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Columbia Business Monthly

MTC Diversity Programs Rank High

Feb 19, 2018 09:45AM ● By Kathleen Maris

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education has ranked MTC in the top 100 colleges in the United States (#87) in terms of African-American students earning associate degrees. This is the sixth consecutive year MTC has been designated as a top 100 producer among the approximately 1,200 technical and community colleges in the country.

“Midlands Technical College provides pathways to higher education and career training for minority and non-traditional students and actively addresses the under-representation of African-Americans in higher education,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “This report echoes our commitment to diversity, shows that our rigorous curriculum is accessible to all, and is academically equivalent to some of the best colleges in the nation.”

The national report also places MTC in the top 50 list of associate degree producers of African-American students in the following five career clusters:

#10 - Human Services

#22 - Construction Trades

#25 - Interdisciplinary Studies

#32 - Public Administration and Social Services

#38 - Allied Dental Professions

For degrees awarded to Asian Americans, MTC was #37 in the country for Human Services and #45 for Health Administration. For degrees awarded to all minorities, MTC was #31 for Human Services, #46 for Construction Trades, and #50 for Public Administration and Social Services.

“MTC is consistently recognized as a state and national champion for student diversity. We have a well-documented history of being a champion for minority issues,” said Rhames, who is the first African-American president at MTC, and the first person to graduate from a South Carolina technical college and later become its president.

Midlands Technical College promotes diversity in many ways and reaches out to the minority communities through college programs, community partnerships, staff involvement, and special events. Examples include:

  • The African American Male Leadership Institute (AAMLI), which increases African-American male retention rates at MTC, develops leadership potential, and promotes academic and personal success among its African American male population.
  • The MTC Sister Circle support group, which provides African-American female students with an increased sense of community and togetherness. The group addresses personal issues students may encounter that can affect their academic performance, retention, graduation rates, health, and relationships.
  • The I am Psyched! National Tour, a multimedia pop-up exhibit that explores the history of contemporary contributions of women of color in psychology. MTC was the first two-year college to host this tour. The tour engages young women of color in the museum experience and shows how psychology benefits daily life. Almost 500 students and community members attended the exhibit at MTC last year.

MTC also offers minority students various extracurricular activities, scholarships, and other achievement-based programs. Additionally, African-American student organizations open and expand communication channels among students, faculty, staff, and the community, thereby improving knowledge about African-American history, culture, and achievements.

“MTC works hard to actively address the under-representation of African-Americans in higher education,” said Rhames. “We are always looking to collaborate with local governments, community organizations, the faith-based community, local employers, and school districts to open new pathways to higher education and career training for minority students.”