General Studies Degree to Help Promote College Completion

SMC’s New Online Degree to Help Adult Learners Finish College

Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) is launching an online bachelor’s degree that provides a clear path to a degree for adult learners who want to return and finish their college education.

The all-new Bachelor of Arts in General Studies begins in January 2025 and will help OneSpartanburg, Inc.’s Re:Degree initiative re-engage the thousands of adults in Spartanburg County who have taken some college classes but never finished. This degree provides an excellent opportunity for those students to finish their degree. Both efforts are part of the Movement 2030 Cradle to Career campaign by the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM), which provided funding to each organization.

“SMC was established as a work-study institution dedicated to educating local workers to provide them with the skills and knowledge to improve their future. Our work with Movement 2030 and Re:Degree fits right into the core of our mission,” said SMC President Scott Cochran. “This new degree is the perfect option for students who want to return and finish their degree to improve their career prospects.”

The General Studies degree offers a fully online, flexible educational experience with a comprehensive curriculum focused on providing the essential skills sought by employers. Rather than a specialized, narrow discipline, the new degree gives graduates a broad education in several key areas, including English and the humanities, business and social sciences, and math and natural sciences.

“We’re very excited to work with SMC on this effort to increase adult degree attainment. Data shows that those with completed degrees have higher social and economic mobility and increased pay opportunities in their careers. This General Studies program can make a substantive difference for some of those people in Spartanburg County with some college experience but no degree,” said Dr. Erin Smith, OneSpartanburg, Inc. director of adult degree re-engagement.

To further ease the transition back to college, SMC is also providing interested students the opportunity to earn college credit for their work and life experiences and any previous classes they have taken. Through its credits for prior learning program, students can earn credit for specialized work experience, professional certifications, and military or law enforcement service.

“Many adult learners are nervous about returning to finish their degree because they don’t want to start over,” said Dr. Curt Laird, SMC’s provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “Earning credit for work and life experiences will help them complete their degree faster and reduce the cost as well.”

The General Studies bachelor’s degree will teach students to demonstrate mastery in writing, reading, and critical thinking; develop a robust skill set in analytical and creative thinking and problem solving; demonstrate a broad knowledge of physical, social, and cultural worlds; and apply their interdisciplinary knowledge to develop innovative solutions to complex challenges.

The degree prepares graduates to advance in their current careers or pursue a new career in various fields, such as communication and media, business and management, healthcare administration, technology and innovation, and more.

Potential students can learn more about the General Studies degree at

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