The 165 students admitted to the program will attend class at Midlands Tech for a year, while living on the USC campus. Those who meet the necessary academic benchmarks during their year at Midlands Tech will enter USC the following year as sophomores.
Published Aug. 6, 2012
The University of South Carolina unveiled a program today that will allow 165 high school graduates who did not make the cut for admission in this fall’s freshman class to spend their first year attending classes at Midlands Technical College, live on the USC campus and transfer to USC as sophomores.
The new program, called the Gamecock Gateway, builds on the existing Bridge program that has been in place for several years to ease the transfer process from the state’s two-year colleges to USC.
The 165 students are all South Carolina residents, and will spend about $8,000 less on tuition than they would if they had entered USC directly as freshmen.
About the Gamecock Gateway class
51% female, 49% male
Students from 32 counties around the state are enrolled in the Gateway program. The top five are Greenville, 23 students; Charleston, 20; Richland, 20; Lexington, 18; and York, 16.
22% African American
The students must live in the Roost residence hall on the USC campus and travel to class at Midlands Technical College’s Airport campus. Students will move in to the Roost Aug. 22.
Students will be fully admitted into USC after participation in the one-year program if they achieve a 2.25 GPA or higher; obtain at least 30 transferrable credit hours at MTC in the time period; and remain in good conduct and financial standing.
The goal of the program is to provide academic preparation to strengthen their transfer into USC and provide a residential community that supports students’ academic and personal needs.
“Gamecock Gateway is an innovative collaboration that will provide participating students with small-group services through Midlands Technical College while offering the resources and opportunities of our large, research university,” USC President Harris Pastides said. “I appreciate our continuing partnership with MTC and warmly welcome our Gamecock Gateway students to Carolina.”
MTC President Sonny White said the program will provide increased access to higher education.
“I am certain that students will benefit from this seamless transition system, and that both institutions will strive to serve the needs of this select group,” White said.
Students enrolled in the Gamecock Gateway program can use services on both the USC and MTC campuses. Students will have access to USC services including parking, meal plans, the Student Health Center, the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center and Blatt PE Center, clubs and organizations, intramural sports, the Student Success Center and university libraries.
They will not receive tickets to football, basketball and baseball games, and they are not permitted to join a social fraternity or sorority, hold office in a student organization or participate in intercollegiate athletics.
At Midlands Tech, students will have access to a Gateway-dedicated adviser and coordinator, supplemental instruction for some courses, Fast Track intensive refresher courses, the Academic Success Center and counseling and career services. They can also use Midlands Technical College student life opportunities, join student organizations and benefit from any other services available to Midlands Tech students.
Students will be transported by shuttle bus from the Roost to MTC’s Airport campus.
“The Gamecock Gateway is an important part of USC’s efforts to provide multiple paths to a Carolina degree for academically eligible South Carolina residents,” said Dennis Pruitt, USC’s vice president for student affairs.
Pruitt said that USC admitted every high school graduate who applied and had an SAT score above 1000 and at least a 3.0 grade-point average. The 165 students who will be participating in the Gamecock Gateway program fell just below that line academically, he said.
The transfer students will replenish the ranks of the freshman class, which typically has about a 10% attrition rate in the first year.