Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) continues to make higher education more accessible to adult education students in the Pee Dee region through grants and Tech Connect Day.
Recently, FDTC received an $184,785 grant through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Program.
The award is part of a larger effort to make relevant education and credentials more accessible for more people. The grant will pay for installing distance learning technology in the Darlington County Adult Education and Intervention School, Lake City Adult Education and Alternative Center, Marion County Adult Education and Timmonsville Adult Education. Students will use the technology to earn college credit as they work toward their GED or high school diploma.
“Students will be virtually immersed in college classes at FDTC, and the grant will provide them with a pathway to technical education and credentials for regional jobs,” said Jennifer Mabry, Director of Institutional Grants for FDTC. “This model of dual credit is potentially life-changing as students earn their high school credential/equivalency and enroll in a college program, they will have access to internships and apprenticeships.”
The grant builds upon other efforts already underway at FDTC. In 2016, FDTC received its first RUS grant for $228,017, which installed distance learning technology in nine rural high schools within the college’s service area. The current grant does not duplicate any of the activities of the 2016 RUS grant, but rather, it leverages it to multiply its impacts.
Another way that FDTC is reaching out to adult education students is through Tech Connect Day, an event that is hosted by FDTC’s Admissions and Student Life departments. FDTC’s third Tech Connect Day was Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Students and teachers, from all three of FDTC’s county service areas, participated in Tech Connect Day. The day-long event enhances the partnership between the college and adult education centers in Florence, Darlington and Marion counties. The Tech Connect program provides the students enrolled in GED and high school diploma programs with additional support as FDTC seeks to increase both, successful graduates of the adult education centers and new enrollees to the college.
“The event is not only well planned and attended, but it is also very rewarding," said Ivy Ingram, Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Community Outreach at FDTC. "Many of the participants in Tech Connect realized they could earn a college credential. It is truly amazing to see the excitement in their eyes and the hope in their hearts once they are aware that we care. FDTC continues to make a difference in the lives of the people in our local communities.”
The day began with a welcome before all 74 guests were split into groups to tour the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT) and FDTC's main campus. At the end of the event, participants had the opportunity to enroll into FDTC to become students and a member of the college's family.
For more information on Adult Education outreach at Florence-Darlington Technical College, please contact Ivy Ingram, Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Community Outreach at 843-676-8562 or Ivy.Ingram@fdtc.edu.