The University of South Carolina has partnered with Apple and Benedict College to establish eight new computer labs across the state that will feature Macs and Everyone Can Code resources.
Gov. Henry McMaster allocated $6 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds to finance the new technology initiative. The network of labs will feature Apple products and curricula, including materials focused on teaching coding. Apple maintains its own educational curricula through its Everyone Can Code program.
“The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that internet access is not a luxury but a necessity for millions of South Carolinians,” said Gov. McMaster of the initiative.
All eight labs will be “strategically located” for use by school districts, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the South Carolina Technical College System, and citizens in the community.
“At Apple, we believe education is the great equalizer, and that access to technology is key to learning and workforce opportunities today. We are proud that Apple products and curriculum have been selected by the University of South Carolina and Benedict College for their new education labs. Together, we aim to ensure all South Carolinians have the opportunity to learn, code, create, and grow in new ways,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s chief of enterprise and education marketing.
The network of labs will include hubs in Columbia’s BullStreet District, as well as at Benedict College. There will also be satellite labs at six of the University of South Carolina’s Palmetto College and regional campuses. The campuses will provide the lab space, maintenance, and utilities.
Each lab will be available for use by faculty, staff, students, and community members for no charge. The initiative will also see each lab advertised for use in their communities.
“By providing access to Apple’s coding curriculum and emphasizing creative learning, this partnership is a game changer for our state. The educational programs and training at these learning centers will give South Carolinians relevant skills that are in high demand in today’s economy. We are proud to partner with Governor McMaster, Apple and Benedict College in this mission by investing in underserved communities across the state,” said Bob Caslen, the president of the University of South Carolina.