CLINTON, S.C. (courtesy presby.edu) — Presbyterian College staked out an audacious market position as “America’s Innovative Service College” Oct. 21 during an event to announce the college’s new strategic plan.
“Advancing the Championship Spirit: A Bold, New Future” revealed not only an exciting new direction for PC but set the stage for a series of big announcements demonstrating early progress and success.
PC president Dr. Matthew vandenBerg called the strategic plan an opportunity for the college to meet the challenges of modern higher education head-on as it did during PC’s humble beginnings and at other critical points in its history.
“As with our founding, as with our response to the Great Depression, and as with other points in our history, PC’s strategy – its new market position – is an unapologetic and calculated bet on the exceptional people of Blue Hose Nation,” he said.
PC’s market position as “America’s Innovative Service College” stands proudly on three conceptual pillars – Interdisciplinary Innovation, Outrageous Service, and America’s Presbyterian College – developed last year following a series of brainstorming sessions led by 3Enrollment Marketing and guided by a team of PC representatives.
President vandenBerg said PC’s new market position is ideally suited to today’s generation of prospective undergraduate and graduate students. He said they are entrepreneurial and socially conscious young people who want to solve the world’s problems.
“PC’s strong background in interdisciplinary problem solving, creativity, and service is an ideal match for this generation,” vandenBerg said. “And we can connect far more powerfully with them by leaning into a new, modern expression of those core strengths we already possess.”
This summer, volunteer working groups developed seven strategic initiatives, including:
PC is already moving forward. At the event, the college announced launches for 15 initial programs that support the plan, including:
- The PC Flex Plan – a plan that will provide an academic path for students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in select majors in three years.
- Transfer Readiness – a thorough review of PC’s transfer policies, procedures, and curriculum to facilitate greater efficiency in accepting transfer credits.
- The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Partnership – an agreement providing preferred admission and a 25 percent tuition reduction for PC graduates.
- The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Lake Institute – developing a partnership offering executive certificates in religious fundraising.
- The Service Entrepreneurship Case Competition – open to all high school seniors in the country and is now the largest service entrepreneurship case competition for high school students in the U.S.
- The Center for South Korea Korea and East Asian Studies – a signature program that offers students world-class cultural and language exchange opportunities and promotes scholarly research and leadership on international education and Korean culture.
- The JEDI division – hired Dr. Selena Blair as the first Rogers-Ingram Vice President for JEDI and created a division to include counseling and wellness services, accessible education, and the Presby First+ program for first-generation students
- The Jacobs Scholars Program – hired Dr. Shebby Neely-Aiken as director of the college’s program to recruit and support students impacted by foster care.
- The Presbyterian Advantage – grants preferred admissions and a $10,000 annual scholarship to qualified candidates, along with a guaranteed interview with the PC School of Pharmacy to students from the 53 other members of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.
- The Presbyterian Promise – offers students who are members of Presbyterian Churches or attend Presbyterian-related schools at least a $20,000 a year scholarship to attend PC. Also, adding additional scholarship support from presbyteries and congregations.
- Seminary agreements – pursuing articulation agreements with Union Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and Columbia Theological Seminary allowing PC students to complete three years at PC and three years at seminary to receive a bachelor’s degree from the college and a master’s of divinity degree.
- Lake Campus – partnering with Fellowship Camp and Conference Center on Lake Greenwood to provide educational, co-curricular, and recreational opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.
- The Laurens County Promise – offering Laurens County students who complete two years of coursework, preferably earning an associate’s degree, from Piedmont Technical College the opportunity to transfer to PC for two years at no cost toward their bachelor’s degree.
- An Athletic Hall of Fame – establishing a Hall of Fame to showcase championship teams and outstanding athletic performances in a digital format that will include athletic team records and the implementation of an athletic hall of fame.
- A PC Trolley – providing transportation for students, faculty, and staff to go between and among different parts of campus and town, including 112 in downtown Clinton and the Capitol Theatre in Laurens.