Report | April 23, 2018

Expanding Postsecondary Opportunity for a Globally Connected South Carolina

Strengthening national security and South Carolina's workforce with postsecondary learning that prioritizes quality credentials and affordability for all

South Carolina’s top-performing industries need skilled workers to keep the state competitive. Since 2008, South Carolina has improved its overall rate of educational attainment by 7.6 percentage points, but more progress needs to be made to ensure its workers are competitive and businesses can find skilled workers.

Our nation’s military faces a skills gap that’s similar to the one faced by the business community. In the Palmetto State, 73 percent of young people are ineligible to serve in uniform due to three main disqualifiers, one of which is poor academics. Additionally, military service has long allowed Americans to access GI benefits, making college, apprenticeships, or job training accessible. Ensuring that students are academically prepared is a critical part of maintaining an accessible pathway to a postsecondary credential and the middle class.

With an economic impact of $32.9 million, the logistics industry is a critical component of our state’s economy. To stay competitive, South Carolina must work to remove barriers to postsecondary education.

Brigadier General John L. Finan, U.S. Air Force, Retired, Former Chairman, SC Commission on Higher Education

Across South Carolina, postsecondary institutions provide the education credentials and skills that prepare students for careers in the state’s top-performing industries. To increase access and facilitate a path into this industry, postsecondary institutions must collaborate with regional businesses and other community partners to ensure degrees and credentials are adequately preparing students for their careers and yielding family sustaining employment in logistics and other fields.

Colleges and universities also need to provide options that allow for flexibility in educational format (including learning opportunities on campus, online, on a job site, on military deployment or on other new and emerging platforms) to meet the needs of today’s students.

This report goes into further details on the importance of expanding postsecondary opportunities for a globally connected South Carolina.

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