USC Upstate partners with USC Union, Union County School District in new Fast-Track to Teaching Initiative

Leaders from USC Upstate, USC Union and the Union County School District celebrate the launch of the new initiative with USC Upstate alumni teaching in the Union County School District on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

A new educational pathway has been established for Union County students. The University of South Carolina Union (USC Union), the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate), and Union County School District (UCSD) have established the new Union County Fast-Track to Teaching initiative.

The initiative will provide an educational pathway for UCSD students to obtain a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, elementary education or middle-level education.  

“We have a lot of students here who know early that they want to be educators,” said USC Upstate Chancellor Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D. “We are a creating a pathway where they can do it efficiently and do it with excellence.”

The Fast-Track to Teaching program will create the opportunity for UCSD students to pursue an associate degree through USC Union via dual enrollment while attending high school then transition into a bachelor’s degree program in any of the three areas of education at USC Upstate.

UCSD students will meet the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in the aforementioned education programs within two years after completing the associate degree.

While at UCSD, and if eligible, tuition for the dual enrollment coursework with USC Union will be completely covered by Lottery Tuition Assistance Program (LTAP) funds from the state. Upon becoming USC Upstate students for the final two years for the bachelor’s degree, qualified UCSD students can utilize the LIFE Scholarship and the SC Teacher Loan program to cover the cost of tuition at that point.

Students in this program will have the opportunity to complete their practical and student teaching experiences in Union County schools or in schools in the Spartanburg area, along with opportunities to complete bachelor’s level coursework from USC Upstate on the USC Union campus where possible.