On May 3, Spartanburg Community College will award more than 600 degrees, diplomas and certificates to graduating students who are poised to continue their education or begin work in high-growth, high-demand careers. And, 23 of these graduates are local high school students who are part of the first graduating class of the Spartanburg County Early College High School (SCECHS).
The Honorable Michael D. Brown, Spartanburg County Council district one representative and managing partner at Rainey & Brown LLC, Brown – will address the more than 3,000 attendees at SCC’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 3 at 7:00 pm at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. SCC is projected to award 600 students associate degrees, diplomas and certificates for the 2017-2018 academic year, with approximately 400 students participating in the graduation ceremonies.
“Michael Brown is a leader in the Spartanburg community and will offer wise and inspiring words to our 2018 graduates. His many accomplishments as an elected official on Spartanburg County Council, an accomplished attorney involved in many local, state and national bar associations, and a community volunteer – all weave a story of a local Dorman High School graduate who has thrived and given back to his hometown,” says SCC President, Henry C. Giles, Jr. “Another great milestone takes place at our graduation this year – the first cohort of the Spartanburg County Early College High School (SCECHS) will graduate 23 students from high schools across the county: Chapman, Landrum, Boiling Springs, Byrnes, Dorman and Spartanburg High Schools. We are proud of these students for simultaneously completing their high school and associate degrees, and we look forward to hearing of their future successful accomplishments.”
As this year’s speaker, Councilman Brown will share his experiences as an attorney, community leader and service on the Spartanburg County Council since being elected in 2008. In addition to his work representing District 1, Brown has given back to the community as a commissioner on the Spartanburg Human Relations Committee, as counsel to the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition and on the boards of Leadership South Carolina, Habitat for Humanity and the Spartanburg Board of Zoning and Appeals. He is also a Liberty Fellow and a graduate of both Leadership South Carolina and Leadership Spartanburg, as well as the S.C. Economic Development Institute. He also has previously served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Upstate. In 2015, Brown was named president of the Spartanburg Branch of the NAACP. A managing partner at Rainey & Brown LLC, Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Alabama A&M University, a Master of Public Administration from Ohio State University and a juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He also worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Donald W. Beatty, associate justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.
The SCECHS program provides an opportunity for students from Spartanburg County high schools to earn both high school and college credits, compressing the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college. A partnership between SCC and the seven school districts in Spartanburg County that began in fall 2014, up to 25 students may be selected each year to participate as they are completing the eighth grade. Students undergo a rigorous application process which includes testing and an interview. Once enrolled in the SCECHS program, students take colleges classes from grade 9 through 12, and if needed, they can also take their high school classes at SCC’s Central Campus in Spartanburg. Dr. Claretta M. Kerns is dean of the program. SCECHS students will participate in two additional graduation ceremonies after SCC’s May 3 event – on May 16 the SCECHS graduation ceremony at SCC’s Central Campus, and then the student’s home high school graduation ceremony.
SCC will also award associate degrees to the second graduating cohort – 13 students – of the Viking Early College (VEC), which is Spartanburg County School District 7’s single-gender program for 9-12 grade males. This unique partnership with District 7 and SCC began in fall of 2013. VEC students spend part of their day at Spartanburg High School and part of their day on the SCC Downtown Campus taking college classes. Through the VEC program students will graduate high school with an associate’s degree, or up to two years of credit toward a bachelor’s degree – tuition free. These students are also exposed to community leaders who serve as mentors to assist each with reaching his college and career goals.
“We’re very proud of all of our students who have achieved their academic goals while here at SCC,” said Giles. “We wish them all the best and continuous success in their future endeavors.”
• SCC 2016 Graduation Ceremony
• Thursday, May 3, 2017
• 7:00-8:30 pm
• Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
• 385 N. Church Street
• Spartanburg, SC 29303
• SCC President Henry G. Giles, Jr.
• Spartanburg County Councilman Michael D. Brown
• Reverend Ronald D. Towery, Pastor, Duncan United Methodist Church
• Mr. Fred Cunningham, Anchor, WSPA TV Channel 7, Event Emcee
• The Honorable Michael D. Brown addressing graduates
• SCC President Henry C. Giles, Jr. addressing graduates
• SCC students in cap and gown, celebrating with family and friends
• Speak with a variety of SCC graduates who have amazing stories to share including:
o The first graduating cohort of 23 students from the Spartanburg County Early College High School, students graduating from SCC an associate's degree and then local high schools with a high school diploma
o The second graduating cohort of 13 students in the Viking Academy Early College, students graduating from SCC first with an associate's degree and next from Spartanburg High School with a high school diploma
A photo of Councilman Brown is available for download at the following link:https://www.flickr.com/photos/sccsc/albums/72157694625604591