Estate Planning Attorney inConverse, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Converse, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Converse that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Converse. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Converse, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law
Difference

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Converse, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Converse, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Converse, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Converse, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Converse, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Converse, SC
2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Converse, SC
3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Converse, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Converse, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Converse, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Converse, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Converse, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Converse, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Converse, SC
3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Converse, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Converse, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.

CONTACT US

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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