Institutions of higher education in South Carolina can be categorized into four sectors: research institutions, four-year comprehensive teaching institutions, technical colleges and independent institutions.
The CHE coordinates and conducts oversight of these sectors to advance South Carolina’s economic development and general welfare, in support of the mission for the state’s postsecondary education system set by the General Assembly.
The CHE’s primary functions related to the operations of institutions of higher learning include:
- Review and approval of proposed academic programs
- Licensure of non-public postsecondary institutions’ in-state operations and solicitation
- Assistance with transfer and articulation agreements
- Overseeing interstate reciprocity agreements, among others.
- Academic Programs
Inventory of Academic Programs (As of July 22, 2022)
Program Approval Process for Public Institutions
- Policies and Procedures for New Academic Program Approval and Program Termination (PDF)
- Cycle of Program Proposals/Due Dates (PDF)
- Instructions for New Program Proposal and Program Modification Forms (Word Document)
- New Program Proposal Form (Word Document)
- Program Modification Form (Word Document)
- Notification of Change-New Certificate Form (Word Document)
- Notification of Change Form (Word Document)
- Notification of Program Termination Form (PDF)
- New Center Proposal Form (Word Document)
Additional materials for Teacher Education programs
- South Carolina Department of Education Areas of Certification (PDF)
- South Carolina Department of Education New or Modified Program Proposal Guidelines for Educator Preparation Programs for Public and Private Institutions of Higher Education (PDF)
Academic Program Inventory
- Academic Policies
Program Approval Policies and Processes for Public Institutions
Note: See Academic Programs for more information.
- Policies and Instructions for Applications for Academic Program and Course Eligibility for Scholarship Enhancement (PDF)
- Policy for the Addition and Removal of Programs to the List of Programs Eligible for Scholarship Enhancements (PDF)
- Policy for the Award of Credit for AP, IB, and CI (PDF)
- Approval of Specialized Accreditation Agencies by CHE (PDF)
- Developmental/Remedial Education (PDF)
- Dual Enrollment (PDF)
- Program Productivity (PDF)
- Mission Statement (PDF)
Guidelines & Principles
- College Preparatory Course Prerequisite Requirements for Entering College Freshmen (PDF)
- Guidelines for Graduate Courses Offered for Professional Development of School Personnel (Word)
- CHE Guiding Principles for Distance Education in South Carolina (PDF)
- Priority Statements Relating to Offsite Doctoral Programs (PDF)
- REACH Act
- Articulation Agreements & Academic Transfer
CHE sets procedures for course transferability at the undergraduate level between two- and four-year public institutions. By enhancing credit transfer, articulation agreements allow students to seamlessly transition from one institution to another.
SC Transfer and Articulation Center (SC TRAC) - Public Institutional Transfer Agreements, and Institutional Transfer Offices (External link):
Additional Transfer Resources:
- State Policy on Transfer (PDF)
- List of 86 Universally Transferable Courses (Course Equivalents at 4-yr Public Institutions for the List of 86) (PDF)
- Participation of Private Institutions (PDF)
- Nursing Transfer Guide (PDF)
- Transfer Guide for Dual Enrollment Students (PDF)
Transfer Block / Transfer Guide Information (Revised March 2009)
- Institutional Data Reporting (CHEMIS and IPEDS)
The CHE reviews and makes recommendations related to facility project plans proposed by public institutions of higher education.
The Facilities staff considers all aspects of institutional permanent improvement projects including the acquisition of land and buildings, regardless of cost; work on existing facilities including their renovation, repair, maintenance, alteration, or demolition in which the total cost is $1,000,000 or more; architectural and engineering and other types of planning and design work, regardless of cost, which is intended to result in a permanent improvement; capital lease purchase of a facility acquisition or construction in which the total cost is $1,000,000 or more; equipment that either becomes a permanent fixture of a facility or does not become permanent but is included as a part of a project in which the total cost is $1,000,000 or more; and new construction of a facility that exceeds a total cost of $500,000. Also included are leases and lease renewals above the exemption level of $100,000 per year.
Facilities staff responsibilities include:
- Prepare and present proposals and respective recommendations on behalf of the institutions for renovation, repair, and maintenance projects costing more than $1,000,000, new construction projects costing more than $500,000, and leases which commit $1,000,000 or more in a five year period to the Committee on Finance and Facilities on a monthly basis. The Committee on Finance and Facilities, in turn, presents its recommendations to the full Commission at its monthly meetings.
- Meet with the Facilities Advisory Committee, consisting of institutional representatives, on an as-needed basis in order to consider new policy, policy revisions, or other pressing facilities-related issues.
