South Piedmont Community College’s LL Polk Campus and Lockhart-Taylor Center are integral partners in the Anson County community, providing free college education to students from high school age and older along with job training, re-training, and skills development that enable residents and businesses to flexibly and affordably attain career growth and success.
Beginning in 2017, SPCC started its planned investment of $9 million in its Anson County campuses resulting in upgrades to its facilities, programs, and infrastructure to better accommodate how students learn and prepare for good-paying careers of today and tomorrow.
These accommodations include growing educational technology that can deliver flexible access to education for everyone by expanding college credit options for high school students and adult students seeking a college degree. This technology focuses on security and convenience measures that can save students time and money as they pursue their career and family goals.
“My high school junior started taking classes at SPCC this semester,” said Michelle Brock, Anson County resident and vice president of finance and administrative services at SPCC. “He and his classmates are on track to complete an associate degree, free of cost, by the time they finish high school, saving families literally thousands of dollars a year.”
Through a wide range of other college credit courses and degree options available at SPCC, a two-year degree, a valuable certification, or a seamless transfer to a 4-year college are available to everyone at little to no cost.
Making this possible for high school students as well as adult students is the innovative, hy-flex classroom for which SPCC has been nationally recognized. These hybrid and flexible classes allow students to meet virtually, face-to-face, or a combination of the two in order to assist students with their educational pursuits while juggling busy schedules, jobs, and child care. This level of personalized education relies on state-of-the-art technology and a substantial upgrade to infrastructure and classroom equipment – projects currently underway in our Anson County facilities as well as in Anson High School, our educational partner. SPCC is also working with the county to help address limited broadband access in some of our most rural areas of the county.
“With IT and internet connectivity at the forefront of most businesses, tackling this digital divide is key for sustained economic growth,” said Karla Shields, associate vice president for economic and workforce development at SPCC.
This improvement to technology infrastructure not only impacts classroom and virtual learning, it is essential to enable upgrades to the safety and security access control system the college plans to add. This system will equip the campus with contactless technology for students and employees to gain access to buildings and college services, make appointments, conveniently register for classes, get tutoring, and more. Identification cards, video surveillance, keypads, software, and new doors are part of the security strategy to keep employees and students safe and to support their convenience through accessibility.
With the completion of the transformational renovation of the Martin Student Center on the LL Polk campus in 2019, improvements from the campus master plan are now focused on transforming the Garibaldi building through a phased renovation project that will provide students with better access to some of the most-used student services on the campus.
Funding is already being secured for phase one which will focus on improving the technology capabilities of the campus and creating a welcoming, high-tech/high-touch student services experience for all.
Written by Misty McMillan