EPI Ribbon Cutting
Picture of Office of Communications

Office of Communications


BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. – Officials with Voorhees University and Midlands Technical College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the grand opening of the Voorhees University Education Center. The Center of Excellence for Educator Preparation and Innovation at Voorhees University (EPI Center) is a national 501(c)(3) organization leading the way in educator preparation. The EPI Center was established in 2021 to address teacher shortages and diversify the teacher workforce. The new office is located at 423 College Street in Batesburg-Leesville, SC. 

Midlands Technical College President Dr. Ronald Rhames and Voorhees University President Dr. Ronnie Hopkins signing the agreement

Voorhees University President and CEO Dr. Ronnie Hopkins and Midlands Technical College President Dr. Ronald Rhames signed a one-year Memorandum of Understanding in mid-year of 2023. The building owned by Midlands Technical College, is being utilized by Voorhees University to offer opportunities for educational attainment. 

“The work of the EPI Center continues to grow from its inception in 2021. U.S. Department of Education grants are affording Voorhees the resources needed to reach underserved, high-need areas. We are laser-focused on creating equitable student learning outcomes by increasing teacher effectiveness. I encourage any teacher or aspiring teacher who needs professional and financial support to advance your career, to look closely at what the EPI Center has to offer,” said Dr. Hopkins.

(L to R) Debbie Walker, MTC Vice President for Business Affairs; Dr. Rhames, Dr. Hopkins; Dr. Damara Hightower Mitchell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Executive Director of the EPI Center
(L to R) Debbie Walker, MTC Vice President for Business Affairs; Dr. Rhames, Dr. Hopkins; Dr. Damara Hightower Mitchell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Executive Director of the EPI Center
Dr. Tondaleya Green-Jackson, Voorhees University Professor and Director of the EPI Center giving welcome remarks

“Voorhees University is extending its reach from Bamberg County into areas of this state that need it most. We are proud to have a space available that will allow them to optimize their success further to continue educating educators and attracting more teachers into the classroom,” said Dr. Rhames. The EPI Center works closely with educators in K-12 public school districts across the state including Aiken County Public School District, Allendale County School District, Barnwell County Consolidated School District (29 & 19), Barnwell School District 45, Beaufort County School District, Berkeley County School District, Calhoun County Public Schools, Charleston County School District, Chester County Schools, Colleton County School District, Darlington County School District, Dorchester School District 4, Fairfield County School District, Georgetown County School District, Lancaster County School District, Lee County School District, Lexington County School District 2, Lexington – Richland School District 5, Orangeburg County School District, Richland School District One, Richland School District Two, Rock Hill Schools, Sumter School District, Williamsburg County School District and York School District One.

The staff of the EPI Center includes certified South Carolina teachers, National Board-Certified educators, Clinical Faculty Advisors, Academic Coaches, and a myriad of credentialed professionals with extensive classroom and professional experiences in K-16 settings.

For more information on the EPI Center please visit https://www.epipathways.org.

About Voorhees University

Voorhees University, founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright in 1897, is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Its mission is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Voorhees as a #1 best value, #3 in social mobility and #33 among regional colleges in the south in 2022-2023; and #26 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationally. Additional information about Voorhees University can be found at www.voorhees.edu.


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