Skip to main content

Nov. 28, 2018 - Trident Technical College offers free lean manufacturing for 84 participants through ManuFirstSC Grant program

The demand for workers in high-tech lean manufacturing is expected to continue to surge in the Lowcountry in the coming years and Trident Technical College's Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development is gearing up to train the employees that can fill those jobs.

The college has modified its Lean Manufacturing program, originally developed in conjunction with local manufacturers to provide workers with the equivalent of one year of manufacturing experience, to conform to the state of South Carolina's ManuFirstSC Grant program. The ManuFirstSC Grant program completely covers the cost of tuition, background checks and drug screening for a total of 84 participants for Trident Tech’s ManuFirstSC (Lean Manufacturing) continuing education classes running from January to May 2019. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trident Tech Continuing Education is hosting a series of free information sessions about the ManuFirstSC Grant program in December 2018. Click here for dates.

Trident Technical College to Co-Host Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Employer Summit with ISHPI

In collaboration with National Apprenticeship Week, Trident Technical College will co-host the Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Employer Summit with Ishpi Information Technologies Nov. 14, at 7:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza located at 4831 Tanger Outlet Blvd., North Charleston.

The purpose of the summit is to educate local employers on the value of apprenticeships to address the cybersecurity skills shortage. The event will feature expert speakers from the Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Standards, Carnegie Mellon University and Trident Technical College, and will include a breakfast at no charge to the attendees.

“We are excited about collaborating with ISPHI to grow and strengthen the cybersecurity workforce in the Lowcountry,” said Dr. Laurie Boeding, dean of Business Technology at TTC.

TTC has long recognized the need for additional cybersecurity technicians to support the current and future workforce demands. As such, TTC has many ongoing cybersecurity initiatives including its current “Supporting Education in Cybersecurity for Undergraduates through Resources and Engagement” (CyberSECURE) program. Together with industry partners, the program’s main objectives are to develop and expand apprenticeship opportunities, develop a cybersecurity operations center and cyber range for advanced cyber defense and security technician education, and conduct STEM and cybersecurity outreach activities. Additionally, TTC’s Division of Apprenticeship Programs partners with area employers to grow talent by developing US Department of Labor Apprenticeship programs and connecting employers with apprentices.

 “ISHPI is honored to co-host this event alongside Trident Technical College,” said Girish Seshagiri, ISHPI’s executive vice president and chief technology officer. Seshagiri is an early adopter of the Dual “Learn and Earn” Vocational Training Model for skills formation and a staunch advocate of regional workforce development. He provides the founding organizational leadership of ISHPI’s Community Initiative Center of Excellence for Secure Software (CICESS) program. The employer-led CICESS initiative combines academic theory/technical instruction at a local community college and work experience at participating employers to train a globally competitive workforce in developing software that is secure from cyber-attacks. CICESS meets industry needs for secure software development competencies and requirements utilizing standardized curriculum to create highly-skilled, capable and readily employable graduates. 

 Local employers interested in learning how to partner with TTC and ISHPI to start apprenticeships to grow Charleston’s future cybersecurity workforce are invited to attend the summit. For more information, contact TTC Dean of Apprenticeships Mitchell Harp at

Sept. 4, 2018 -Trident Technical College launches additional opportunities within the Workforce Pathways Scholarship program

WORKFORCE PATHWAYS SCHOLARSHIP FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES UPDATE: Due to the uncertainty concerning Hurricane Florence, the orientation session scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13 has been canceled. The application period and orientation sessions for this scholarship will not begin until Tuesday, Sept. 18. This is subject to additional changes as new information becomes available regarding the hurricane. Click here for scholarship updates. Trident Technical College is closed Tuesday, Sept. 11-Friday, Sept 14 due to the mandatory evacuation order regarding Hurricane Florence. For the latest updates on campus closures, click here.

Trident Technical College's Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development is offering a new session of Workforce Pathways Scholarship (WPS) funds that pay for course fees for approved career training continuing education programs. This is a new, separate opportunity from the WPS funds that are also available currently to pay for academic courses at Trident Technical College this year.

