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Several new certificate programs will be added at Spartanburg Community College next academic year, and a program with low enrollment is being scrubbed from the curriculum.
Starting with the 2017-18 academic year, which begins in August, SCC will offer new logistics, process control technology, natural gas technician, sustainable agriculture and certified nursing assistant certificate programs.
The electromechanical specialty in the college’s electronics engineering technology program is being removed from SCC’s offerings.
That program has low enrollment and is only different from the general electronics engineering program by three courses, college officials said. Only a couple of students were enrolled in classes, resulting in those students having to substitute courses from the general electronics engineering program to graduate.
“There’s two main drivers right now,” said Cheryl Cox, senior vice president of academic affairs at SCC. The school is focused on adding programs that complement new or expanding industries that don’t already have a good match at the college, she said, along with catering to non-traditional students — those who can’t go to school full-time during the day.
“We try to keep the certificates as short as possible to meet that goal (of having students gain employment quickly),” she said.
Each of the new certificate programs will soon be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, which will determine whether they are eligible for financial aid.
The logistics certificate program is designed to fulfill the needs of transportation and logistics businesses, Cox said. The program will train entry-level warehouse and distribution center employees. The 16-credit certificate can be completed in one semester.
SCC will offer logistics classes online and at its Tyger River campus in Duncan.
The rest of the new programs will be offered at the main SCC campus.
Graduates from the program will be knowledgeable in supply chain management, transportation, warehousing and distribution center operations.
“We have so many distribution centers now, this is an increasing-demand area,” Cox said.
Like logistics, the process control technology certificate program was driven by workforce needs.
The interdisciplinary program will teach students about control and electronic systems and industrial processes involving chemical work.
Students in the 37-credit certificate program should be able to find a job at one of the industries using these processes, like Toray, Milliken and Cryovac Sealed Air, among others, Cox said.
The natural gas technician certificate program was designed to meet the needs of local gas providers in customer service, operation maintenance and construction.
The program is designed to teach industry fundamentals, resume writing, interview skills and technician-specific skills like safety, valve and pipe work, corrosion information and excavation experience.
The 24-credit program is designed to be finished in two semesters.
The sustainable agriculture program will explore the growing field of sustainable agriculture, agribusiness and food services.
The certificate will prepare students for jobs in the food industry, and they’ll learn about the ecological, biological, environmental and economic impacts of growing food sustainably.
The program shares many courses with the school’s horticulture program, and three new agriculture-specific courses will be added to the college catalog to support the certificate program.
To get this certificate going, the community college will need to find a plot of land suitable for planting and an adjacent building or shed to house equipment and supplies.
The 31-credit certificate is designed to be finished in three semesters.
“We really try to align our programs to what industry, especially locally, says they need,” Cox said.