Divorce Attorney in Converse SC

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If there were one universal truth it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes those changes are happy like when a new baby is born. Other times these changes involve uncertainty and loss like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce deal with a complicated custody issue or are handling a different family-related legal matter you might need help. At CHSA Law LLC we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children their marriage or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Converse, SC can help whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At CHSA Law LLC we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients and with a dedicated focus stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Converse. If you're looking for personal attention unbiased representation and a responsive family law attorney look no further than our law firm.

Divorce Attorney Converse, SC

If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Converse" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience are incredibly responsive and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

 Law Firm Converse, SC

Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation it's time to call CHSA Law LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost - because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Converse SC.

At CHSA Law LLC we know all-too-well that a one size fits all approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint - something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

 Attorney Converse, SC
Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
- Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Converse, SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Lawyer Converse, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Converse our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody alimony and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period CHSA Law LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Converse

A divorce in Converse means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties debts and assets determines child support and custody parameters and can establish alimony. At CHSA Law LLC many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources avoid trial and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes however two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations a trial is possible and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Converse, SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

Divorce Attorney Converse, SC
1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

 Law Firm Converse, SC
2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make the cost of childcare and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Attorney Converse, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed how much alimony should be paid and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony how long the marriage lasted and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing there are different alimony types including lump sum rehabilitative and reimbursement.

 Divorce Lawyer Converse, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce the courts will order an equitable division of property meaning fair under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

Divorce Attorney Converse, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Converse, SC.

As mentioned above decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents both emotionally and legally. As experienced empathetic divorce lawyers we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the best interests of the child. What the judge determines to be the best interests changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of custody in South Carolina (or custody arrangements) each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at CHSA Law LLC we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

 Law Firm Converse, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Converse, SC.

When children are involved in divorce cases child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered like the income-earning potential of the child's parents any custody arrangements that are created and what needs the child may have.

At CHSA Law LLC we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Converse for representation we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Converse, SC.

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors like the income of both spouses how long they were married and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At CHSA Law LLC your family law attorney in Converse, SC will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

 Attorney Converse, SC
  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Converse, SC.

When there are no children marital property or issues of alimony divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property real estate family businesses debts out-of-state property debts bank accounts and more.

In these nuanced situations the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like CHSA Law LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property certain types of properties that are controversial even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

 Divorce Lawyer Converse, SC
Pensions

Pensions:

Generally pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it with future distribution available. Otherwise a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

Latest News in Converse, SC

Converse University Unveils Inaugural Men’s Swimming Signing Class

Courtesy: Converse AthleticsSPARTANBURG, S.C. – Converse University head swim coach Logan Simpson announces the first-ever men’s swim team signing class.“We’ve been waiting for this one for a while!” Simpson said, “It’s always impressive when a group of athletes step up to start something special. We’ve got a great group of guys...

Courtesy: Converse Athletics

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Converse University head swim coach Logan Simpson announces the first-ever men’s swim team signing class.

“We’ve been waiting for this one for a while!” Simpson said, “It’s always impressive when a group of athletes step up to start something special. We’ve got a great group of guys who are committed to building a strong team culture, working hard, swimming fast, and laying the foundation for a championship swim program. We have lofty goals and an audacious vision for both of our swim programs, for the men’s team that pursuit begins this year. I can’t wait to get started!”

Landon Duffie is the first signee in the history of the Converse men’s swimming program, Duffie comes to Converse from Mt. Pleasant, S.C. after a stellar career at Oceanside collegiate Academy, which included 2022 3A All-State honors in the 100 Butterfly and 100 backstroke. Duffie, also qualified for the state championship all four years of high school and was named captain prior to the 2022 season. Duffie left Oceanside with four school records and helped the team to a region championship. Outside of athletics, Duffie was a member of FCA and National Honor Society.

Chirs Feuers is the second-ever men’s signee, who hails from Bluffton, S.C. While at May River, Feuers qualified for the 2022 South Carolina 4A State Championship meet in the 100 breaststroke and the 100 Butterfly events. Feuers was also a stand out swimmer for Bluffton’s FINS swim team. Outside of athletics, Feuers was a member of Beta Club at May River high school.

Ben Huston is from Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and was a star on the Oceanside Collegiate Academy swim team. Huston qualified for the 3A State Championships every year of his prep career and grabbed a pair of top-8 finishes at the 2022 SCHSL Championships. Huston, also scored two top-15 finishes at the SC Senior State Championships last summer, while representing SCSC.