Eligibility for a scholarship is not based on financial need or prior academic performance, and the scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested students can apply for scholarships Sept. 13-27, 2018. WPS funds are available for use only on qualified TTC continuing education courses within approved programs.

Following three hugely successful prior installments of the Pathways Initiative, the South Carolina General Assembly has renewed and expanded the program for a fourth term providing additional funding for Workforce Pathways Scholarships to the S.C. Technical College System. A total of $500,000 is available to TTC’s continuing education students, an increase over the previous year. Click here for more information.

July 24, 2018 - Trident Technical College Main Campus renamed Thornley Campus

Trident Technical College’s Main Campus in North Charleston became the Thornley Campus Tuesday afternoon after the college’s Area Commission voted to rename the campus to honor Dr. Mary Thornley, the college’s longtime president.

The idea to honor Thornley by renaming the campus came from Trident Technical College Foundation board members Bobby Collins and Chris Fraser. Collins made the formal request to the Area Commission Tuesday on behalf of the TTC Foundation board.

“Over the years, it has been our privilege to work alongside Dr. Thornley as she consistently finds ways to ensure that progress and innovation create new opportunities for our students and meet the ever-growing workforce needs of our community,” said Collins in making the request to the commissioners. “She is an outstanding leader, and we look forward to working alongside her for years to come. Too often, recognition for outstanding leadership comes at the conclusion of a career. As a foundation board, we wanted to make a recommendation to honor Dr. Thornley now, while she remains actively engaged as president of Trident Technical College.”

Thornley has worked at the college for 45 years. She was hired as an adjunct instructor in 1973 and became a full-time instructor the next year. Over time she moved up the ranks and held positions including department head, dean, and vice president for academic affairs. She was named president in 1991.

“This is a recognition of the unwavering dedication, commitment and leadership that Dr. Thornley has provided over the past four and a half decades,” said Dr. Yvonne Barnes, chair of TTC’s Area Commission. “As a champion of students, Dr. Thornley works tirelessly to ensure their success. She is the longest-serving president of the college and is one of the most respected leaders in the Lowcountry. She is certainly deserving of the honor.”

In conjunction with the campus name change, the TTC Foundation has established the Thornley Leadership Fund and is working toward a $1 million fundraising goal. “The Thornley Leadership Fund recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of Dr. Thornley and will serve as a ‘greatest needs’ fund, providing additional support for Dr. Thornley to ensure that all opportunities to advance the college and to assist students can be considered,” said Lisa Piccolo, TTC Foundation executive director and vice president for development.

Trident Tech has three other campuses in the region: Palmer Campus in downtown Charleston, Berkeley Campus in Moncks Corner, and Mount Pleasant Campus in Mount Pleasant. The college also provides services at two sites, one in Hollywood and the other in St. George.

July 18, 2018 - S.C. Promise Scholarship to provide up to $2,000 to recent Berkeley County graduates

A new state-funded scholarship program is offering recent Berkeley County high school graduates and GED recipients up to $2,000 to attend a South Carolina technical college. The S.C. Promise Scholarship is being offered to students from 34 of the state’s poorest school districts as identified in the Abbeville County School District vs. South Carolina lawsuit.

Students can use the $2,000 to pay for tuition and fees for the 2018-19 academic year, with up to $300 of the amount going toward the cost of books. To receive funding, students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours at Trident Tech or one of the state’s other 15 technical colleges. Students must also participate in a mentoring program at the college while enrolled. Students interested in the scholarship must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the S.C. Promise Scholarship application. The scholarship is applied after other forms of financial aid, such as the Pell Grant and S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance, are credited. Refunds will not be issued. The scholarship is not need-based, and eligibility is not based on current residence.

To be eligible students must:

  • Have earned a high school diploma from a public or private school in Berkeley County from 2013 to 2018 OR
  • Have resided in Berkeley County and graduated from a home-school program from 2013 to 2018 OR
  • Have resided in Berkeley County and received a GED from 2013 to 2018

 Scholarship funds are limited. Trident Tech officials urge those who are interested in receiving a scholarship to apply immediately. For more information about the scholarship, visit Trident Tech’s website or call 843. 574.6000.

