Real Stories

Jayda Manning

After two years at Dreher High School, Jayda Manning needed some flexibility in her schedule and transferred to the Richland One Middle College, located on the Midlands Technical College Beltline Campus. Two years later at age 17, she is the youngest person ever to receive an associate degree from MTC.

Jayda Manning is the youngest person to ever earn a degree from MTC

After two years at Dreher High School, Jayda Manning needed some flexibility in her schedule and transferred to the Richland One Middle College, located on the Midlands Technical College Beltline Campus. Two years later at age 17, she is the youngest person ever to receive an associate degree from MTC when she completes her final course this summer.

“My mom was always strict on me about school,” said Jayda about the importance of a college education. “Not until later did I see what she meant. Without an education, it’s hard to get a career.  Not just a job, but a career.  When you put two people side by side, the one with an education is always going to be the better candidate.”

Jayda said the Richland One Middle College helped her earn her degree easily and quickly. The Middle College provides students with a seamless transition from high school to college in a flexible, intimate, student-centered environment.  For Jayda, the best part about the Richland One Middle College was it allowed her to take MTC classes for free.

"Without an education, it’s hard to get a career. Not just a job, but a career."

“I feel like it’s the same education as a four-year college,” she said, beginning her MTC coursework in the summer of 2014. “The classes are smaller and there’s more one-on-one time with the teachers. Here you know everybody.”

Jayda wasn’t the first in her family to go to college. Her mom also received an associate degree from MTC, and her older sister attends Clemson.

“I told my sister she should come here instead of going to Clemson,” said Jayda. “Here, you can really keep your mind on school.”

Jayda said her teachers and small classes at the Middle College and MTC made all the difference in her ability to succeed, and it can work for anyone whose needs may be different and who is willing to put in the hard work.

“Take advantage of the opportunity,” she advised. “You can do anything you put your mind to. A college degree takes a lot of time management, but it can be done at MTC – you can get anywhere from here.”

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