Micah Lesley is from Belton, S.C. and competed for Wren high school. Lesley, was a team captain and a two-time state qualifier. Lesley, also competed on the Anderson Area YMCA Makos swim team, where he was a regional and state qualifier.

Kirill Lyzhin is from Kingwood, Texas, where he competed for Kingwood high school. Lyzhin, also competed for Blue Tide Aquatics and Grande Prairie Piranhas swim team. In the Senior Gulf Championships, Lyzhin won the 400 IM relay and finished second in the 500 free and third in the 1,000 free. He was also a TISCA finalist in the 500 yard free event. At the Summer Gulf Championships, he won the 200 LCM Back, finished second in the 400 LCM IM and in the 100 Back. For the Grande Prairie Piranhas, set club youth records in the 200 free, 50 back, 100 back and 200 back events.

Keith Rogers is from Wilton Manors, Fla., where he was a stand out swimmer and water polo player at Fort Lauderdale high school. Rogers is a three-time Florida high school state championship qualifier. As a team captain, Rogers anchored the FLHS’s 200 free relay team that finished fifth at the 2022 FHSAA 4A State Championship meet. Rogers, also earned All-Broward County honors for the FLHS Water Polo team and he competes in track and field.

Jonathan Santibanez originally from Puebla, Mexico, Santibanez swam at Barton Community College last season. Santibanez had a standout career at the JUCO level, earning a spot as a finalist in the 50 breaststroke at the 2022 NJCAA Nationals. Santibanez qualified frot he 2021 NAIA National Championship Meet while representing Williams Baptist University.

Manny Schlictmann is from Rutherfordton, N.C., where he was a three-sport athlete at Thomas Jefferson classical Academy. Schlictmann was a two-year captain of both the baseball and swim teams and a one-year captain for the soccer team. On the swim team, Schlictmann earned the leadership award, coaches award and the most improved award. Schlictmann, also helped the team to a conference championship during the 2022-23 season and qualified for regionals in the 100-breaststroke event.

Henry Winstead is from Charleston, S.C. and was a four-year standout for the South Carolina Swim Club and Goose Creek high school. Winstead won the Region 6A 200 Freestyle Championship and was both a 200 and 500 state qualifier. A four-year team captain and two-time MVP at his high school, Winstead also helped the SC Swim Club to a Men’s State Championship SCY and the State Championship LCM. Outside of athletics, was a member of National Beta Club and the Student Lighthouse team. Was a four year member of the Principles honor roll, finished seventh in the National Beta Convention Engineering and placed second and third in the State Beta Convention.

Cameron Leverette is from Rutherfordton, N.C., where he was a standout for Chase high school. A freestyle specialist, Cameron qualified for the North Carolina 1A/2A State Championships as a senior, where he anchored two relays for the Trojans, including a top-16 finish in the 200 freestyle relay.

Louis Milczynski is from Montauban France and is transferring in from Barton Community College. At JUCO National, Milczynski notched “A” Finals appearances in the 50 breaststroke and the 100 IM, while turning in a “B” Finals performance in the 50 Freestyle and competing as an integral part of Barton’s relays. He was instrumental in securing a fourth place team finish at JUCO Nationals for BCC.

For all the latest news and information on the Converse University swim program, log onto govalkyries.com today.

Converse Japan Starfire SC J Series: Everything we know so far

Sneaker enthusiasts, get ready! Converse Japan Starfire SC J Series is unveiling a fresh collection. Drawing inspiration from the late 70s Star Cruiser, this series brings the perfect blend of classic design and modern technology.The Converse Japan Starfire SC J Series includes an original red colorway along with two new additions in grey and black. These shoes are visually appealing and pack in features that prioritize style and utility, such as long-haired suede layered on a Cordura ripstop base and a Vibram Megagrip sole.Whi...

Sneaker enthusiasts, get ready! Converse Japan Starfire SC J Series is unveiling a fresh collection. Drawing inspiration from the late 70s Star Cruiser, this series brings the perfect blend of classic design and modern technology.

The Converse Japan Starfire SC J Series includes an original red colorway along with two new additions in grey and black. These shoes are visually appealing and pack in features that prioritize style and utility, such as long-haired suede layered on a Cordura ripstop base and a Vibram Megagrip sole.