May 9, 2018 - Outstanding students honored at Awards Day

Trident Technical College students and faculty members were recognized for their outstanding achievement and involvement in student organizations at TTC’s Awards Day ceremony held at the college’s Main Campus on May 3.

The President’s Award/Kurtzman Prize, the highest honor which includes a monetary gift given to a graduating student on the basis of academic achievement, contributions to the college and community service, was awarded this year to Christian Isaman, a Culinary Arts Technology graduate from Charleston.

Regional executive Tal Lakey and Charleston branch manager Jim Goddard were on hand to present the S.C. State Credit Union Award to Associate of Arts student Heidi Rader of Goose Creek. This award, which also includes a monetary gift, is presented to a returning student who demonstrates a commitment to service, exhibits perseverance toward completing higher educational goals, displays commendable personal attributes, and serves as an exemplary role model to other students.

The Klein Tools Award, which honors the outstanding electrician graduate from the Electrical and Automated Technologies program with a set of tools valued at more than $1,000, was presented by Klein Tools Inc. District Manager David Inman to TTC student Christopher Andrews of Mount Pleasant.

The Dr. Frankie Miller Leadership Award, in honor of the former dean of the Culinary Institute of Charleston (CIC), Frankie Miller, was awarded to Caitlin Elizabeth Simpson of Mount Pleasant. Simpson was recognized with a $500 scholarship check from the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and an award from CIC.

The Merit Award winners were also recognized by TTC President Dr. Mary Thornley for their academic and personal excellence, identifying each recipient as the top student in his or her program of study. The Merit Award winners are: Accounting -Becky Lanier, Administrative Office Technology-Rebecca Prevatt, Associate in Arts-Mikaela Franco, Associate in Arts-Trisha Nenni, Associate in Science-Rory Thomas, Associate in Science/Nursing Preparation-Susannah Trammell, Commercial Graphics/Animation-Rebecca Ball, Commercial Graphics/Graphic Design-Krista Parker, Commercial Graphics/Photography-Sherry Graves, Computer Technology/Information Systems Specialist-Bruce Gonzalez, Criminal Justice-Loretta Robinson, Culinary Arts Technology-Christian Isaman, Culinary Arts Technology /Baking and Pastry-Muireann Starnes, Culinary Arts Technology/Sports and Health Nutrition-Leah Tone, Early Care and Education/ Child Care Management-Margo Black, Early Care and Education/ Child Care Professional-Melly Gebretatios, Early Care and Education/School Age and Youth Development-Samantha Ray, Hospitality and Tourism-Kendall Shafer, Human Services Generalist-Brittany Reed, Management/Supply-Chain Management-Sonya Pryor, Media Arts Production/Film Production-Christopher Gros, Media Arts Production/Post Production-Gabriel Leonguerrero, Media Arts Production/Television and Media Arts-Fernanda Abdelnur, Medical Assisting-Paris Smith, Medical Lab Technology-Mary Atchison, Network Systems Management-Jerome Zerba, Nursing-Alexandrina Evstafyeva, Paralegal-Jessica Cox, Radiologic Technology-Kristin Ross, and Respiratory Care-Cassandra Pflueger.

There are approximately 40 student organizations at TTC in which students have the opportunities to network with other students who have similar interests, gain additional practice in their fields of study, interact with future colleagues, and offer time and energy to community service. Three organizations were recognized with Outstanding Student Organization awards. Winning the top honor was the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association, followed by Clemente Coalition as first runner-up and Early Childhood Development Club as second runner-up.

Awards of Distinction, given to student organizations that have won the Outstanding Student Organization award for more than three years, were presented to Society of Broadcasters and Phi Theta Kappa.

Outstanding Advisors and Outstanding Members of Student Organizations were also recognized. Society of Broadcasters advisor Randy Grimes won the top honor for Outstanding Student Organization Advisor. First runner-up was given to Mozell Rollerson, advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, and second runner-up was given to Kristin Zeaser-Sydow, advisor for the Early Childhood Development Club, and Dr. Mary Ann Kohli, advisor for the Clemente Coalition.

