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April 20, 2011
Piedmont Technical College has launched a new program called REACH, which is designed to help working adults fit a college education into their busy lives. The College is accepting applications for the program now, which will be offered at the Laurens County Higher Education Center, and on the Greenwood Campus. Classes begin in August.
According to the US Census Bureau, more than 50 percent of adults over the age of 25 in Laurens County, and 45 percent in Greenwood County have graduated from high school but lack a college degree.
“There are literally tens of thousands of adults in our community who could be enjoying the economic benefits that come along with higher levels of education,” says Susan Timmons, PTC vice president of educational affairs. “Our goal with the REACH program is to make college possible for more of those people.”
Timmons says that officials at PTC are aware that getting a college degree can seem close to impossible for working adults. “There are only so many hours in the day, and between working all day and taking care of a family, it can be hard to fit college into the picture.”
By compressing course work into just two nights a week, REACH is designed to allow students to finish their associate degree in only two years. Initial offerings include a degree in business and the Associate in Arts degree, which allows students to complete the coursework for the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at Piedmont Tech, then transfer to a four-year college or university like Lander, USC or Clemson to complete their studies.
Classes will be held at the same time each week, and courses are pre-selected and pre-planned for students. Both full degree programs will be available at the Greenwood Campus, and at the Laurens County Higher Education Center. All courses will be traditional live courses, although students may choose to substitute some online coursework for additional flexibility as they move through the program.
Ultimately, says Timmons, this all means added convenience for students.
“REACH students won’t have to worry about building a schedule, and they won’t have to be concerned about the classes they need filling up before they get a chance to register. We’ve taken the guesswork out of it,” she says.
This new program is part of PTC’s ongoing commitment to “non-traditional” students. In fact, Piedmont Technical College has a long history of providing educational options that work for adult students.
According to Becky McIntosh, PTC vice president of student development, “traditional-aged” students make up only a portion of PTC’s student body, so working adults should feel at-home in PTC classes. “A lot of our students are in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and even older,” she says. McIntosh says that these “non-traditional” students typically excel at PTC.
“We’ve seen it time and time again. Getting a college education can change a person’s life,” McIntosh says. “We want people in the community to know that they can do it, and we’re behind them every step of the way.”
The College will be hosting a series of REACH information sessions throughout the summer. For more details, or to RSVP for a session, contact the PTC Admissions Office at (864) 941-8369.