PC revised schedule

COLLEGES: Schedule, Service, Diversity, Social Mobility, Occupational Therapy.



Presbyterian College Revises Spring Semester Schedule


"As we proceed through this academic year, we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and plan for challenging circumstances across the next several months," Dr. Don Raber, PC's Provost, wrote in an email to students, faculty, and staff on September 24. 

In the email, Raber noted the challenges that PC and other schools are facing during this academic year, such as not knowing "if or when a vaccine for COVID-19 will be offered" or "if a second wave of the pandemic (or an extension of the first wave) will extend through the holiday season into December, January, or later."

"If it does, then we need to take similar precautions as we have this term to minimize travel, to recognize the potential for a continued outbreak, and to provide extra flexibility in mid-to-late winter if our environment demands it," Raber wrote.


Revised Spring 2021 Calendar

To accomplish this, the College has modified the Spring 2021 calendar for undergraduate students. These changes to the calendar are as follows:


Undergraduate classes on campus for Spring 2021 will begin on Monday, Jan. 25, three weeks later than originally planned.

A check-in process for returning students will take place from Friday, Jan. 22 to Sunday, Jan. 24.

The incomplete deadline for spring, summer, and fall classes is moved to Friday, Feb. 19.

Assessment day will be Tuesday, March 16.

Classes will not be held Friday, April 2 (Good Friday) or Wednesday, April 21 (Honors Day).

To minimize travel for everyone on campus, there will not be a Spring Break this year.

Spring Break trips for students and faculty will be postponed or rescheduled.

The last day of classes will be Wednesday, May 5.

Exams will run from Friday, May 7 through Wednesday, May 12.

Seniors will complete exams earlier so that grades may be reported by Tuesday, May 11.

Residential facilities for those not graduating will close on Thursday, May 13. Graduating seniors will check out on Saturday, May 15. 

The 138th Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, 2021, one week later than originally scheduled.

Maymester trips for 2021 will be postponed until the summer sessions or rescheduled to a later date.

"Deliver a first-quality academic program"

Also in the email, Raber sent a reminder about the importance of masks and face coverings and the need to "remain diligent" on following procedures for physical distancing, use of hand sanitizer, washing hands, the LiveSafe app, symptom monitoring, isolation and quarantine, and other precautions necessary to maintain a healthy campus environment.


"As we have this fall," Raber wrote, "we want to proceed as required to deliver a first-quality academic program that offers personal connections but recognizes the health and well-being of faculty, students, and staff as our top priority."

Please visit Academic Calendars to see all of the dates for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. 



Piedmont Tech Student Support Services Receives $1.5 Million Grant


GREENWOOD - Piedmont Technical College (PTC) has been awarded a federal grant totaling $1.5 million over the next five years. 

The grant comes from a federal program known as TRiO, which provides funding so that colleges can offer extra assistance to students who may face any number of financial, social or physical challenges to their college success. PTC recently was awarded more than $314,000 in TRiO grant money to be renewed every year for five years to assist these very students. The grant is administered through the PTC Student Support Services division.

“Every year, we serve at least 165 eligible students who are working toward a certificate, diploma or associate degree,” said Dr. Philip Cody, director of Student Support Services at PTC. “Interest has been consistently strong. In fact, we are operating at capacity right now but have a waiting list and stay in contact with those students throughout the semester.”

Eligibility for TRiO assistance is available to first-generation college students who also must meet federal lower-income guidelines or have a documented disability. A wide range of disabilities is covered under the program, including chronic medical conditions, learning disabilities, Attention/Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, autism, hearing or vision deficits and mobility, neurological or orthopedic disabilities.

“Each student is assigned a personal academic coach/counselor to support their needs throughout the semester. We also offer an array of events and career readiness workshops,” Cody said. “Research has confirmed that students participating in TRiO are more likely to achieve success in college.” 






Lander Diversity Advisory Council hosts panel discussion on justice, diversity, equity and inclusion


GREENWOOD — Though the event was held virtually, with panelists spaced out inside Lander’s Finis Horne Arena and viewers tuning in via Microsoft Teams, the Lander University Diversity Advisory Council’s panel discussion on justice, diversity, equity and inclusion was well attended by Lander’s campus community.

The event was moderated by London Thomas, Director of Human Resources at Lander University. Panelists consisted of Lander University faculty and staff, as well as members of the surrounding community, including:

Dr. Demario Watts, Director of Student Activities

Fathima Nazim-Starnes, Associate Professor of Art

Jalysa Green, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards

Selynto Anderson, Director of Occupational Health Services at Self Regional Healthcare

Steve Coleman, Director of Genesis Initiatives at Piedmont Technical College

Teresa Goodman, Executive Director of Community Initiatives, Inc.

How members of Lander’s campus community value all forms of diversity on campus was an important part of the discussion. 

Dr. Watts said it is important to make sure that every person in the room is heard. “I think sometimes our voice gets lost in a number of different conversations and meetings on campus,” said Watts. “There’s a lot of value in taking time to make sure that we are listening to every person in the room.”

Professor Nazim-Starnes emphasized the importance of celebrating the diversity that exists on Lander’s campus. “I think that one of the amazing things we’ve done on the Diversity Advisory Council is we’ve looked at different ways to try and celebrate different cultures.” One of the ways mentioned was selections of foods from different countries by the Lander Dining Hall. “I think it begins with education, trying to defy stereotypes, and breaking the mold of what defines one culture over another,” Nazim-Starnes said.

