Outen reaches full potential thanks to TCCC
Jason Outen dropped out of Robbinsville High School three months before his graduation. Yet, it did not take him long to realize that he did not want to remain a statistic.
“I still needed a high school equivalent diploma, so I came to the Tri-County Community College (TCCC) Graham County Center and enrolled in the GED program,” said Outen. “I got my GED in two months and immediately enrolled into the computer science program.”
Something clicked for Outen in his TCCC computer classes, because today he is not only a college graduate, but he is also very close to earning a Master of Science degree in Technology Management from East Carolina University.
Outen’s educational path may have not been the easiest, but he says it has been rewarding since he now works as the Tri-County Community College Director of Technology.
Early on his TCCC academic journey, Outen accepted a work-study position and also tutored in mathematics. Later, having earned his computer science degree, Outen began work on a college transfer degree.
“After completing my associate degree, I wanted to go further with my education,” said Outen. “Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers offered a part-time teaching position at the Graham County Center, so I began teaching and paying for my education.”
Prior to completing his bachelor’s degree Outen accepted a full-time position as a Network Administrator at TCCC and soon found his stride in this new position.
“Dr. Tipton-Rogers played a big part on me finishing my degree,” said Outen. “I would like to think that it was me, but she kept raising the bar and it was either make it or break it. She influenced me to keep on going and I thank her for that.”
Outen is reflective on what TCCC has meant to him, personally and professionally.
“Helping others fall in love with technology through teaching wasn’t always my primary goal,” said Outen. “Getting my hands dirty with the technology in the real world was my real passion. Building and creating stuff like infrastructures that people use and come to depend on everyday is what excites me.
“Personally and professionally TCCC has given me an outlet to achieve my full potential,” said Outen. “Coming from a drop out in high school to where I am today I have been able to break down the stereotype that dropouts don’t have future.