OC Tech among two Orangeburg colleges awarded Department of Education grant to support underserved students


This grant will support students unable to continue their education due to obstacles like scheduling, transportation, and their home lives.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College (OC Tech) is one of two colleges in the City of Orangeburg and three in the state to be awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support postsecondary students throughout the country.

OC Tech is calling the grant “Race to the Finish.” The focus is to reach out to students who didn’t return to school during the pandemic.

“Obviously we know everything that everyone encountered and had to work with during the pandemic and many of those students were unable to come back to school,” said associate VP of Academic Affairs Richard Murphy.

They say many students were unable to continue their education due to obstacles like scheduling, transportation, and their home lives.  

This affected 37 percent of their student body during the 2022-2023 school year. Of that percentage, about 62 to 63 percent were African American.

“Our project objective is to really focus in on minority students who we know they normally have exacerbated issues that keep them from re enrolling,” said Director of Accreditation and Accountability Leah Jones.

Through this grant, students will have the opportunity to continue their education online. Students will also be offered stipends to use towards various needs like gas, utility bills, and childcare to help retention.

A total of $952,262 was issued to the institution by the agency for its postsecondary student success program. Claflin University also received $1 million.

A portion of funding will also be allocated by OC Tech for new software and staff training for hybrid courses.



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