Ahead of the Class

By Melanie Hill on April 29, 2011 at 3:31 am EST

Central Carolina Technical College is leading the way in education in Kershaw County. In 2010, the college celebrated the opening of its seventh regional campus, located in Camden, S.C. The 15,000-square-foot facility will more than double capacity for CCTC’s quickly growing student population.

“We have operated a campus in Camden since 2001, but that campus was completely utilized very quickly,” says Neal Crotts, director of public relations at CCTC. “With the new campus, students from Kershaw County will be able to complete more of their coursework closer to home and the overall number of students in these gateway courses can be expanded.”

While Camden’s original Little Street location housed 450 students per semester, Crotts anticipates the new campus will accommodate up to 1,000 students over the next several years. Located at 80 Campus Drive near the intersection of I-20 and Highway 521, the spacious campus also will provide science labs and industrial training space previously unavailable. Welding labs, general education classrooms and a computer lab also are onsite.

The campus is a welcome addition both in the community and at the college. With a total enrollment of 4,200 students, CCTC is the fastest growing two-year college in South Carolina. Crotts cites CCTC’s flexibility and myriad of degree programs for the school’s continued success.

“There is a growing number of students taking advantage of our university transfer programs which allow them to complete up to two years of a bachelor's degree closer to home and at a significantly lower tuition,” Crotts says.

While students take advantage of CCTC’s flexible educational programs, business owners appreciate the school’s commitment to employee education through a heavily involved and expanding workforce training program. With the Kershaw County Economic Development offices onsite, the new campus helps meets the college’s charge to provide workforce development educational opportunities to Kershaw County.

“Having the offices on site will be a great advantage to economic developers when recruiting new business and industry, because they will literally be able to walk across the hall and show the industrial training space where their new workers will be trained,” Crotts says. “The availability of an educated and trained workforce is always a primary concern of new business and industry, and this campus is a very real symbol of the close working relationship we have with the county’s economic development arm.”

Through a partnership with the Kershaw County School District, CCTC also offers dual-enrollment courses, allowing high school students to earn college credit prior to graduation.

As for the original Little Street location, the campus likely will remain open.

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