South Carolina State University receives $583k grant for IT upgrades

South Carolina State University has received a $583,000 grant from the Partnership for Education Advancement for numerous software and hardware upgrades.

South Carolina State University has received a nearly $600,000 grant from the New York nonprofit Partnership for Education Advancement to update its technology and improve a host of functions, including tracking student progress, bolstering cybersecurity and implementing data analysis tools.

The university announced last week that $583,000 in new funding will link the institution with four vendors that will supply software, hardware and training. The historically Black university, which enrolls about 2,600 students, said the grant funding will support its “mission of increasing access to quality education.”

Manicia Finch, the university’s vice president for enrollment management, said in a June 6 press release about the new funding that “SC State is moving toward a total transformation of the campus technology infrastructure that will holistically improve the student experience.”

She named several “robust student engagement platforms” that the university will purchase with the funding, including the Slate enrollment tool from Techsolutions, the college social app ZeeMee, CampusESP for parent communications and Mainstay’s artificial intelligence chatbot.


She said the funding will also support a housing registration tool called StarRez and text messaging for communication campaigns.

According to a list of tools purchased, the university is also spending on business intelligence software to track student progress, retention, enrollment and persistence to graduation. It’s buying licenses and training for Tableau, the data analysis and visualization suite, and upgrading its Banner student information system with new operations and cybersecurity features, including contracting a cybersecurity consultant who specializes in educational institutions.

The university is spending $160,000 with Aercor to replace its network switches and buy new hardware and software licenses, and $50,000 on a “campuswide integrated data pilot.”

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