Coker's SIFE Team Helps Students Prepare for SAT

For more information
, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Nov. 4, 2011 – As millions of high school students are marking their November and December calendars to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test, five members of Coker College’s Students In Free Enterprise team are spending the season helping local students prepare.

For Coker College Professor of English John Foster III, also a postulant for Holy Orders for the Vocational Diaconate in the Diocese of South Carolina and a member of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Parish in Hartsville, the importance of helping area students get ready for the exam is too great to ignore.

“Considering the complex socio-economic challenges that students and their families face in Darlington County, we know that the SAT prep course offers much-needed support for overextended teachers and parents,” Foster said.

Since last year, Foster has worked with Coker’s SIFE team to develop, refine and offer a low-cost SAT preparation course for high school students in Darlington County and the surrounding region.

Although SAT scores dropped in South Carolina and across the nation in 2011, the average composite score in Darlington County increased 20 points, from 1403 to 1423.  By comparison, in South Carolina the average composite public school score was 1427, down 12 points, and the national average was 1483, down 10 points from 2010.

Coker students involved in conducting the SAT preparation course this fall are Cody Ellison, James Sweeney, Tyler Staub, Sarah Kinsey and Halee Polson.  This week some 25 students completed a two-part workshop at Timmonsville High School, and plans are being finalized to conduct additional sessions at Darlington High School and McBee High School.

There is no cost to the schools or to the students to participate in the workshops.  The SIFE team provides books for the students to use during the classes and leaves extra copies of the materials behind in the school libraries so that students can continue practicing on their own following the workshop sessions.

Completing its inaugural season earlier this year, Coker’s SIFE team won two titles at the regional SIFE competition in New York City - Regional Champion and Regional Rookie of the Year – and placed in the top 60 of the nation at the SIFE National Exposition.

SIFE is an international business and higher education network with programs in 39 countries and more than 1,800 teams in the U.S.  It works to improve lives, strengthen communities and develop socially responsible business leaders.

Every country that operates a SIFE program is eligible to organize a national competition for the teams in their country. The National Champion team from each country is then invited to compete at the SIFE World Cup, which in 2012 will be held in Washington, D.C.

For more information about Coker’s SIFE program, contact Neil Sickendick at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  To learn more about the SIFE network, visit


Photo: From left: Tyler Staub, John Foster, Sarah Kinsey, Halee Polson and James Sweeney. Team member Cody Ellison is not present.



Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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