Henry McMaster, governor of South Carolina, recently signed legislation to help preserve historically Black Denmark Technical College. Under the legislation, the state’s Technical College System will take direct control of the college until November 2018. More importantly, local high school graduates will be able to attend the college to earn a two-year degree or a technical certificate, completely free of charge.
Denmark Technical College was founded in 1947. It became part of the state technical college system in 1969. Over the past five years, enrollments have fallen from 2,000 to about 600. Women are 60 percent of the student body and African Americans make up 92 percent of the total enrollments.
The new Panther Promise will provide full tuition grants for any students with at least a 2.0 grade point average who graduated from one of the six high schools in the area. The state will pick up any tuition fees not covered by federal grants or scholarships provided by the college’s alumni association and a local economic development alliance.