April 18, 2018 - TTC Clemente Course receives grant funding to offer course for veterans

Trident Technical College’s Clemente Course has been named one of three sites to receive funding to offer a free humanities course for veterans. The award was announced last week as the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) named the Clemente Course in the Humanities among its 2018 grant recipients, awarding $96,000 to expand its work in the NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War Initiative. Projects funded through NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War grants will support humanities-based programs for military veterans and their families.

“I am so excited about the founding of a Veterans Clemente Course here in Charleston,” said Dr. Mary Ann Kohli, TTC instructor and director of the Charleston Clemente Course. “Such a study of the humanities, addressing topics such as the military, national service, self-sacrifice, and reconciliation, will help to create a meaningful intellectual community. Since isolation is one of the major obstacles that veterans face in adjusting to civilian life, the Veterans Clemente Course will be able to assure each participating veteran that he or she is not alone in the struggle to make sense of experiences of war.”

 This is the second consecutive NEH grant Clemente has received to support the Clemente Veterans Initiative (CVI), which was developed in 2014. CVI is based on the idea that guided discussion of humanities texts and images can provide veterans with an opportunity to reflect on their military experiences and support their transition to post-military life.

To learn about enrolling, contact Dr. Kohli at 843-720-5713.

April 18, 2018 - TTC announces 2017-18 SKIP winners

Trident Technical College named five employees as the 2017-18 SKIP winners at a recent college leadership meeting.

The SKIPs were created by former Trident Tech vice president Skip Godow to identify and reward employees who are setting an example of innovation at TTC. "Good is the enemy of great," Godow said. “We should always be striving for great. That takes creativity, imagination and innovation.”

The nominations exemplify innovation that significantly enhances the student experience, improves an administrative process or truly puts TTC on the cutting edge. Awards were given in each of two categories, non-instructional and instructional.

Dawn Higdon and Teresa Coke won in the non-instructional category for the TTC scholarship essay module project. The scholarship module involved developing and building a scholarship essay module in the college’s portal that provides functionality based on the role of the user: student, evaluator or scholarship administrator. 

In the instructional category, Anderson Jackson, Carter “Lee” Burns and Laurie Boeding won for the IST 290 problem solving internship project. This project involved developing a new curriculum using IST 290 (Special Topics in Information Science). Students in the course did not just intern, but investigated a real-world information technology problem, dissected it, worked with customers, and then provided a practical solution to the problem.

SKIP is an acronym for Strategy + Knowledge = Innovation Prize. The TTC Foundation awarded each winning team, which was selected by a committee of innovative leaders in the community, a hand-sculpted trophy and $1,000.

April 16, 2018 - TTC receives grant from Bosch to support Automotive Technology Lab

Trident Technical College has been awarded a grant of $20,000 from the Bosch Community Fund to update the college’s Automotive Technology program with modern equipment, tools and software, all of which will provide hands-on opportunities for an engaging learning experience for students.

“This project will help meet industry need for well-trained automotive service technicians,” said Buzz Varella, TTC’s program director for Automotive Technology. “It’s estimated that by 2020, nearly 2,000 automotive service technicians will work in the Tri-county area, and we want to help ensure that the workforce has the skills they need to be effective.”

Approximately 70 students each year will have access to improved technology through enrollment in the classes impacted by the upgrades.

“By increasing student access to industry-standard equipment, we can better prepare students for ASE certification and careers,” said Clint Snider, TTC automotive instructor. “We’re grateful to the Bosch Community Fund for their generous support of our program.” 

The Bosch Community Fund, a U.S.-based foundation established in September 2011, has awarded nearly $19 million in grants to various 501(c)(3) organizations and educational institutions. The BCF focuses primarily on the enrichment of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and the advancement of environmental sustainability initiatives.

March 27, 2018 - Volvo Car USA awards grant to support Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships

The Volvo Car USA Operations Grants program awarded Trident Technical College Foundation a grant of $20,000 through the Coastal Community Foundation to support the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship program.

