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College of Education


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Focus Areas

Academic Instruction

Students take 15 credit hours of coursework each semester. Coursework is comprised of both USC and CarolinaLIFE courses. Students audit USC courses that align with their interests and goals. Students in CarolinaLIFE have accessed over 100 university courses.  CarolinaLIFE provides support for students in their USC courses based on their individual needs. CarolinaLIFE courses provide small-group instruction in applied subjects such as employment, personal finance, communication, health and wellness, and technology. Additionally, students participate in at least 3 hours of individualized academic support per week with an academic coach.

Career Education and Training

Students receive classroom instruction in career topics and build employment skills through a variety of internship, externship, and employment opportunities. Students prepare for employment through coursework in career exploration and skill development in their freshman year. Starting sophomore year, students are required to work. The CarolinaLIFE employment team offers four primary employment supports: (1) person-centered career planning, (2) specialized professional skill classes, (3) support in securing part-time employment experiences while enrolled in the program, and (4) individualized job training from a job specialist. 

Independent Living

CarolinaLIFE students normally reside in on-campus housing amidst other university students. Students share a two-bedroom apartment style dorm, typically with another CarolinaLIFE student. Students receive individualized and small group instruction from CarolinaLIFE resident mentors, instructors, and coaches in independent living topics such as transportation, household chores, budgeting, meal planning and cooking, health, and safety.

Social and Community Engagement

Students at the University of South Carolina join a vast and vibrant campus community. The university offers opportunities to join a variety of campus groups, formal organizations, and campus events to support students in their personal and professional development. Additionally, USC is in the heart of Columbia’s downtown and is within walking distance of many of the city’s most popular districts. CarolinaLIFE peer mentors provide natural social support to facilitate student connections to the university.  

Personal Development

Personal growth and develop is a significant outcome of the college experience. University students participate in a variety of formal and informal activities to expand their self-awareness, identity and talents. Such activities may include coursework, university clubs and organizations, leadership opportunities, part-time employment, independent living, and travel. CarolinaLIFE students receive numerous opportunities to enhance personal and professional communication and become more self-determined.