The partnership seeks to increase the number of citizens who are workforce ready by developing a pipeline of students who have access to seamless admission from OCtech to enter SC State to earn bachelor’s degrees.
SC State University President James E. Clark and OCtech President Dr. Walt Tobin made public the announcement during a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding and articulation agreements held Wednesday at the technical college.
“This collaboration with OCtech is the first of many partnerships in which SC State will partner with academic institutions, business and industry and the community. OCtech is the first logical technical college with which SC State establishes a partnership because of its proximity, and its potential as a pipeline for students with an associate degree to earn baccalaureate degrees,” said Clark.
The signing of the revised Bulldog Gateway Program and various articulation agreements, which allows students at OCtech fast-track admission to SC State, is the first phase of an evolving strategic partnership with OCtech envisioned by presidents Clark and Tobin.
“OCtech has a record of preparing students for good jobs and great careers, and inherent in that mission is that we create opportunities for transfer. This relationship gives our students another option in terms of preparing for the workforce. Our collective task is to educate our citizens for jobs so they can become globally competitive in this society and across this state.”
Under the agreements, OCtech students who choose to participate in the Bulldog Gateway Program will be able to transfer academic credit earned in their associate degree program to SC State to work towards earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting, criminal justice, early childhood education, economics, electrical engineering technology, elementary education, management, marketing, mechanical engineering technology, mid-level education, political science or professional land surveying.
Students in the program will also have the chance to immerse themselves in Bulldog life while at OCtech. By paying a nominal fee, the future Bulldogs will be granted access to athletic events, lecture series and other activities.
The second phase of the strategic partnership would involve guaranteed admission for OCtech students who complete Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees to SC State. The third phase will explore the possibility of a new degree program, by which OCtech graduates with Associate of Science degrees in health sciences will be able to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in health management at SC State. Once established, this could be the first of its kind in the state.
Both presidents look forward to the promising future of the strategic partnership and are convinced that the collaboration will mutually benefit the students and contribute to the economic development of Orangeburg County and the state of South Carolina.