NEWBERRY — The two Newberry colleges came together Tuesday morning to discuss their college’s ideas and plans and how they want to better their relationship together.
Piedmont Technical College and Newberry College’s representatives came together at the Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly breakfast.
While both of the college’s presidents were unable to attend for health reasons, Lisa Toland, an instructor, spoke about Piedmont Technical College while Timothy Elston, a vice-president, spoke about Newberry College.
While the two colleges are quite different, they do still want to build a better relationship, especially with transferring students from the two-year Piedmont Tech to the four-year Newberry College.
Toland started off by saying that she is a product of Piedmont Tech. She didn’t attend the two-year school but she began her teaching career at the school.
“I walked in the doors and Piedmont gave me a chance at teaching,” said Toland who pointed out the school’s smaller class sizes and the care and empathy of the instructors.
Toland then announced that the new Newberry County campus of the school would be open to the public Jan. 2 when the finishing touches would be complete.
The school will begin their moving process from the old campus to the new one the second week of December after the holiday break.
The open house is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. and she also says that there are naming opportunities available if people want to have their name on a lab or classroom. The contact person is Fran Wiley and she may be reached at 864-941-8351.
Toland also went on to explain the need to move to a newer, bigger campus.
In this past fall semester, the entire school has had their highest enrollment at 6,541 students.
As for the Newberry campus, they have 727 students with 404 of those students just attending Newberry.
The 727 students includes traditional and dual enrollment which are students still in high school taking courses for college credit.
“We thank the Newberry County School District because our classes are overflowing with dual enrollment,” Toland said.
“The enrollment has grown 71 percent since 2006,” she continued.
Toland also mentioned of a community survey that they will send out to the general public in which they really want to hear from the community and what they want and need.
Toland also mentioned of many projects at the main campus in Greenwood which are trickling down into Newberry.
“Your goals are our mission,” said Toland.
Elston also commented on Newberry College’s enrollment which he says has grown as they have more than 1,000 students now.
Elston pointed out that with a new president also comes new administrative leaders and he mentioned a new enrollment dean, new chief financial officer as well as a new vice president for institutional advancement, Scott Joyner, and Dean Jane Willis.
As far as enrollment goes, Elston says, “In the past, we have not done a good job with recruiting.”
Elston says that the college is changing that by building a better relationship with Piedmont Tech.
“We have to get over the hump of being terribly expensive and work with transfer students. Within the next year it will pay off as the relationship grows,” said Elston.
As for other initiatives the college is taking, Elston said they are adding two bachelor degrees.
The college will have offer bachelors degrees in accounting and social media.
Elston credited the business chair and professor Joe Franklin who commented that, “We need to restart the accounting program and the goal is to move towards a masters in accounting within three years.”
As for the social media, Elston said that Newberry College will be the only college in the state and the Southeast to offer this major.
“Businesses are looking for young people emerged in social media and want to maintain contact with the young people,” he said.
In athletics, Elston said, “We will add a new Spring women’s sport field hockey. We will use that as a recruiting tool.”
Elston also mentioned that campus ministry is ever increasing and commends Dr. Ernie Worman as Elston says Worman is “always busy and has lots of ideas.”
In fact, “(Worman) will co lead with two professors a 14-day trip to Israel in the summer. It’s open to anyone who’s a friend of the college.”
“I think we have a very bright future with this president with 30 plus years of experience,” concluded Elston.
Chamber Director Ted Smith said, “There’s a lot of synergy going on in the community. If we all work together we can make Newberry County a better place to work and play.”