Northeastern Technical College

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A New Path to “The American Dream”

For years, there was a belief that attending a 4-year institution to complete a degree was a sure path to success. To have success, one must attend a 4-year institution and at all costs, finish that degree. The narrative being, earning a 4-year degree would get the student a high paying job after graduation, and magically, "the American Dream" was their feet.

The American Dream, by this narrative from the education purist, was you can only obtain success by taking the 4-year education pathway. To most students, this pathway can be long and expensive. Parents took out second mortgages on their homes, cashed in retirements, or students borrowed money at unprecedented rates with little or no knowledge about what debt was and its long term effect on their future. All of this under the guidance of an internal system built and designed under the belief of helping students attain a 4-year degree, borrowing their way to this view of "the American Dream."

I did the same thing graduating with my Ph.D. I was over $90,000 of debt for the education I received. Even now, 15 years after graduation, I still owe more on student debt than the debt on my home. Many graduates, like myself, face the reality of paying back these large amounts of student loans for the majority of their lives. One of my personal life goals is to pay off my student debt before I have the pleasure of meeting many of my heroes from the histories past.

Credit score, indebtedness, socioeconomic status, and affordability become factors when deciding whether to pursue a college education by the narrative obtaining "the American Dream." Student debt holds graduates back from getting married, purchasing a home, starting a family, and in reality, living the American Dream. One wonders why employee job satisfaction or "their job having meaning in their life" is at an all-time low.

Until recently, this narrative of "the American Dream" has been presented in a way that caused technical and vocational schools to lose their appeal. With uncertainties rising in the job market and more people finding themselves overworked and underpaid, the appeal for a short term, job-related skills have started to resurface. People are turning to technical education to receive quality training based on work-ready skills while avoiding amassing huge amounts of debt.

Northeastern Technical College is one of many education providers, designed to prepare students to enter the workforce or upgrade their skills for great paying careers with no debt. Technical Colleges around the state price point their program to focus less on the ability to pay but on the true success of students' desire, and God-given talents for success. Programs such as welding, machine tool, business/management, nursing, accounting, electrical /mechanical technicians, plant maintenance, etc. help individuals develop skills to obtain high paying professional jobs immediately after completion.

Northeastern Technical College offers programs with low tuition, flexible scheduling, and the option to attend classes close to home or online, to further help offset the costs associated with pursuing higher education. Most programs are approved for State Lottery funds, workforce funds, Federal Pell Funds, and many foundation scholarships.

Technical colleges throughout South Carolina are designed to help local communities provide citizens access to training and education to fill high paying jobs in the local community. This investment by the state in technical education is necessary to strengthen local economies in both rural and urban communities. For this reason, it is essential for South Carolina to reinvest in technical and vocational education, allowing the expansion of the technical college footprint with new programs and new equipment for existing programs.
When the State provides much-needed support dollars, the colleges can raise the level of workforce education access and quality to meet the industry needs of a 21st Century employer, in the 21st Century global work environment. When citizens earn stable paychecks in fields where there is demand, they can achieve the American Dream. We will see our communities grow, become revitalized, and create livable conditions whereby every citizen is debt-free from education borrowing.

Northeastern Technical College awarded over $4.3 million in financial aid to students in Chesterfield, Marlboro, and Dillon counties for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. Federal Pell Grants combined with State Programs such as Lottery Tuition Assistance, Life Scholarship, SC Promise, SC Wins, and other local scholarships lighten and in most cases, eliminate the financial burden of college, making it the most cost-effective community investment in the state of South Carolina.

A 4-year college degree is still a great path to success, but it is no longer the only way for citizens of South Carolina to "Live the American Dream." Technical and Vocational schools are helping students find success while giving them an option that does not leave them with huge amounts of debt after they graduate. At Northeastern Technical College, "Start Your Adventure," and through technical education you can do it debt-free. See you in our halls!

