Sen. Tim Scott visited Claflin University Thursday, January 23, as a part of his tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in South Carolina. Scott, who spent the earlier part of the day participating in community service with Claflin students and the Claflin Saturday Academy to distribute food to members of the Orangeburg community, met with the University’s leadership team to discuss his agenda for South Carolinians.
“My agenda is pretty simple, creating better opportunities for education and bettering the economy,” Scott said. “It is my belief that if you have jobs, you have time for other opportunities. I believe in having a strong foundation in education.”
Scott said he started researching educational systems in South Carolina, and will visit each HBCU in South Carolina by the end of February. Scott said he is on a mission to ensure all students have the best educational opportunities and to be an advocate for funding and access.
“We have been studying statistics, and low-skill jobs will be digitized in the next decade,” Scott said. “We are hoping to have a serious conversation to make sure the foundation on which the student stands on is strong. This is a multi-prong attack. We have to make sure our students are successful in life.
“If in fact low-skill jobs are digitized, many folks’ skills don't match the future. There is nothing we can do as a government but make sure there is a solid foundation for education.”
Claflin President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale and other administrators highlighted some of the programs and initiatives that are under way at the University. President Tisdale said Claflin is working to provide special access and an early start for students.
“We realize that we have to look beyond what we have done and where we have been in terms of educating students,” Tisdale said. “We need to pay more attention and have high expectations for all of our students, and we are focused on the future and educating the next generation in ways that will be the most beneficial and impactful for them”
Scott said he hopes the brief meeting will develop into fruitful conversations about strengthening education in the state. Claflin’s goals and ambition, he said, will help it be one of the flagship universities in that effort.
“We want to make sure we get these kids moving forward,” he said. “We want to create an opportunity for them to live in a land of promise. I believe we are on the verge of making incredible gains, or experience an incredible implosion. We may be the last line of defense. I look forward to being a part of the strategy to find solutions and will be willing to advocate for you.”