More students will be able to bridge the gap between high school and a four-year degree with a new program being offered by the College of Charleston and Trident Technical College.

On Jan. 23, 2017, CofC and Trident Tech announced Charleston Bridge, a one-of-a-kind, one-semester residential bridge program that will give select South Carolina high school students a new way to gain admission to the College of Charleston and earn a four-year degree. Students selected for the program will spend the fall semester of their first year of college as Trident Tech students who live and take classes on the CofC campus.

Then, if those students meet academic targets by the end of the fall semester (earning a minimum 2.6 GPA with a full course load of 12-17 semester hours), they will be admitted to the College of Charleston for the spring semester as full-time students. The Charleston Bridge will begin in Fall 2017.

President Glenn F. McConnell ’69 says Charleston Bridge allows the College to carry out its public mission in a “more expansive and dynamic way.”

“The College of Charleston is proud to partner with Trident Technical College on the Charleston Bridge program,” McConnell says. “This program will enable our two institutions to better serve our fellow South Carolinians by providing access to a high-quality education at an affordable cost. The College takes its public mission quite seriously and this new Bridge program will allow us to carry out that mission in a more expansive and dynamic way.”

Trident Technical College President Mary Thornley, meanwhile, says that the program takes the partnership between the two institutions to “a new level.”

“Providing a truly seamless and immersive on-campus experience for these students requires intercollegiate collaboration on everything from admissions to financial aid to instruction,” she says. “This unique partnership is certain to yield benefits for the students and both of our institutions.”

Candidates for the program will apply for regular admission to the College of Charleston. Once selected for Charleston Bridge, they’ll officially be TTC students.

That means they’ll pay tuition and fees to TTC and will be eligible for financial aid and state scholarships. But they’ll live in CofC residence halls and will have access to the College’s dining plans, activities and academic support services.

Charleston Bridge students will take classes taught by TTC faculty in CofC facilities and classrooms. These students will have access to the full services of the College of Charleston, with the exception of Greek Life and intercollegiate athletics.

The College of Charleston’s undergraduate application deadline for Fall 2017 is February 1.

To learn more about the program, visit the Charleston Bridge website.