Lander brings higher education presence to Consortium


Lander brings higher education presence to Western Piedmont Education Consortium

GREENWOOD, S.C. – The Western Piedmont Education Consortium (WPEC) just got stronger with its recent addition of Lander University this past October.

Lander’s inclusion, along with Piedmont Technical College, is the first time higher education will be represented with WPEC.

WPEC president Billy Strickland said he expects the presence of both schools to vastly improve WPEC’s resolve to give as many area students as possible a solid grounding for higher education.

“Now more than ever, we want students to see that K-12 in today’s world is only the beginning of their education,” Strickland said. “So we had to have higher-ed schools, such as Lander, involved in this effort.”

Lander University President Richard Cosentino added that the school’s immediate responsibility is to show K-12 students “what we can do for them.”

“I believe it’s our responsibility to prepare our students for life beyond high school,” Cosentino said. “We have to let them know as early as possible about our requirements to enter Lander, coming changes that could affect them in college, and how their current efforts in school will help or hinder them in their educational pursuit.”

The addition of higher education is an upward move for WPEC.

Since its founding in 1997 by 10 superintendents in upper western South Carolina, WPEC has worked toward excellence in education through member collaboration and through a sharing of resources and expertise.

And Cosentino said Lander’s partnership with WPEC is “only the beginning” of a great future. “We’re up 70 percent in applications from last year and it’s not by accident,” he said. “We have invested in enrollment and in our initiatives, such as WPEC. And when you have great things happening at an institution like Lander, more students want to come.”

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