Piedmont Tech to Offer Accelerated Degree

Students enrolled at Piedmont Technical College in Laurens will soon be able to complete their associate degree in less time.

Beginning in Fall 2014, students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university can earn an Associate in Arts degree in one year.

“We want to give high-achieving students an option that will get them to a four-year college or university at a faster rate,” said Jennifer Wilbanks, associate vice president for academic affairs and off-campus.

Classes will be held at the Laurens County Higher Education Center in the afternoon during two mini terms instead of the traditional full term. Each term will last seven weeks and will consist of four classes. All of the classes being taught will be subjects that are approved to transfer to any senior public institution in the state by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.

“This is a package program, but there is flexibility to ensure students can transfer to the college they want,” said Wilbanks.

The program is also a perfect fit for students who have completed any dual enrollment classes, who will be able to apply their college coursework from high school toward advanced standing in the program. Interested students must be ready for college-level classes and must place out of any developmental courses.

“This will work well for dual enrollment students because they can omit some of the classes,” said Wilbanks. “This can reduce the workload for the student as well as save them money.”

As the program proceeds, Wilbanks said there is a potential to expand to the Associate in Science degree and possibly to other campus locations.

“Expanding this to the AS degree has the potential to be very popular for those students who want to enter a medical or engineering field,” she said.

“We are very excited about this program,” said Evelyn Beck, dean of arts and sciences. “This will appeal to students who are bright, organized and ready to transfer to a four-year college or university.”

All interested students should contact Paige Mills at the Laurens County Campus at (864) 938-1503.