The Graduate Certificate Program requires completion of six graduate courses (18 credit hours) over a two-year period (one course per semester, including summer) aimed at advanced learning specifically relevant to professionals in two-year colleges. The University of South Carolina is responsible for development and the delivery of the courses through its Higher Education and Student Affairs program in the College of Education.  Therefore, all potential students must apply for this program through the University of South Carolina Graduate School.


Course Requirements

EDHE 734: The Community/Junior/Technical College

EDHE 736: Financial Aspects of Higher Education

EDHE 737: Legal Aspects of Higher Education

EDHE 738: Principles of College Teaching

EDHE 835: Leadership in Higher Education

EDHE 839: Assessment in Higher Education

Any course substitution must adhere to the policy of the Graduate School of the University of South Carolina that no more than two graduate courses, with grades of B or better, may be transferred into the certificate program, if they were completed no more than six years prior to the granting of the certificate. Transfer of credit must have approval of the program faculty and is granted only when courses transferred are substantially similar to those for which they substitute.

Course Delivery for Working Professionals

The curriculum is designed as a two-year program, with students entering as a single cohort group and completing all coursework together.  The initial course offering will be EDHE 734: The Community/Junior/Technical College. In all courses, there is extensive use of distance education delivery, as well as some face-to-face meeting time. Participants usually meet in Columbia one Friday afternoon (approximately 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) each month throughout each course. Additional course time occurs either weekly or bi-weekly using two-way video links and electronic course management systems. Compressed video class meetings for the initial EDHE 734 class will meet from 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons in technical college TechNet II administrative classrooms. The courses in community/junior/technical colleges, financial aspects, and College teaching are considered foundational and are offered during the first year of a cohort. They are followed by the courses in assessment in higher education, legal aspects, and leadership.

Find out more about application guidelines.



Course Descriptions 

This course examines the historical, social, and educational events and forces that shaped and continue to shape the development and expansion of the two-year college. The course places a special emphasis on the role of the two-year college in South Carolina by considering how statewide business and political forces impact technical colleges. Students examine the mission, programs, clientele, and services of two-year colleges in South Carolina and learn how governance structures influence policy development and decision making.

Designed for faculty and administrative staff in technical colleges, this course helps participants gain understanding of the range of funding sources for technical colleges and the roles of federal, state, and local governments in funding. Budgeting, budget management, performance funding, and strategic planning practices are also explored with a focus on how to leverage resources in a competitive environment. Issues of institutional advancement, annual planning, development, fund raising and entrepreneurship also are included.

This course provides an introduction to the American justice system. It enables students to identify legal liability issues and regulatory requirements related to higher education, with emphasis on risk management and student rights. It includes a consideration of how constitutional provisions, statutory laws, and court decisions affect faculty members and administrators in specific functional areas in the technical college, particularly in South Carolina. The students develop and/or refine skills of analysis, synthesis, and verbal and written communication concerning issues and ideas salient to the current legal issues facing technical colleges.


Designed for instructors and staff involved with the teaching function in technical colleges, this course helps participants design and conduct courses that encourage students to become actively involved and responsible for their own learning; develop instructional skills to become more effective in enhancing students’ classroom responses; and develop understandings and competencies concerning educational theory. It also enables students to select and use instructional strategies and formats that include technologies and web-based course support systems. This course explores the complexities of teaching and learning through the case method of instruction and maintains a focus on diverse student populations.

“Leadership from any level” is the theme of this examination into the concepts and practices of leading for effective responsibility concerning people, programs, and policies. Topics include: leadership styles and circumstances; the influence of followers; the influence of organizational administrative and governance circumstances; change management; internal and cross-institutional relationship building; and ethical decision making. Case examples and problem-based assignments support the ability of this course to introduce concepts and theories that are immediately applied to practices relevant to technical college faculty and administrators.

This course will introduce students to the concepts underlying the theory and practice of assessment in higher education. Students will learn about current assessment models used in two- and four-year educational institutions and will become familiar with the professional literature, professional organizations, and resources available to those conducting assessment.




The certificate program in Higher Education Administration at the University of South Carolina provided me with current, relevant, and applicable knowledge and learning to allow me to excel in my work at Piedmont Technical College. The program gave me exposure to the expectation of doctoral coursework. This exposure renewed my desire to continue my education by providing me with interesting subject matter and the confidence to complete the program.

Donna Foster, '06
Piedmont Technical College
Dean, Arts & Sciences

free templates
Make a Free Website with Yola.