USC Sumter Opens iCarolina Community Learning Lab
Sumter, SC (05/12/2022) — The University of South Carolina Sumter is proud to announce the opening of the Palmetto College iCarolina Community Learning Lab. The iCarolina Lab was officially opened on May 10 and is in room 205 of the Anderson Library on the USC Sumter campus (200 Miller Rd.). The Sumter location will be one of eight labs opening throughout South Carolina and will provide underserved communities with access to high-speed broadband internet.
In March 2021, Governor Henry McMaster awarded $6 million of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds to the University of South Carolina, who, in partnership with Benedict College, have been establishing the Apple computer labs statewide. The network includes hubs in Columbia's Bull Street District and at Benedict College, along with satellite labs at six of UofSC's Palmetto College regional campuses. UofSC Palmetto College campuses are all located within 15 miles or less of a broadband desert, according to the South Carolina Broadband Map, providing reliable technology and internet access to these communities.
"We are delighted to open another Palmetto College iCarolina Learning Lab at USC Sumter," said Dr. Susan Elkins, Palmetto College Chancellor. "This technology investment in our campuses and communities opens the door for so many South Carolinians to gain skills and certifications that will enable them to grow both academically and professionally. Thank you to Governor McMaster for his leadership and vision to create this tremendous opportunity for our community. Also, thanks to USC Sumter Dean Michael Sonntag and the USC Sumter team, along with Brian Smith, USC Sumter's Director of Information Technology and Kelsie Decker, USC Sumter's iCarolina Project Coordinator, for this excellent partnership that will serve Sumter and the surrounding communities."
The labs have been strategically located for use by our UofSC Palmetto College regional campuses, local school districts, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the South Carolina Technical College System and citizens in the community. Each site will provide Apple products and educational programming to faculty, staff, students, and the community at no cost to the user.
"USC Sumter is very thankful to receive funding from SC Governor Henry McMaster to support the creation of an iCarolina Lab on our campus," said Dr. Michael Sonntag, USC Sumter Campus Dean. "These Apple computer labs and comfortable learning/collaboration spaces are meant to provide computer and internet access to the diverse, underserved, rural areas of South Carolina. Having an iCarolina Lab on our campus furthers our mission of providing affordable, accessible, and flexible education--not just to enrolled students, but the citizens in our area. We are confident that this lab will provide the foundation for building lasting opportunities to budding entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and life-long learners who will enrich both their lives and their communities."
"We are thrilled to open the iCarolina Learning Lab at USC Sumter," said Bill Kirkland, Executive Director of the UofSC Office of Economic Engagement. "This is the third lab to open this spring at one of our regional Palmetto College campuses, with each lab being located within 15 miles of a broadband desert. By investing in our communities and providing access to technology and high-demand skills training, UofSC, as the state's flagship institution, is leading at the forefront ensuring that our underserved communities and rural populations can actively participate in and benefit from the modern economy."