“Youth apprenticeships offer high school students an incredible opportunity. They can earn both high school and college credit for coursework, earn a paycheck and get a jump start on an in-demand career,” said Melissa Stowasser, dean of School and Community Initiatives. “We’re seeing our apprentices take a variety of paths once they complete the program. Some are completing two-year degrees, some are getting full-time jobs, and some are entering four-year degree programs. They’ve all benefitted from the mentoring, training and job experience they’ve received.”

Grant funds will be spent on direct student support, providing tuition, books and materials for at least 12 new students enrolling in advanced manufacturing programs in Fall 2018. Students accepted into the program will work for local companies such as Cummins Turbo Technologies, Robert Bosch, VTL Group, Boeing and Venture Aerobearings, among others.

Advanced manufacturing careers are on the rise in South Carolina and can provide family-sustaining wages. Machinist positions are expected to grow 13.7 percent between 2017 and 2020 in the Charleston region, with median hourly earnings of $20.21. Industrial mechanics positions are expected to grow 11.2 percent, with median hourly earnings of $25.37. 

“We’re thankful for the Volvo Car USA Operations Grants program and the assistance of the Coastal Community Foundation,” said Stowasser. “Their support is helping us to expand opportunities for youth in our region and meet employers’ growing needs for skilled labor.”

For more information about the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship program, click here

March 27, 2018 - Apprentices earn prizes in 11th Annual Electrician’s Competition at TTC

Electrical construction apprentices displayed their skills in installing electrical components and circuitry at the 2018 Charleston Electrical Contractors Association Electrical Competition held March 24 at Trident Technical College’s Main Campus.

The competition allowed high school, Trident Technical College, and first-, second-, third- and fourth-year electrical construction apprentices to compete with the skills they have gained through practical experience and classroom instruction. High school participants are part of a youth apprenticeship program and can become part of an adult apprenticeship program via TTC or CECA. Those who do not attend college will go on to work directly for electrical contractors after graduation.

First-place competition winners in each category were: Alex Garrard, Dorchester County Career Technology Center; Elias Bautista, Trident Technical College; Peter Capers Jr., first-year apprentice with Reserve Electric; Kyle Lewis, second-year apprentice with Gatch Electrical; Adam Gravelin, third-year apprentice with Metro Electrical; and Dalton Vealey, fourth-year apprentice with Gatch Electrical. Klein Tools provided prizes for all first-, second- and third-place winners. Employers from the tri-county area were also on-hand at a career fair to discuss career opportunities for electricians.

A registered apprenticeship program is a paid, in-house training program that combines classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Working in accordance with standards set by the company and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, an apprentice earns a nationally recognized certification as a journeyman upon completion of the program. More than 1,000 occupations qualify for apprenticeship training.

March 7, 2018 - Top students, schools earn academic accolades at 32nd annual QUEST competition

Students from 41 public schools throughout the tri-county area battled for top honors at the 32nd Annual Quest Academic Competition held Saturday, March 3, at Trident Technical College.

Students participated in four levels of competition: Level I-grade 6, Level II-grades 7-8, Level III-grades 9-10 and Level IV-grades 11-12. Students competed and earned points in team competitions in math, science and social studies, and in individual competitions including composition, public speaking and visual arts. Schools whose students earned the most total points won overall awards at each level. Special competitions that did not contribute points toward the overall awards were held in automotive, computer aided design, computer programming, culinary, engineering design and construction, French, horticulture, Spanish, video/film and welding.

Overall awards were given to 12 schools. At Level I (grade 6) Camp Road Middle School won first place, Moultrie Middle School placed second and Buist Academy for Advanced Studies finished in third place. At Level II (grades 7-8) Rollings Middle School of the Arts took top honors, while Thomas C. Cario Middle School and Westview Middle School tied for second place. At Level III (grades 9-10) Ashley Ridge High School won first place, Academic Magnet High School placed second and Hanahan High School placed third. At Level IV (grades 11-12) Ashley Ridge High School and Academic Magnet High School repeated with first and second place, respectively, while Wando High School finished third.

Approximately 1,100 students participated in this year’s Quest. The competition was developed by TTC to promote academic excellence, provide an academic challenge to students, and recognize top students, teachers and schools. 


Trident Tech news from other years