New USC Upstate dual credit courses to help high school seniors get a head start on nursing degrees

Science classes with Dorman High School are first of their kind in Spartanburg County

The University of South Carolina Upstate and Dorman High School in Spartanburg District 6 will collaborate on creating new dual credit courses in anatomy and physiology that will count toward the credits needed for a bachelor of science in nursing at USC Upstate.

The Mary Black College of Nursing and the College of Science and Technology at Upstate have received a $120,000 grant that will be used to purchase classroom equipment for the new courses at Dorman over the next two years. Students who successfully complete both an introduction to anatomy and physiology and an anatomy and physiology course will receive credit toward two prerequisites for the nursing major.

Students who take additional dual credit courses, such as English, college math, and computer science, will be able to satisfy the other requirements for the first semester of the nursing program and enter USC Upstate as second-semester freshmen.

“I’m excited that we will be able to pilot this opportunity for students to enroll in anatomy and physiology and receive college-level credit while in high school,” said Shirleatha Dunlap, Ph.D., dean of the Mary Black College of Nursing. “This will decrease time and cost towards degree completion. This also creates a more efficient way get quality nurses into the workforce, where they are greatly needed by our communities.”

Dunlap said special attention will be given to ensuring the courses are accessible to low-income, first generation, underrepresented and/or disadvantaged students, as they are often unaware of the advantages dual enrollment offers for degree completion.

Jeannie Chapman, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science and Technology, said the grant funding will give students access to state-of-the-art teaching tools in their anatomy and physiology classes. “Students in these dual enrollment courses will learn and interact with anatomical structures and organ systems in a dynamic, virtual environment before moving on to the cutting-edge simulation models used in the Mary Black College of Nursing,” she said.

Should the pilot be successful, USC Upstate hopes to expand the opportunity to other local high schools with the support of its community partners, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and OneSpartanburg.

“I applaud Dr. Dunlap and Dr. Chapman for their outstanding leadership on this project, which supports USC Upstate’s strategic goal of advancing degree attainment in Spartanburg County,” said Chancellor Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D. “In addition to providing a quicker pathway to degree completion, these courses will boost students’ confidence in their ability to complete and be successful in college-level classes.”