Real Priorities: MTC Legislative Focus for 2018
Midlands Technical College leaders and community stakeholders are calling upon the State Legislature to ensure a high-quality technical college education remains accessible and affordable; to enhance MTC’s ability to offer scholarships for programs that provide fast-paced, intensive training for jobs that are in demand by Midlands employers; and to cover the tuition for more than 1,000 dually enrolled students in MTC service-area high schools.
Here are the key areas of MTC’s legislative priorities for the 2018 legislative session:
LOTTERY TUITION ASSISTANCE: $51.1 MILLION
The South Carolina Lottery Tuition Assistance Program (LTA) provides a source of financial aid to students whose state and federal grants do not cover the cost of their tuition, as well as students who are not eligible for state or federal grants.
“The LTA program is perfect for students just out of high school or those who are thinking about a career change later in life,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “It has helped many South Carolina residents meet their educational and career goals, and we believe resources for this essential component of student access should be sustained.”
QUICKJOBS SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING: $2.5 MILLION
MTC is requesting $2.5 million in QuickJobs scholarship funding to help meet workforce needs.
QuickJobs programs offer fast-paced, intensive job training to help the unemployed and underemployed citizens obtain middle- and high-skilled jobs in demand by Midlands employers. Because these short-term programs are typically not eligible for traditional federal or state financial aid, funding will provide tuition assistance and focus on stackable credentials primarily in the STEM areas. QuickJobs programs include, but are not limited to, manufacturing, construction, HVAC, business, and IT related skills.
DUAL CREDIT FUNDING: $1 MILLION (RECURRING)
The requested, recurring funding would cover the tuition costs of more than 1,000 dually enrolled students in MTC service area high schools.
Offering MTC courses in service area high schools provides a proven benefit to students, parents and taxpayers. Students will have less or no debt, parents' tuition and fee bills will be significantly lower, and taxpayers can save money because MTC is able to educate students at a much lower rate for the first two years. Taking dual credit classes while in high school promotes college success and assists non-traditional students build the confidence needed to pursue higher education. Funding mechanisms that cover tuition and associated costs are essential to offering dual enrollment opportunities to all eligible students.
CENTER FOR QUICKJOBS TRAINING AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: $30 MILLION
The proposed MTC Center for QuickJobs Training and Workforce Development at the Beltline Campus will directly target the rapid training of specific workforce skills that are critically required by employers who are having extreme difficulty finding the workers they need. This is a compelling issue due to the ramping up of manufacturing and information technology operations and the collateral demand for a workforce to sustain and grow these essential employment sectors.
This Center will provide immediate accessibility to training and higher education for lower income, first generation, and minority students. The Center for QuickJobs Training and Workforce Development will concentrate on essential skilled crafts and other instructional areas designed to meet real-time workforce needs.
If the opportunity arises, please remember to thank members of the SC House and Senate for their support of MTC and our students who depend on the college as a pathway to successful careers.