SMC to launch online General Studies Degree benefitting returning adult learners

May 29, 2024

Partnership with OneSpartanburg’s Re:Degree Initiative is Focused on Increasing College Completion

Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) is launching a new online bachelor’s degree that provides a clear path to a degree for adult learners who want to return and finish their college education.  

SMC developed the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies to help OneSpartanburg, Inc.’s Re:Degree initiative re-engage students who had to stop their studies and help them finish their degree. Both efforts are part of the Movement 2030 cradle to career campaign by the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM). 

“SMC was established as a work-study institution dedicated to educating local workers to provide them with the skills and knowledge to improve their future. Our work with Movement 2030 and Re:Degree fits right into the core of our mission,” said SMC President Scott Cochran. “This new degree is the perfect option for students who want to return and finish their degree to improve their career prospects.” 

The General Studies degree launches in January 2025 and offers a fully online, flexible educational experience with a comprehensive curriculum focused on providing the essential skills sought by employers. Rather than a specialized, narrow discipline, the new degree gives graduates a broad education in several key areas, including English and the humanities, business and social sciences, and math and natural sciences. 

“We’re very excited to work with SMC on this effort to increase adult degree attainment. Data shows those with completed degrees have higher social and economic mobility, and increased pay opportunities available in their careers. This General Studies program can make a substantive difference for some of those people in Spartanburg County with some college experience but no degree,” said Dr. Erin Smith, OneSpartanburg, Inc. director of adult degree reengagement. 

SMC developed the new degree with an investment from SAM’s Movement 2030 to increase college attainment in Spartanburg County. The college is expanding its online offerings to provide more flexible and affordable opportunities for the thousands in the county with some college and no degree. 

To further ease the transition back to college, SMC is also providing interested students the opportunity to earn college credit for their work and life experiences, in addition to any previous classes they have taken. Through its credits for prior learning program, students can earn credit for specialized work experience, professional certifications, and service in the military or law enforcement. 

“Many adult learners are nervous about returning to finish their degree because they don’t want to start over,” said Dr. Curt Laird, SMC’s provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “Earning credit for work and life experiences will help them complete their degree faster and reduce the cost as well.” 

The General Studies bachelor’s degree will teach students to demonstrate mastery in writing, reading, and critical thinking; develop a robust skill set in analytical and creative thinking and problem solving; demonstrate a broad knowledge of physical, social, and cultural worlds; and apply their interdisciplinary knowledge to develop innovative solutions to complex challenges. 

The degree prepares graduates to advance in their current careers or pursue a new career in various fields, such as communication and media, business and management, healthcare administration, technology and innovation, and more. 

Potential students can learn more about the General Studies degree at


About Spartanburg Methodist College 

Located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Spartanburg Methodist College is a private liberal arts college open to students of all religious and non-religious backgrounds. The college serves approximately 1,000 students and offers six associate degrees, eight bachelor’s degrees, and 10 100% online associate and bachelor’s degree options. SMC’s unique Camak Core professional development program prepares graduates for the business world with education in critical workplace skills that employers value in new hires. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church and established in 1911, SMC students experience the transformative powers of academic excellence, intellectual exploration, social awareness, and character development in a supportive environment where they can thrive. 

About OneSpartanburg, Inc. 

Our mission is to build a vibrant Spartanburg through business, economic and tourism development. Whether you’re looking for business resources, economic expertise, community leadership or tourism information, OneSpartanburg, Inc. is where you’ll find it. 

About Movement 2030 

Movement 2030 is a county-wide initiative in Spartanburg, South Carolina driven by one guiding belief: everyone can thrive here. With the goal of improving school readiness, post-secondary attainment, and neighborhood outcomes for thousands of Spartanburg County residents, Movement 2030 is an effort by Spartanburg County and for Spartanburg County. Together, we are coordinating critical resources and existing efforts among over 30 local foundations and nonprofits, educational- and faith-based institutions, public agencies, businesses, and philanthropists to create the conditions for children and families to succeed in life, no matter where they are born and raised. To learn more about how you can join Movement 2030 or access resources for your journey, please visit