What did you study at Trident Tech?
I already had an undergraduate degree in accounting. I enrolled at TTC for additional classes so I could apply for admission into the Physician Assistant program at MUSC. Out of 1500 applicants, MUSC only accepted 15 and I was not one of the 15.
Ironically it all worked out. The company I was working for part-time hired me full time, the very same day I found out that I did not get accepted into the MUSC program. Twenty-one years later I am still working at that same company.
There is no way I would be where I am today both personally and professionally without my Trident Tech experience.
What was the biggest surprise about Trident Tech? How much I loved going to classes and how much the teachers and administrators took an interest in my success. It was a very positive experience. There were a lot of changes in my life when I enrolled at TTC. I was recently married and left a ten year plus career in hospital administration when we moved to Goose Creek for my husband’s job. My mom had just passed away. I felt personally lost.
At the time I didn’t realize how much my experience at Trident Tech gave me a purpose again and helped me regained my confidence. It was a little intimidating at first since I was the older student going back to school, but I was welcomed from day one.
What one thing should everybody know about Trident Tech? There are numerous ways to receive reduced tuition from Lottery Tuition Assistance and other state funding for certain programs of study. Speaking as a TTC scholarship donor, it is easy and rewarding to set up a scholarship.
What is the best advice you’ve received? Never judge an individual until you have walked in their shoes.
Why did you and your husband establish a scholarship? When I graduated high school, I was surprised that I did not qualify for financial aid. I ended up going to an extension of Indiana University that was only 20 minutes from my hometown so I could live at home to save on expenses. After two years I transferred to Ball State University. Working my way through school and with my parents' help, I graduated with little debt. I promised myself then that if I could ever help someone pay for college I was going to do it. I have been very fortunate with my career path and very thankful that I am able to actually fulfill that promise. Serving on Trident Tech’s scholarship selection committee, I realized that with a small financial sacrifice, my family could fund scholarships. My husband, Keith, and I are very proud of the Eicher Family Scholarship which we have supported since 2009.
Shelly Eicher is assistant general manager and VP at Raycap Stealth, a company that designs and constructs custom concealment structures for the wireless industry. She graduated from Trident Technical College in 1999 with an Associate in Science.