While the exact release date has not been shared, Converse Japan has listed the series for JPY 22,000 each (roughly USD 150). Interested buyers can avail of an arrival notification reminder via the official site.

The design and comfort of Converse Japan Starfire SC J Series are unbeatable

The Starfire SC J features impressive durability with its robust sole, capable of handling various tasks. The Ortholite insoles add lasting comfort, reinforcing Converse's commitment to user convenience.

The influence of New Balance has made this model so popular. Interestingly, the new Starfire SC J Series bears a resemblance to New Balance's 574 model. Its elevated and slightly thick sole mirrors the base of New Balance, adding a contemporary feel.

Next comes the unparalleled construction and style of this pair. Deliberately aged, hairy suede and water-repellent Cordura nylon make up the upper paneling of the Converse Starfire SC J. Along with a 574-esque sole, it offers slip and abrasion resistance, ensuring quality and functionality.

Three Colorways:

This Starfire SC J Series by Converse Japan lands in three colorways: red, grey, and black. These options enhance the collection's appeal and offer variety for different tastes.

History of Converse takes you back to 1908

Founded in 1908 by Marquis Mills Converse in Massachusetts, the Converse Rubber Shoe Company initially produced winterized footwear. During World War II, it shifted to military production. Post-war, it focused on athletic footwear, introducing high-top shoes.

The 1950s and 1960s saw its promotion through the Converse Basketball Yearbook. In 1962, low-cut All-Stars were launched, available in school colors by 1966. The company customized shoes for the New York Renaissance.

Converse was prominent in the U.S. But in the 1970s, it lost its earned position. Nike took over the brand in 2003, and it became a popular fashion brand. In 2023, they generated $2.4 billion and are now launching a new collection. The brand stayed popular in shoe fashion because of new designs and working with others.

Over the years, its design innovations and collaborations have kept the brand at the forefront of footwear fashion. The Converse Japan Starfire SC J Series marks a noteworthy addition to Converse's rich legacy, bridging the classic Starfire silhouette with modern design features.

With aesthetic appeal and cutting-edge technology reminiscent of New Balance, these sneakers are a must-have. So, if you are a sneakerhead who loves to have a collection of all the best sneakers on earth, here's one more for you!

BASF seeking apprentices for “earn and learn” program in Converse

CONVERSE, SC, June 1, 2021 – BASF is seeking applicants for a new apprenticeship program at its Converse, South Carolina facility. The program is part of the company’s North American Apprenticeship Development Program (NAADP), which aims to meet future talent needs for a skilled and diverse technician workforce with an emphasis on attracting more females to these roles. With another program offered at the company’s Seneca site, this is the second apprenticeship program BASF has launched in South Carolina.The twelve-m...

CONVERSE, SC, June 1, 2021 – BASF is seeking applicants for a new apprenticeship program at its Converse, South Carolina facility. The program is part of the company’s North American Apprenticeship Development Program (NAADP), which aims to meet future talent needs for a skilled and diverse technician workforce with an emphasis on attracting more females to these roles. With another program offered at the company’s Seneca site, this is the second apprenticeship program BASF has launched in South Carolina.

The twelve-month apprenticeship program at the Converse site pays apprentices a full-time wage to participate in on-the-job training while earning a certificate in Process Control Technology from Spartanburg Community College. Pay begins at $16.35 per hour and increases each quarter to $18.50 per hour by the end of the year-long program. In addition to paying a competitive wage, BASF offers full medical, dental and vision benefits, paid vacation, and covers the cost of tuition, books and fees associated with the certificate program. At the end of the program, apprentices have the skills and credentials to be placed in permanent positions with salaries starting at $18.50 per hour, with annual merit increases and bonuses available. The application for the apprenticeship program will be open until June 25. To apply, visit www.basf.us/apprentice.

“BASF is a great company because it offers career progression opportunities to all its employees, so you can go anywhere you want to, whether that’s broadening your skillset, growing your management abilities or even eventually working at another one of BASF’s sites around the country or in other parts of the world. Our managers are committed to helping you reach your goals, and the apprenticeship program is a great first step to building a career you love,” said Converse Site Manager Jerome Kirkland.

