UNION — A new program and its new chancellor will mean more opportunities for college students in Union and throughout the state.
University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides announced this week that Dr. Susan Elkins was selected as the first chancellor to lead the South Carolina Palmetto College, which launches in fall 2013.
Elkins — who will officially take over the position of Palmetto College Chancellor on February 18 — earned a doctoral degree in education leadership and higher education administration from Vanderbilt University, and has led the Tennessee Technological University’s educational outreach and service for 20 years, currently serving as vice president. Before that, Elkins taught middle school for 10 years and served as director of educational programs for the Career Development Center in Cookeville, Tenn. before joining the executive team at Tennessee Tech in 1990.
The upcoming launch of the Palmetto College will offer South Carolinians an affordable and convenient way to complete a bachelor’s degree program online.
“The South Carolina Palmetto College belongs to all of the USC campuses and, indeed, to all the people of South Carolina,” Pastides said in a press release. “This is a great step forward for USC Columbia as the use of technology and other innovations will increase flexibility so that students can complete their degrees without having to leave their jobs, families or communities to relocate to a USC campus.”
This addition to the USC system will widen the range of opportunities available for students at USC Union.
“This is a great opportunity for the university, not just in Union, but statewide,” said USC Union Interim Dean Dr. Stephen Lowe. “We look forward to expanding the number of programs that the students we serve will be able to choose from, and are happy to be participating in providing these programs to the people of our service area and the state.”
Currently, students can achieve four-year degrees in organizational leadership and liberal studies at USC Union. The upcoming addition of these online courses will allow students to earn a wider variety of four-year degrees at the two-year campus.
“Many of the new Palmetto Programs such as Nursing, Criminal Justice, Business, and Education will be offered at USC Union and the other USC Regional campuses, and degrees will be awarded from USC Columbia and the other four-year senior campuses,” said USC Union Admissions Director Brad Greer. “They can finish all of the coursework here with us.”
Elkins said online degree programs are effective in increasing access to education, especially for students who struggle to juggle work, family and other responsibilities.
“The convenience of online delivery anytime, anyplace gives many more students access to high quality educational opportunities,” Elkins said in a press release. “Palmetto College’s innovative approach combines the best of all worlds — regional and senior campuses physically located across the state, coupled with high quality, accredited, convenient online degrees.”
Elkins said she looks forward to helping “make dreams come true” for South Carolinians.
“Ultimately, it’s all about student success — one student at a time — leading to higher education levels and economic prosperity for students and the state and leading to a better quality of life for all citizens,” she said.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at email@example.com.