OCtech, Denmark Tech Joins Network of Historically Black Community Colleges | Education

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Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and Denmark Technical College were selected by the national nonprofit organization Complete College America to join a unique national network of 22 historically black community colleges (HBCCs) and community colleges predominantly black (PBCC) in eight states. .

As part of the PBCC-HBCC network, OCtech and Denmark Tech will work with leaders from predominantly Black community colleges across the country to share research and best practices to strengthen the careers and economic outcomes of community college students. of color.

“OCtech has a history of preparing students for good jobs and great careers, and creating seamless pathways to graduation,” said OCtech President Dr. Walt Tobin. “We believe that technical colleges are the first step on the path to the American dream for our students. We are excited to be part of the CCA Network to increase college access and support success for adult students of color.

“As a nation, we have reached a tipping point in declining college graduation rates. As a small, rural two-year HBCU, the challenges our mature students face are magnified in their pursuit of education. “We are thrilled to be one of 22 predominantly Black community colleges chosen by Complete College America for this innovative program. We look forward to joining in our efforts to improve career outcomes for our adult learners,” said said Dr. Willie L. Todd Jr., president of Denmark Technical College.

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Nationally, there are 12 historically black community colleges and 49 predominantly black community colleges. According to the definition created by the federal government in 2008, PBCCs enroll at least 40% African-American students and at least 50% students from disadvantaged households or first-generation students, and cost less for full-time undergraduate students than similar students. establishments. HBCCs are defined as institutions whose historic mission to serve black students predates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

For two years, OCtech will work with a team of experts from Complete College America and other members of the PBCC-HBCC network to identify and meet the needs of adult learners of color. Originally launched in August 2021, the project focuses on the connection between educational experiences and career outcomes for Black students.

As members of the network, OCtech and Denmark Tech will assess current curricula to identify courses and skills that lead to valuable degrees and are aligned with employers’ needs. Experts from OCtech and Denmark Tech will also work to identify best practices in career and academic counseling and holistic supports to help meet students’ basic needs – such as access to nutrition, housing and affordable transportation.

Researching, evaluating and identifying best practices will be central to the efforts of the PBCC-HBCC network. After the project, OCtech and Denmark Tech will share baseline data on their progress towards eliminating differences in educational outcomes based on race and age at their respective institutions.

The other South Carolina members of the PBCC-HBCC network are Central Carolina Technical College and Northeastern Technical College.

“For the first time ever, we are bringing together this critical – and overlooked – set of institutions to not only improve their impact and effectiveness, but also to expand the national database of support for community college students of color,” said Dr. Nia Haydel, Vice President of Alliance Engagement and Institutional Transformation at CCA.

“Creating this network will elevate the powerful contributions that HBCCs and PBCCs make to support the social and economic mobility of Black Americans, especially those in underserved communities.”

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