Mission / History | Technical College of the LowCountry

Mission / History


Our vision is to elevate each student and every community we serve through transformative technology and exceptional teaching.

TCL is one of 16 comprehensive, public two-year technical colleges in South Carolina. Our main campus is in Beaufort and we are a locally governed, publicly supported college that also serves the diverse educational needs of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties.

TCL Mission

One of sixteen colleges comprising the South Carolina Technical College System, the Technical College of the Lowcountry traces its origin to The Mather School founded in 1868.  The college is a comprehensive, public, two-year college dedicated to serving the diverse educational needs of the rural counties of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper.  The College annually serves approximately 10,000 credit and continuing education students, a mix of traditional, non-traditional, fulltime, and part-time.

The Technical College of the Lowcountry provides quality, affordable academic and technical programs leading to Associate Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates in an environment fostering excellence in teaching and learning.  The College prepares graduates with knowledge and skills for transfer to senior colleges and universities and for careers in computer technology, industrial technology, engineering technology, occupational technology, business, health sciences, and public service.

The College serves as an effective partner in the economic and human resource development of the Lowcountry.  As an open admissions institution, the Technical College of the Lowcountry offers academic, transfer, and specialized programs.   Offerings include developmental education; arts and sciences; career development; specialized, contract courses tailored for specific businesses and industries; and continuing education to meet the workforce needs of the Lowcountry.  In addition to responding to local and regional needs of the area, the College recognizes that state, national, and international issues affect the lives of the citizens of the Lowcountry and responds to these issues appropriately.

In support of its educational programs and services the College offers comprehensive student development services to all who seek to better their lives through education.  In an atmosphere of shared values, the College encourages creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness among its students, faculty, staff, and administrators.  With a commitment to excellence, the Technical College of the Lowcountry creates a positive, student-centered environment.  The College empowers individuals by enabling them to learn and to develop throughout their lifetimes.

  • Adopted by the TCL Commission, November 18, 2002
  • Approved by the Commission on Higher Education, January 9, 2003
  • Reaffirmed and Modified by the TCL Commission, October 8, 2009
  • Modifications Approved by the Commission on Higher Education, November 24, 2009
  • Reaffirmed by the TCL Commission, October 14, 2010
  • Reaffirmed by the TCL Commission, October 27, 2011
  • Reaffirmed by the TCL Commission, October 18, 2012
  • Reaffirmed by the TCL Commission, October 22, 2013
  • Reaffirmed by the TCL Commission, October 9, 2014
  • Reaffirmed by the TCL Commission, September 8, 2015
  • Reaffirmed by the TCL Commission, November 17, 2016
  • Reaffirmed by the TCL Commission,  October 17, 2017

TCL History

1711 The Town of Beaufort established.
1861 Union troops occupy Beaufort.
1862 Penn School founded to educate newly liberated slaves.
1868 The Mather School for daughters of former slaves established.
1881 Mrs. Mather deeds the property to the New England Baptist Missionary Association.
1901 First elementary class of three members graduates.
1932 Mather School high school program approved by the South Carolina State Department of Education as Mather Industrial School – 12 grades are now being taught.
1954 The Junior College Department organized to provide increased educational opportunities for high school graduates in the greater Beaufort area and allow male students to enroll.
1955 Mather School accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
1956 Mather Junior College graduates first class.
1966 Mather School one of three schools designated by the Office of Economic Opportunity for a pilot project designed to assist high school graduates in this section of South Carolina to overcome certain academic deficiencies before entering college.
1967 The Board of Trustees of the Mather School, in concurrence with the American Baptist Home Mission Societies vote to offer the campus and buildings to the South Carolina State Board of Education for use as a State Area Trade School and to effect a merger relationship with Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina.
1968 Mather School concludes 100 years of unique educational service to the greater Beaufort area. The campus is given to the state of South Carolina as an area trade school.
1969 The South Carolina General Assembly transfers the administration of Beaufort Area Trade School from the Department of Education to the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education (SBTCE).
1970 The School becomes known as the Beaufort Regional Training Center.
1972 The Center becomes part of the State Technical College System under the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education and renamed the Beaufort Technical Education Center.
1974 State Board designates a four-county service area – Beaufort, Hampton, Jasper and Colleton counties. A branch campus is established in Hampton County.
1978 The Center is accredited by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools.
1979 The Center’s name is changed to Beaufort Technical College. Off-Campus military education programs at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island are begun.
1981 Special Services, a program offering counseling to high risk, first- generation college students is begun. Part of the federal government TRIO programs.
1982 College receives funding for the Upward Bound Program, part of the federal government TRIO programs. Area high school students selected for special counseling and tutoring.
1983 The College’s Hilton Head Island Center is opened and the Beaufort Technical College Foundation is established.
1984 SACS Reaffirmation.
1985 College receives funding for Talent Search, a program providing career and college counseling in area high schools. Part of the federal government TRIO programs. College becomes one of only three colleges in the state to offer all three of the TRIO programs.
1986 Legislation is introduced to establish an area commission, a local government board for the College.
1987 Dr. Anne S. McNutt appointed President.
1988 College changes name to “ Technical College of the Lowcountry” to reflect its four-county service area. The Foundation is also renamed.
1990 Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees are offered.
1991 The Hampton Center is renamed H. Mungin Center in honor of Halbert Mungin, who served as Hampton County’s representative on the TCL Commission from 1987-1990.
1992 Converted from quarters to semesters.
2005 Groundbreaking for the New River Campus
2006 New River Campus opens doors for classes and dedicates campus
2008 Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel appointed President.
2011 TCL operates Colleton Quick Jobs Center.
2012 TCL Enterprise Campus approved by State Board.
2012 Renovated Hampton Campus opens.
2013 TCL names Dr. Gina Mounfield Interim President
2014 Dr. Richard J. Gough begins as TCL’s new President.