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February 9, 2023

Around South Carolina, colleges of nursing have expressed concerns about the availability of clinical faculty, which are necessary to expand the enrollment and capacity of nursing programs. The Clinical Faculty Academy, a partnership between the SC Technical College System and the SC Hospital Association, and coordinated by the Academics, Student Affairs & Research Division at the SC Technical College System, is a communitywide training program for registered nurses serving as adjunct clinical faculty at nursing schools in South Carolina. The mission of the Clinical Faculty Academy is to develop qualified staff nurses for the role of clinical nurse educators and increase the faculty workforce and expand and sustain enrollments in schools of nursing. At the end of the training, individuals receive a certificate of completion and are accessible through the hospital (as the employer and clinical site) and the nursing colleges to serve as a clinical instructor.Sarah Ayers

We interviewed Sarah Ayers, Manager of Performance Improvement at Roper St. Francis, about her experience with the Clinical Faculty Academy. She has worked in nursing for almost 17 years. She participated in the Clinical Faculty Academy, hosted at Midlands Technical College.

Why did you decide to participate in the Clinical Faculty Academy?

I have my Master of Science in Nursing Education but have worked in Quality at Roper St. Francis Hospital since graduating. During my MSN, I helped another instructor with a Nursing Fundamentals clinical at Trident, and I found it rewarding. I have always had nursing education in the back of my mind, but I had not yet pursued a role. My friend could not continue as a clinical instructor for the Accelerated BSN program at Charleston Southern University and let me know about the opportunity. I applied for and accepted a role as Adjunct Clinical Instructor at CSU for the ABSN Fundamentals course. The coordinator sent the flyer for the Clinical Faculty Academy, and I knew instantly that I wanted to attend as I needed a lot of guidance for the actual role. It is one thing to be a nurse and be good at teaching, but knowing about course expectations, objectives, and paperwork is much different!

What was the biggest takeaway from your experience in the Clinical Faculty Academy?

The biggest takeaway was learning how to structure the conversation to promote learning and comprehension. Having an educator and a nursing educator lead the academy was perfect. Both instructors played off each other and translated the content to be nursing specific. I appreciated learning how to approach difficult conversations and knowing what potential issues could arise. Being new to it, I was not even thinking about that aspect.

What would you tell other nurses who are considering becoming educators?

I think it is a critical need in nursing right now. It is so rewarding to see that light bulb come on for a concept or skill that was difficult to understand, and suddenly, it makes sense to the student. It can seem like a difficult leap for current nurses, but offering professional development opportunities like the Clinical Faculty Academy helps bridge the gap between nursing knowledge and actual education

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience in the Clinical Faculty Academy?

I’d like to recognize Mary Schreiber for taking the time to talk with me one-on-one about actual clinical logistics. At the time of taking the class, I had only conducted one day of clinical with five nursing students. I knew I needed structure and wanted to approach it differently, and she helped clarify what a day in the clinical setting should look like. She provided examples of forms, schedules, and evaluations that I could adapt to my needs. Mary even followed up and checked in on me multiple times via email after the training to see how I was doing and if I had any questions. I know I want to continue nursing education in some way, and this class helped solidify that!

Submitted by Emily Fox. In her role, Emily supports the technical colleges as they implement the Perkins V federal grant which supports career and technical education. She also coordinates the Teaching and Learning Tuesday webinar series.

July 18, 2022

Every two years, the SC Technical College System Office hosts a Leadership Academy for employees within the technical college system to strengthen leadership capabilities and build a talent pipeline. Selected participants are those who have demonstrated skills and potential for upward mobility at their colleges and within the system. I was thrilled to be selected as a participant for the 2021-2022 Academy cohort!

Through a hybrid meeting format, we attended eight monthly sessions featuring select speakers such as Juan Johnson, President of Diversity Leadership in Action; Dr. Kirk Randazzo, Director of Leadership Studies at the University of South Carolina; and various staff of the System Office. Dr. Randazzo led the cohort through a leadership curriculum focused on exploring and developing one’s leadership style; communication skills and public speaking; conflict management; and motivating employees.  

Simultaneously, participants self-selected into small groups to tackle a group project facilitated by Dr. Angelica Christie. This project involved researching a barrier faced by students attending technical colleges and culminated in proposing a white paper outlining a bold and innovative solution. After peer evaluation and through a blind review process, three of these white papers were selected for presentation at an upcoming Presidents’ Council meeting.

