Denmark Technical College Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Community Stakeholders,
For over seven decades, Denmark Technical College has stood as a testament to our vision for creating an institution that provides high-quality technical education to the citizens of rural South Carolina and beyond.
The mission, established in 1947, to educate minority students with a trade in the great State of South Carolina, as an area trade school, was transformational at that time. Seventy-three years later we are still committed to producing high-performing technical practitioners and fostering opportunities for students to gain employment and are cognizant of the work that needs to be done to reach those goals. We are forging onward to transform Denmark Technical College into a premier technical college with state-of-the-art facilities and automation. Denmark Technical College’s Forging Onward 2025 strategic plan communicates bold moves to create a technical college of the future by implementing five transformational strategic priorities that will lead the institution to its competitive edge.
Focusing on technical enterprise has uniquely connected us to industry and our alumni. Denmark Technical College has produced alumni that have contributed greatly to the success of industry and trade in our state, and who have cemented our rightful place as an institution known for providing great opportunities for rural South Carolinians and others who choose to enter her doors.
Entrepreneur and iconic rapper Shawn Carter, better known as Jay Z, stated, “Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it but to try to understand it and use it as a foundation to grow.” Over the years, we have had a lag in supporting and introducing technical and workforce programs. The college will work deliberately to revive many of the programs for which we have been known and to introduce programs that will define future industry. As we work to improve our institution for our constituents, we will also work to put the “tech back in Denmark Technical College.”
We will continue to be a leader in social justice as we re-establish a continuity of skilled labor to enhance the communities and the lives of the students who attend and graduate from our institution. As we forge onward, the name Denmark Technical College will become synonymous with excellence in technical education. From our origins of providing educational access to African Americans in South Carolina, to intentionally expanding our reach to all citizens of the state, Denmark Technical College has remained, and will continue to be, a vehicle for rural South Carolinians to improve their lives. We are dedicated to cherishing our past and fulfilling our future.
With a mission focused on learning, education needs to happen in all spheres of our community. As you will see in this strategic plan, we have a bold new focus on building and enhancing relationships between the college and all stakeholders. As a technical college, we will position the institution to provide students various entry points and pathways to ensure their success. Even after students graduate, we will continue to directly engage them for seven years in a symbiotic relationship that will benefit the alumni, the college, and the community at large.
This year, we have had various groups of faculty, staff, and students working on conceptual framework teams to develop policy around twenty-first-century skills that every student must possess before graduating from Denmark Technical College. The goal of this project is to ensure that all graduates have the skills necessary to be competitive in the twenty-first-century workforce.
Upon arrival on campus, students will be immersed in our Panther Pathways program, which places an increased effort in helping them develop their career plans. Part of this process involves acknowledging strengths, identifying weaknesses, and completing assessments which will provide the data that becomes the building blocks for a sustainable future. This is just one way we are already redefining the way we prepare students to achieve their full potential.
The strategic plan is our message of excellence in all we do as the “New Normal” for Denmark Technical College, confirming that we understand and respect the past, but realize that we must evolve the to meet the ever-changing needs of our students and our world. This document is the passionate collaboration of many faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni who are the embodiment of that vision. This is the point in our history that we, undeniably, are Forging Onward!
Willie. L. Todd, Jr., Ph.D.,
President, and Chief Executive Officer