Trident Tech honored for diversity

  • Friday, January 18, 2013

Trident Technical College received the first annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. 
As a winner of the HEED award—a national award honoring U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—TTC was featured along with 47 other recipients in the magazine’s December 2012 issue. 
“Diversity is one of our core values,” said TTC President Mary Thornley. “The college’s goal is to provide quality education and promote economic development in a diverse environment that reflects not only our community, but the world.”
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected TTC based on the institution’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and include all aspects of diversity including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community. 
Specifically, since 2005, TTC has offered the Charleston Clemente Course, a free humanities course, to 240 homeless, low-income, disadvantaged people in the Charleston area. The St. Paul Parish and Dorchester QuickJobs Training Center sites were opened in rural areas of Charleston and Dorchester counties to give members of these high minority-populated communities opportunities to take academic and continuing education courses close to home.
TTC also has developed the Office of Global Opportunities to work collaboratively with all campus departments to promote international education initiatives for students, faculty and staff.
TTC’s minority student population also mirrors that of its service area of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.
Based on the 2011 Fall Semester and 2011 US Census population demographics of the three counties, the college’s African American student percentage for each county (28.9, 37.2, 26.1) is slightly higher than the percentage of African Americans living in those counties (24.9, 29.5, 25.2). The same applies for American Indian, Asian and Hawaiian-Pacific Islander. TTC student population is 58.5 percent white, 31.5 percent African American, 3.5 percent Hispanic, 1.6 percent Asian, 0.8 percent American Indian and 0.2 percent Hawaii-Pacific Islander.
In addition, TTC has been successful in its efforts to hire and promote a diverse faculty and staff and is currently ranked first among the state’s16 technical colleges in Equal Employment Opportunity goal attainment and second in EEO goal attainment among state agencies.
“We hope the HEED award serves as a reminder that diversity and inclusion must remain priorities in the 21st century higher education landscape.  Every college and university should recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as being part of their everyday life on campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.  “Our students of today are the employees of tomorrow and the future of our country. 
“As students begin to enter the workforce and a global society, they must first be surrounded by and supported by faculty and staff that understand the differences among cultures and their needs.”
The University of South Carolina was among the other schools honored by the magazine.

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