While I was nervous about writing an APA-style research paper (it’s been 20 years since I’ve had to do that!), the group project allowed for closer connection among a small group of participants. Being a System Office employee, it also allowed me to learn more from those on the campuses who are doing the hard and noble work of serving students every day.

My System Office colleague Keith Williams, Director of Financial Compliance, said that his biggest takeaway from the Academy was that “There are many levels of leadership, and it is not a ‘one size fits all’ strategy.  It can be customized as you go along to fit whatever situation in which you find yourself.  One of the best parts was meeting so many new faces who are a huge part of the SCTCS.   I enjoyed working with my teammates in putting together our project.  It was a great experience!”

One of the participants I teamed with for the group project was Misty Hatfield, VP for Institutional Advancement at Central Carolina Technical College. She notes, “With the Leadership Academy, I had the opportunity to get to know myself better by exploring my personal working and leadership style. I often refer to my personal assessment to understand myself and members of my team. I learned the hallmarks of true leadership and how to persuade and positively influence others—even those I don’t supervise. I really appreciate the chance to network with other campus leaders and draw on their experiences. I left feeling like we are all in the same boat and there is an abundance of resources available if we just ask.”

Another member of my project group, Dr. Keli Fewox, VP for Academic Affairs at Piedmont Technical College, said, “I found the SC Technical College System Leadership Academy to be a very rewarding experience. Having the opportunity to explore various topics throughout the academy, including analyzing my own leadership style to learning about different aspects of the SC Technical College System as a whole, has proven to be very beneficial. While I gained so much from the knowledge that was shared over the past year, I feel that one of the most invaluable components of the SCTCS Leadership Academy were the relationships that developed.”

One of the most valuable aspects of the program were the networking opportunities. Throughout the year, I had the chance to meet and collaborate with several dozen colleagues from across the system who serve in a variety of positions, from Chief Academic Officers to Department Chairs and Deans, Financial Aid Directors, Marketing Specialists, and VPs for Human Resources, to name a few. Clearly, the connections formed through this Academy were invaluable to us all.

I’d like to express my appreciation to the System Office and college presidents for their support of this program, as well as to the staff of the Division of Academics, Student Affairs, and Research for its coordination. The Leadership Academy is an excellent professional development opportunity, and I would encourage anyone with interest in the program to discuss it with your supervisor!


Pictured: Lane Goodwin, Keith Williams, Chip Fallaw and Dr. Tim Hardee

Submitted by Lane Goodwin, Director of Academic and Program Compliance in the Division of Academics, Student Affairs, and Research, and 2021-2022 Leadership Academy Graduate

April 12, 2022

The SC Technical College System Motorcycle Rider Education Program (SC Rider Ed) is tasked to deliver effective motorcycle riding classes in the safest manner possible. The backbone of SC Rider Ed is comprised of a dedicated cadre who teach our course offerings. These individuals are known as Rider Coaches. Rider Coaches are responsible for the execution of a variety of motorcycle riding classes to students ranging from beginners with no riding experience (Basic Course) to advanced riders seeking to hone their riding craft (Advanced Course). To ensure the proper delivery of course curricula, Rider Coaches must first attend a Rider Coach Preparation and Certification Course (RCP).     

RCPs are held once per year. These courses are rotated regionally between the Upstate, Midlands and Lowcountry to ensure opportunities for aspiring Rider Coaches throughout the state. This rotation also provides the Coaching staff necessary to support motorcycle riding courses at 8 participating campuses. The RCP is 80-85 hours of intense learning both in the classroom and outside on the riding range. RCPs are generally held over the course of 4 weekends since most of our coaches also have full time jobs. An example of a typical RCP schedule can be found here. To successfully complete the RCP, Rider Coach Candidates must pass a written test, riding test, and several evaluations of their course delivery by the Rider Coach trainers (RCTs) who “train the trainers.”

The final exam comes when Coach Candidates (under the close supervision and scrutiny of the RCTs) deliver a class to actual rider students. The attrition rate for Coach Candidates is usually 10%-20%. Those who successfully complete the RCP receive certification from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to teach the Basic Course. To teach classes beyond the Basic Course, Rider Coaches must complete additional training. Coaches who wish to conduct the SC Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) must obtain an additional certification from SCDMV. The MSF Rider Coach certification is valid for 2 years, at which time Coaches must re-certify by providing documentation of courses taught, professional development and attendance of an annual conference.         

