Greenville Technical College
Photo by Will Crooks

Some Greenville Technical College students will now have the option of completing an associate degree in one year rather than two.

The college said the program is the first of its kind in South Carolina — it would allow students who meet certain requirements to obtain either an associate in arts or an associate in science in nearly half the time.

“It will allow students to earn their associate of arts or science degree at Greenville Tech, and then transfer to a four-year college or university program a full year ahead of their peers,” Dr. Jermaine Whirl, vice president of learning and workforce development at Greenville Technical College, said in a statement.

The announcement comes less than a month after the college increased tuition by 2.5% because of declining enrollment.

In five years, enrollment has dropped almost 14% at the school. A report from the American Association of Community Colleges shows the decline is a nationwide trend, but it predicted community college enrollment will eventually plateau and potentially reverse primarily because of affordability and increasing demand for post-secondary training.

In order to be accepted into the accelerated, three-semester program, students must complete a 500-word essay on how the accelerated degree will help them achieve their goals. There are also academic requirements — students must place into English Composition I (ENG 101) and College Algebra (MAT 110) or have a score of 540 or higher on all sections of the SAT, 22 or higher on each section of the ACT, or 200 or above on each section of the GED examination. While in the program, students must earn a C or better in each class to stay enrolled.

The schedule for the accelerated degree program is not as flexible as the college’s regular degree programs, which often cater to working students. Students accepted this year will attend classes in the fall and spring Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for seven weeks each. The summer semester is a 10-week program.

The priority application deadline is May 31, and the final deadline is July 26. For more information, visit www.gvltec.edu/2-years-in-1/.

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