.xml.
The College offers orientation sessions for all new, transfer, and readmitted students prior to the start of each semester. The orientation introduces students to the College experience, informs them about resources and services they will use as Tri-County students, and facilitates their transition into their chosen academic program. Orientation registration instructions are provided to admitted students in their admissions materials. The orientation sessions are held on a variety of dates at multiple campuses and are offered in individual and group formats. As part of orientation, students meet with advisors for course planning and course registration. For more information, contact Orientation Services, 111 Anderson Hall, Pendleton Campus, 864-646-1502, or send an e-mail message to email@example.com.
In addition to the general student orientation, some departments offer orientation or information sessions specific to their programs. The appropriate departments will notify students as applicable regarding orientation or information sessions for specific programs.