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College of Education


Palmetto College Schedules First Elementary Education Graduates

Through the College of Education, Columbia Campus at the University of South Carolina, South Carolinians are able to earn Elementary Education bachelor's degrees through Palmetto College online. The College of Education is spearheading this opportunity as a way to grow the state’s elementary teaching force.

The University of South Carolina launched Palmetto College in the 2013-2014 academic year, as a convenient alternative for students to earn a degree. The College of Education is proud to graduate the first five Palmetto College Elementary Education candidates in the spring and summer of 2016. These graduates are from all across the state, including Columbia, Elgin, Goose Creek, and Pelion.

The continuing popularity of an Elementary Education degree through Palmetto College has already led to nearly exponential growth in the program- there are eight teacher candidates working toward a spring 2017 graduation, and an additional 25 students with expectations of a May 2018 graduation.

Palmetto College provides students with innovative courses taught by actual College of Education faculty. The faculty at USC-Columbia designed the online Elementary Education program, keeping in mind the absolute necessity of providing teacher candidates with not only world-class expertise and knowledge, but also a diverse range of hands-on, school-based experiences in professional settings.

The first two years of college take place at the student’s choice of one of four UofSC designated Palmetto College campuses. These include: USC-Lancaster; USC-Salkehatchie; USC-Sumter; and USC-Union. Following the first 45 course hours, students move on to USC-Columbia to complete the four-year bachelor’s degree with convenient online courses.

Anyone interested in flexibility, convenience, and affordability when it comes to obtaining an undergraduate degree now has all these options available to them through Palmetto College. Classes are developed and taught by the same professors who teach statewide throughout the USC campuses. All of the academic resources of USC are available to Palmetto College students as well.

Students are grateful for the flexibility Palmetto College offers along with their understanding the need to balance family life with educational goals, and the first five graduates are no exception. This year’s Elementary Education class consists of Badriyyah Adly, Breanna Hammond, Shelli Horabik, Christi Bigony, and Wayne Bruner.

When asked about her decision to pursue a degree online, Christi Bigony replied: “I wanted the convenience of online classes so that I could stay at home with my daughter.”

Wayne Bruner chose the Palmetto College program because he knew that while he wanted to complete his degree, he had to continue working to support his family. An online education made those two goals possible.

His advice to anyone thinking about obtaining their Elementary Education degree online is, “don't hesitate any longer. You will never get where you are going until you take that first step.” Bigony tempers her encouragement with practicality, saying “don't think that because the classes are online, they are somehow easier. It takes a great deal of time-management, determination, and flexibility to complete online classes.” Both candidates agree the College of Education, through Palmetto College has been a blessing to their career goals.