at&t donation

AT&T Provides Support for Dual Enrollment Program

AT&T recently made a generous $5,000 donation to the Piedmont Technical College Foundation to help support the dual enrollment program at Strom Thurmond High School. 

“Through our AT&T Aspire initiative, we emphasize preparing high school students to be career- or college-ready,” said Ike Byrd, regional director for AT&T. “We appreciate the opportunity to support this program, which has a track record of helping students prepare for the future.” 

The contribution will provide 10 $500 scholarships to students at Strom Thurmond who wish to enroll in the dual enrollment program.

As part of the check presentation, the Piedmont Technical College Foundation presented a proclamation of recognition and appreciation to Senator Shane Massey, who represents Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda Counties. The proclamation named Massey a “Distinguished Advocate for Education” in South Carolina and expressed appreciation for his outstanding leadership and dedication to education in Edgefield County and across the State.

“I think it’s great for students, especially in rural areas, to have these additional educational opportunities to help prepare them for higher education and for careers in the workforce,” said Massey. “I really appreciate AT&T doing this and I appreciate the partnership between Strom Thurmond and Piedmont Tech to give these students the opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise.”

PTC offers two options for its dual enrollment program – traditional dual enrollment and OnDECK. Traditional dual enrollment courses are taught at the high school by teachers who meet the same criteria as Piedmont Tech instructors. OnDECK courses are taught on a PTC campus and include general education courses as well as specialized programs such as agriculture. Currently, 42 students are participating in the traditional dual enrollment program, the college has been unable to offer OnDECK courses for the students at Strom Thurmond High School.

Students who take six credit hours or more and who qualify for Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA) are able to take dual enrollment classes at the high school with no tuition costs, but students are still responsible for purchasing their books. Students who take OnDECK classes are billed the standard Piedmont Tech tuition rate. They can still qualify for LTA by taking at least six credit hours. However, they are billed the difference after LTA is applied.

“Unfortunately, we do not have any OnDECK offerings at the Edgefield Campus because many of the students couldn’t afford to pay the tuition,” said Regina Washington, dual enrollment coordinator at PTC who works with the school district in Edgefield. “Hopefully, with the scholarships, we will be able to expand these offerings to them again.”

“We are really excited for the opportunity to help our students participate in the dual enrollment program,” said Josh Black, principal at STHS. “Sometimes, less fortunate students may not have the economic resources to take advantage of opportunities that are available. This gives them a stepping stone to start their college career before they ever leave high school.”

“South Carolina is fortunate to have leaders like Sen. Massey at both the state and local levels who are committed to forward-thinking policies that encourage companies like ours to make these sorts of investments in South Carolina’s future,” said Byrd. 

Photo Caption: AT&T recently made a generous $5,000 donation to the Piedmont Technical College Foundation to help support the dual enrollment program at Strom Thurmond High School. Attending the check presentation were, from left, Jim Medford, Piedmont Technical College Foundation chairman; Fran Wiley, associate vice president for development at Piedmont Tech; Thomas Herlong, PTC Foundation treasurer; Sen. Shane Massey, District 25, Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda Counties; Ike Byrd, regional director with AT&T; Landon Booker, director of guidance at Strom Thurmond High School; Josh Black, principal at STHS; Regina Washington, dual enrollment coordinator at PTC; Jane Sosebee,  director of governmental affairs with AT&T; and Janean Reish, director of dual enrollment at PTC.