Univ. of South Carolina teams up with Midlands Tech to put more teachers in state classrooms

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The University of South Carolina is pairing up with Midlands Technical College to attract more students to the education field and ultimately bring more teachers to the classrooms.

USC has seen a 20% decline in the number of students pursuing an education degree. So the university is working with a technical college to attract more students.

The Assistant Dean of the university’s College of Education explained why this will help students interested in the field.

“We don’t want students to start at Tech and then when they transfer have courses that we’re not going to count,” said Rob Dedmon.

The partnership allows students to transfer seamlessly from the technical college to the four-year university. It also allows them to save some money while pursuing the degree.

Dedmon added, “It could save students 13 to 19 thousand if they do the full 2 years at tech.”

Saving money will definitely come in handy for those students when you consider starting salaries for teachers.

In South Carolina salaries start at $30,000 compared to $35k in North Carolina and $34k in Georgia.
But, with this partnership students would complete the first two years at Midlands Technical College, where tuition costs are $10,000 compared to the $24k a year at USC. The best part, students can jump right into USC’s program when they finish the courses at Midlands Tech.

“Instead of students guessing at well I need a history class or a math class,  now we have the specific courses all laid out for them.  they can get a piece of paper that says here’s my map and here’s my pathway that I need to take these courses at tech and when I go to USC this is what I have left,” explained Sandra Hackley, the Associate V.P. for Career Programs at Midlands tech.

Last year more than 6000 teachers left South Carolina classrooms.

Even though salaries aren’t increasing, the costs of college is and state scholarships aren’t following the trend. The South Carolina Education Lottery Commission says “scholarship amounts are determined by the General Assembly.”

The Commission on Higher Education applauds the efforts between the schools and realizes the problem with rising tuition costs. The agency issued this statement…

“The CHE commends the efforts of Midlands Technical College and USC to create an innovative partnership to fill a critical need in the state’s economy and to increase affordability for students pursuing a degree in Teaching. This program will have a real, positive impact on our state and other schools are encouraged to pursue similar programs.

As the cost of paying for college has skyrocketed at our state’s colleges and universities, the purchasing power of state scholarships continues to dwindle. If this trend continues, many of our citizens will simply not be able to afford a quality college education. Given this environment, it is imperative that our colleges and universities work to develop innovative solutions, like this one, to increase access and affordability at their institutions.“
                                                               ~Commission on Higher Education Chairman, Tim Hofferth

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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