Columbia -- Students at the University of South Carolina's two-year regional campuses would be able to get a bachelor's degree through online coursework under a plan the university is developing.

USC President Harris Pastides discussed the plan Tuesday, when he met with journalists at The State to highlight an overall vision for the university that he hopes people will embrace as it moves ahead with its $1 billion fundraising campaign, called "Carolina's Promise."

Pastides is linking that campaign to his administration's new vision for the university, which he said will make USC a worthy investment for donors and a critical part of moving the state forward.

That new vision, called "Focus Carolina," includes making it easier for "place-locked" students to get four-year degrees from the state's flagship university.

Offering students a chance to get a four-year degree through online coursework would put USC in more direct competition with for-profit institutions like the University of Phoenix, Webster University and Virginia University.

"The whole point is to meet people where they live," Pastides said. "We're improving access to a four-year degree at these campuses."