Jessica Lawless has a busy life with a full-time job and a 2-year-old child to raise, but she’s committed to finishing her college degree.
A new College of Charleston Bachelor of Professional Studies program, designed for nontraditional students with at least 60 credits, will help her accomplish that goal.
That program will be housed on the college’s North Campus, which must move out of its current location on International Boulevard near the Charleston International Airport, by the end of July. Boeing Co. purchased the office complex in December, and all the building’s tenants had to find new space.
The college has found a suitable site for its North Campus and the Lowcountry Graduate Center, which offers graduate programs, in a new building at 4105 Faber Place Drive, on the corner of Faber Place Drive and Leeds Avenue in North Charleston. The state’s Commission on Higher Education approved a seven-year lease in August, which would cost between $7.8 million and $8.5 million. The plan now must be approved by the state’s Budget and Control Board, said Godfrey Gibbison, dean of the college’s North Campus. The board likely will consider the plan in October.
Gibbison said the new building currently is just a shell, and its interior needs to be completed. He thinks that if the Budget and Control Board approves the lease in October, the space could be made ready by July 30, which is when the campus needs to move. “We’re walking on wire,” Gibbison said. “So we’re dotting all of our i’s and crossing all of our t’s.”
The new location has about 50,000 square feet, about twice as much space as the current location, Gibbison said. The school would use that extra space to expand graduate and other programs, and create space for the new Bachelor of Professional Studies program, which eventually will serve about 150 students, he said.
About 100,000 people in the region ages 25 to 45 have earned 60 college credits or more, but haven’t completed a degree, so there definitely is a market for the program, he said.
It will have two tracts, one focusing on organizational leadership and management and the other on communication and information systems.
Lawless, 24, completed an associate degree at Trident Technical College. She has enrolled in the new program, which was launched in August. She needed a program where she could take classes at night, on weekends or online, she said, and all of those options are available to her now.
She lives in Summerville, so she said it would be difficult for her to take classes downtown. The current North Campus and the proposed new site are near Interstate 526, locations easy for her to get to, she said. “I’m a parent and I have a full-time job, and now I’m also able to be a full-time student.”
Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.