USC Sumter, USC Aiken form new education degree partnership


The University of South Carolina Sumter recently announced a new partnership with USC Aiken School of Education to offer two degree programs beginning in the fall. USC Sumter students can now earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in either Early Childhood Education (grades PK-3) or Elementary Education (grades 2-6) through the USC Aiken program without leaving Sumter.

These programs are designed to prepare future teachers with an emphasis on student-centered instruction, authentic assessment and reflective teaching practices. Students will complete the program ready to take the High Praxis II certification exam to become a licensed teacher in South Carolina.

USC Sumter is "very excited about the launch of this partnership," Palmetto College Campus Dean Michael Sonntag, said.

"It is vitally important to the Sumter community and to the state of South Carolina that students have high-quality, convenient, local options for education programs. This opportunity will help train the next generation of teachers in our town and allow them to give back to the education system."

Dr. Eric Reisenauer, executive associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs, also suggests that students who may have started their studies at another institution contact USC Sumter Admissions soon if they are interested in either program. "Even if a student has completed much of his or her general education coursework, he or she may be able to come to USC Sumter and begin the required education program classes right away," Reisenauer said.

USC Sumter has reached out to local elementary schools to let them know about the program.

"The mission of Sumter School District has thrived with highly effective teachers across the classrooms of our county's 28 schools," Sumter School District Director of Teacher Recruitment and Retention Dr. Trevor Ivey said. "The nation is facing a critical teacher shortage, and Sumter is not immune to this challenge; however, because of great partnerships with local universities such as USC Sumter and USC Aiken, home-grown candidates are well-prepared to take on the enormous responsibilities of educating the future leaders of Sumter County. We are thrilled to expand this partnership with USC Sumter."

With the need for teachers at an all-time high in South Carolina, there are also two tuition assistance programs qualified students can utilize to help pay for their education. The first is the SC Teachers Loan, which may allow a student to be eligible for loan forgiveness if he or she teaches in a qualifying critical geographical area in South Carolina. For more information on this loan, visit The second is the TEACH Grant, which can provide up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete coursework needed to begin a career in teaching. For more information on this grant, visit

For more information on these and other USC Sumter degree offerings, call or text the Office of Admissions Services at (803) 408-7811 or email