COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) —
Columbia Housing and Midlands Technical College are teaming up to provide access to higher education and job training for Columbia Housing residents.
The organizations made their agreement official in Columbia Housing’s Wall of Fame garden, which showcases residents who have achieved success in their career and given back to their community .
According to a Columbia Housing official, the new partnership will provide learning and growth opportunities regardless of a person’s income or social circumstance.
Residents are now able to enroll in any program that they’re interested in at Midlands Tech College with some eligible students qualifying for free tuition and fees.
Midlands Technical College President Dr. Ronald Rhames, says allowing Columbia Housing residents opportunities to enroll at any of their six campuses across the Midlands and graduate with little to no debt provides pathways for many more success stories.
“The residents of Columbia Housing will have the hope to improve their lives. It really is how do you create an opportunity for families, not only because it’s necessary. It’s because we want to see the growth of the community. It’s going to benefit not just the residents but the entire community,” says Dr. Rhames.
Columbia Housing CEO, Yvonda Bean, says higher education felt out of reach for many Columbia Housing families until now.
“For us to create this partnership, we’re showing them that it is accessible. You can have an education as well. It is within your reach. And we’re committed to getting you to that table and walking you through so that ultimately you can realize your dream of self-sufficiency,” says Bean.
Columbia Housing resident Elaine Caldwell says she’s now considering taking a course at Midlands Technical College and believes it will inspire many more people to do so as well.
“If I had my grands here right now and they’re still in high school. I have two coming out. One already graduated. I would start right there and if they asked me, ‘Maw maw, where can I go to college? Oh man, I am eager to tell them!” Caldwell says.
Officials from Midlands Technical College and Columbia Housing say they hope this initiative will land many more people on the Columbia Housing Wall of Fame.
The partnership between Midlands Technical College and Columbia Housing will be effective until October 30, 2025.