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HGTC and CCU Take Education Careers to the Next Level

(CONWAY, SC) – Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is excited about a unique partnership with Coastal Carolina University (CCU) to offer an educational degree that can be completed while working.  The new bachelor’s program in education for non-instructional school personnel is called Project SPED: School Personnel to Educators.  Right now, it is available to those employed by the Marion County School District and the Georgetown County School District to give non-teaching personnel the opportunity to enter the field of teaching.  Interested employees who are non-teaching staff members can take their current education careers to the next level. 

South Carolina is facing a shortage of highly qualified educators. According to the South Carolina Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA), there were 5,987 departures in 2020. As of February 2021, there were 677 additional departures.  The state struggles with vacant teaching positions. Additionally, there are fewer new hires in recent years with over 515 vacant positions.

“This exciting new partnership between HGTC and CCU is designed to increase the higher education opportunities for those working in the educational field in our community.  It’s also another effort to combat the teacher shortage South Carolina and our local area are facing.  Flexible options will be offered to assist students, and the program will be tailored to each individual with online courses to accommodate busy schedules,” said Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, HGTC President.

Non-instructional school personnel employed by the school districts can sign up now to take classes to become a certified teacher in special education (or other areas) while continuing to work for their current employers.  To become certified, employees can start their education at HGTC to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Teacher Education and keep their education moving forward by transferring to CCU to complete their bachelor’s degree.  Scholarships are available through SCWINS and Lottery Tuition Assistance programs. 

“There is a need for initiatives to attract and recruit to the field of education to address the educator shortage. The purpose of this program is to collaborate with local school districts to offer a ‘grow your own’ model.  This is the perfect opportunity for school staff members to continue working while taking classes to further their education,” said Becky Hubbard, chair of HGTC’s Teacher Education Department.

“Part of the vision for the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences is to be a changemaker, and to support our students in becoming leaders who make a difference in their communities and in the world,” said Holley Tankersley, Ph.D., dean of CCU’s Spadoni College. “We are thrilled to be part of this program, which not only supports personal growth by helping current school personnel to become future educators, but also has the broader effect of recruiting much-needed teachers to our school districts. We can’t wait to get started.”

“Like many states across the nation, South Carolina is facing a shortage of highly qualified special educators,” said Jamia Richmond, Ph.D., chair of CCU’s Department of Foundations, Curriculum, and Instruction. “In our partnering districts, the shortage is evident, and we want to do our part to address it. The special education program at Coastal Carolina is excited about this opportunity to collaborate with HGTC to offer Project SPED. This ‘grow your own’ model has proven successful over time to provide local districts with a pool of diverse, special education teachers who are committed to their community and the schools in which they serve.”  

There are three easy steps in the program:

  1. Start - Start your education at Horry-Georgetown Technical College to earn your AAS in Teacher Education.
  2. Transfer - Transfer to Coastal Carolina University to complete your bachelor’s degree.
  3. Complete - You can do all this while still working.

Here are the benefits: 

  • Programs can be accomplished with little to no out-of-pocket costs. Participants must complete a FAFSA.
  • Coursework can be accelerated to help you earn your degree in less time.
  • Advising is individualized to guide you every step of the way.
  • Academic tutoring, writing assistance, and technology support are available to make your work easy to accomplish.
  • Opportunities to connect with others in this journey with you will be provided.

Information sessions have been scheduled by Georgetown County Schools for the following areas:

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Andrews High Auditorium

(Carvers Bay & Andrews interested employees)                               


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Georgetown High Auditorium  

(Georgetown & Waccamaw interested employees)


To find out more about enrolling in classes, visit to apply today or contact:

Destiny Lewis

HGTC Student Advisor in Admissions


Becky Hubbard

HGTC Chair and Professor, Teacher Education


Jamia Thomas Richmond, Ph.D.

CCU Chair, Department of Foundations, Curriculum, and Instruction



About HGTC

HGTC offers college transfer and skilled associate degree programs in 70 fields of study, and many with online class options. Nearly all programs feature internships that lead to jobs. Ninety-five percent of students either transfer to earn advanced degrees or start careers in their respective fields of study. Horry-Georgetown Technical College prohibits discrimination against students and employees. Please direct discrimination and accessibility issues to the Office of Student Affairs at (843) 349-5228.


For additional information about HGTC, call (843) 347-3186.  | Twitter: gohgtc  |  Facebook:


About CCU

Coastal Carolina University offers baccalaureate degrees through more than 95 majors. Among CCU's graduate-level programs are 27 master’s degrees, two educational specialist degrees, and two doctoral programs: the Ph.D. in marine science: coastal and marine systems science, and the Ph.D. in education. CCU boasts a growing array of internship, research, and international opportunities for students, as well as numerous online programs through Coastal Online. More than 10,000 students from across the country and the world interact with a world-class faculty, and enjoy a nationally competitive NCAA I athletic program, an inspiring cultural calendar, and a tradition of community interaction that is fueled by more than 180 student clubs and organizations.