The Process Control Technology certificate program at Spartanburg Community College (SCC) trains students to meet the needs of advanced manufacturing-focused work that has grown tremendously over the past decade throughout the Upstate. As part of SCC’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Industrial Technologies, the program provides students extensive hands-on training in lab environments, allowing them to continuously practice concepts learned in the classroom. PCT labs feature state-of-the-art equipment and simulations built to emulate the highest production standards and best practices found in the workplace. Graduates leave SCC not only with academic credentials, but first-hand, practical experience that is critical to what they will experience on the job. In addition, PCT certificate graduates may continue their SCC education and pursue an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Process Control Technology, opening the doors to even more employment opportunities, career growth and success.

“This partnership will ensure BASF’s workforce will have the skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive market. These apprentices will be trained in subjects such as Industry 4.0 and Process Control technologies on the most advanced equipment available,” said Jay Coffer, Department Chair of Advance Manufacturing, Spartanburg Community College.

“Apprenticeships are an effective way for BASF to ‘grow their own’ highly skilled employees, and students love it because they can earn while they learn in this model that combines job-related education, on-the-job learning and a scalable wage,” said Jennifer Little, Director of Spartanburg Community College Career Services.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, apprenticeship programs bring about many benefits, including: enhanced employee retention, a safer workplace, a stable and reliable pipeline of qualified workers and a systematic approach to training, which ensures that employees are prepared and certified to produce at the highest skill levels required.

“The ideal candidate for our apprenticeship program is one who has a passion to learn and grow, with the motivation, dedication and drive to succeed,” said Dr. Susan Emmerich, BASF’s NAADP Project Implementation Manager. “No manufacturing experience is necessary to be considered for the program, but an innate curiosity to understand the way things work, desire to work collaboratively, and willingness to learn from experienced technicians are the foundation for success.”

BASF’s Converse site has a fundamental focus on sustainability, as a site that recycles specialty chemical catalysts, such as old catalytic converters from vehicles, which means that fewer metals needed throughout everyday life need to be extracted from the earth. Specialty chemical catalysts and precious metal chemicals are used to produce a wide variety of products, including pharmaceuticals, fragrances, herbicides, fertilizers, plastics, automotive emission catalysts and more. The site supplies customers with fresh catalyst, as well as refining spent ones in a full-loop service. The Converse site is a proud supporter of the Spartanburg community, donating regularly to first responders, local non-profits and more. It also has a focus on diversity and inclusion, creating a welcome space for people from all walks of life.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 17,000 employees in North America and had sales of $18.7 billion in 2020. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.com/us.

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 110,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2020. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at http://www.basf.com.

Converse brings master's of teaching to University Center

Converse College has become the newest addition to the University Center of Greenville.The Spartanburg-based college will begin offering its Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education degree at the Greenville center in July, with plans to add other programs in the near future."Our new presence in Greenville will provide convenient access to students in this area and will help to fill Greenville’s workforce development needs,” said Converse President Krista Newkirk.Conver...

Converse College has become the newest addition to the University Center of Greenville.

The Spartanburg-based college will begin offering its Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education degree at the Greenville center in July, with plans to add other programs in the near future.

"Our new presence in Greenville will provide convenient access to students in this area and will help to fill Greenville’s workforce development needs,” said Converse President Krista Newkirk.

Converse's classes in teaching contribute to an expanding list of master's degree programs offered by other universities at the center and designed to put more teachers into South Carolina classrooms.

Clemson, for instance, offers a MAT in Special Education and Middle Level Education at the University Center. Anderson University features a MAT in Elementary Education.

“Opening with our graduate programs at UCG — and particularly with our MAT that is in such high demand for career-changers interested in early childhood education — is the perfect launch pad for our continued growth," Newkirk said.

Converse's MAT program, which takes about a year to a year and a half to complete, is open to anyone with a bachelor's degree in any field. Students will obtain certification to teach young children, birth to third grade, in a classroom setting.

Career-changers

The University Center's MAT programs appeal particularly to career-changers who've already earned a bachelor's degree outside of education, said David A. Taylor, CEO and president of the University Center.

"Our average student is 32 years old, but they may range from 22 to 50," Taylor said. "Usually it's people with a decent amount of career experience in another area and they've always wanted to teach. You'll find people who have returned to work, maybe they were in the home for a while or they were accountants or lawyers or in any number of other fields."

With about 1,500-1,700 students every year, the University Center's programs are dominated by three career areas: education, health care and business, Taylor said.

