University of South Carolina

USC, Academic Partnerships to bring degree programs online

Contact: Wes Hickman,, 803-777-3478

The University of South Carolina is partnering with Academic Partnerships to move undergraduate and graduate degree programs from the system’s flagship research institution in Columbia, as well as the senior and regional universities, online. Academic Partnerships’ innovative learning technologies and its global marketing capability will be utilized to increase access to USC’s high quality curriculum in collaboration with faculty from across the system’s campuses.

"I am excited that USC has chosen Academic Partnerships to help support its bold new initiatives in online learning,” said Michael Amiridis, USC executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Academic Partnerships works only with public universities and possesses valuable expertise that will assist USC in the preparation and implementation of high-quality, state-of-the-art online programs delivered at affordable prices through the new Palmetto College and select graduate programs. We look forward to working with our newest partner."   

A master’s in engineering management will be one of the first degrees offered online through the new partnership.

“Bringing our courses online is one of the many ways to cultivate the next generation of thinkers and meet the growing demand for engineers," said engineering professor Michael Sutton. "I am thrilled with this latest wave of innovation at USC which continues to push the envelope.”

In addition, Academic Partnerships will assist USC with the design and development of courses for Palmetto College, the university’s new online, baccalaureate degree completion program scheduled to start in fall 2013. Palmetto College will enable South Carolinians who have finished 60 hours of course work to complete a degree in several fields including business, criminal justice, education and nursing. Students will take courses in an affordable, convenient and flexible online format while having the advantage of the university’s extensive support system.

“Academic Partnerships is anxious to provide the latest learning technologies, assuring that University of South Carolinas’ campuses remain highly competitive and cutting edge as they serve 21st-century students throughout the state and beyond,” said Randy Best, chairman of Academic Partnerships. “The system’s interest in serving all qualified students through the utilization of technology will help its institutions flourish far into the future.”

Academic Partnerships has a successful track record of helping institutions of higher education expand their access and deliver quality and scalable online degree programs. The company's efforts have helped more than 600 professors convert more than 1,000 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited more than 100,000 students into online degree programs with U.S. and international partners.

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 12/05/12 @ 2:00 PM | Updated: 12/06/12 @ 8:53 AM | Permalink

About Academic Partnerships

  • Dallas-based Academic Partnerships partners with public universities to deliver students full degree programs online. The company was founded by social entrepreneur, Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning experiences to improve education. Academic Partnerships helps universities increase public access to high-quality education by providing the technology, marketing, student recruitment and faculty support necessary to serve online students. Academic Partnerships is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit



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