The University

This is an archived copy of the 2020-2021 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit

UofSC Union Bulletin Review

August 12, 2020

UofSC System Mission Statement

Approved by the Board of Trustees – October 11, 2019

Next Board of Trustees Scheduled Review – January 2023

The primary mission of the University of South Carolina System is the education of the state’s diverse citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement. This public university system serves students from its flagship Columbia campus, three comprehensive universities (Aiken, Beaufort, and Upstate), and four regional Palmetto College campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union).

The University of South Carolina System offers degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Through classroom and laboratory instruction delivered in a variety of face-to-face and distance learning formats and modalities, degree programs are offered in the following areas: arts and sciences; business; education; engineering and computing; hospitality, retail, and sport management; information and communications; law; medicine; music; nursing; pharmacy; public health; and social work.

With a flagship campus recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research and community engaged institution and nationally ranked in start-up businesses, and an eight-campus system that confers nearly 40% of all bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded at public institutions in South Carolina, the university has a profound relevance, reach, and impact on the people of the state. The University of South Carolina System provides all students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world through engagement in nationally and internationally ranked research, scholarship, service, and artistic creation.

UofSC Union Mission Statement

Approved by the Board of Trustees – October 11, 2019

Next Board of Trustees Scheduled Review – January 2023

The Union regional Palmetto College campus, is a branch campus of the University of South Carolina Columbia. Union has as its mission to provide higher education and intellectual leadership for its service area. At the heart of this mission is a teaching faculty of high quality dedicated to excellence in instruction, scholarship, public and professional service, and creative endeavor which enrich the classroom experience. UofSC Union offers a varied curriculum grounded in the liberal arts and focused on preparing students to continue their education in the University and throughout life.

The Union regional Palmetto College campus recruits students prepared to succeed in completing a baccalaureate‐ level education. While the institution does not offer remedial instruction, it is nonetheless able to admit most students who apply due to the close working relationship between students and faculty.  The Union Regional Palmetto College campus was established to encourage higher education in the counties of Chester, Cherokee, Fairfield, Laurens, Union, and York. The original design of the institution incorporated a flexibility that has allowed changes in institutional capability with increasing educational demands of constituents.

Through classroom and laboratory instruction delivered in a variety of face-to-face and distance learning formats and modalities, the institution awards the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and provides for the completion of selected bachelor’s degrees on campus through cooperative agreements and delivery structures with other University of South Carolina System institutions. The Union regional Palmetto College campus also provides general education and upper division coursework applicable to baccalaureate degree programs offered through colleges and universities nationwide. In addition to academic coursework, the mission of the campus includes noncredit courses, seminars, and workshops made available to the community for cultural enrichment and professional development.

The traditions of cultural diversity and freedom of thought are valued at the Union regional Palmetto College campus. In a learning environment that develops respect for racial, geographical, intellectual, and economic diversity and an awareness of individual, societal, and global responsibilities, Union promotes courses, activities, and attitudes which influence the life of the mind in men and women and instill in them a thirst to continue learning throughout life.

The Union regional Palmetto College campus emphasizes the development of the whole person and especially seeks to foster in students the disciplines essential to an educated citizenry. Core competencies, including the ability to communicate through effective writing and articulate speech; computational and quantitative mastery; creative and critical thinking; and the duties of citizenship are strategically integrated within the curriculum. Classroom experiences, student activities, and physical education programs also provide opportunities for cultural enrichment, leadership development, intellectual growth and interpersonal relationships, all contributing to a sense of self‐reliance and a joy of learning.


The University of South Carolina Columbia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The regional Palmetto College campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union) are branch campuses of the University of South Carolina Columbia; the branch campuses’ accreditation is dependent on the continued accreditation of the University of South Carolina Columbia. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of South Carolina Columbia.

UofSC System Leadership and Administration

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Union/Laurens Commission for Higher Education

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UofSC Union Leadership and Administration

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UofSC Union Faculty and Staff

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Student Objectives

The University is dedicated to providing all undergraduate students with a common core of knowledge, skill, and academic experience. This general education curriculum provides the foundation for subsequent specialized study in the student’s major discipline area. The University of South Carolina is in the process of updating this curriculum, ensuring that it remains current and prepares students for productive and meaningful engagement as world citizens equipped for life-long learning. The shared common academic foundation of all University of South Carolina students, the Carolina Core, has 10 core components, each with learning outcomes and credit hour requirements. A description of these components can be found at:


Similar to the other UofSC regional campuses, the Union campus was established as a result of local initiative. The Union County Commission for Higher Education was created by an act of the state legislature in the spring of 1965, and a contract was immediately signed by that commission with the University of South Carolina, an arrangement which guaranteed University-quality education at a low cost for area students within commuting distance of the campus. A former public secondary-school building was secured by the commission, and local funds were made available to renovate the structure. Scheduled classes began in September 1965 for the original freshman class of 51 students. In September 1967, 160 students registered at the campus, and enrollment has continued to climb.