Recently, Trident Technical College hosted the annual RCP at their motorcycle training range. Of the 10 experienced riders who enrolled, 8 graduated and earned the Rider Coach certification. They will go on to support rider training throughout SC. Most will teach with Tech College motorcycle programs while others may teach with BMW Rider Academy, Upstate Rider Training, Harley-Davidson, military bases, or a combination of these. 


Pictured: Rider Coach Candidates at TTC flanked their RCTs Adam Gray (left) and Roger Cromwell (right)

Submitted by Sean McCullough. Sean is a motorcycle training professional who is dedicated to improving rider safety in South Carolina through education and training.

February 28, 2022

Black History Month was established as Negro History week in 1926 by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History which was founded in part by Carter G. Woodson. Its intent was to highlight the contributions of African-American citizens and share a portion of American history that was not widely promoted.

Within the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS), African-Americans make up more than 27% of the overall student population. Approximately 9,000 Black male students attend one of SCTCS’s sixteen colleges. Black male student success initiatives at Greenville Technical College, Midlands Technical College and Northeastern Technical College are highlighted in this blog post.

The African American Male Scholars Initiative (AAMSI) is an innovative initiative at Greenville Technical College (GTC) designed to increase academic success rates by providing intensive case management and personalized support services that help participants overcome barriers, develop academic and career pathways, and graduate on time. AAMSI provides participants with academic advising, FAFSA assistance, financial literacy education, four-year college tours, lunch and learns, mentoring, and mental health counseling while establishing meaningful connections with over 100 men of color on GTC’s campus. For partnership opportunities or more information, please contact Kia Keyton at (864) 236-6494 or [email protected].

The African American Male Leadership Initiative (AAMLI) is a student leadership organization that is committed to developing leadership potential and promoting academic success to males enrolled at Midlands Technical College. AAMLI provides students with workshops, community service opportunities, educational trips, and job shadowing events. AAMLI conducts sessions on finances, time management, study habits and engages men of color in ways that promote a sense belonging and purpose. For partnership opportunities or more information, please contact Antwan Jacobs at [email protected] on the Airport campus or Hameen Shabazz at [email protected] on the Beltline campus.

The TRUMPET (Training, Retaining, and Uplifting African-American Males to Produce Educational Triumphs) Program aims to increase the participation and completion rates of African American males at Northeastern Technical College (NETC). NETC joined the Community College Equity Assessment Lab’s National Consortium on College Men of Color to enhance its commitment to improving the success of men of color. The program provides students with individualized support and resources to include textbook assistance, tutoring services, community service opportunities, tablet lending, counseling services, and exposure opportunities. TRUMPET is sponsored the Department of Education's PBI Competitive Grants Program which is set to end in September. If you are interested in learning more about or connecting with the TRUMPET program at NETC, please contact Darin Coleman at (843) 921-6942 or [email protected].

These bold and innovative programs help every citizen to reach their full potential through education. As Black History Month ends, let’s continue to pursue and celebrate equitable and affordable access to lifelong learning opportunities for all students.

Submitted by Dr. Austin Floyd

January 13, 2022

Jobs for America’s Graduates-South Carolina (JAG-SC) began the new year with a transition to its new home at the South Carolina Technical College System in Columbia, South Carolina.  It will be administered by the Academics, Student Affairs and Research Division.

JAG-SC is a dropout prevention program focused on academic success and career readiness skills. Its goal is to ensure challenged high school youth gain the skills and receive the support they need to be future ready to succeed in South Carolina’s workforce after graduation.  A dedicated career specialist in each of our affiliated schools functions as a teacher, coach, counselor and advocate for students with documented barriers to success.  Over the course of their multi-year enrollment, students master up to 81 competencies identified by business as essential to successful employment.  Program outcomes have exceeded JAG National Standards for eleven consecutive years.

The program, launched in 2005, was originally piloted by the South Carolina State Workforce Development Board under the leadership of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.  JAG-SC is now entering its seventeenth year of service delivery at regional high schools, assisting over 13,000 youth in transitioning to postsecondary opportunities as it joins the SC Technical College System team.  It is anticipated that this new working relationship will be conducive to JAG-SC’s student participants actively seeking further education opportunities through the Technical College System in the form of workforce skills training, credentialing, and/or associate degrees in high demand occupations.  The objective is to expand the JAG program to 100 high schools across the state.