This panel discussion was only the most recent event of the semester, and the Diversity Advisory Council looks forward to hosting more discussions, forums and educational opportunities throughout the 2020/21 academic year.


About Lander’s Diversity Advisory Council:

The Diversity Advisory Council has sponsored many community forums throughout the past few years. Since 2017, Crystal Rookard, chair, and London Thomas, co-chair of the Diversity Advisory Council have led DAC efforts to provide educational opportunities for Lander’s campus community to openly discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion.  The goal of the Diversity Advisory Council is to continue this process as we work towards progress and meaningful change. 



Newberry College Ranks High for Economic Diversity, Social Mobility 


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has been recognized on two rankings lists for the ability of all students, regardless of financial background, to receive a high-quality education. 

The college has taken the No. 6 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Performers on Social Mobility regional list, becoming the category’s third-highest ranked college in the southeastern United States. Newberry also appeared on the publication’s unranked Economic Diversity list. 

Social Mobility measures the six-year graduation rates of federal Pell Grant recipients, drawing on data from students who entered in fall 2012 and fall 2013. The Economic Diversity list measures the percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell grants. The grants are available to students coming from households with total annual incomes below $50,000. Most of these funds benefit students with family incomes below $20,000. 

“We are so excited to receive this recognition, because it acknowledges the ability of Newberry College to help students succeed in the pursuit of their educational goals while transforming their lives,” said Barbara Joyner, assistant dean of the Center for Student Success. “This is the concerted effort of everyone on campus, faculty, staff, and our students themselves.” 

The percentage of Newberry College students who receive federal Pell grants is approximately 52%. Newberry College was one of six South Carolina schools included on the Economic Diversity list for the regional South. 

“Literature indicates that traditionally, lower-income students are often underrepresented in higher education, particularly among private institutions,” said Dr. Peggy Winder, a 1986 Newberry graduate and director of diversity education. “This is part of the College’s ongoing efforts to create a diverse, inclusive educational environment.” 

In terms of Newberry College graduation rates, Pell Grant recipients average 50.7%, on par with 54.7% for non-Pell recipients. 

“Social Mobility and Economic Diversity are methodologies that are pretty new to the U.S. News college rankings, and they are great news for our students,” said Susanne Nelson, associate director of institutional research and effectiveness. “The numbers show there is virtually no distinction at Newberry College when it comes to student income and student success.” 


Find out more about the U.S. News & World Report rankings at www.usnews.com/colleges






U.S. News & World Report ranks Presbyterian College among nation's best at social mobility



According to the U.S. News & World Report, "Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for other characteristics.

"But some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants." 

The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Presbyterian College #63 among 216 liberal arts colleges and universities in the country at advancing social mobility. PC is the high-ranked national liberal arts college in South Carolina in the category.

The US News & World Report computed the social mobility ranking by assessing graduation rates of Pell-awarded students.

"With a robust financial aid and scholarship program, PC is committed to providing access to motivated students who may have thought a private education was out of reach," said Suzanne Petrusch, vice president for enrollment and marketing at PC.

"When a student is admitted to PC and makes the decision to enroll, we must have the goal of degree attainment in mind. Academic support, experiential learning and a strong network are among the other ways we help students reach their potential."

Again this year, the U.S. News & World Report has ranked PC among the top national liberal arts colleges. PC is #127 among 223 schools across the country that made this year's list. 

PC is the third highest-ranked national liberal arts college in South Carolina. Only five higher education institutions in the state were ranked among the top national liberal arts colleges.

"The release of the U.S. News Best Colleges list each year garners a fair amount of attention. From this list to Niche to Money's Best Colleges 2020, we encourage prospective students and parents to view the rankings as only one element within the college selection process," Petrusch said.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, national liberal arts colleges "focus almost exclusively on undergraduate education and award at least 50% of their degrees in the arts and sciences."

This latest issue of the report evaluates 1,452 undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States. The schools' academic quality is measured, and ranking factors include academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, and student selectivity, among others. 

"While we are appreciative of the national recognition, inclusion in the rankings doesn't answer the question of best fit for the student based on the individual's needs and aspirations," Petrusch said.


Presbyterian College’s new Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program granted Candidacy Status


The Accreditation Commission of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) recently granted the Presbyterian College Occupational Therapy Doctorate program “Candidacy Status.”

In reviewing the program’s plans for opening and resources available for students, ACOTE authorized the OTD program at PC to admit its first group of students in the spring 2021 semester.

"The granting of candidacy status by ACOTE represents a significant milestone for Presbyterian College," said Dr. Ben Herz, founding director of the OTD program.

"The faculty and staff in the program are excited by the news and looking forward to taking the next steps to bring the first class of 35 students on campus this January."

Candidacy Status indicates that, in the view of ACOTE, the plans and resource allocations for the proposed program, if fully implemented, appear to demonstrate the ability to comply with the 2018 ACOTE Accreditation Standards.

Based on ACOTE’s accreditation processes, the OTD program may proceed to the next step of the initial accreditation processes, which is the pre-accreditation review, in July 2022. This will be followed by the initial on-site evaluation.

“This is an excellent next step for the OTD program at PC," said Dr. Don Raber, PC's provost. 

"We appreciate the work that Dr. Herz and his team have done to develop a first-quality graduate experience in occupational therapy for our potential students. We look forward to continuing to take the steps needed to have our first group of students on campus very soon.”  

The program has also applied with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for the substantive change required for approval to open in January 2021. If approved, the College intends to admit its first cohort of occupational therapy students this winter. 

The program is pending approval by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 




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