Tri-County Technical College receives SCATCC’s 2022 Equity Award

February 24, 2023

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Yvonne Barnes, vice chair of the S.C. Association of Technical College Commissioners; Dr. Brian Smith, Men of Color committee member and assistant dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tri-County Technical College; Dr. Galen DeHay, president of Tri-County Technical College; and David Smalls, chair of the S.C. Association of Technical College Commissioners

The South Carolina Association of Technical College Commissioners (SCATCC) awarded Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) the 2022 Equity Award for the collaborative and intentional work achieved by its Men of Color (MOC) committee.

Recipients were recognized and awarded in person at the SCATCC Annual Commissioners’ Academy held February 1 in Columbia.

The Men of Color committee, comprised of administrators, faculty and staff, was created in January 2019. The goal is to educate, motivate, inspire, and empower minority students and to let them know they have a place at Tri-County Technical College. The committee works intentionally to create an inclusive learning environment that fosters success where young men and women of color feel safe, welcomed and valued.

“I am very proud of the work that led to this state award, Tri-County’s first-ever Equity Award,” said TCTC President Dr. Galen DeHay. “More importantly, I am grateful for our faculty and staff and their commitment to closing achievement gaps and improving outcomes for our students of color. There is more work to be done, but this award is an indication that our efforts are making a difference.”

Throughout the year the Men of Color Committee hosts events designed to connect students with the people and resources they may need to help them to be successful students. Participants also have the chance to meet with their peers and instructors/mentors and start those relationships.

Another outreach event hosted by the MOC committee is a luncheon that allows middle school, high school, and college students to come together with community leaders to build their social capital by networking and learning from one another. The luncheon also serves to educate and empower young men of color to expand their endless possibilities in life. Motivational speakers headline the event and panel discussions with area leaders are part of the program. The luncheon has continuously grown in number with 250 attendees in November.

The goal of the luncheon is two-fold: to raise money for the recently-established MOC scholarship and to raise awareness and serve as a recruiting tool for the high school students who attend the event. The mentoring program is a huge part of the luncheon as it is a way to connect with middle and high school students.

For the first time in Tri-County’s history, a scholarship was established specifically for men of color matriculating at TCTC. The initial funding for the scholarship was spearheaded by the committee as they sponsored bake sales with all of the products donated by members of the committee and other volunteers from the College. In 2022, the MOC scholarship was awarded to three deserving male students of color who may struggle with barriers to education.

The TCTC inaugural MOC golf tournament held April 7, 2022, netted more than $10,000 for the scholarship. One of the tournament sponsors, PGA Tour’s Korn Ferry Tour sponsored a student team. The Korn Ferry Charities also invited these students to join them for a few hours at the BMW Charity Pro Am held in early June.

In addition, for several years the TCTC Men of Color students have had the opportunity to attend the two-day National Men of Color Summit hosted each year by Clemson University.

The goal of the MOC initiative is to grow to include other underrepresented populations on campus.

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