Submitted by Elaine Midkiff, JAG-SC State Coordinator for the Jobs for America’s Graduates-South Carolina. She leads the Specialists across the state to meet and exceed JAG’s National Performance Standards.

October 11, 2021

The Faculty Academy for Teaching in Non-Traditional Fields

On Friday, September 17, 2021, the Division of Academics, Student Affairs, and Research at the System Office celebrated the completion of the Faculty Academy for Teaching in Non-Traditional Fields. The Faculty Academy was developed to address the gaps seen in the annual performance reporting for Perkins V funding. Perkins V, also known as The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, is a federal grant that supports career and technical education by developing the academic knowledge and technical and employability skills of secondary and postsecondary students who elect to enroll in career and technical education programs of study. As part of this endeavor, Perkins measures successful performance in the use of funding by determining the percentage of students who are enrolled in non-traditional programs. Non-traditional is defined in the Perkins legislation as an occupation or field of work for which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of those employed.

By partnering with Engineer Inclusion, participating faculty were guided through the process of evaluating college data to use as the basis of a root cause analysis. The root cause analysis was used to identify causes or underlying factors that may contribute to gaps within non-traditional fields. Faculty developed hypotheses that were tested via surveys and other methods to measure the validity of their claims. Based on those findings, faculty determined next steps to implement strategies to close the gaps that exist in the recruitment and retention of students who pursue a career in non-traditional fields.

The faculty who participated represented 8 technical colleges and work in computer technology, early childcare, engineering, office administration, and healthcare and nursing. We at the System office are proud of their accomplishments and leadership in this program. Faculty are listed below, and you can see their full profile here.

I would like to thank my fellow System Office staff who made this Faculty Academy possible – Dr. Rosline Sumpter, Dr. Kimberly Walker, & Kim Burkett. Additionally, we are thankful to Dr. Meagan Pollock of Engineer Inclusion who assisted in taking the idea of the Faculty Academy and making it a reality. Dr. Pollock facilitated the learning sessions and helped faculty analyze data to ultimately create the intervention strategies to be used.


Kelli Boniecki
Early Childcare & Education

Technical College of the Lowcountry

Laura Boone
Cardiovascular Technology

Piedmont Technical College

Kiwanna Brackett
Administrative Office Technology

York Technical College

Stacie Dobson
Administrative Office Technology

York Technical College

Kristopher Gillespie

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Sherisse Jackson

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College

Jan Kehn
Administrative Office Technology

Spartanburg Community College

Kathy Locke
Administrative Office Technology

Spartanburg Community College

JoAnn Mack
Computer Technology

Florence-Darlington Technical College

Laura McClain
Medical Assisting

Tri-County Technical College

Marian Nurse
Administrative Office Technology

Midlands Technical College

Edith Simuel
Administrative Office Technology

Midlands Technical College

Jasmine Smith
Administrative Office Technology

York Technical College

Submitted by Emily Fox. In her role, Emily supports the technical colleges as they implement the Perkins V federal grant which supports career and technical education. She also coordinates the Teaching and Learning Tuesday webinar series.

August 10, 2021

The Division of Academics, Student Affairs and Research values equitable access for the students of the SC Technical College System and would like to share some information on how Open Educational Resources (OERs) may benefit students and faculty. OER use is on the rise as students and faculty look to increased affordability and flexibility in the course resources available to them on their educational journeys.

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OERs include:

  • Full courses
  • Course materials
  • Modules
  • Textbooks
  • Streaming videos
  • Tests
  • Software
  • Any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge

Due to the nature of them being open, OERs are substantially cheaper than traditional textbooks or are entirely free.

How does OER help educators and students?

Open educational resources give educators the ability to adapt instructional resources to the individual needs of their students, to provide up to-date resources, and to ensure that cost is not a barrier to accessing high-quality, standards aligned resources. New OERs are created everyday by faculty across a variety of career areas.

