Thanks to the Darlington County School District (DCSD) and Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC), Darlington County citizens now have an innovative and local means to pursue a college degree. Leaders of the school District and FDTC officially agreed Monday to offer dual-credit courses at the B.A. Gary Educational Complex in Darlington on the campus of Darlington County Adult Education (DCAE) and the Darlington County Intervention School (DCIS). FDTC’s new site is called the Darlington Center.
The courses will count as credit toward an associate degree at FDTC and as credit toward a high school diploma. And not only will the classes be available to students of DCAE and DCIS, but also will be offered to members of the public. Dr. Eddie Ingram, superintendent of Darlington County School District, and Dr. Ben Dillard, president of Florence-Darlington Technical College, signed the contracts inside DCIS alongside other administrative staff.
“When kids have an opportunity to start their secondary careers with at least a year’s worth of college or technical college credit, it gives them a jump start on their life,” Ingram said. “They can learn the skills that put them right into high paying jobs, and that’s really what part of our mission is: to graduate to something with a plan, a goal and a dream. I think enhanced partnerships between colleges, universities and K-12 make good sense. I look forward to many more innovative things to come.”
Dillard said Florence-Darlington Technical College is excited to expand its offerings, particularly with a presence in the heart of Darlington. “This is really a historic event for us,” Dillard said. “The folks over here in Darlington are great educational partners. We’re excited to be expanding our partnership here and look forward to that. Our business partners are really starting to see the value of the early college dual-credit. And what they are telling me is they are excited about this, particularly for the young people that are seeking an associate’s degree.”
The two courses that will initially be offered at the Darlington Center include an entry-level psychology and college readiness. Florence-Darlington Technical College will supply the instructors. Currently, Florence-Darlington Technical College and Darlington High School have a partnership to offer dual-credit courses to high school students. In fact, this year several Darlington High seniors will be the district’s first ever to graduate with a high school diploma and a two-year associate degree.
For more information about the new dual-credit courses, please visit www.darlington.k12.sc.us and www.fdtc.edu.