Online Art Schools in South Carolina

When one thinks of states that are famous for their artistic history, South Carolina normally doesn’t jump to mind. In fact, just last June, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley used a line-item veto to try to cut $1.9 million in funding that was supposed to be appropriated to the state’s Arts Commission. Fortunately for art lovers in the Palmetto State, the South Carolina House of Representatives overrode the veto effort and restored the funding. In fact, after appropriating $1.93 million to the state arts commission last fiscal year, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, South Carolina is set to appropriate nearly $2.5 million to the state arts commission for the 2013 fiscal year, a 26.4 percent increase thanks primarily to $500,000 in nonrecurring grant-making funds. The state still doesn’t rank in the Top 30 nationally when it comes to per capita funding for the state arts commission, but it’s clear the state still values its arts and arts education.

Given the size of the state, it should surprise many to see that the National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredited 12 schools in South Carolina, unfortunately only a small handful of those schools offer online degrees and classes. The state’s flagship university, the University of South Carolina, offers online graphic design courses through its Office of Continuing Education and other accredited schools such as Anderson University offers an online degree in music education. Some state community colleges offer online degrees as well, such as Spartanburg Community College, which offers an online associate of arts degree.

There are also a sizable number of online and campus-based national arts education providers to choose from as well. South University has a campus in Columbia and offers students graphic design degrees and The Art Institutes has a campus in Charleston and offers a similar set of design courses. The fully online providers include Stevens-Henager CollegePenn Foster, and Stratford Career Institute, all of which offer a myriad of design and photography programs entirely online.

Featured Schools:

Online Schools

Programs available:
  • See Areas of study Video Game Design
  • See Areas of study Photography

Why take online art classes in South Carolina?

If Gov. Haley had succeeded in cutting all funding from the state arts commission, it would have had a disastrous effect on a thriving and diverse creative industry that according to Americans for the Arts, contributes more than $9.2 billion to the state economy.  The group’s 2012 report on the state’s creative industries estimated South Carolina was home to 9, 383 arts-related businesses that employ more than 33,000 employees across the state.

The health of the state’s creative and arts-related industries is crucial for students interested in remaining in or moving to South Carolina to start their art career. Students that graduated from a local online art program may have an advantage when it comes to looking for jobs because companies may be familiar with the school and their graduates.

Online Education in South Carolina Overview

Online education in South Carolina is still a relatively new idea. While the state offers full-time enrollment and individual online classes to its high school students, it still doesn’t offer individual online classes to its middle and elementary school students. And while the state does not prohibit enrollment in the classes or programs, the number of choices is limited and lackluster.

The bottom line is that the state’s online education will not take off or become effective until state legislators and policymakers provide funding and some semblance of infrastructure. The national campaign for online learning, Digital Learning Now, gave South Carolina zeroes in those categories and while it did give high marks to the statefor its commitment to student access and personalized learning, it also gave South Carolina low scores in advancement details, quality instruction, and quality content.