AACC_MinMaleRetProgs: Technical College of the Lowcountry - PILAU -- Promoting Integrity, Leadership, Academics, and Cultural Understanding

Program Name

Technical College of the Lowcountry - PILAU -- Promoting Integrity, Leadership, Academics, and Cultural Understanding 


Michael Burgess 

First Name


Last Name


Contact Title

Program Manager -- Project PILAU 


Technical College of the Lowcountry 


921 Ribaut Road 

Address 2












Phone Ext




Program URL


Program Description

In a world of change, The PILAU program at The Technical College of the Lowcountry seeks to return  to a set of fundamentals that have never gone out of style—-Character, Perseverance, Community Service, Personal Growth, and Leadership. At TCL, PILAU (pronounced “per-low”) is an acronym, which stands for Promoting Integrity, Leadership, Academics, and cultural Understanding. The program focuses on the recruitment, retention, and academic success of African-American males. Our mission is to cultivate new community leaders through quality education and character building experiences.

The PILAU Program offers participants the opportunity to develop leadership skills, access resources to help them excel in all courses, enhance self-esteem and pride, and gain a better cultural understanding of Gullah and area communities. PILAU participants have special access to unique program events, an African-American men’s mentoring team, personal and academic counseling, a speaker’s series and tutoring coaches.

Program Services

Academic Advising; Service/Community Learning Opportunities; Leadership and Professional Development; Laptop lending, Cultural Workshops, 

Program Start Month


Program Start Year


Current Number of Students


Program Initiated

The PILAU Program was initiated in response to the low enrollment and graduation rates for African American Males at The Technical College of the Lowcountry.

In the summer of 2008 TCL formed a team to develop a comprehensive intervention program and to seek funding for its implementation. That team created PILAU and secured a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to get the program started.

Program Funded

The PILAU program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Education Department.

College President and Administrators Involvement

The PILAU program has enjoyed the support of faculty and staff at TCL on all levels.

Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel, TCL's President, has championed the program from its inception, stating that, “[PILAU] aligns perfectly with existing initiatives that support our increased emphasis on student success. The opportunity to broaden and intensify our impact on student achievement will greatly enhance our ability to help students reach their goals, while also creating new occasions for valuable engagement with the communities we serve.”

Dr. Matteel D. King, TCL's Vice President for Student Affairs was a member of the team that brought the PILAU Program to life. “The PILAU Project is urgently needed at our college at this particular time because it allows us to zoom right in and provide the type of interventions that really help students finish what they start.”

Rodney Adams, TCL's Director of Retention and Federal Programs and another member of the team that developed project PILAU provides ongoing guidance to the project staff. “The addition of Project PILAU here at TCL is a wonderful opportunity where participants not only hone their academic, leadership and public speaking skills, but one in which they are able to give something back to our community that celebrates both the Gullah and Lowcountry cultures.”

Program Success Story

"The PILAU Program has taught me to try; not just try because you have to, but to try with a passion. By trying hard you can surpass any obstacle set before you. When I came to PILAU I lacked confidence and often wanted to give up on college. After one year with the PILAU program I earned by Associates Degree and am now employed full time. I started out shy and quiet. Since PILAU I find myself engaging in more activities every day.

--Joseph (PILAU Participant, 2010 TCL Graduate)
Created at 9/28/2010 2:36 PM  by System Account 
Last modified at 11/4/2010 2:03 PM  by KEVIN CHRISTIAN 
Home | Site Map | ©2017  American Association of Community Colleges
 One Dupont Circle, NW | Suite 410 | Washington, DC 20036 | Ph: 202.728.0200 | Fx: 202.833.2467
www.aacc21stcenturycenter.org | www.ccdaily.com | vfa.aacc.nche.edu | www.theseedcenter.org