“We’ve even had students complete the associate’s degree prior to graduating high school. In some cases, they can enroll at a four-year college as a junior. So there’s a tremendous cost-savings to parents and students,” he said, noting that the college has also assisted students living in poverty.
“We have been able to provide free tuition for those students, but we’ve even incorporated some work-based learning experiences. We call them apprenticeships, where students are placed in the work environment while they’re going to school. With the average student loan debt for South Carolina residents of about $30,000, we can reduce that to almost nothing if they start with us,” Tobin said.
He added, “We have focused on using technology as a tool … With the addition of hotspots and being able to deploy devices for our students, we’ve given them, I think, a lot of opportunity.”
Changes have been made in the delivery of online courses for the upcoming fall semester.
“We’re shifting toward a synchronous platform, where students will either log in from home at a given time into a course, and we’re making allowances for students to be able to come on campus if they have issues with technology so that they can still participate in instruction,” he said.
Dr. Shawn Foster, superintendent of the Orangeburg County School District, said there is work being done to address any digital homework gaps within the district of more than 12,000 students.
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