WEST COLUMBIA, SC — Lexington Two students will have new opportunities for academic or exemption credits specifically aligned to their career paths, thanks to a new agreement between Midlands Technical College and the school district.
Under the agreement, Midlands Tech will award dual enrollment or exemption credit for specified courses taken by Lexington Two students pursuing academic and/or career pathways in several areas, among them engineering technologies, select business, information technology, health care, and a number of careers in the industrial and building industries. These students will be able to earn their academic credentials sooner and move into the workforce quickly.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for our students to save time and money in pursuit of their careers and certainly is a testament to the fine job that our instructors are doing at the Innovation Center,” said Lexington Two Superintendent Dr. William B. James Jr. said. “This partnership will allow Midlands Technical College to have a pipeline of advanced students who’ve already experienced instruction in their chosen fields.”
Lexington Two is the first area school district to partner with Midlands Tech on the career-program pathways. Lexington Two was also the first area district to partner with Midlands Tech on the Early College program, which allows students to earn college credit — and potentially an Associate Degree — during the regular high school day. Twenty-four Lexington Two Early College students participated in the Midlands Tech graduation ceremony this past spring, with some exempting their first two years of college coursework.
The new agreement, signed Wednesday, aligns technical competencies between Lexington Two and Midlands Tech, giving Lexington Two students college credit for work in high school. Midlands Tech advisors will develop individualized “road maps” for participating students to guide them along their chosen career pathways, from high school to the professional world, with some of the highest levels of training and certification available. Students will be ready to enter a career immediately upon graduation.
“In the past, we concentrated a lot on helping students take general education courses, but the importance of career-driven education can’t be understated,” said Sandra Hackley, associate vice provost for career programs at Midlands Tech. “Now, we are making concerted efforts to align the career-program pathways in our area school districts with those at MTC.”
Midlands Tech President Dr. Ronald L Rhames said the new agreement also will be an advantage for the growing Lexington County business environment.
“Some of the greatest benefactors of this agreement will be our local business and industry partners,” Rhames said. “Midlands-area employers have a critical interest in the pipeline of new technical talent coming from the high schools, through MTC’s career pathways, and into the workforce. This partnership creates a winning situation for everyone. Students will save time and money while pursuing a great career. Local employers will see an expedited pipeline of technically trained employees.”