Centrally located near the downtown business district, UofSC Union occupies a seven-acre tract fronting the east side of Main Street. Established to meet the educational needs of Union, Laurens, Cherokee, York, Chester, Fairfield, and Newberry counties, the campus has grown to its present enrollment of approximately 1100 and a physical plant consisting of eight buildings, which house administrative offices, classrooms, laboratories, a library, a campus shop, and a gymnasium. The Union campus has traditionally focused on offering the first two years of courses for most University curricula, and the campus continues that tradition today. As a consequence of its expanding role as a unit of UofSC, upper-level courses are increasingly available, including both junior- and senior-level courses, as well as graduate courses.

Union-area residents realize the beneficial aspects of a local regional campus and have been enthusiastic supporters of both the campus and its programs. Both the city and county governments have generously increased their support of the campus and have provided much-needed funds for both physical-plant and equipment needs. Several local organizations provide scholarships for UofSC Union students, and the campus has been the recipient of numerous gifts of goods and services. The campus and the surrounding area have continually maintained this mutually supporting relationship, the result of which has been a high-quality, comprehensive program of higher education for area citizens.


The physical plant consists of eight buildings.

Main Building. The Main Building was a secondary public school originally constructed in 1909, renovated in 1965, and completely restored in 1991. It currently houses classrooms; an auditorium; administrative and faculty offices; biology, chemistry, and computer science laboratories; a student lounge; disability services; and the Student Academic Success Center.

Whitener Building. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Central Building was built in 1891 as the first modern public-school building in Union County. After several additions and incarnations as a high school, middle school, and elementary school, it was secured for UofSC Union by the Union County Commission for Higher Education in 1975. Renovations were completed on the Whitener Building in the fall of 1988 and it now houses administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, telecommunications instruction classrooms, and a community room for meetings and receptions. UofSC Union library services are provided by the Union County Carnegie Library.

Bookstore. The University of South Carolina Union Bookstore is located at 311 East Main Street. The bookstore sells a variety of Carolina-themed products which include clothing for adults and children, tailgating products, jewelry, miscellaneous items, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Students can purchase or rent their textbooks, or obtain their Carolina cards. Textbook buy back is held at the end of each semester. UofSC Bantam clothing, memorabilia, and UofSC-Union clothing are also available for purchase. Store hours are Mondays-Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Student Center. The Student Center, which is located at the rear of the Bookstore, is a fun area for students to gather before or after class. Students can enjoy television, pool tables, air hockey, video games, ping pong, and vending machines.

The Bobby and Barbara Rippy Courtyard. Located behind the Student Center, the courtyard is a pleasant outdoor area for reading and relaxation. Power stations are located near the seating areas where students can charge their phones or tablets.

Truluck Activity Center. Completed in 1969, the activity center provides space for athletic and social activities. The center contains a basketball court, office space, and physical-fitness equipment. The center has a seating capacity of 500.

Founders House. The former Child Development Center, renamed Founders House to honor local leaders who have had a special relationship with UofSC Union, has recently undergone a complete renovation. Much of the Athletic Department is housed there. The house has private and shared office space.

Fine Arts Building. A newly-purchased building on Main Street will house additional university facilities in the near future, including a dedicated Fine Arts area with faculty offices, classrooms, and art studio space, as well as some storage space and maintenance offices.

Science and Nursing Building. The new Science and Nursing Building on Main Street, across the street from the Bookstore, will house a new state-of-the-art virtual reality science lab/classroom, as well as faculty offices, and meeting space.

Student Services Building. The new Student Services Building located on Main Street next to the bookstore will house the admissions, financial aid, and student life offices.

Special Events
Extracurricular Activities

From its beginning, UofSC Union has recognized the importance of developing all facets of the individual. In keeping with this goal, the campus has offered a wide array of extracurricular activities, including the Student Government Association, the African American Alliance, numerous other clubs, a competitive athletics (NJCAA and club) program, service organizations, and frequent social functions.