When the 2016-2017 school year begins students enrolled in the Union County School District’s Adult Education program will be taking classes at the Union campus of Spartanburg Community College.
The Union County Board of School Trustees voted unanimously Monday to authorize the school district to enter into a partnership with SCC to move the Adult Education program from its current location on Main Street to the SCC campus on US 176.
Union County School District Director of Instruction and Accountability Cindy Langley addressed the board prior to its vote recommending the district enter in the partnership. Langley said that the students that enroll in the Adult Education program range from teenagers coming from the high school to the more mature in the working world who have realized the need for a high school diploma or GED. She said the partnership with SCC is designed to help Adult Education students earn the academic credentials they need as quickly as possible making their transition to higher education as smooth as possible.
“It’s a big step to walk in to Adult Education,” Langley said. “It’s an even bigger step to walk out with a GED to a college campus.”
Also addressing the board was SCC President Dr. Henry Giles who explained that students who enroll in Adult Education were not successful in the high school environment. Giles said that for these Adult Education that is seen as a return to high school is a turnoff that can prevent them from getting the high school diploma or GED they need. By contrast, Giles said Adult Education offered in a college setting can be very attractive to these individuals, making it more likely they will enroll and remain with the program and get their high school diploma or GED.
In addition, Giles said that taking the program in a college setting can also encourage these students to continue their education. He said they will be seeing contemporaries and even friends enrolled and taking college courses which will give them a feel for campus life and encourage them to seek educational opportunities at the college level.
Giles pointed out that SCC also has a dual enrollment program in Cherokee County which gives students enrolled in it a feel for college level studies. He said that programs like the dual enrollment in Cherokee County and the partnership between the Union County School District are the things a community should be doing to encourage its residents to get the education they need.
Langley said that under the terms of the partnership between the school district and SCC, students enrolled in the Adult Education program will begin taking classes at SCC in the 2016-2017 school year. She said that during that first year the school district will remain the “fiscal agent” for the program. In 2017-2018, however, Langley said that SCC take total responsibility for the program including serving as its fiscal agent.
Both Langley and Giles pointed out that Union County High School will continue to issue diplomas for those students seeking them as by law only high schools can issue diplomas.
“Union County High School will continue to grant diplomas just as we are doing now,” Langley said.
Langley and Giles also pointed out that GEDs are issued by the state and that too will continue to be the case.
During his address to the board, Giles also pointed out that the Union County Advanced Technology Center will soon undergo a name change.
Giles said that plans are for there to be a ribbon-cutting on June 21 formally changing the name of the center which will from then be known as the Union Campus of Spartanburg Community College.
When is was first established, the Union County Advanced Technology Center was a collaboration between USC Union and SCC, but Giles said Monday that as USC Union will no longer be using the facility it will now become SCC’s Union campus.