Twana McKnight has been appointed as the Director of the Sandhills Hoke Center in Raeford, announced Dr. John Dempsey, President. The appointment was effective on January 1, 2014.
“The opportunities at Sandhills Hoke Center are growing and we are excited that Twana will be leading that growth,” says Dr. Dempsey.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, McKnight moved to North Carolina in 1997 to accept a position with a managed care organization named Sandhills Center for Mental Health/Development Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services (MH/DD/SAS), where she served for nine years. When it became likely her program would be divested, she began teaching part time as a GED Instructor at Sandhills. “I was considering a career at Sandhills and decided this would be a good way to become familiar with the college,” she says.
In 2006, as McKnight predicted, her program at the managed care organization was divested and she joined Sandhills’ College and Career Readiness Program, part of the Continuing Education Department.
McKnight first served as the Basic Skills Coordinator, providing direct supervision of instructors and all programs associated with GED, Distance Learning and Adult Basic Education classes. Since 2008, she has served as Retention-Assessment Specialist and Transition Coordinator. During this time she became a State Assessment Trainer; she also initiated the Basic Skills Plus program at Sandhills which allows individuals to obtain a high school equivalency credential along with Nursing Assistant I credential.
“I became familiar with the Sandhills Hoke Center while instituting the Basic Skills Plus program there,” McKnight says. “I have been impressed with the outstanding opportunities the Center offers people of Hoke County.”
McKnight says as the need for post-secondary education grows, Sandhills Hoke Center allows people to receive the additional training and education they need close to home.
The Sandhills Hoke Center is located at 1110 East Central Avenue in Raeford. In addition to Continuing Education classes, curriculum (college credit) classes include Criminal Justice, Math, English, and several Humanities classes. Sandhoke Early College High School students take classes at the Sandhills Hoke Center.
“I will work to increase the visibility of the Hoke Center by strengthening relationships with the community, city and county officials, leaders in Hoke County schools and local businesses and build new relationships where possible,” McKnight reports. “Plus, I plan to work closely with curriculum, Continuing Education, Student Services, and administrative services to increase the number of course offerings at the Hoke Center which I see as the vehicle to attract more students to the center.”
McKnight earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Duke University and a Master of Arts in Education degree in Educational Administration with a concentration in Community College Administration from Western Carolina University. She recently completed all coursework toward a Doctorate degree in Adult and Community College Education from North Carolina State University; she is presently working on her dissertation.
She and her husband, Cory McKnight, have three sons: Ayinde’, Zion and Jayden.