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USC Connect - Frequently Asked Questions

January 25, 2013

Who is part of USC Connect?

USC Connect is for ALL students at USC Columbia, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter and Union . . . not only students with a certain GPA, resume, or background . . .
ALL students . . .

ALL faculty and professional staff are responsible for supporting students in making within & beyond the classroom connections


What is USC Connect?

A program? office? set of learning goals? concept? website? database? set of activities?

USC Connect is a comprehensive program, overseen by the Office of the Provost and led by the Office of USC Connect, focusing on students meeting educational goals through integrative learning, a proven strategy in higher education. The USC Connect website provides resources for faculty, staff, and students including a searchable database of opportunities, information on 5 pathways for beyond the classroom engagement, and tools for reflection (e.g., e-portfolios).


What is Graduation with Leadership Distinction?

Graduation with Leadership Distinction (GLD) recognizes students who have engaged in USC Connect at the highest levels on their transcript, diploma, and at graduation. Students earning GLD have met 5 requirements (extensive beyond the classroom experience, enhancement activities, related coursework, presentation, and e-portfolio). Detailed information is available on the GLD pages of the USC Connect website.

Graduation with Leadership Distinction is administered through the Office of USC Connect.


When do students do USC Connect?

Admission and orientation: Learn about USC Connect.

First year: Attend Get Connected Fair (includes college reps). Have a USC Connect experience in U101. Consider what to get involved in. Search the database. Try out experiences. Make a plan. Start an e-portfolio.

Sophomore-senior years: Execute plan. Community Service as a Sophomore? Study Abroad as a Junior? Keep records and reflect on experiences through an e-portfolio or other tool. Modify the plan. Present, discuss, and apply learning from experiences in classes, through assignments, at Discovery Day and other venues.

Graduation year: Make connections across all experiences. Summarize learning. Present results in a culminating project/presentation/portfolio. Plan for the future and how to apply learning to future work/life.

As a graduate student: Participate in and apply beyond the classroom experiences to continuing study and professional development.


Why does it matter?

Integrative learning, across courses, over time and between campus and community life, is one of the important goals of higher education (AAC&U and Carnegie Foundation)

USC prepares students with skills for the 21st century including applying theory to real life issues, posing solutions, transferring knowledge and skills across settings, and communicating with diverse groups.

Research shows that the ability to integrate theory and practice requires focused effort and support.


How long is USC Connect going to last?

USC Connect is a long term initiative with no end-date. Students, faculty and staff will receive increasing support to implement USC Connect each year. The vision for USC Connect is to make a lasting contribution to an outstanding learning environment at USC and beyond. USC Connect can ultimately serve as a model for the development of best practices in higher education.

In this way, we envision USC Connect to be similar to USC's award-winning first-year seminar (UNIV 101). We will continually develop USC Connect to enhance the learning experiences for our students.


Contact Us

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Please contact us with any questions or comments:

USC Connect
Thomas Cooper Library, Suite L132
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

Irma Van Scoy, Executive Director
Damara Hightower-Davis, Assistant Director
Natalie Smith-Kenner, Administrative Coordinator
Nick Vaught, Student Services Coordinator
Lisa Camp, Student Advisor

Student Representative Board

Other important links:

Columbia, SC 29208 • 803-777-2808 •