Palmetto College Chancellor tells Rotary about new online plan

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014

There’s an online program through the University of South Carolina (USC) offering an affordable option for a college degree without leaving job, family or community.

This “unique” approach was explained by Dr. Susan Elkins, Chancellor of USC Palmetto College, at the Tuesday lunch meeting of the Georgetown Rotary Club.

Dr. Elkins said USC Palmetto College is positioned to offer a new pathway to accessible four-year degrees. “It offers ‘anywhere, anytime’ higher education to many residents who might otherwise remain unable to complete a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “Currently, only one in four state residents has a bachelor’s degree or above, leaving the state ranked 45th nationally.”

She said by 2018 it is estimated the state will need to fill more than 115,000 job vacancies that will require a bachelor’s degree. “This need is considered ‘most critical’ in Georgetown and Williamsburg counties, as well as other parts of the state.”

“Given this expected demand for graduates, Palmetto College utilizes USC faculty in combination with the latest technology and cutting-edge instructional design,” she said. “Palmetto College offers a contemporary bachelor’s degree completion path that is flexible.”

The Chancellor said the college currently serves more than 500 students in 41 of the 46 SC counties. “It offers the final 60 hours of selected degree programs as fully online, distance-delivery courses,” she said.

She said faculty members from all eight USC campuses teach courses. “Students can choose their own pace of study and can select from a wide range of degree offerings,” she said. “They continue into four-year degree programs from USC’s regional campuses and SC technical colleges after earning an associate degree (AA or AS) or the equivalent 60 hours of general education credits.”

Palmetto College also is open to any transfer students who have the appropriate degrees, hours earned and records of academic success, according to Elkins. “Adults who have taken about 60 hours at an institution and find themselves with commitments to jobs and families can benefit, along with active military and veterans who are seeking to complete their baccalaureate education.”

USC’s senior campuses in Aiken, Beaufort, Columbia and Upstate offer the college’s four-year degree programs:

Business Administration—USC Aiken School of Business Administration.

Criminal Justice—USC Upstate.

Human Services—USC Beaufort.

Elementary Education—USC Columbia.

Liberal Studies—USC Columbia.

RN-BSN (BS in Nursing)—USC Upstate Mary Black School of Nursing for Registered Nurses seeking to earn a BSN.

Organizational Leadership—USC Columbia.

Faculty from all eight campuses provide the instruction for the online degree programs. Other USC regional campuses are in Sumter, Lancaster, Salkehatchie with campuses in Allendale and Walterboro and Union and its Laurens location.

Dr. Elkins said regional campus area students have an opportunity to earn an associate’s degree. “They can continue to earn a bachelor’s degree through the college without having to leave any local commitments,” she said.

“Students include working adults who may need to possess a bachelor’s degree to make it to the next level with their current employer or are seeking a mid-life career change,” she said. Additional information is available at www.palmettocollege.sc.edu

President Elect Nathan Kominiski showed a poster featuring a Rotary member fundraising contest in the ongoing effort to defeat Alzheimer’s disease and get ready for the Club’s annual Shag Festival on April 26.

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