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Spartanburg Community College awarded NSF grant for data analytics

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The National Science Foundation has awarded Spartanburg Community College $592,598 through an Advanced Technological Education Grant to create a data analytics technician program.

The new program addresses the Upstate’s need for data analytics technicians by collaborating with industry leaders to design a curriculum preparing students with the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to be successful in a rapidly growing field, according to a news release.

Because data analytics technicians often work remotely, SCC’s curriculum will be designed to maximize remote and flexible learning opportunities, the release said. The program also focuses on recruiting and supporting women who may benefit from remote job opportunities since women are underrepresented in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Marcia Schenck, SCC department chair for the computer and engineering technology program, and Renee Cramer, SCC department chair for the business technology program, will lead the project as principal investigator and co-principal investigator.

“We are thrilled that this grant will provide new opportunities for students to enter high demand, high-paying science, technology, engineering and math careers,” Schenck said in the release. “Through the grant, we will also offer multiple student support services, such as career coaching and laptops on loan, that will offset common barriers that community college students encounter.”

The program focuses on educating technicians for high-technology fields that drive the nation’s economy. The program also supports partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering.

“Businesses recognize the value of having employees who can not only retrieve data but can also interpret and organize it quickly into meaningful information within an operational context,” Cramer said in the release. “This provides companies with a competitive advantage. Local employers are excited about this new program, and that equates to even more opportunities for our students.”

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

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