"At the University Center, we work very hard to align the academic programs with the economic needs of the community," Taylor said.

Programs are offered at the center by seven member institutions: Anderson University, Clemson University, Furman University, Greenville Technical College, the University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina Upstate and now Converse College.

The University Center, at McAlister Square on Pleasantburg Drive, is celebrating its 31st year of operation.

Teacher shortage

The master's in teaching programs will help address a teacher shortage in South Carolina that is expected to get worse in the next few years as many educators retire, Taylor said.

South Carolina’s Center for Education Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) reported 481 vacant positions in schools statewide at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, up by 32 vacancies from the previous year.

About 19 percent all vacancies require the early childhood certification that will be provided by Converse at the University Center.

“Finding new teachers can be difficult for many districts, particularly with the state’s ongoing trend of more teachers leaving, more vacancies to fill, and fewer S.C. graduates eligible for teacher certification each year,” said Jennifer Garrett, coordinator of Research & Program Development for CERRA.

Converse will begin with 15-20 students at the University Center but is planning other programs for the future. The college expects to launch a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree at the University Center in the fall of 2019.

Having well-trained teachers in the early grades is particularly important for a state like South Carolina, which has struggled with pockets of low achievement, Taylor said.

"The formative years are critically important to success and completion at each of the next levels of education," Taylor said.

But alleviating South Carolina's teacher shortage will require more than making programs more readily available for students, Taylor said.

"You certainly are going to have to make the field more attractive to young people," Taylor said. "When you look at some of the starting salaries in computer science, technology and business, you have to consider teaching as a competitive career field and you need to have competitive salaries."

Paul Hyde covers education and everything else under the South Carolina sun. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.

Converse College: Struggling? Or Thriving?

Converse College is a private liberal arts institution located in Spartanburg, S.C. that offers undergraduate degrees to women and co-educational graduate programs. The school made news last year when it celebrated its 125th anniversary by slashing tuition costs by 43 percent (to $16,500) in an effort to “solve America’s college affordability issues.”“Converse is the first institution in South Carolina to make such a move and among only 10 institutions in the nation to do so since 2012,” ...

Converse College is a private liberal arts institution located in Spartanburg, S.C. that offers undergraduate degrees to women and co-educational graduate programs. The school made news last year when it celebrated its 125th anniversary by slashing tuition costs by 43 percent (to $16,500) in an effort to “solve America’s college affordability issues.”

“Converse is the first institution in South Carolina to make such a move and among only 10 institutions in the nation to do so since 2012,” the school noted at the time.

The school claimed to have “reworked its operating budget” to accommodate the reduced tuition – while maintaining an 11-to-1 student-faculty ratio.

“We heard families’ concerns about the rising price of college and we committed ourselves to finding a sustainable solution,” the school’s president, Betsy Fleming, said. “We now want to start a new conversation in higher education—one that focuses on real value in terms of both quality and cost.”

Did it work?

It’s not immediately clear. Sources at the school tell us Converse is currently facing a “multi-million dollar deficit” due to the tuition cuts and that Fleming’s administration is “painting a rosy outlook despite a concerted effort to slash costs.”

“The cost reductions seem to be a smoke screen for a ten-year pattern of mismanagement and malfeasance by the current president and administration,” one source tells us. “There may also be reason to question the use of funds in various specified endowments.”

School officials don’t seem too concerned about those reports. Last month, Converse welcomed 300 new students to its campus – a fifteen percent increase in enrollment from the previous year. That puts the school’s total undergraduate enrollment at more than 835 students – a 25 percent increase over the last four years.

The school also boasted a “20 percent increase in gifts over the previous year,” and unveiled several new academic and athletic facilities built with private gifts.

Hmmmm …

Of one thing there can be no doubt: Tuition costs are out of control in South Carolina (particularly at government-run schools), so it’s nice to see one institution attempting to ease the burden on parents and students while preserving core capabilities.

Oh, and speaking of core capabilities, it’s nice to see a school doing its job as opposed to … well, not.

Converse will rise (or fall) based on the free market. Unlike the government-run schools … which will continue to bleed taxpayers dry no matter how well or how poorly they perform.

Which brings us back to our fundamental point: Higher education is not a core function of government, and all thirty-three of South Carolina’s state-supported institutions of “higher learning” should be immediately freed to pursue their destinies in the private sector.

It’s time to embrace competition – not perpetual subsidization.

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