USC Upstate, SCC Announce Partnership

Article by: Cheri Anderson-Hucks | SCC

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The University of South Carolina Upstate is pleased to announce the expansion of its Direct Connect Transfer Program, enabling students who have earned an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree from any two-year, regionally accredited institution to transfer seamlessly to USC Upstate. Specifically, the expanded program recognizes lower-level, general education credits earned at two-year colleges, including Spartanburg Community College (SCC), and supports the transition of students who wish to complete a four-year degree at USC Upstate in a variety of majors.

“Our Direct Connect program is rooted in student success and enhances our ability to impact baccalaureate completion rates in the region,” said USC Upstate Interim Chancellor Derham Cole. “Providing an accessible, career-relevant education to as many students as possible fits squarely in our mission as a regional comprehensive university while fulfilling a strategic objective to provide an enhanced quality of life for citizens of the Upstate.”

“By broadening our transfer policy, we are removing many of the roadblocks transfer students often face,” added USC Upstate Provost David Schecter. “Our enhanced program creates a simplified pathway into any one of the outstanding baccalaureate programs at USC Upstate.”

Direct Connect guarantees admission to USC Upstate to students who graduate with an AA, AS or select Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees from Greenville Tech, Piedmont Technical College, Spartanburg Community, and Tri-County Technical College, among many others in the state, provided they meet the minimum grade point average (GPA).

“Spartanburg Community College and USC Upstate have had a long history of working together to provide extraordinary opportunities for students while also improving the quality of life and the economic vitality for the Upstate region of South Carolina,” said Dr. G. Michael Mikota, SCC’s president. “This expanded partnership and ‘direct connection’ provides for the most affordable and accessible pathway for students chasing their dreams to attain a baccalaureate degree. When you combine the Direct Connect opportunity with Spartanburg Community College’s tuition-free initiative for the 2021-2022 academic year, we have the potential to impact the lives of our citizens for generations to come.”
Additionally, students who declare early their intention to pursue a bachelor’s degree through Direct Connect may qualify for other program benefits, including an accelerated admissions process. By partnering with two-year institutions, USC Upstate is well positioned to serve students who may wish to consider options for continuing their education.

“Direct Connect provides students with an opportunity to participate in orientation, advising and to work with our financial aid officers,” said Donette Stewart, vice chancellor for Admissions and Enrollment Services at USC Upstate. “Students are eligible to receive comprehensive, on-site advising from both their two-year college advisors and Upstate advisors, which can help ensure that students are enrolling in the courses they’ll need to complete degree requirements in their chosen field.”

“Graduating from SCC with an AA or AS degree before transferring to USC Upstate is a win-win for our students,” added Kem Harvey, associate vice president of Instruction at SCC. “Whether a new college student or an adult learner, our partnership with USC Upstate provides students with a solid plan for moving toward their career goals in a timely, coordinated and cost-effective way.”

AA and AS students with a 2.0 GPA and a grade of “C” or better in all transfer courses will be eligible to apply. Students who do not complete a degree will be able to transfer credits on a course-by-course basis. While USC Upstate will accept AA and AS degrees as fulfillment of general education credits, additional 100- or 200-level courses may be required due to degree requirements in some majors. Students will still be required to meet any GPA or other admissions requirements of the program to which they have applied. This program will not affect any upper-division general education requirements, prerequisite requirements and residency requirements.

“USC Upstate is proud to be one of South Carolina’s top destinations for transfer students,” Schecter said. “We are delighted to increase opportunities for students and to strengthen our relationships with two-year, regionally accredited colleges in the state and beyond.”

For more information about the Direct Connect Program, please contact Donette Steward, Vice Chancellor for Admissions and Enrollment Services, 864-503-5280, or visit dedicated pages on the university website,

Additional information is available on the SCC website at

Photo: Spartanburg Community College President G. Michael Mikota, Ph.D., left, and USC Upstate Interim Chancellor Derham Cole, right, met on Monday, June 7, 2021, outside USC Upstate’s John C. Stockwell Administration Building to announce the expansion of the Direct Connect Transfer Program. The program will enable students who have earned an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree from any two-year, regionally accredited institution the opportunity to transfer seamlessly to USC Upstate.

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