FLORENCE, S.C. — The Florence-Darlington Technical College Dual Enrollment program for high school students will be tuition free again.

Edward Bethea, interim president of the technical college, made the announcement Tuesday during a meeting of the FDTC Commission.

The free tuition was made available by an increase in the South Carolina WINS scholarship funding.

“It’s a great benefit to students,” Bethea said. “The state of South Carolina is giving them a wonderful gift to make it very equitable to get dual enrollment.”

Bethea said students in the past could pay for their dual enrollment, but some students were often unable to pay.

“It’s very valuable for students and improves access to education,” Bethea said.

Tuition will be free for eligible high school students starting in the spring semester, Bethea said.

Prior to the increase in funding, Bethea said, dual-enrollment students had to pay $35 per credit hour they took at the college.

Dual-enrollment classes currently take place on the FDTC campus, at the Continuum in Lake City and in the high schools.

Lauren Holland, associate vice president of corporate and workforce development, presented several new programs that will begin at FDTC.

Groupe Beneteau and FDTC will partner to begin Beneteau Tech in January, Holland said.

Beneteau Tech will train individuals in a 32-hour program to go to work at the company. The individuals will be selected and vetted by Beneteau.

“We are really excited about this opportunity to get people to get to work,” Holland said.

FDTC has also begun an Office of Apprenticeships at the college to begin creating apprenticeship programs for adult and high school students.

The college will host an event on Jan. 25 for employers and interested high school students and adults to meet one another.

“We hope it’s going to increase the number of students that we have next year,” Holland said.

Holland cited the success that Trident Technical College has had hosting an event similar to the one FDTC will offer. The first year Trident Technical College hosted the event it had 40 students attend, and last year 1,000 students attended the event.

Medical scribe specialist and mental health first aid certifications were also among the new programs that Holland presented to the commission.

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