The Case for Innovation


A New, Strategic Approach

The University of South Carolina is implementing a new strategic direction. Focus Carolina brings a necessary change to higher education in the state. As the flagship university, USC is poised to provide a new form of leadership — one that permeates our curriculum, our research and industry endeavors, our community engagement and our state. We believe that the Palmetto State is poised to lead positive change that will help America compete globally. And it starts with us — all eight campuses of our USC system.

To this end, we are committed to excellence, defined with our strategic plan, in the areas of:
Educational Quality
Leadership
Innovation
Diversity
Access
Global Competitiveness
Community Engagement

The USC Strategic Plan can be found at www.sc.edu/focuscarolina.

New Ways of Delivering Degrees: The Palmetto College

Considering resource constraints and an increased demand for bachelor's degrees that meet the needs of specific regions, USC intends to introduce the Palmetto College in fall 2012. This virtual college will provide opportunities for students from all economic and geographic regions to earn a bachelor's degree near or even from within their homes. The Palmetto College will offer online bachelor's degrees that, over time, will address specific economic development needs of the region. The Palmetto College will be a major part of the solution in addressing South Carolina's quest for a more educated population and workforce. South Carolina residents with bachelor's degrees earn about $15,000 a year more than people without degrees. As the number of college graduates in an area increases, the wages of all workers rise.

A Focus on Collaboration and Partnerships

SmartState Collaborative Centers
The University of South Carolina collaborates with MUSC and Clemson University in 14 SmartState Centers of Economic Excellence and is home to 13 additional SmartState Centers.

Research conducted at the SmartState collaborative centers focuses on several pressing topics that potentially affect all South Carolinians, including medication safety, stroke, cancer therapeutics, vision science and cancer disparities.

Experimental Programs to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
USC is collaborating with several public colleges and universities across the state through various federally funded EPSCoR grants, including projects to:

  • conduct soft tissue engineering research aimed at biofabrication of replacement organs. Partners: Clemson, S.C. State, Denmark Technical College, Greenville Technical College, MUSC and USC Beaufort.
  • conduct research on human tissue regeneration. Partners: College of Charleston, Francis Marion University, Clemson, MUSC, S.C. State, Winthrop University and USC Beaufort.
  • improve cyber connectivity for institutions in rural and economically impoverished areas and to upfit distance learning classrooms at S.C. State and USC Beaufort to receive courses offered by USC and Clemson. Partners: Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, S.C. State and Clemson.
  • conduct research on drug discovery and new materials using high-speed computing networks. Partners: Clemson, Vanderbilt and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)
USC scientists are partnering with Clemson University in a biomedical engineering project and also with MUSC in a cardiovascular disease project, both funded by the National Institutes of Health.

S.C. College of Pharmacy
USC and MUSC integrated their pharmacy colleges in 2004 into the S.C. College of Pharmacy and together admit 190 highly qualified students each year (110 on USC campus; 80 on MUSC campus). USC and MUSC faculty in the unified pharmacy college garnered $7.5 million in NIH grants in 2010-11. Surpassing the national average, 97 percent of S.C. College of Pharmacy graduates pass their national licensing board exams on the first attempt.

USC Regional Campuses

The strength of our regional campuses is measured in many ways in their current capacity. With this change in their missions, they will offer fully accredited, recognized USC bachelor's degrees that are intended to transform lives and economies.In each region they serve, the USC regional campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter and Union) have become a major provider of advanced education and also a driver of their local economies.

USC LancasterUSC Lancaster, was established in 1959 to encourage higher education in the counties of Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster and York. The total economic impact of the USC Lancaster campus, its 1,744 students and its alumni is more than $56 million. Included in that figure is a more than $17 million contribution to South Carolinians' household income. USC Lancaster and its alumni support 746 jobs in the public and private sectors directly and indirectly through purchasing in the community.

USC SalkehatchieUSC Salkehatchie, serves more than 1,150 students at Lowcountry campuses in Allendale and Walterboro, offering a varied curriculum grounded in the liberal arts. The total economic impact of the USC Salkehatchie campus and its alumni is more than $43 million. Included in that figure is a more than $13 million contribution to South Carolinians' household income. USC Salkehatchie and its alumni support 550 jobs in the public and private sectors directly and indirectly through purchasing in the community.

USC SumterUSC Sumter, serves more than 1,000 students, many of them active duty military and veterans from nearby Shaw Air Force Base. The total economic impact of the USC Sumter campus and its alumni is more than $27 million. Included in that figure is a more than $8 million contribution to South Carolinians' household income. USC Sumter and its alumni support 417 jobs in the public and private sectors directly and indirectly through purchasing in the community.

USC UnionUSC Union, was established 47 years ago to provide higher education opportunities in Laurens and Union counties. With an enrollment of 492, USC Union supports jobs, increases household income and boosts the state's overall economy. The total economic impact of the USC Union campus and its alumni is more than $19 million. Included in that figure is a more than $5 million contribution to South Carolinians' household income. USC Union and its alumni support 167 jobs in the public and private sectors directly and indirectly through purchasing in the community.

The Transfer Difference

Students at USC two-year regional campuses often move forward to earn a baccalaureate degree from one of the system's four comprehensive universities (Columbia, Aiken, Beaufort or Upstate). In academic year 2010-11, 619 students transferred from two-year USC campuses to a four-year USC campus.

USC's Comprehensive Universities

A bachelor's degree is possible through not only the USC Columbia campus, but also through USC Aiken, Beaufort and Upstate. These campuses also have a proven track record of economic impact success.

USC AikenUSC Aiken is celebrating 12 consecutive years ranked among the Top Three Public Baccalaureate Colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s Guide, “America’s Best Colleges.” The total economic impact of the USC Aiken campus, its nearly 3,300 students and its alumni is more than $180 million. Included in that figure is a more than $55 million contribution to South Carolinians’ household income. Furthermore, USC Aiken and its alumni support 2,163 jobs in the public and private sectors directly and indirectly through purchasing in the community.

USC BeaufortUSC Beaufort has one of the oldest traditions of higher education in the nation, dating to the 1795 charter of the original Beaufort College, and it is the newest of USC's senior campuses. The total economic impact of the USC Beaufort campus, its nearly 2,000 students and its alumni is more than $74 million. Included in that figure is a more than $23 million contribution to South Carolinians' household income. Furthermore, USC Beaufort and its alumni support 1,011 jobs in the public and private sectors directly and indirectly through purchasing in the community.

USC UpstateUSC Upstate is striving toward its vision of becoming one of the South's leading metropolitan universities — an institution that acknowledges as its fundamental reason for being its relationship to surrounding cities, their connecting corridors and expanding populations. The total economic impact of the USC Upstate campus, its nearly 5,500 students and its alumni is more than $388 million. Included in that figure is a more than $122 million contribution to South Carolinians' household income. Furthermore USC Upstate and its alumni support 4,130 jobs in the public and private sectors directly and indirectly through purchasing in the community.

Micah Hurtt

Columbia, SC - Psychology/Sociology - USC Aiken

Micah Hurtt

"Attending USC Aiken is one of the best things that's happened to me. The campus environment meets all my needs, from the one-on-one faculty attention and academic challenge to the vibrant student community. In my short time here, I've gained self-confidence and learned that dedication pays off. I'm not sure what my future will be. I want to help others. USC Aiken will help me reach that goal."


Contact

Dr. Harris Pastides, President

Office of the President
Dr. Harris Pastides, President
University of South Carolina
Osborne Administration Building, Suite 206
Columbia, SC 29208
803-777-2001 | president@sc.edu


Columbia, SC 29208 | 803.777.7000

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