Since 1972, Aiken Technical College (ATC) has been providing educational services to the students who choose to call Aiken Tech their college home. Accredited by the Committee on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, this college is a proud member of the sixteen schools in the South Carolina Technical College System. Students can choose from a variety of diploma, certificate, and associate degree programs from Emergency Dispatcher Certification to an Associates Degree in Electronic Engineering Technology. This progressive two year comprehensive college is host to more than 3,000 annual students in the credit course programs and more than 10,000 students take advantage of the non credit offerings every year.
ATC offers a variety of associate degree programs including an Associates of Arts, Associate of Science, or an Associate of Applied Science. In order to ensure graduates are well versed and well rounded, all associate degree programs require a number of general education courses to ensure diversification and balance in the student’s educational curriculum.
In addition to associate degree, diploma, and certification programs, Dual Enrollment programming for those high school seniors who want to get an early start on their college education is offered. Dual Enrollment students can take up to six college credits toward their college degree. State Lottery funding requirements must be met for students interested in the dual Enrollment program; as this particular funding pays a prescribed portion of the cost of the students’ class fees.
For those who don’t meet the state eligibility requirements for the Dual Enrollment program, high school and home school students still have the option of getting an early collegiate start by participating in the Early Entry program. With parental permission, prospective students must be at least 16 years of age, and complete the ATC application and Dual Enrollment form. Students must meet the minimal score on the required placement test, as well as ensure they meet course prerequisites in order to be accepted into the Early Entry program.
The school takes a real vested interest in the academic success of its area high school and home school students. In addition to Dual Enrollment and Early Entry programs, ATC is a part of the School to Work Consortium offered by Aiken County Tech Prep. Graduation from this prestigious program often qualifies a student for advanced placement in a number of the College’s industrial and technical programs that are offered.
Additionally, members of the military who are interested in participating in any certificate or degree programs can receive credit for their military training since this college is a proud member of the Service Members’ Opportunity College Associate Degree program (SOCAD). Moreover, the Training and Business Development Center offers continuing education credits to students as young as 16 years of age, with parental permission, and to returning adults, as a part their pursuit of life long learning.
To further demonstrate ATC’s dedication to their students’ achievement, the college has developed the Academic Success Center (ASC), which provides educational support services to the student body in a student focused, student friendly environment. Students can take advantage of free peer and faculty tutoring services offered by the program as well as the Early Alert Program. If a student is having some difficulties in the classroom, instructors are committed to the early notification of students, to give them ample opportunity to improve their grades. Students referred to the Early Alert Program can receive assistance from the Academic Success Center as well as the school’s counseling center.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The college subscribes to an “open door” policy of admissions. In essence, any adult citizens interested in availing themselves of the college’s educational programs are eligible to enroll.
All interested applicants must meet certain criteria in order to be accepted. With the exception of those students applying for enrollment in the Dual Enrollment or Early Entry programs, all applicants must be at least 18 years of age or possess a high school diploma or Graduate’s Equivalency Diploma (GED) to be considered for admission.
In addition to completing the free admissions application online, all prospective students interested in curriculum programs are required to submit their high school transcripts and acceptable ACT or SAT scores for admissions. For those who do not possess acceptable test scores, participation in placement assessments is required prior to acceptance into degree programming. However, there are exemptions to placement testing for those who have passing grades from regionally accredited institutions of higher learning; an applicant is participating in Career Development and not pursuing an academic award; or the prospective student has earned advanced placement for math or English on AP or CLEP exams that have been recognized by the college. Transcripts and ACT/SAT test scores should be sent to the Admissions and Records Office. An internet based WebAdvisor for those who may have additional questions regarding the admissions process is also offered.
There is a variety of student financial aid options to assist students who have satisfactory academic performance with tuition, fees, books, and living expenses. Financial aid is available in the form of Federal Pell Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, South Carolina Need Based Grants, Federal Work Study, Student loans, Single Parent/Displaced Homemaker Program, as well as a plethora of scholarship opportunities.
The first step in securing financial assistance is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be completed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is available online as early as January or February of the year prior to enrollment. The earlier the FAFSA is completed, the better; as most scholarships are offered on a first come first serve basis, and scholarship funds are often limited. The deadline for completing the FAFSA is May 1 every year a student is interested in receiving financial assistance. Because financial aid is not renewed automatically, it is very important to keep this date in mind. The FAFSA requires information on both the student and their family, so it’s helpful to have this information readily available when applying. Students will be notified via the FAFSA website as to the amount of financial assistance they qualify for. ATC’s financial aid office is available to assist students with applications and financial aid questions.
There are a few important dates for students to remember when turning in financial aid applications for ATC. For fall enrollment, applications should be submitted by June 1st. For spring enrollment, applications should be submitted no later than October 1st; and for summer enrollment, students must submit applications by February 15th.
Students may also qualify for scholarships awarded by the ATC Foundation. These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated scholastic achievement in their high school or college level course work. Interested students are required to complete an ATC Foundation Scholarship Application, and must have a FAFSA on file to be considered. Students can find a list of available scholarships and eligibility requirements at www.atcfoundation.org.
Another prominent scholarship available is the state funded State Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship. This scholarship is offered to legal residents of South Carolina, who are US citizens or permanent residents. Eligible candidates must have successfully graduated from high school or completed an approved home school program, and must attend an eligible South Carolina public or private institution of higher learning. For those who wish to be considered for the LIFE Scholarship, all appropriate forms can be secured from the Admissions and Records Office.
Because of the variety of educational programs offered, the student population is equally as diverse and dynamic. High school students participating in early placement programs are able to interact with the service men and women participating in SOCAD. Older students are able to actively engage with international students. The possibilities for socialization and learning in a culturally rich and diverse environment are endless.
Although there is no on campus housing, the surrounding community of Graniteville offers many affordable housing options for students who decide to move to the area.
Student Enrollment Demographics
ATC offers a variety of competitive sports for students to become involved in, including men’s intramural, intercollegiate and scholarship basketball, women’s intramural basketball, and women’s basketball; women’s intercollegiate, intramural and scholarship softball, men’s intramural softball; men’s intercollegiate golf, and men’s and women’s intramural volleyball. The Aiken Technical College Knights are proud and competitive members of the NJCAA.
There is a host of off campus activities for students to enjoy. The Aiken Center for the Arts is the creative hub for the Graniteville community. Several performing arts programs are offered including film, dance, and music, as well as concert events, year round exhibits, and a variety of classes for students and community members to enjoy. The awe inspiring Ruth Patrick Science Education Center’s DuPont Planetarium has public showings every Saturday, where residents of the community can gaze at the stars in the state of the art 45 seat planetarium chamber. Other venues for off campus fun include the Aiken County Historical Museum, and the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum for horse racing enthusiasts.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.