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South Carolina’s postsecondary system is managed by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE). The state has 13 public and 38 private colleges and universities, as well as 62 community and technical colleges. The SCCHE executed an action plan for increasing the strength of South Carolina’s postsecondary education system in 2009. Some of its goals included making South Carolina a state with the most educated citizens and increasing the state’s educational and career training programs.
Thus, with the growth of online education options since its inception in the early 1990s, it’s no surprise the SCCHE has taken action to make distance education available to its citizens. Online education provides busy adults with the flexibility their schedules demand and the convenience of completing their degree or courses from wherever life takes them. The SCCHE works to ensure that online education offerings in the state are of high quality, are easily accessible, and are practical in terms of employment demands. It also works to encourage collaboration between higher educational institutions, as this makes access easier for students and program curriculum relatively standard from institution to institution. Many South Carolina institutions offer online education, and some of the state’s top colleges with online programs are listed below.
One of the colleges making South Carolina’s top online colleges list is Anderson University. It is a private, Christian university located in Anderson and was named No. 23 regionally and No. 1 for up-and-coming universities by U.S. News & World Report. Anderson University was founded in 1911 as Anderson College; today, it offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through its nine schools. Additionally, Anderson University offers many online college degree programs for those students who need or desire a distance education. Through Anderson University Online, students can earn their undergraduate or graduate degree in such disciplines as Christian studies, human services, business administration, music education, and organizational leadership. To meet distance students’ needs, Anderson University Online’s degree programs are fully online and many of the required courses are only eight weeks long, so students can complete their degree sooner rather than later. Anderson University is one of South Carolina’s affordable online colleges, as is evident in it being named on the Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc.’s America’s 100 Best College Buys list.
Strayer University is also one of the state’s best online universities. Strayer’s Business College was founded in 1892 and in the late 1990s, it became Strayer University. This university system has campuses located all throughout the U.S. and has an enrollment of nearly 55,000 students. In addition, the average Strayer student is a working adult in his or her mid-30s, according to the school’s website. Strayer University has three physical campuses in South Carolina: Charleston, Columbia, and Greensville. The school’s online campus offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, and certificates. Some of the discipline areas in which degrees are offered are accounting, business, information technology, education, and health services administration. Strayer’s online courses are offered as either synchronous or asynchronous; Strayer gives students the chance to choose which course type works best for them.
Spartanburg Community College (SCC) is another of South Carolina’s top colleges with online courses. SCC began serving students in 1969. Today, it has four locations, including its main campus in Spartanburg County. It is a two-year college that confers associate degrees. SCC also has online degree and course options. Its online associate degree offerings include management with marketing or fire service specialization options, management, general technology, as well as an arts and a science degree meant for those who plan on transferring to a four-year university. Online courses are offered in hybrid and fully online formats. Students can access their courses’ syllabus, assignments, notes, and calendar, as well as communicate with their instructor and peers, from SCC’s Blackboard system.