Lander Signing

Lander University and Piedmont Tech to Offer Enhanced Bridge Program

Piedmont Technical College students who are planning to transfer to Lander University will have a smoother transition and more because of a new agreement between the two colleges.

“Many of our students transfer to colleges in South Carolina and beyond, but Lander University is consistently the top transfer destination,” said Dr. Jack Bagwell, vice president of Academic Affairs at Piedmont Tech. “Our students will benefit greatly if they have a stronger connection with the university as early as possible.”

A historic agreement, the Bearcat Bound Bridge Program is a dual admissions partnership between Lander and PTC. After a student is admitted into the Lander transfer track at Piedmont Tech, there is now a process in place that will usher them through the admissions process at Lander—guaranteeing admission to Lander University as long as transfer requirements are met by the student while at PTC.  

“The Bearcat Bound Bridge Program will allow many students a seamless transition from Piedmont Tech to Lander University,” said Andy Benoit, vice president for Enrollment and Access Management at Lander. “The program’s dedicated advisement and structured transfer pathway will allow for a more-defined course of study and progression toward completion of the two-year and four-year degrees. This program truly strengthens our commitment to helping students succeed.”

The program will provide prospective transfer students who meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 2.0 and a minimum of 30 hours of college-level coursework with advising and academic support for a guaranteed transfer of credit from PTC to Lander. Additionally, students who transfer to Lander before completing an associate degree will be able to easily transfer credit back to PTC to complete that credential while working toward their bachelor’s degree—allowing students to graduate from Lander with two degrees instead of one.

“There is a lot of excitement now that we have this agreement in place,” said Bagwell. “We want to remove any obstacles that stand in the way of our students achieving their academic goals. And we also want to see them achieve those goals by staying in the region.”

As more college-bound students recognize the cost benefit of staying close to home for their degree, the Bearcat Bound Bridge Program provides a viable solution to make that commitment affordable, efficient and effective.

“College affordability is top of mind for a lot of parents and students as they shop for college,” said Bagwell. “When a student stays in this region instead of going away to college, the savings can be tremendous. Add in a strong partnership between the two public institutions in PTC’s seven county service area, and you have a recipe for student success that is unmatched.”

Program participants will also benefit from an array of services that will improve their transition from PTC to Lander. “The bridge agreement allows students to immerse themselves into the cultures of both institutions from day one,” said Jennifer Mathis, executive director of Admissions at Lander, “and it creates a very unique higher education experience for those students.”

Bearcat Bound students will be issued a Lander University student identification card, which gives students access to all campus facilities, including the fitness center, pool and other on-campus amenities, as well as free entrance into sporting events and fine arts performances. Students will also have access to dual academic advisement by professionals at both PTC and Lander.

Upon successful completion of the Bridge requirements associated with PTC, Bridge students are granted full acceptance into Lander as well as being eligible for priority registration for their first term at the university.

“The Lander-PTC partnership on the Bearcat Bound Bridge Program will help ensure that students have no roadblocks to success,” said Dr. Richard Cosentino, president of Lander University.

 “We are in the business of showing individuals the clearest pathway to the degree they have their sights set on,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, Piedmont Tech President. “Everywhere we can make a connection for PTC students that provides additional educational opportunities through Lander is a win-win situation for the community, the students and the state.”

For more information on the Bearcat Bound Bridge Program, contact Piedmont Technical College’s Office of Admissions at 864-941-8369 or visit

Photo Caption: Piedmont Technical College students who are planning to transfer to Lander University will have a smoother transition and more because of a new agreement between the two colleges. Officials from both colleges met recently to sign the agreement. Pictured, front row, from left, are: Dr. Richard Cosentino, president of Lander, and Dr. Ray Brooks, president of Piedmont Tech. Back row, from left, are: Dr. Dave Slimmer, Lander dean of science and math; Jennifer Mathis, Lander executive director of Admissions; Andy Benoit, Lander vice president of enrollment and access management; Dr. David Mash, Lander provost; Dr. Jack Bagwell, PTC vice president for academic affairs; Tamatha Sells, PTC dean of student services; Dr. Brad Griggs, PTC dean of arts and sciences; and Renae Frazier, PTC dean of admissions.