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Bookstore Keeps Pace with Growing Enrollment at Piedmont Technical College

July 02, 2013

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With some colleges facing a decline in enrollment in recent years due to tougher economic times, Piedmont Technical College (PTC), located in Greenwood, South Carolina, has a different story to tell. With expanded educational offerings, increased outreach and the unveiling of new, state-of-the-art facilities, PTC has seen a steady rise in enrollment at all seven of its campus locations, according to school officials.

Connecting with Community

Last year, Piedmont enrollment figures showed an increase for the entire college – with the biggest gains occurring at two of its larger county campuses – Laurens Campus, with a nearly nine percent increase, and Newberry Campus, with an amazing 19 percent increase. Both locations have recently debuted new facilities that have allowed for the expansion of its degree and certificate programs.

Crystal Pittman, Business Office Manager at Piedmont Technical College, attributed Newberry’s enrollment growth to its campus relocation in January. The new 53,000-square-foot, LEED-certified facility serves the community by providing on-campus education and long-distance learning classes and features additional classroom space, a larger library, computer labs, a veterinary technology wing, patient-care technology lab and much more – with an additional 20,000 square feet available for future development.

Working Together – Finding Solution

The increase in enrollment also pointed to the need for additional student services to meet the growing demand. Michelle Karlovetz, store manager for Piedmont Technical College Bookstore, explained that the recent growth resulted in a significant rise in foot traffic at its Newberry and Laurens store locations. “Our team was excited by the upsurge of students coming through our doors, but we wanted to find ways to better serve them – particularly with shortening checkout times on busy days, so students were not waiting a long time to purchase their textbooks.”

Students participating in an online training session overview at Piedmont Technical College. All new students are encouraged to attend one of the training sessions.

Students participating in an overview of Piedmont Technical College’s online learning system. All new students are encouraged to attend one of the training sessions.

That prompted discussions between the College and bookstore representatives on how best to meet the needs of the evolving student population. Working in collaboration with Piedmont’s technology department, Barnes & Noble College, which has managed the bookstore since 2006, began installation of lightening fast scan-and-go registers to shorten check-out times. Full implementation is scheduled to be completed by the start of the Fall 2013 semester.

“Piedmont Technical College is very excited about the addition of these registers, as it will increase the level of customer service to our students,” Pittman said. “Barnes & Noble College’s continued efforts to work with our school results in an outstanding relationship.”

The new registers are just part of a larger plan to enhance bookstore customer service. “In addition to increasing staff, we plan to introduce a more robust selection of merchandise, including a wider assortment of emblematic apparel, school supplies and computer equipment,” Karlovetz explained. “It’s important for us to meet and exceed the needs of our students, and we’re proud that our partnership with Piedmont Technical College enables us to do just that.”

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