SMC Receives National Education Innovation Award

Geovana Batres Ardon presents her Capstone project at the inaugural Apex Showcase. Students develop and execute a final project focused on business or philanthropy to demonstrate the professional skills they’ve learned through the Camak Core. Batres Ardon claimed first prize in the Showcase presentations.

SMC Program Recognized by National Education Innovation Firm

Encoura, a leading education data and science firm, recently awarded Spartanburg Methodist College a 2023 Recognition of Achievement award for the College’s program to integrate professional development into its bachelor’s degree programs.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts to make sure that our graduates are fully prepared to transition from college to the workplace,” said SMC President Scott Cochran. “Providing them the soft skills they need to integrate into the workplace, in conjunction with the top-notch education our faculty provides, gives our students a leg up as they start their careers.”

Eduventures Innovation Awards were presented on June 16 at the Eduventures Summit 2023 to recognize organizations and teams shaping the future of higher education.

This year’s Innovation Awards went to Arizona State University, Augsburg University, and Western Governors University. In addition to SMC, other Recognition of Achievement award winners were George Mason University, Louisiana State University, and Purdue University.

Judges recognized SMC for the College’s Camak Core professional development program, which is integrated into all bachelor’s degrees. Students learn critical soft skills valued by employers such as professional communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and collaboration to make them the most workplace-ready students. SMC is the only liberal arts college in the country that has integrated professional development classes into its bachelor’s degrees.

Started in 2019 with the College’s first bachelor’s degree class, the Camak Core focuses on teaching students how to be a professional. It gives graduates the understanding and confidence in their knowledge to contribute and succeed in the workplace from day one.

SMC graduate and law school student, Quinn Mann, says the skills he learned in the Camak Core program have helped him tremendously. He said the program has already helped him in law school and his legal internships and it would greatly benefit other students.

“Often, students worry that what they’re learning in college isn’t going to apply to the workplace,” he said. “That’s exactly what the Camak Core program does is teach skills that can be directly applied in the workplace.”

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