The Explorer

The Explorer – The College of Charleston

Disclaimer: A perk of SCOUT-ing for you is the opportunity to visit college campuses. With each tour, I go armed with the basic information you can find online or in any number of college-related guides. As such, there is no reason for me recite average test scores, admission rates, student-to-faculty ratios, or even lists of majors / minors. You can find all that through your own research. My goal is to give you a little nugget (or two) that you might find interesting … interesting enough to give the college a more in-depth look.   


I grew up in Charleston, and have great pride in my hometown. This town is historic. Its people are warm and friendly. The food is authentically Southern. The beaches are plentiful. And the charm is real. If that’s not enough reasons for you to consider The College of Charleston (CofC) when building your college list, then maybe these will pique your interest:

Setting – CofC is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of South Carolina, and the 13th oldest in the nation. It is a public school. Its campus consists of 100+ buildings in and around historic downtown Charleston. If you get lost, simply find a street of herringbone-patterned brick and you’ll know you’re back on campus.

Hospitality and Tourism – Charleston receives more than its fair share of accolades. In 2020, it was named as the #1 Best Small City in the US by Conde Nast Traveler, the #1 Tourist Destination by Travel + Leisure Magazine, and the #1 Top City in the South by Southern Living Magazine. The drive to uphold these reputations has made the Hospitality and Tourism Management degree at CofC one of its most popular.

Historic Preservation – Charleston’s buildings, churches, battlegrounds, and plantations are just few examples of sites that play an integral role in our country’s history. Even cobblestone streets are protected. This setting makes CofC’s Historic Preservation & Community Planning degree one of the best undergraduate programs of its type in the nation. Whether you are interested in preservation law, sustainability, even a hands-on approach to maintaining a National Historic Landmark – this is the program for you!   

Marine Biology – It would be a shame to be surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and beautiful beaches and not study them, right? CofC is a dream program for students wanting to study fisheries biology, oceanography, wildlife biology, aquaculture, environmental conservation, and biomedicine. The program hosts Grice Marine Lab which offers classrooms and research labs, and has access to small and large research vessels, a wet lab, an aquarium and a fish and invertebrate museum.

Stono Preserve – This incredible gem was privately owned when I was growing up. It was a gift to CofC in 1995 upon the death of John Henry Dick, a renowned ornithologist and painter of birds. Stono Preserve is a 881-acre property along the Stono River and the Intercoastal Waterway. The property hosts a variety of ecosystems including long-leaf pine forests, wetlands, savannahs, tidal marshes, as well as brackish, saltwater and fresh-water ponds. Multiple programs at CofC use this natural setting, including those of marine biology, forest management, and historic preservation. It is truly a treasure for the college!

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art – Halsey is known as a non-collecting museum. Instead of collecting, it creates exhibitions that focus on historical, social, and cultural topics. It is known for finding mid-career artists from around the globe and giving them a chance at a museum-quality exhibition. It hosts between five and seven such exhibitions each year, often producing video documentaries, publications, and a variety of programming to support each. Plus, they also host a year-round schedule of lectures and special events. Halsey is credited for jump-starting the careers of hundreds of artists. And still, admission and programming are completely free to the public.

Race and Social Justice Initiative – The year 2015 was a tough one for Charleston. There was the shooting death of Walter Scott by a police officer in April and the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in June. In response, Google gifted a major grant to CofC to launch the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI). This collaborative initiative is led by the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. The initiative’s mission is to promote public awareness and dialogue about the history and ongoing struggles of race and social justice issues in Charleston and throughout the United States. 

Graduation – Every school has its traditions. One I love at CofC is graduation. I can remember being downtown on graduation day as I was growing up. Not a cap and gown in sight. Instead, graduates wear white dresses and white dinner jackets. And graduation is held outside. In inclement weather, it is postponed – not moved to an indoor location!

All in all, CofC makes the most of it location – tapping into its history, beaches, and tourism. If you would like to discuss how you might best take advantage of the campus offerings at The College of Charleston, please let me know. I can be reached at 405-906-7044 or I’m always available to help you find and fund your ideal college experience!

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