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STUDENTS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF COLLEGE AND CAREER PREPARATORY OPPORTUNITIES EARN AND SAVE MONEY

3/10/2021

An increasing number of students in Richland School District Two are enrolling in and experiencing success in Career and Technology Education (CTE), AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and the Richland Two Early College. In 2020, the district had a 52 percent increase from the previous year in students who completed CTE programs. Of the 8,479 high school students in Richland Two, 7,832 enrolled in CTE classes, some taking more than one at a time. 

Mary Paige Boyce, Director of College and Career Initiatives in Richland Two’s Office of Teaching and Learning, says the numbers tell a compelling story. “What we are doing is important to students and their families. We are providing something of high quality to our students and they are recognizing that with their enrollments,” said Boyce.

Next school year, Richland Two is adding to its line-up of options. Dual credit courses will be offered in the Richland Two Virtual School in Medical Terminology and Careers in Health Care, and at the R2i2 Student Innovation Center in Engineering Technology, Mechanical Design, and Social Media and Business. Courses in Industrial Technology Education and Python Programming will also be new at R2i2. Python Programming is used for COVID-19 contact tracing.

Through multiple, lucrative partnerships the district is able to offer a wider variety of programs. Students are exploring future careers through partnerships with Midlands Technical College, PRISMA Health, Lexington Medical, and the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina (UofSC). Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, Small Engine repair, Commercial Driver’s License, Accounting and Payroll, Phlebotomy, Cardiac Care, Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Nursing Assistant, Billing and Coding, Veterinary Assistant, Business, and Welding are some areas of interest currently being served or will soon be phased in. Some students are earning money while learning through apprenticeships.  

Richland Two offers AVID district wide and as an elective. Of the seniors taking the AVID elective, 90 percent applied and were accepted into four year colleges and universities. AVID’s mission is to close the opportunity gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.

A partnership with the UofSC-Sumter has saved 20 students and their families thousands of dollars. Four years ago, the first cohort of 20 students enrolled in the Richland Two Early College. In May 2021 all of them will be graduating with Associates Degrees in the Arts from the UofSC-Sumter. This partnership covered two years of tuition for each student, valued at $25,376 per student, $507,520 collectively. There is something for everyone in Richland Two and the opportunities are endless.