Florence Darlington Technical College

With a population a little over 31,000, Florence is the county seat of Florence County, South Carolina. The economy was once reliant on the railway and farming, but today is diversified to include many commerce and finance companies. The area is now home to Florence Darlington Technical College, which prepares students in various job sectors that are high in demand.

Florence Darlington Technical College main campus spans an extensive area’ there are 9 different classroom and lab buildings. Lecture halls, an auditorium, library, admission and support buildings are found on the campus also. Another campus location is found in Florence for the health sciences programs. Four satellite locations exist also; the Cosmetology Center, also in Darlington, is located on Palmetto Road. Outside of Darlington, sites in Hartsville, Lake City and Mullins exist.

Students who attend FDTC will be able to choose from a variety of degree programs, ranging between 60-84 credit hours. Some degrees are also offered through evening courses and online study. The majors a student may choose from include:

Administrative Office Technology
AA or AS general degree
Automotive Technology or Diesel Technology
Civil Engineering Technology
Computer Technology
Criminal Justice Technology
Dental Hygiene
Electronics Engineering Technology
General Technology
Human Services
HVAC Technology
Machine Tool Technology
Medical Laboratory Technology
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Physical Therapist Assistant
Radiologic Technology
Respiratory Care

FDTC’s divisions are divided into two sections – Health & Sciences and Technical & General Education. Students planning to enter dental, nursing, health-related, human services, natural and physical science majors will correspond with staff in the Health & Sciences division. Those who choose majors in English, business, cosmetology, engineering, industrial or computer technology will correspond with the Technical & General Education Division.

The tuition rates at FDTC are divided into four groups; arranged in order from least to most expensive, they are: In-County, Out-Of-County, Out-Of-State and Out-Of-Country. Part-time students are billed on a per-credit-hour fee schedule. In addition to tuition, technology fees for some students and activity fees are also added. Rates for tuition may fluctuate from one year to another, but each rate is specified in an exact amount on the school’s website. Financial aid in the form of private and federal grants, scholarships and loans are also offered for those who can’t afford the tuition upfront.

There are two athletic teams featured at FDTC, including a women’s fast-pitch softball team and a men’s baseball team. Sports teams play a shorter fall scrimmage schedule, followed by a full schedule in the spring, competing in the NJCAA’s Division I, District X. All students are welcome to try out for acceptance to the teams; camps are set up for try-outs in the late spring and early summer.

The State Universities association ranked FDTC at 37, with an overall school score of 48.5, in the top 50 schools in the state of South Carolina. These rankings are based on several factors, including student retention, faculty salary, ACT/SAT scores, student to faculty ratio and overall campus safety.

Gilleon Frieson of Lake City, SC graduated from FDTC in 2001 and used his education to pursue a career working with troubled juveniles. After catching a 9-year-old child stealing, he decided to pursue his passion to help children with these problems. After also serving many years in the military, Frieson now is a loss prevention specialist.

Students should begin their application process as far in advance as possible, allowing the administrative staff time to evaluate transcripts and collect necessary information. If financial aid is sought, prospective students should fill out a FAFSA form from the official government site; the financial aid process may take several weeks to complete.

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