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      USC seeks $5 million to launch Palmetto College

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The University of South Carolina plans to offer students with two-year degrees the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree through online courses.

      President Harris Pastides told a House panel Wednesday about plans for the South Carolina Palmetto College.

      The concept calls for consolidating the administrations of the university's four, two-year regional campuses, and offering its graduates a chance to earn a four-year degree without relocating. Students of other associate's programs could also participate.

      Pastides says it's designed for adults who may have families and jobs that prevent them from moving in order to earn a bachelor's degree.

      The announcement came as Pastides presented his budget request to a Ways and Means subcommittee. He asked for $5 million to launch the concept and later expand course offerings.

      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

      APNP 01-25-12 1318EST