Great OER Databases:

Several professional development opportunities exist to assist newcomers and the well-seasoned in OER use. Some conferences and workshops include the Open Education Conference, Open Education Consortium’s OEGlobal Conference, and the Online Learning Consortium offers workshops both synchronously and asynchronously. OER Commons has a series of pre-recorded OER webinars on their website covering the curation of materials for your course, authoring your own open materials, and remixing resources already available. The Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL) has the South Carolina Affordable Learning (SCALE) initiative and regularly hosts webinars on OERs and offers grants for affordable learning projects.

Some exciting and upcoming resources include a collaborative space for SC Technical System faculty to create and share OERs as well as a landing page to include additional information to assist in OER use and implementation. Stay tuned!

Submitted by Alexis Modzelesky. As the Curriculum Coordinator, Alexis oversees approval of new programs, courses, annual program evaluation and is working to develop additional OER use by the Technical Colleges to better serve our students in a more accessible and equitable way.

July 21, 2021

Did you know that July 24th is International Self-Care Day? As professionals, it is important that we not only effectively manage our job duties but that we do it in a way that is balanced and good for our mental health. Austin Floyd sat down with Betty Dixon, Administrative Coordinator for the Division of Academics, Student Affairs and Research, to understand the strategies she uses to achieve personal and professional self-care. Here is a snippet of that conversation.


Austin: Thanks for taking time to talk with me about what you do to balance the responsibilities of your role within the division as well as your personal life. So, let’s just jump right in it. What do you do to be at peace and just relax?

Betty: Well, I like to read historical books, listen to music, and kinda like do meditation…

Austin: Meditation?

Betty: No, not the “Huuuuumm” with my legs crossed and eyes closed, but just going outside to absorb the sun, the silence, and the smell. Feeling the breeze, listening to the birds, and looking up at the sky reminds me where I am and who I am. Sometimes, I close my eyes to create a mental picture of everything I feel around me.

There’s a quote by L. R. Knost that says, “When life feels too big to handle, go outside. Everything looks smaller when you are standing under the sky.” That has always stuck with me.

Austin: That’s so awesome, I read a Harvard study that said, 47% of active awake adults do not pay attention to what they are doing in the moment. That’s great that you take time to pause, breathe and connect your body with your surroundings. What happens when professional/work stress builds up? Do you use the same strategies to remain effective?

Betty: A lot of times after work, [or even sometimes during my lunch break because I live nearby] I play video games… Usually a beat ‘em up, slash the monsters game. That helps me to disengage and give my mind a break so I can reapproach work with new strategies.

I also learned that some sources of work stress derived from me comparing myself to others [whether a co-worker, a parent, or someone I admired] or from striving toward unrealistic standards of perfection. I had to have a reality check and go back to the real me instead of trying to copy areas that are not true to who I am. Being ok with me and accepting who I am helps me unload a lot of baggage so I can approach work in a more authentic way.

Austin: You are dropping knowledge bombs over here. I appreciate the real talk because it helps people. My professor said, ‘Instead of trying to change your reality, first sit with it and accept it as what is true right now in the present. Then, after you’ve accepted and understood its reality, take steps to change it. At times, I’ve been so stressed out with worries of the future or burdened by things of the past, that I forgot to live and remember what is possible in the present. Living in the present and being authentic are great strategies. Thank you. 

Betty: You’re welcome.

Austin: What song is that playing in the background on your computer?

Betty: This is just my YouTube Playlist.

Austin: Who are these people? The Tractors? Solomon Burke? Lloyd Price? Etta James… I’ve heard of her. Wield of Power, All She Wants To Do Is Dance, Blurred Lines, Kanye West? Okkkk Ms. Betty! Blackstreet- No Diggity, Rihanna, Bob Dillon, Cheap Thrills, Despacito… It gets better and better… Taylor Swift, Marvin Gaye, Prince… Omg… is that Lauryn Hill, Killing me Softly?

You have a really diverse list… Sly and the Family Stone? Who’s that?

Betty: Oh wow, have you never heard Everyday People by Sly and Family Stone? It’s one of my favorites. Let me play it.

[Conversation continues with Sly and Family Stone, Everyday People, playing in the background]


The summer months can be filled with diverse realities. For some, kids are out of school and are at home more. Summer is also a time of taking vacations and making memories with family and friends. Yet for others, it is a time of planning and preparation for what may be coming next. The way we decide to take care of ourselves during summer is essential to how we enter the new academic year. Whether you teach in the classroom, support students through various services, or work behind the scenes in a research or administrative role, schedule time this summer and on July 24th (International Self-Care Day) to take care of yourself and your personal/professional needs.

