North Greenville University and Tri-County Technical College Announce Partnership
Tigerville, SC (March 9, 2023) Tri-County Technical College and North Greenville University (NGU) officials signed a first-of-its-kind articulation agreement this week that enables the transfer of Tri-County students to NGU’s Educational Studies online bachelor’s degree program.
What makes this partnership unique is that all course credits associated with Tri-County’s Associate of Applied Science in Early Care and Education degree program transfer to NGU’s Early Childhood Education bachelor’s degree program. Plus, Tri-County students who transfer to NGU’s online bachelor’s degree program are eligible for a 10% discount on tuition. The flexibility associated with online courses is particularly valuable to Tri-County students who are often balancing school with work and family obligations.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues at Tri-County Technical College,” said NGU Provost Dr. Nathan Finn. “There is a critical need in South Carolina for more teachers in our public schools. Through this strategic partnership, prospective teachers will have access to an affordable and flexible education, which will in turn enable them to invest in the next generation as early childhood educators.”
Early childhood education professionals play a critical role in helping children ages birth to eight develop a strong base for lifelong learning and learning abilities. Early childhood education encompasses a wide variety of activities aimed at promoting a child’s cognitive and social development.
“Early childhood education is an essential building block of a child’s future success, and the demand for these types of educators continues to grow,” said Dr. Jackie Blakley, dean of TCTC’s Business and Public Services Division.
According to the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, employment in the childcare sector continues to lag behind overall employment. In fact, childcare employment today is 5.5% below what it was in February 2020. At the local level, there is a steady and rising demand for early education professionals. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s employment projections website, the number of childcare positions in South Carolina is expected to grow by 7.7% between 2020 and 2030, and the number of kindergarten teachers (except special education) is expected to grow by 9.9%.
“As a community college, it is Tri-County’s role to meet the workforce needs of our region,” said Dr. Blakley. “We are proud to partner with North Greenville University to create a pipeline of early childhood educators who can serve our region while ensuring a seamless transition for our students.”
Twenty-two-year-old Ciera Dudziak of Anderson will graduate from Tri-County this spring with her A.A.S. degree in Early Care and Education and has already been accepted into NGU’s online bachelor’s degree program.
“I work two jobs, so NGU’s online program works well for me because of the flexibility it offers, plus they accept all of my course credits,” said Dudziak. “NGU also has paid internship opportunities, which I can do in Anderson, which is another big highlight for me.”
Once Dudziak completes the online bachelor’s degree program at NGU, she is eligible to sit for the Early Childhood Education Praxis exam. Upon passing the exam, she is certified to teach in a public school or other setting such as a child care center, afterschool program, Early Head Start or Head Start. Her goal is to teach in a kindergarten classroom in Anderson.
To learn more about Tri-County’s A.A.S. in Early Care and Education program and the transfer agreement, visit tctc.edu/NGUtransfer.
About North Greenville University
NGU offers more than 125 areas of study across certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and early college opportunities. Online. In-person. At our main campus in Tigerville, SC, the Tim Brashier Campus in Greer, SC, or several educational centers around the U.S. One university, many locations. Every day. Epic. To learn more, visit ngu.edu.
About Tri-County Technical College
Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, industrial electronics, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit tctc.edu.