FMU collaborates to create Continuum classes

Cassidy McKnight, Staff Writer

Created through a collaboration with Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC), FMU and the Darla Moore Foundation, the Continuum is Lake City’s newest educational addition.

Located in the heart of downtown, the Continuum serves the Lake City community in numerous ways. From offering high school dual enrollment classes credited to FMU or FDTC, to offering certain classes to be taken by current FDTC students, the Continuum is ensuring that doors are opened for students looking to continue their education.

Housed in a $25 million, 46,000 square-foot facility, the Continuum has a lot of different uses for its surrounding community, such as providing educational opportunities to students looking for certifications or workforce skills; introductory courses that will hopefully lead to future degrees; dual enrollment courses for high school students and even offering K-12 science programs.

The Continuum has enough space to eventually include seven high-tech classrooms, three computer labs, three online classrooms, large prep rooms for biology and chemistry labs, four workforce development classrooms, a health science space and a large lecture hall that can be converted into an event space.

The Continuum has had a lot of success since its opening. Hundreds of Pee Dee high school students and FDTC students are enrolled for the fall semester classes and the facility expects it’s numbers to keep growing.

The college and dual enrollment courses being offered currently are: English, math, history, biology, chemistry, art, music, business, computer science, education, pre-engineering and pre-nursing. The facility offers workforce development courses including training in HVAC, welding, health science, mechatronic, certified driver’s license (CDL) training and advanced manufacturing technology. However, they hope to expand to more classes as the Continuum continues to develop.

The Continuum has already become a staple for downtown Lake City and the surrounding area. Now, high school students have the opportunity to further their education while still enrolled in high school, giving them an advantage over most college freshmen after high school graduation. Other FDTC students have been given the opportunity by the Continuum to start or finish their certifications and broaden the horizons of their mind with all the different kinds of classes the facility offers.

Although the Continuum does not offer anything for current FMU students at this time, when high school students enroll in the dual enrollment classes offered through FMU, they are registered as FMU students and are able to use any FMU services on campus. This is a big boost to enrollment at FMU and provides the university with the prospect of new students after high school.

Executive Director Jeanette Altman said that while nothing is being offered for current FMU students, her team, along with Anna Todd, FMU’s director of dual enrollment and continuing education, hopes that in the next few years they can broaden their services and classes to reach current FMU students as well.