Submitted by Austin Floyd and Betty Dixon.

May 20, 2021

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the South Carolina Rider Education Program would like to share a few tips to help keep drivers and motorcyclists safer on the roads.

While these tips will go a long way to improve rider safety, nothing can replace the skills and knowledge obtained from professional training. If you would like to learn how to ride a motorcycle safely and effectively check out the training opportunities offered by the SC Technical Colleges by clicking this link.

5 Tips for Drivers

  1. Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles. Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car's blind spots. Check, then check again, before changing lanes or making a turn.
  2. Predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks. A motorcycle may look farther away than it is because of its small size, and it may be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed.
  3. Keep a safe distance. Motorcyclists often slow by rolling off the throttle or downshifting, thus not activating the brake light, so allow more following distance, about 3 to 4 seconds.
  4. Use turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if it seems that no other vehicle is nearby. Motorcycles often disappear into drivers’ blind-spots. Your use of a turn signal will alert the motorcyclist to your intentions even if you do not see them.
  5. See the person. When a motorcycle is in motion, see more than the motorcycle, see the person who could be your friend, neighbor, or relative.

5 Tips for Riders

  1. Be visible. Motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles, so wear bright clothing gear. Avoid riding in blind spots of cars and trucks. If possible, flash your brake light when slowing down or stopping.
  2. Gear up every ride. Wear proper riding gear from head to toe. Full-face helmets provide the best protection. Jackets, pants, gloves, and boots that are made specifically for riding will generally be made of abrasion-resistant material, include protective armor, and provide additional comfort.
  3. Use good riding strategies. Constantly search the road for changing conditions and use the Search-Evaluate-Execute strategy (SEE) to assess and respond to hazards before you must react to an emergency.
  4. Inspect your bike. Your pre-ride check includes inspecting tires/wheels, fluids, cables, chassis, lights/electronics, and stands. This inspection checklist is helpful.
  5. Get trained! The greatest safety feature of every motorcycle is the mind of the rider. Develop your safety feature with professionals who are dedicated to help you enjoy the ride while reducing risk. For course and enrollment information visit or contact us at [email protected].

Submitted by Sean McCullough. Sean is a motorcycle training professional who is dedicated to improving rider safety in South Carolina through education and training.

April 15, 2021

The Division of Academics, Student Affairs, and Research recognizes the social value of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as its importance to the success of students in the SC Technical College System. We believe that everyone benefits from embracing different perspectives, recognizing various leadership styles, and leveraging the strengths of all employees. To support colleges in this area, we offer faculty trainings, host Teaching and Learning Tuesday webinars, and engage System peer groups who share valuable ideas with one another.

The past few years, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been at the forefront of news media. The call for social change during the Summer of 2020 and the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities has led to a re-evaluation of how students and staff experience Higher Education. Our Division is committed to helping everyone rise, and promotes equity through technical assistance, professional development, and engagement activities. We also perform routine equity audits at the colleges to ensure services meet the needs of all individuals on campus. These audits include a review of enrollment and graduates by race and gender, the ratio of faculty and non-faculty employment by race and gender, any Office for Civil Rights (OCR)-identified case activity, and one-on-one interviews with students and administrators.  While such audits are a start, reflection remains the backbone of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as it helps colleges assess pathways for improvement. For example, when a student sees more faculty and administrators that look like them, or experiences culturally sensitive classrooms it creates equitable opportunities for additional learning tailored to that particular student.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requires us to take a bold look at potential blind spots and find innovative solutions to change systems that are no longer meeting the needs of our local communities. As we head into this new decade, our Division is committed to supporting our colleges on this path. We will be hosting our first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Institute during the 2021-2022 academic year. Details will be sent out later this year.

Submitted by Dr. Eric Brown and Austin Floyd. Dr. Brown is the Associate Vice President & Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator for Student Affairs. In this role, Dr. Brown advocates for students and promotes inclusive educational environments and safe spaces that afford students the opportunity to maximize their personal and professional potential. Austin is a vibrant, sagacious, and down-to-earth educational catalyst. He creatively communicates progressive educational truths and offers alternative perspectives to higher education challenges. When he’s not writing his doctoral dissertation or hanging with his 9-year-old son, he’s binging episodes of This Is Us & Survivor, swimming laps at the pool, taking trips with his cousins, or eating some really good food.

