USC currently offers over 450 degree programs, and we know that a vibrant and forward-looking system frequently revises, customizes and expands program offerings to better serve students. The development of new programs is key to a 21st century enrollment management strategy that drives each of our institutions. In coordination with campus leadership, our highly-qualified faculty members scan the national and regional environment to stay abreast of new program developments, fields of study and opportunities to provide students with leading-edge curricular choices. Programs may change for a number of reasons; shifts in market demands or in the needs of the region, for instance.
The USC Board of Trustees, the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education and our accreditation agency (SACSCOC) take a keen interest in these proposals. At a time when resources are limited, new programs are carefully scrutinized to ensure that they serve the needs of the students and the state. Moreover, attention is paid to the complex issue of program array within the system and among public universities. There are a number of steps between the initial faculty discussions of new programs and the final approval by all regulatory bodies.