Piedmont Technical College

PTC Selected for Gates Foundation Higher Education Initiative

Piedmont Technical College (PTC) has been selected to participate in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Intermediaries for Scale” (IFS) initiative, a $100 million investment over five years to forge and support a network of higher education institutions committed to institutional transformation that will create more student-centered campuses and reduce equity gaps in graduation rates. 

The initiative identified six IFS intermediaries to manage operations nationwide, and PTC is working with one of those intermediary organizations, Complete College America (CCA), to engage in institutional transformation efforts. South Carolina and Missouri are the pilot states for the initiative, and PTC is one of up to 10 SC institutions selected to participate. 

“It is an honor for Piedmont Technical College to be selected to participate in this initiative,” PTC President Dr. Hope E. Rivers said. “The college is doing some outstanding work, and I am glad that we have positioned ourselves to be in spaces where we can showcase what we are doing and make improvements along the way.”

The ITA kicks off Phase 1 of the project by establishing a baseline of campus perceptions and supporting the formation of a leadership team to identify institutional priorities to improve equitable student outcomes. Phase 2 will convene the team to discuss ITA results and create a plan of action. Phase 3 will finalize priorities, refine and implement the plan, and identify prospects for technical assistance from CCA. 

“This partnership will provide us with opportunities to gain a better understanding of how we can work together as a campus community to improve our student success outcomes,” said PTC Dean of Curriculum and Online Learning Karla Gilliam. “Faculty and staff at PTC in February were invited to complete an Institutional Transfer Assessment (ITA) survey to gauge their understanding of current student success initiatives. Insights from the assessment will help college leaders reflect on current initiatives and identify opportunities for continued growth and improvement.”

“It’s a unique opportunity for us,” PTC Grants Administrator Caroline Chappell said. “Just this association with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation opens a lot of doors for us.” 

The college leadership team will convene in April for a “Sensemaking Meeting” to glean insights from ITA baseline results and key findings. The survey will be repeated in two years. 

“CCA will provide us with direct technical assistance to support identified areas of need based on ITA results and institutional data,” Chappell explained. “We will build data capacity and have access to resources to support new and existing projects related to student success.”