SCC among nations fastest growing colleges

Published 3:29 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

Spartanburg Community College is one of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation, according to a report in “Community College Week.”

Based on U.S. Department of Education data, enrollment at Spartanburg Community College increased from 4,701 to 5,713 between the fall of 2008 to the fall of 2009, an increase of 22 percent.&bsp; The growth puts SCC 15th out of 249 community colleges in the nation with enrollments between 5,000 and 9,999.

SCC President Para M. Jones said the recession drove many people to the college because its tuition is more affordable than four-year colleges and universities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 60 percent of jobs now and in the future require at least an associates degree.

Jones said the average age of students at SCC recently has declined from 28 to 26. The community college notes that it also has a wide range of online course options, including some providing associate degree and certificate programs.

SCC initially was created as a technical college after the state legislature in 1961 created a program for technical training. In 2006, Spartanburg Technical College became South Carolinas first community college when it was renamed to better reflect the colleges mission.

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Wofford College plans to offer a new foreign language academy this coming summer that is expected to draw top middle school and high school students from across the Southeast. The academy will be created through a partnership with internationally renowned Middlebury Interactive Languages, offering four-week immersion programs in Spanish, German and French.

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Brown Mackie College is doubling its space in downtown Greenville to keep pace with its rapidly rising enrollment. Brown Mackie, which has 25 campuses in 14 states, opened its Greenville facility in 2009 with 180 students. The initial enrollment, a record for the Cincinnati-based institution, was about 140 more than the college expected. Since then enrollment has added about 50 to 100 students each month. Brown Mackie offers bachelors degrees in business administration, criminal justice health care management and legal studies. Among other programs, the Greenville campus awards certificates in accounting, business, criminal justice, medical assistant and paralegal assistance.

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Amazon is planning to create a large distribution center and about 1,250 full-time jobs to the Columbia, SC, area. Lexington County Council has approved the sale of 90 acres along I-26 and a tax break for the facility. Amazon said the distribution center also could create another 2,500 temporary jobs during the holidays. The company said it plans to open the center prior to the holiday season in 2011.

The facility, which will be six miles from the Columbia airport, will be one of the first distribution centers for Amazon in the Southeast.

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Ingles Markets Inc. plans to construct a major distribution center in Buncombe County after county commissioners agreed to support efforts by Ingles to obtain $100 million in low-interest federal Recovery Zone Facility Bonds. The bonds would be used to build an 830,000-square-foot cold storage distribution center at Ingles corporate office off U.S. 70 in Black Mountain.&bsp; The expansion, scheduled for completion by the end of 2012, is expected to create 160 more jobs at the companys distribution center, which currently employs 750 people.

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Charleston, SC, is one of two cities nationwide to receive a $500,000 sustainability grant from The Home Depot Foundations Sustainable Cities Institute. The foundation selected Charleston and Fayetteville, Ark. to participate in a three-year initiative demonstrating programs to deliver cost savings with proactive planning for energy use, waste management and building maintenance.

The City of Charleston plans to cut utility costs through energy assessments and retrofits on 200 single family homes. The city also will create an inventory of residential buildings stocks, best practices for retrofits, and a curriculum to teach energy efficient renovations for historic structures in hot, humid climates. In addition to $500,000, the Sustainable Cities Institute will provide the cities with a full-time local coordinator and ongoing technical assistance from sustainability experts.

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A public memorial service for Elizabeth Edwards is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11 at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh. The public can attend the event, which will begin at 1 p.m. A private burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh. Edwards will be buried next to her oldest son, Wade, who was killed 14 years ago in a traffic accident.

After battling cancer for the past six years, Edwards died at age 61 Tuesday, Dec. 7 at her Chapel Hill home, surrounded by her family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the Wade Edwards Foundation.