USC Connect is the University of South Carolina’s comprehensive initiative to enhance undergraduate education and build a culture of integrative learning. USC Connect promotes student opportunities to engage beyond the classroom and synthesize and apply learning across experiences.
Faculty, staff, and students throughout the USC Columbia, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter and Union campuses have been developing and implementing USC Connect since 2011. Graduation with Leadership Distinction is the signature program of USC Connect recognizing students for significant engagement and learning, including leadership through solution-oriented thinking.
USC Connect is grounded in the University’s mission to educate citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement. The initiative builds on Focus Carolina (i.e., strategic planning) and on the Carolina Core (i.e., general education). Faculty, staff, and students developed USC Connect over a 2-year period. The plan was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) as the University of South Carolina’s Quality Enhancement Plan [pdf] on December 6, 2011.
A five-year report, documenting and assessing progress from 2012-2016, will be filed with SACSCOC March 2017.
USC Connect is housed in the Office of the Provost and overseen by the vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies. Office staff includes an executive director, an associate director for assessment, an assistant director for student services, and student advisors/consultants. USC Connect faculty fellows lead collaboration among faculty groups (e.g., integrative learning grant co-hort, seminar instructors). The USC Connect Council (administrator, faculty, and student representatives) provides global direction and oversight. Student advisory councils provide ongoing feedback. USC Connect partners with all colleges/schools and many offices throughout the university.