Trident partners with Clemson under USDA grant

  • Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a five-year, $439,920 grant to Clemson University to partner with Trident Technical College and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College for the development and implementation of an innovative program in Food Science and Technology for students from multicultural backgrounds. 
The goal of the program is to graduate 12 students with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Technology that will enable them to pursue rewarding careers in the food and agricultural industries.  
 “This is an exciting time to be involved in food science. Each day we learn more about the effects of food on health, and with an increasing population the need for a sustainable and affordable food supply is critical,” said Trident Technical College President Mary Thornley. “We look forward to working with Clemson to educate the next generation of food researchers whose work will shape the future of South Carolina’s agribusiness industry.”
The partnership between Trident Technical College, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and Clemson University will be the framework for recruiting, training and mentoring students throughout the program.  Students will complete two years at one of the technical colleges and then transfer to Clemson to complete their bachelor of science degree in Food Science. 
Recruitment strategies will include motivating students by introducing them to food science career choices that offer professional advancement opportunities and that will enable them to make a difference in their communities.  Faculty mentoring, student support services, and an international experience will be an essential strategy to ensure student retention. These scholars will enjoy summer mentoring activities and a study abroad experience during their freshmen and sophomore years. Industry internships are important career training that will be experienced during the junior year.
Outcomes of this project will include a successful pipeline for recruiting and retaining under-represented students into food and agriculture degree programs and careers.  Students may begin this program at either Trident Technical College or at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and then transfer to Clemson.  Scholarships starting this fall are available. For more information contact Cara Smyczynski (Cara.smyczynski@Tridenttech.edu) at Trident Technical College and William Hair (whair@OCTech.edu) at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College

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