March 22, 2021

The Division of Academics, Student Affairs, and Research values professional development. It is a fundamental way in which the Division strives to achieve its mission to be known for bold, innovative, and sustainable practices that promote student success. From special topic trainings and intensive institutes to the monthly Teaching and Learning Tuesdays, the Division regularly engages college faculty and staff connecting them to relevant, research-based, and actionable information. This month, the Division launched a virtual Faculty Academy for Teaching in Non-traditional Fields and later this year will welcome the next cohort into the highly regarded Leadership Academy.

In honor of Women’s History, this month’s blog is dedicated to women in higher education, specifically their professional development.

There are many professional associations within higher ed. Here in South Carolina, we have two that tailor content and support to women in higher education: the South Carolina American Association for Women in Community Colleges (SCAAWCC) and the South Carolina Women in Higher Education (SCWHE). Just last month SCWHE hosted its first virtual conference with over 300 in attendance. On April 15, SCAAWCC will host its first virtual conference as well. Female-identifying attendees will be encouraged to focus on their positions, perspectives, and possibilities as they hear from Piedmont Technical College’s first female and woman of color president, Dr. Hope Rivers.  Several vice presidents from across the system will speak about diversity and leadership and attendees will have the opportunity to have a little fun with a virtual silent auction. Registration is still open and includes the option to bundle membership with the national organization, the American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC).

Women working across the technical college system are encouraged to get plugged into professional organizations. Regional and state organizations are especially great for fostering authentic engagement without unrealistic demands on time and resources. Email the Division at [email protected] if you’d like to learn more about upcoming development opportunities.

Submitted by Dr. Aimeé Carter. Dr. Carter’s professional mission is to create opportunities for career and professional development through experience and education. As the Director of Academic Partnerships and Engagement, she oversees statewide development of dual enrollment and system-wide transfer.

February 18, 2021

The Division of Academics, Student Affairs and Research is known for bold, innovative and sustainable practices that promote student success. With 12 employees championing student success, the division builds the capacity of educators to connect with essential resources and collaborate with key individuals on common goals. 

Over the past two decades, the division once known as Academic Affairs has grown and evolved. Taking on an ever-expanding body of work, its employees are energized and motivated by their mission. What started out as a focus on academics and small group collaboration has evolved into a full suite of technological and professional development services designed to engage and inspire.  

The formation of peer groups (cohorts of employees who perform the same functions at the college level) dominated the early 2000s. Through these groups, the division saw a clear statewide need for intentional support and training, kickstarting a focus on new professional development opportunities geared towards the 16 colleges. 

In 2012, the first faculty academy launched. Originally held over many months, the program was refined over time. By Spring 2019 it was known as the “Faculty Institute”, an intense one-day in-person session focusing on trending topics. September 2012 brought the division’s first technology conference. Over 300 attendees engaged with Apple, Microsoft, Google and other Big Tech. In January 2013, the division launched its new series “Teaching and Learning Tuesday” in response to the demand this Bellwether-finalist conference generated. TLTs, as they are known, are now a staple of the division’s suite of services. 

As the 2010s wore on, focus fell on serving educators in funding, policy, compliance, and research roles. More training opportunities evolved as well as work on dual enrollment and statewide transfer. The division also continued developing and supporting its 19 peer groups related to student services, academics, institutional effectiveness, Chief Academic Officers and Chief Students Services Officers. The division’s advancement in these areas led to a name change that fully captured these efforts: Academics, Student Affairs, and Research. Most recently, the division successfully navigated a global pandemic, crafted a new stance on diversity and inclusion, and on-boarded several employees virtually. 

The division’s future focus will center on a well-defined suite of signature services and events. It will also continue to serve as an information resource and coordinating body on matters ranging from curriculum approvals, program evaluation, and student services.

Be on the lookout for additional blog posts that will further explore the suite of services offered by the Division of Academics, Student Affairs and Research and its bold, innovative, and sustainable practices that promote student success. 

Submitted by LISA COLE. Lisa spends her days chasing four kids and loving life. Education, books and family drive her heart! When not providing programmatic support to Academic Partnerships and Compliance within the Division, you’ll find her over in the publishing world guiding local Midlands authors and illustrators as they bring their story vision to life.