University of South Carolina Debuts Online Ed, Palmetto College

The University of South Carolina has announced the launch of its online college this week, which is known as Palmetto College. The college seems to cater to students who have already dipped their toes into the higher education pool, as those who wish to enroll must have completed at least 60 hours of traditional college credits and meet USC’s admissions requirements.

The school will launch this fall and anticipates attracting 500 students who will be able to select from majors like liberal studies, organizational leadership, nursing, business administration, criminal justice, elementary education and human services.

The tuition for a full-time in-state student will be set at $4,367 per semester, while out of state students will be charged $8.865 over the same period.

Touting “The Quality of USC Online,” South Carolina’s flagship university launched a web-based college Thursday that allows students to complete their bachelor’s degrees online.

“We want to bring the university to them — to their dens, to their kitchens, to their living rooms,” University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides said.

The new college should help USC better compete with for-profit colleges for students who have the equivalent of a two years of college credits but cannot attend classes on a residential campus.

The university hopes to triple the number of students taking web-based courses by 2018. Already, USC is offering more classes online to “traditional” students, who go to classes on campus, to help ease the strain of its increasing enrollment and entice more students who want to take classes on their own schedules.

So far 25 of the 500 slots available for the fall have been filled, including by the USC starring running back Marcus Lattimore who plans to enter the NFL draft this year, but who hopes to complete his bachelor’s degree through Palmetto College while juggling his football responsibilities.

Although Palmetto College doesn’t carry the USC mark, the courses it will be offering will be coming from each of the four-year system campuses.

USC Columbia is offering elementary education, liberal studies and organizational leadership courses. Criminal justice and nursing classes come from USC Upstate, business classes from USC Aiken and human services courses from USC Beaufort.
USC is starting a marketing campaign for the online college and expects it to have 500 students when classes start in the fall.

University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides explained that the the lack of use of USC banner was meant to communicate to potential students that students from any of the system colleges were welcome to enroll in Palmetto as long as they had 60 credits already under their belt.