College of Charleston

College review by Diane Forman

Charleston, SC


The College of Charleston is a public, liberal arts college located in the heart of Charleston.  The students rave about the “charming, lively, Southern city with its beautiful historic buildings and abundance of nightlife, shopping, and restaurant options”.  There is a mixture of Pre-Civil War buildings as well as modern.  It is close to the beach which is both an attraction and distraction.  It is a medium sized school with an undergraduate class of 10,000 students, 2,000 being freshman. Approximately 53% are in state students and they claim there are no geographical quotas. There is ratio of 66/34 female to male.

Admissions state that they look for a well-rounded student with a GPA of 3.5, average SAT’s are 1140-1280 and ACT is 24-28. They offer an Honors College and require above a 1300 for the SAT and an ACT above 30.  An additional essay is required. The most popular majors are business/marketing followed by communications, social sciences, biology, education, psychology and the visual/performing arts.

Athletics are NCAA Division I and there are an array of sports at the club and intramural level as well.  There is good school spirit for the basketball team.

The vibe is preppy, well dressed, happy and involved students.  Both our tour guides participated in many clubs and activities as well as being part of the Honors College.  They reported that the students really enjoy the town of Charleston on weekends.

Learning Support at the College of Charleston

Students Needing Access Parity (SNAP)

Coordinated Services-Moderate

The disability services offered at the College of Charleston is considered coordinated services. They offer informal coaching, communication with professors upon request, and there is always someone available to talk to a student on a walk in basis.  Foreign language substitutes and math substitutes (if not required for major) are considered if need is documented by the testing provided. The student’s documentation is sent to an academic committee and they determine if the substitution will be granted.  Assistive technology is available and the College of Education received a grant to educate teachers on how to use technology which can also be taught to the SNAP students.  Note-takers are handled with the instructor requesting a volunteer, the notes are sent to the Office of Disabilities and they give a copy to the student.

The R.E.A.C.H. Program at the College of Charleston

Realizing Educational And Career Hopes Program

Program Director: Edie Cusack

The R.E.A.C.H. program was designed as a four-year inclusive program for students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.  The purpose is to provide students the opportunity to realize their intellectual and personal potential. The students participate in all experiences at the College of Charleston with appropriate support for success. They live on campus, take regular college classes with accommodations, learn life skills and take part in the social scene.  The college bought homes surrounding the campus and Graduate Assistants are paid to live in the house and offer support to the students. One of the programs set up for the R.E.A.C.H. students is “Fifty Steps to Campus Freedom”.  The students must show that they can independently get to fifty places on campus.  Students must be able to handle their own medical needs.  Internships will start sophomore year in real jobs so that when the students graduate they can live independently and hold a job with benefits.  The tuition for the program is the same as for traditional College of Charleston students, approximately $30,000.0 for out of state students.

The students must provide the proper documentation for admission, proving that they have an intellectual disability.  Mentors, students from the College of Charleston, are trained to work with the students. This is the first year for the program and six students participated.  The goal is to grow the program to ten students.

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