SC Accelerate – Accelerating Adult Education
The U.S. Department of Labor provided Greenville Technical College with $14.1 million in grant funds to lead a consortium of two-year colleges working to develop programs focused on providing adults with the skills they need to succeed in advanced manufacturing. Consortium members of this SC ACCELERATE (South Carolina Adult College Completion through E-learning Resources and Academic Tracks to Employment) project include Spartanburg Community College, Technical College of the Lowcountry, Tri-County Technical College, Trident Technical College, York Technical College, and Clemson University’s Center for Workforce Development.
Carey Castle, interim project manager for the consortium and Associate Vice President for Education at Greenville Technical College, says: “The advanced manufacturing sector is flourishing in the state but many adults in South Carolina do not have the education needed to qualify. With the right skills, this group can move employers and South Carolina forward. SC ACCELERATE will give students the skills to compete for high-wage, high skill positions and
employers the skilled workforce needed to succeed. What’s most important is how we bring people into the colleges and get them ready for the curriculum. We can tweak programs, put them online, and offer accelerated options for learning, but the reality is that until you get the student ready to take those courses, it doesn’t mean much.”
Since the grant funding was announced in October, the consortium colleges have been working to finalize budgets, secure equipment, and hire faculty and staff to help drive the SC ACCELERATE project. Connections have been made statewide with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, the South Carolina Manufacturers Association, and consortium colleges involved in the first phase of grant funding through the ASSIST (Accessible Support Services and Instruction for Sustainable Transition) project. These initial efforts will provide consortium colleges with the support they need to develop effective Adult Postsecondary Transition Centers (APTC). Each APTC will help adults establish a career track by offering comprehensive academic and skill assessments, delivering instruction in new and innovative ways, providing training for entrepreneurs, and ensuring that college credits can be transferred across all consortium members.