First Cohort of Expanded Middle College Program Graduates
They grow up so quickly.
The first cohort of 38 Middle College students from three school districts (Greenwood, Laurens, and Newberry counties) who began their journey two years ago graduated from Piedmont Technical College (PTC) in May with associate degrees.
“Dual-enrollment students take college classes while still in high school. Middle College is a program that operates under the overall umbrella of dual enrollment. Middle College students are pursuing the highest degree level within the program, often via the College Transfer pathway that tracks toward an associate degree,” said PTC Dual Enrollment Program Director Tameika Wideman. “Middle College gives these students 60 credit hours that will transfer directly into a bachelor’s degree program. For most, that takes two years off of the time needed to complete a bachelor’s degree.”
Wideman noted the Middle College Program is growing swiftly. Since it began about a decade ago in McCormick County, the program has been expanded into Greenwood, Laurens, and Newberry counties.
“It’s constantly growing as students and parents see the value of it,” she said. Cohorts average about 20 students apiece. “We have so much interest in Newberry County that we are going to add a second cohort. That expansion will support 40 Middle College students in Newberry alone.”
A primary benefit of Middle College is that there is no cost to earn the college credits, and students still have every public scholarship dollar (LIFE, Promise, Workforce) available to them after they graduate with their associate degree. And because many of the classes they take in Middle College also satisfy their high school diploma requirements, they earn credits toward both goals at the same time.
“Our district partners have found that this is a great way to retain local talent,” Wideman said. “They earn college credit but don’t have to miss out on the high school experience.”
For more information about dual enrollment at PTC, visit www.ptc.edu/dual.
• Middle College students at work in a McCormick Campus classroom.
• Middle College students participate in an outdoor activity on the McCormick Campus.