South Carolina
Accelerated Learning Options in High School


Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Juniors and seniors in high school who have nearly mastered the complete high school curriculum are eligible to enroll in college-level courses. Principals must recommend dual enrollment students before they become eligible for dual credit opportunities. To enroll in courses at four-year institutions and two-year regional campuses of the University of South Carolina System, students must have GPAs of 3.0 or higher. To enroll in courses at technical colleges, students must meet the requirements set by the specific institution. District school boards may establish policies allowing students to take college courses. These policies may allow for cooperative agreements with one or more postsecondary institutions. The tuition and fees may be funded by local school districts or be the responsibility of the student.

Dual Credit may be awarded at the discretion of the district boards of trustees. Policies may allow courses that are applicable to baccalaureate or associate degrees to be offered by a postsecondary institution through cooperative agreements. Three-semester-hour college courses transfer as one unit of credit in such cases, and tuition costs and other fees are the responsibility of the student unless otherwise specified in the local district policy.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The South Carolina Department of Education funds and coordinates training courses for aspiring Advanced Placement (AP) teachers. South Carolina state law and South Carolina Commission on Higher Education policy direct each public institution to award credit in appropriate courses for scores of three or higher on Advanced Placement examinations.

South Carolina also offers three International Baccalaureate Programs to high school students: The IB Middle Years Program (to the age of 16), and the IB Diploma Programme and IB Career-related Programme (for students age 16-19).

South Carolina has existing policies regarding credit acceptance for postsecondary institutions. In most cases, students scoring a 3 or better on AP exams and a 4 or better on IB exams should receive college-level credit in the comparable postsecondary courses.

Career and Technical Education

South Carolina has adopted the National Career Clusters Framework, and offers over 300 courses across the 16 Clusters. CTE courses may be included in dual enrollment agreements.

Early College High Schools

South Carolina currently has three early college high schools located throughout the state. The schools are part of the national Early College High School Initiative, launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in 2002.