Economic Development Initiative Spurs New Academic Programs

By October 15, 2013 Coursepower

Columbia, SC – Four college presidents gathered at IT-oLogy today to announce a major effort in economic development for South Carolina. Coursepower, a program that features a minor or certificate in applied computing, is now being offered at four Midlands institutions: Benedict College, Columbia College, Midlands Technical College and the University of South Carolina.

“We are breaking new ground,” said Larry Wilson, Venture Partner of FirstMark Capital. “When we look at not only the data, but also trends, we know that our challenge is to educate students who are equipped with the skills that business and industry need in a 21st century economy. Coursepower is a piece to that puzzle.”

USC, Benedict and Columbia College will offer a minor in applied computing, while Midlands Technical College will offer an academic certificate as well as corporate and continuing education certificates. The purpose is to give non-IT majors a technological groundwork so they are better equipped for the digital world that influences every career path.

“We live in a digital age,” said Lonnie Emard, President of IT-oLogy. “So whether a student’s focus is pharmacy, political science or hospitality, a minor in applied computing will set them apart. This underpinning will become the norm in a few years. We are ahead of the curve here in the Midlands.”

By offering students the education that employers are demanding, coursepower will provide employers with the workforce they need to be more competitive. In turn, this will position the region as a hub for talent with valuable technological knowledge.

“The long-term goal for the program is to develop a local, tech-savvy workforce across all industries that will grow existing business and attract new business and entrepreneurs to the area,” stated Bill Mahoney, CEO of SCRA.

“Technology and applied sciences play a critical role in the evolution of South Carolina’s workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Coursepower is a big step not only to creating substantial workforce impact in our state, but it also gives us a competitive edge when recruiting companies to do business in South Carolina.”

About Coursepower
Coursepower was created to turn South Carolina into a top producer and consumer of digital talent. It prepares students for success in today’s technological world through a new academic track called Applied Computing. The academic track adds a valuable technology underpinning to students’ existing course of study, better preparing them to thrive in today’s global digital marketplace and providing local businesses with the talent that they need.

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