- Work with the CHE Management Information System staff (CHEMIS) to audit and ensure the accuracy of institutional reporting of facilities building inventories and room use data. This data is a component in the calculation of annual funding calculation, specifically for the maintenance and operation of physical plant. This data is also applied to classroom and laboratory utilization and other quantitative reports for consideration in the approval process of permanent improvement requests.
Commission approvals are subject to adoption by the statutory approval process of the Joint Bond Review Committee (JBRC) and the Budget and Control Board (BCB). Commission approvals are also required for Master Land Acquisition Plans (MLAP) and the Comprehensive Permanent Improvement Plans (CPIP).
- State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) for distance courses and programs
SARA sets comparable standards for interstate offerings of postsecondary distance courses and programs. Member states recognize each other’s participating institutions as eligible to enroll students in distance education programs. The CHE handles South Carolina’s participation in SARA. Visit our SARA page for more information and instructions.
- Residency Guidelines
Visit our SC Residency Information Page
- Licensing of Non-Public Postsecondary Institutions
The CHE authorizes licenses for non-public postsecondary institutions operating and soliciting in South Carolina. Licensure is required for both sites and programs. Also, the CHE licenses degree- and non-degree-granting institutions.
- Scholarship Regulations
- Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Programs
The CHE manages South Carolina’s participation in two SREB programs: the Academic Common Market and the Regional Contract Program. The programs permit South Carolina residents to enroll in select programs at participating states’ public institutions and pay in-state tuition, so long as the program isn’t offered in South Carolina. Click here for course and program submission information.
- Education Improvement Act SC Centers of Excellence for Teacher Education
Research has shown that the single greatest factor influencing student achievement is teacher quality.
The SC Centers of Excellence program is a competitive grant program that enables eligible institutions, or groupings of such institutions, to serve as state-of-the-art resource centers for the state in a specific area related to the improvement of teacher education with a concentration on assisting rural, underperforming schools and districts. These resource centers develop and model state-of-the-art teaching practices, conduct research, disseminate information, and provide training for P-12 and higher education personnel in a center's specific area of expertise.
- Veteran’s Education / GI Bill® Program Administration Information for Schools and Employers
The CHE is South Carolina’s State Approving Agency (SAA) and must approve programs at in-state postsecondary institutions and career training centers that offer education and training to veterans and their eligible dependents under the Veterans Education Assistance Program.
Veteran’s Education and Training at CHE is designated as the SAA responsible for approving and supervising Veteran’s Education programs in South Carolina. The SAA is a part of the National Association of State Approving Agencies (NASAA) which is comprised of state agencies that have responsibility for the approval and training available through the GI Bill®. The SAA acts on behalf of the federal government to evaluate educational/vocational institutions and training establishments. The SAA approves programs where veterans and those eligible for VA education benefits (under Title 38, US Code, Chapters 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, and Title 10 US Code, Chapter 1606 and 1607) can achieve quality training in either an educational, professional, or vocational objective. The focus of the SAA is the review, evaluation, and approval of quality programs under both the state and federal criteria.
Coordinators are assigned to various areas throughout the state and are responsible for a variety of duties. The area coordinators visit institutions and training establishments seeking initial approval to evaluate the appropriateness of the programs being offered and to ensure that these programs meet the standards of state and federal guidelines. Area coordinators also evaluate curricula, training outlines, student training records, physical facilities, and equipment used in training programs. The coordinators, in evaluating institutions and programs, meet with faculty/trainers, administrators, and agency directors seeking a willingness to establish training approval for GI Bill® recipients. Approval may be granted for the following:
- On-Job-Training (OJT) establishments (6 to 24 months training programs)
- Apprenticeship (APP) establishments (more than 24 months and annual related training)
- Flight Training Schools (for pilot licenses and aviation employment)
Upon approval, the SAA provides continuous oversight by conducting annual on-site supervisory visits. Technical assistance visits are conducted when deemed necessary by the SAA or at the request of the certifying official. The SAA also conducts outreach activities to foster usage of the GI Bill.
Veteran's Education Resources for Institutions
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
- VA Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training: On-The-Job Training And Apprenticeships | Veterans Affairs (va.gov)
- VA Licensing and Certification: Get Paid Back For Test Fees | Veterans Affairs (va.gov)
- WEAMS: WEAMS Public (va.gov)
- SCO Handbook link: https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000149088/School-Certifying-Official-Handbook-On-line
- SCO Training link: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/resources/education_resources/school_certifying_officials/online_sco_training.asp
- SCO Webinars link: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/resources/education_resources/school_certifying_officials/presentations.asp
- VA Once user guide link: https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/resources/education_resources/school_certifying_officials/va_once_faq.asp Public Law 116-315 link: https://www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ315/PLAW-116publ315.pdf
GI Bill® Approval Forms
Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL)
Non-College Degree (NCD) Institutions
Licensing and Certification