Claflin, UofSC partner for dual-degree program

Nov 01, 2020

President Caslen and President Warmack sign the agreement. (Photo by Panther Editor Thalia Butts)

 Claflin University and the University of South Carolina presidents officially announced their dual-degree on Oct. 28.

 Claflin President Dr. Dwaun Warmack welcomed UofSC President  Robert Caslen to Ministers’ Hall on Claflin’s campus to sign a memorandum of agreement, officially establishing a five-year dual B.A./M.M.C. or M.L.I.S degree program (also referred to as a 4+1 program).

“When we think about the significant need for developing well-talented students that are trained in journalism and mass communications, this 4+1, five-year degree program allows students at Claflin University to matriculate three years and begin their fourth year to start in graduate school at USC, and after their fifth year, they will have a dual degree from Claflin University Department of Mass Communications and a master’s degree from USC in mass communications,” Warmack said.

With the program’s primary goal being to address the state’s “need to develop well-trained … professionals from minority backgrounds,” USC also hopes that this partnership and partnerships like it will contribute to the university’s diversity efforts.

“We believe as the flagship University of South Carolina that it’s important that we reflect South Carolina … and in order to do that, we need to address some of our diversity issues,” Caslen said.

USC’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion reports that though African Americans make up 27.9% of South Carolina’s population and 13.2% of the U.S. population, they are only 10.2% of undergraduate enrollment and 11.8% of graduate and professional enrollment.

Both presidents indicated positive outlooks for the future of the five-year agreement as well as possibilities of similar partnerships and programs to come.

“We’ve also talked about other degree programs that you’ll hear about, such as a partnership with the law school … so we’re in the early development stages of that one. And the pharmacy school, so we’re excited for the long-term relationship.” Warmack said.

“Our strategic plan says that every one of our colleges and universities will have a 3+2 or 4+1 program with an HBCU by 2025. So you’re going to see more of these coming,” Caslen said.

Students that are interested would declare intent by the end of the fall semester of their junior year, apply for the program in the spring of their junior year, and take up to 12 graduate credit hours at USC during their senior year.

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