The Expressway to Tiger Town initiative, a partnership between Greenville County Schools, Greenville Technical College, and the Clemson University College of Education, has received a 2019 Innovation of the Year Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College. The initiative is meant to create a seamless pathway from high school to a degree in education from Clemson University and is intended to stem the teacher shortage in South Carolina, according to a news release.
The partnership creates pathways for students from Greenville County Schools to begin taking dual credit courses through Greenville Technical College while in high school, completing one year of college before graduation, the release said. Students will then spend a year on a Greenville Technical College campus, completing the second year of college before transferring to Clemson University and earning a teacher preparation bachelor’s degree. The program allows a student to complete a bachelor’s degree three years out of high school or to spend an additional year at Clemson to earn a master’s degree and the additional knowledge, training and pay that come with it.
“Expressway to Tiger Town gives future teachers an affordable and accelerated path to success,” the release said. “By following this pathway, students can save money on college tuition and reduce or even eliminate the debt that impacts many graduates.”
The League for Innovation award honors faculty, staff, and administrators at member colleges who have created and implemented innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies, and activities that improve the institution’s ability to serve students and the community.
“We are pleased to receive this award, which recognizes the truly innovative nature of the Expressway to Tiger Town partnership,” Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College, said in the release. “Not every community is as fortunate as ours in the collaborative energy that exists among all levels of education. We work closely with Greenville County Schools and Clemson University on many different initiatives, and the Upstate benefits from this strong teamwork.”