SC State, 1 of 7 HBCUs in the new SCIII coalition, will formally launch institute on July 28.
ORANGEBURG, S.C., July 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — South Carolina State University — a public, historically Black university with around 2,500 students — will launch its Institute of Business, Environment, Communications and Transportation (BECT) on Thursday, July 28, 2022.
BECT will focus on preparing students for careers in business, environmental science, communications, and transportation and supply chain management.
SC State is one of the seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in South Carolina that are part of South Carolina’s Institutes of Innovation and information (SCIII).
Each school’s institute has a specific focus area, and all of them fit under the umbrella of initiatives centered around bringing innovation to the school’s students, the surrounding community and the state overall.
Through the leadership and vision of state Sen. John L. Scott, Jr., the South Carolina General Assembly appropriated $18 million in 2021 toward the development of educational institutes at each of South Carolina’s seven HBCUs. Each institute was established with specific focuses and disciplines united to increase opportunities and exposure for their student bodies and the surrounding community.
"The Institutes of Innovation and Information is one of the most powerful tools that Historical Black Colleges and Universities will see for years to come," Scott said. "As each HBCU creates its own institute to look at issues affecting South Carolina you will begin to get more involvement with our colleges and universities.
"The students, faculty, and staff will notice that having corporate partners will bring about scholarships, opportunities for young people such as internships, as well as jobs after graduation and even some during their tenure at school.
"We think this a game changer for South Carolina. For the 5,000 plus businesses and corporations we have here, we have not had the opportunity to invite them to be a part of the HBCU lifestyle," Scott said. "Through the creation of this institute and with the direction of our executive director, Dr. Gwynth Nelson, we think this is highly possible."
The SCIII Foundation was established to support and assist the efforts of the seven institutions by providing funding, resources, and network partnerships with leaders in the business and philanthropic community. SCIII will strengthen the HBCUs by building pipelines from each Institute directly to opportunities in state business and industry.
It is guided and managed by Dr. Gwynth R. Nelson, executive director, who previously held the positions of associate vice president of institutional advancement at Voorhees University and at SC State.
"It is my belief that South Carolina Institutes of Innovation and Information will provide great opportunities for our students enrolled at the seven HBCUs," Nelson said. "With the partnerships established with the SCIII Foundation, corporations and or HBCUs, the state’s businesses and industries will connect and create tremendous opportunities for students.
"This connection will not only flourish, but it will bridge a gap among students, community and industry leaders. SCIII will work tirelessly to ensure a collaborative relationship because my motto is ‘Failure is not an option,’" Nelson said.
Dr. Rusty Monhollon, president and executive director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, said SCIII will revolutionize the state’s HBCUs by giving them more visibility and establishing relationships with the state’s businesses and industries as they join forces with the institutes.
"Establishing partnerships between private and educational sectors for relevant training and career preparation will provide meaningful opportunities for our students, as well as the businesses and industries they work with," Monhollon said. "These relationships will help demonstrate the quality of our academic programs to the private sector while also allowing students to contribute locally."
SC State President Alexander Conyers issued thanks to Scott, Monhollon and Nelson for helping SC State develop the initiative.
"We look forward to bringing these important partners together to enhance opportunities for our students in these critical areas of infrastructure," Conyers said. "The Institute of Business, Environment, Communications and Transportation will be one more way we make connections between academia and practical applications in the world outside our campus."
SC State University is an 1890 land grant, senior comprehensive institution committed to providing affordable and accessible quality baccalaureate, master’s educational specialist and doctoral degree programs. SC State University contributes to economic development, enhances the quality of life of citizens, and prepares highly skilled, competent and socially aware graduates to meet life’s challenges and demands, enabling them to work and live productively in a dynamic, global society.
South Carolina’s Institutes of Innovation and Information (SCIII) is an initiative and vision inspired by Sen. John L. Scott, Jr., which focuses on revolutionizing and cultivating the state’s seven four-year HBCUs’ overall capabilities and contributions for the citizens and residents of the state. South Carolina has a rich history when it comes to educating people of color, and SCIII provides the perfect conduit for partnerships between SCIII HBCUs and state business and industry, diversifying and improving the state’s workforce.
Director of News & Public Information
South Carolina State University
SOURCE South Carolina’s Institutes of Innovation and Information