University of South Carolina

Palmetto College launches, enrolls online students

By Peggy Binette,, 803-777-7704

South Carolina residents now have the opportunity to earn a University of South Carolina degree anytime, anywhere through the online programs of South Carolina Palmetto College.

University officials and legislators announced that enrollment for Palmetto College is officially underway Thursday (April 18) at a gathering of government officials, representatives from USC’s senior and regional campuses and some of the first enrolled students.

President Harris Pastides said making a college degree more accessible and affordable for citizens in South Carolina is at the core of Palmetto College.

“The key to a strong economy is an educated workforce. Palmetto College is poised to expand access to higher education throughout South Carolina. I believe that this program may be the most significant investment that the General Assembly has made in modern times to assist our citizens as they complete four-year baccalaureate degrees in high-demand professions,” Pastides said. “I am extremely grateful to our General Assembly for providing $5 million in funding for Palmetto College last year. We are pleased that our legislators recognize the impact this program will have on our state, and we look forward to working with them this year to annualize the $2.1 million that came in as one time funds.”

The new college is designed to help students complete the final 60 hours needed to earn a bachelor’s degree from the senior and flagship campuses. These include business administration from USC Aiken, criminal justice and nursing RN-BSN from USC Upstate, human services from USC Beaufort and elementary education, liberal studies and organizational leadership from USC Columbia.

Susan Elkins, named chancellor of Palmetto College in January, said the new online degrees will help many South Carolinians finish their degrees and realize their goals.

“Sometimes education is put on hold because life simply gets in the way. We want South Carolinians to know that they can experience the quality of the University of South Carolina through the convenience of Palmetto College,” Elkins said.

Other speakers included:

  • Rep. Bobby Harrell, speaker of the S.C. House
  • Sen. John Courson, president pro tempore of the S.C. Senate and chairman of the Education Committee
  • Rep. Phil Owens, chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee
  • D. J. Bron, a law enforcement officer from Union who has enrolled in Palmetto College.

Elkins said she expects upward of 500 students to enroll for the fall and that enrollment will increase as more people learn about Palmetto College.

“We are asking everyone throughout South Carolina to think about that family member, friend, co-worker or neighbor and let them know that they now have an option to finish what they started and earn a college degree. Palmetto College is more than a way to earn a degree. It’s about new opportunities for a better quality of life,” Elkins said.

She also announced that she is the first donor to a new scholarship fund for adult students in Palmetto College called the Aspiring Adult Scholars Award.

People can learn more by visiting the website.

Under Pastides' leadership, Palmetto College adds an innovative dimension to the university’s educational offerings, addressing the need for students to be able to earn a bachelor’s degree without leaving their work, families or communities.

“The University of South Carolina has an exceptional system of senior and regional campuses that meet the educational needs of South Carolinians. Now, the new online opportunities from Palmetto College, coupled with those campuses throughout the state, make bachelor’s degrees even more accessible, affordable and flexible for South Carolinians,” Elkins said.

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Posted: 04/18/13 @ 7:30 AM | Updated: 04/18/13 @ 6:16 PM | Permalink