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USC Aiken, Aiken Tech partner to increase pathways to high growth careers

USC Aiken, Aiken Tech signing event

New transfer agreement between the two institutions will provide a seamless pathway for enhancing the region's workforce

AIKEN, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Aiken and Aiken Technical College have established a partnership to enhance the region's workforce in high-demand career fields.

On Friday, Sept. 8, Leaders of the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding that promotes and facilitates the transfer of academic credit from Aiken Tech to USC Aiken for students pursuing bachelor's degrees in STEM and other in-demand areas.

"USC Aiken is committed to providing graduates with a high return on investment by preparing them for careers in the region's fastest growing and highest paying fields," said USC Aiken Chancellor Dan Heimmermann. "As regional partners working to advance the economic prosperity of our communities, we're excited to offer a pathway in partnership with Aiken Tech that enhances our state's workforce and the overall wellbeing of our graduates."

Aiken Tech students will have the opportunity to earn their associate's degree at Aiken Tech, then receive accelerated admission to transfer those credits into six available USC Aiken programs to earn their bachelor's degree. The bachelor's degree programs include biology, chemistry, applied computer science (cybersecurity concentration), environmental earth systems, exercise, and sports science (allied health concentration), and psychology – areas important to South Carolina's current and future workforce needs.

"In the spirit of providing greater educational opportunities for the students of South Carolina, we want to collectively ensure every Aiken Tech student who transfers to USC Aiken will seamlessly earn their bachelor's degree," said Aiken Tech President Forest Mahan.

According to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, bachelor's degree holders are half as likely to be unemployed as their peers who hold only a high school degree, and they will earn an average $1.2 million in additional earnings over their lifetime.

Students interested in one of the pathways will be co-advised by staff at Aiken Tech and USC Aiken to ensure a seamless transition and provide students with a more concise roadmap of courses required for transfer.

The partnership has been in effect since the first day of the Fall 2023 semester and will be jointly reviewed annually by leaders at both institutions. 

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