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Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership

The Certificate is a partnership between the University of South Carolina’s Community College Leadership Alliance (CCLA) and the SC Technical College System. The Certificate program equips technical college professionals throughout South Carolina with advanced knowledge and competencies in higher education leadership and provides valuable networking opportunities. Participants are sponsored by their technical college and admitted to the University of South Carolina as graduate students.

The Certificate requires completion of six graduate courses over an 16-month period (Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring). The University of South Carolina is responsible for the development and delivery of the courses through its Educational Leadership and Policies Department in the College of Education.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide the knowledge and skills required of mid-level and above leaders in a community college system.
  • Serve as an incentive for engaging graduates of the Certificate Program in terminal degree programs.

Certificate Requirements (18 Credit Hours)
The Certificate in Higher Education Leadership is open to faculty, administrators, and staff of the SC Technical College System who hold a baccalaureate or higher degree. Coursework includes:

EDHE 734 - The Community/Technical College (3 Credit Hours)
Introduction to historical and current events shaping two-year college missions programs, clienteles, and services. Preparation to assume student services and instructional positions within two-year colleges.

EDHE 736 - Financial Aspects of Higher Education (3 Credit Hours)
Survey of principles and practices of financing higher education institutions, including revenue generation and asset allocation. The course reviews methods of budgeting and business processes utilized by colleges and universities.

EDHE 737 - Legal Aspects of Higher Education (3 Credit Hours)
Especially for faculty members and administrators in post-secondary institutions. Emphasis on techniques of legal research, constitutional provisions, statutory laws, court decisions, and regulations as they affect administration of higher education.

EDHE 738 - Principles of College Teaching (3 Credit Hours)
Designed for prospective teachers in institutions of higher education. Considers the practice of teaching from philosophical, empirical, conceptual, and practical vantage points to prepare instructors for a changing and diverse student population.

EDHE 835 - Leadership in Higher Education (3 Credit Hours)
Leadership theory and practice as applied to programs, units, and institutions in higher education. Addresses leadership strategies, options, characteristics, traits, and styles.

EDHE 839 - Institutional Assessment in Higher Education (3 Credit Hours)
Concepts, models, and practice of institutional assessment. Student participation in an actual assessment project.

Many Certificate students have used the program as a stepping-stone to an advanced degree. The courses in the Certificate program are eligible for inclusion in coursework toward the Master of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs and the Ph.D. in Education Administration/Higher Education.

It is important that prospective certificate program participants first check with their college representatives concerning the admissions criteria and application process. The System Office or Department of Leadership and Policies at USC can provide information on the USC admissions process. Orientation is held in the fall before the cohort begins.
The USC’s Graduate School Application must be completed online with payment of the fee. Provide a copy of the application fee receipt in addition to a completed W9 form to the System Office who will reimburse the participant.

Alumni Spotlights

For More Information

College Contact: Your college contact can answer questions related to the selection process and funding arrangements/requirements at your college.

System Office Contact: Betty Dixon, Administrative Coordinator, 803-896-5361,, can answer questions related to the system-wide effort.

USC Contact: Marie Cook, USC,, can answer questions/issues related to the University of South Carolina.