Mount Pleasant Magazine Nov/Dec 2023

75 | | on the menu support culinary and baking and pastry students who aspire to launch their own business. It started last year with 30 students and has already doubled to 60 in 2023. CIC degrees are all “stackable,” explained Rex, meaning each certificate is part of a larger Hospitality and Tourism Management degree. “So, it’s a feeder almost for us to keep them here for the degree programs.” Enrollment is rising at both Trident Tech overall and CIC, with the division seeing a 12.5 percent increase year to year. Numbers have increased every year for the past several years since COVID-19, said Rex. There are currently 875 degree and certificate-seeking students, of which 450 are degree-seeking, divided fairly evenly among the three program areas. CIC typically sees more non-traditional students— the average age is 27—but they attract a broad range of individuals from high school-age to retired grandparents desiring to learn a new skill such as cake decorating. “That adds value to a classroom as well because you get so much diversity with your fellow students,” maintained Rex. “Our students are embedded in the community already,” he added. “They live here, they work here, they have careers here, they have families here.” The program focuses on providing students practical, real-world experience. “One of the benefits, I think, is that all of our faculty come from industry—at one point or another,” said Rex. Some of them have owned their own businesses, but they represent diverse backgrounds including restaurants, catering, hotels, resorts, etc. “One of the things we do is we strive to find ways to promote graduates into teaching opportunities. I’m an example of that,” noted Rex. “We also hire a lot of adjuncts who are alumni. Because they understand. I think they get so much respect from the students because they know they’ve been in their shoes.” CIC study abroad students pose for a group photo in Pompei, Italy. Read the rest of the story online at Take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle and join us at SOL. We’re a perfect pit-stop on a busy day or a great night out when you’re tired of cooking. It’s giving season & SOL gift cards are great stocking stuffers for family, friends and business partners. And don’t forget we cater too! SOL MAKES THE SEASON BRIGHT! — MEGHAN DAWLEY — CATERING MANAGER | 843.730.3289 CATERING@SOLSOUTHWESTKITCHEN.COM we bring the merry ! Mt. Pleasant (17N) 843.388.4302 | Summerville 843.875.7090 | | SOL Southwest Kitchen It’ s Gifting Season! GIFT CARD Where the SouthWeSt meetS the South.