Message from the President's Office

Dr. Kyle Wagner, President
Northeastern Technical College

Tags: College College Educated College Prepared Community Pathway Pathway to a Future Start Your Pathway Continuing Education

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  • Kayla Gibson, Dual Credit Student:

    Taking classes at Northeastern Technical College while in high school has helped prepare me for the College of Charleston by earning credits that I will need for my major. I will be entering the College of... Read More about Kayla

  • Cynthia Hulon, Educational Mentor:

    I received individualized attention from my instructors at Northeastern Technical College when I was going through the business program. NETC's faculty and staff members are very friendly and accommodating, and they really care about their students.... Read More about Cynthia

  • Anissa Keith, NETC Alumna:

    Going to Northeastern Technical College allowed me to work a full-time job, be at home with my child and live in my community. At NETC, you are more than just a number in a classroom. The... Read More about Anissa

  • Jonathan Rivers, Farmer:

    Going to NETC, which is exactly 17 miles from my home, was convenient. I could live at home and go to school, which was a lot more affordable for me than going off to college elsewhere.... Read More about Jonathan

  • Santrice Hailey, NETC Alumna:

    Northeastern Technical College was my pathway to a better life. NETC was directly involved in getting me where I am today and having the job that I am so passionate about.... Read More about Santrice

  • Tony Knight, Printer of T-Riffic Promotions:

    NETC was my pathway to a broad range of knowledge that has allowed me to pursue my dream of owning my own business. NETC is a great starting point for people who are undecided about their... Read More about Tony

  • Trevor Gilchrist, Former Dual Credit Student:

    Being a part of the Dual Enrollment program at NETC allowed me to not only graduate in four years from college, but also see the world. By gaining a head start in my college career through... Read More about Trevor

  • Hester Ellerbe, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor:

    Life is a journey, and NETC was my starting point on my pathway to a rewarding career in social work. NETC can be a starting point for many who are ready to start pushing for an... Read More about Hester

  • Larry McNeil, Chief of Police:

    The education I received at Northeastern Technical College was my pathway to a fulfilling, exciting and successful career in law enforcement. Had I not started at NETC, I would never have achieved my position as chief.... Read More about Larry

  • Alanda LeGrand, Cosmetology instructor:

    I tell my students all the time that they need to pursue an associate degree and not just rely on the cosmetology certificate. A two-year degree can be their pathway to another job if they do... Read More about Alanda

  • Chad Hood of Lineman:

    If you live in Chesterfield, Marlboro or Dillon counties and you're having a hard time finding work, there's no reason not to start you­r education at Northeastern Technical College.... Read More about Chad

  • Caroline Sylvia, Former Dual Credit Student:

    I am thankful for the opportunity I had to take dual credit classes at NETC. Not only did they help me prepare for college level course work and scheduling, the college credits I earned at NETC... Read More about Caroline

  • Frank Ponce, Movie Director:

    I have a passion to create. I'm not just doing this because of the money, the fame or power. It is truly my passion. I am an artist, and I will always create to make people... Read More about Frank

  • Jarrett Davis, Electronics student:

    By enrolling in the Industrial Electronics program at NETC, I am pursuing the dream I’ve had for a long time of becoming an electrician. Going to school at NETC and learning these advanced skills has been... Read More about Jarrett

  • Emily Williams, NETC Alumna:

    I knew I wanted to study law, and Northeastern Technical College offered the pathway to becoming a legal office assistant. The smaller classes and the support services offered by NETC really met my needs and allowed... Read More about Emily

  • Josh Thomas, INA Apprentice:

    NETC is my pathway to a college degree and a better life. It has helped me define my career plans and pursue a job in machine tool technology where I can use my problem solving skills.... Read More about Josh

  • Tommy Pegues, Registered Nurse:

    Northeastern Technical College was close to home and my job, and it was affordable. It was my starting place. With this nursing degree from NETC, I can branch out and go anywhere.... Read More about Tommy

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