August 23, 2013


TC3 classes begin

Students talk about career aspirations, college life

TC3Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Students arrive for the opening day of classes Thursday morning at TC3. The many flags represent the nations TC3 students have originated from.

Staff Reporter

DRYDEN — Tompkins Cortland Community College commenced with its first day of classes on Thursday, welcoming back over 3,300 full-time and part-time students to its campus.
Returning students were excited to be back at school and first-year students were looking forward to starting on the road toward their career aspirations.
David Shank, a second-year student who commutes from Ithaca, said that although he’s not sure what school he wants to go to after TC3, he’s more or less settled on a choice of career.
“I’d like to be some kind of engineer,” Shank said after his first day of classes. “It’s kind of exciting (being back at school), but I’m a little nervous about classes I guess.”
Shank is taking courses in chemistry, calculus and economics this semester.
Many others have just started their higher education careers.
Fellow student April Brown, who graduated from Newark Valley High School in June, is beginning her first year at TC3 and hopes to one day be a social worker.
“It’s different than high school,” said Brown, who is taking mostly general requirement classes this semester. “I’m going to get used to it. It’s just different. There are a lot of new people to meet.”
Austin Valenti and Matt Little, both recently graduated from Homer High School, are pursuing environmental science degrees, plan on careers in sustainability and were struck by the diversity that TC3 offered.
“It’s really cool here,” Valenti said, noting that he has a student from Argentina in one of his classes. “We didn’t have that where we went to school. I really like it.”
For the most part, Little agreed.
“I didn’t like the math, but other than that I’ve liked it,” he said.
Valenti lives on campus, and Little plans to next year. They also plan on playing soccer and baseball, respectively, but not until next semester.
“I want to get a feel for the place first,” said Little.
Other students were starting at TC3 years after graduating high school.
“I figured it was time,” said Chase Hopkins, who graduated from Cortland High School in 2011 and is pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
“It’s weird, but it’s necessary,” Hopkins said of his return to school after two years. “I like working with kids, so I’ll probably do CPS (Child Protective Services) type work.”


To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe