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Columbia Business Monthly

MTC, USC Partner for Engineer Training

Aug 28, 2018 02:41PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Photo: (L-R) MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames; Sandra Kelly, vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies at UofSC; and Jed Lyons, senior associate dean for academic affairs at the UofSC College of Engineering and Computing.

Midlands Technical College (MTC) has partnered with the University of South Carolina (USC) to make it easier and less expensive for students to enter high-demand, high-paying engineering fields. The agreement comes at a time when the South Carolina economy is in need of more professionals with high levels of knowledge in the areas of civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.

“South Carolina is gearing up for major infrastructure projects, and our state continues to recruit world-class manufacturing and technology employers to the region,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “With the continued impact of an aging workforce, the need for engineers in all disciplines will only increase.”

“As South Carolina’s flagship university, it remains incumbent on us to make STEM education accessible to all those who desire it,” said Dean Hossein Haj-Hariri, USC College of Engineering and Computing. “This new agreement with long-time partner MTC will result in an enhanced education for students of both institutions. The professional preparation of all modern engineers and computer scientists requires the ability to function on diverse teams and develop solutions that meet the needs of diverse clients.”

Rhames, along with Sandra Kelly, vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies at USC, and administrators from the two institutions, signed an agreement August 24 that creates a clear path for students earning associate degrees at MTC to transfer into bachelor’s degree programs at USC in multiple engineering and computing disciplines.

“Nearly one-third of USC’s students are transfer students, and a large portion of those come from Midlands Technical College,” said Kelly. “This partnership between MTC and the USC College of Engineering and Computing will result in the education of more engineers for South Carolina and positively impact the STEM and technology sector in our state. It is part of our vision to help transfer students have a clear pathway of how they can transfer to USC, complete their degrees, and be successful.”

Specifically, this “two-plus-two” agreement formalizes a longstanding agreement between the USC and MTC that allows MTC students to transfer to the University of South Carolina at the equivalent level of USC juniors to complete their bachelor’s degrees in one of several engineering disciplines. Upon successful completion of coursework at MTC, students will earn Associate Degrees in Engineering Fundamentals.

“Midlands Technical College is the premier choice for students planning to transfer to USC,” Rhames said. “This agreement adds another layer to that great transfer relationship. MTC is a great place to start for anyone wanting to become an engineer because of our great pathway to USC. It’s also a fantastic option because we specialize in small, affordable classes taught by excellent faculty who help students balance school, work, and family life.”

Full “two-plus-two” capabilities are now available for students in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and electrical engineering. Additional pathways under development include chemical engineering, computer information systems, computer science, and computer engineering.

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