Higher education facilities are located just outside the town limits. The University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) new Hilton Head Gateway Campus and the Technical College of the Lowcountry’s New River campus are located along U.S. Highway 278, halfway between Bluffton and Hardeeville in the Sun City vicinity.
The Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL) is a comprehensive, two-year community college serving the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. The main campus is located in Beaufort along Ribaut Road. Additional facilities are in Bluffton/Hardeeville, Hampton, Parris Island, and at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort.
The Technical College of the Lowcountry enrolls approximately 2,000 students while offering 75 programs. Nearly one-half of students enrolled are minorities, with close to 80% receiving some degree of financial aid. The Technical College of the Lowcountry traces its roots to the Mather School, established in 1868 to provide education for newly-freed slaves in Beaufort County.
University of South Carolina Beaufort is one of the 3 senior campuses in the University of South Carolina system and is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited four-year university. 4,650 students attended the University at one of its two campuses during the Fall 2009 semester.
University of South Carolina Beaufort offers the region’s only Human Services degree as well as more traditional degrees like English, psychology, business and education. The school opened a nursing facility in Spring 2009. Human simulators provide nursing students hands-on training opportunities. Another popular program capitalizing on nearby Hilton Head Island resorts is the Hospitality Management program which draws international students and provides internship experiences. The Marine Science program allows students to explore and study first-hand the continental-shelf and estuarine environment from a new research facility on Prichard’s Island, one of a string of nearby barrier islands. A Loggerhead Sea Turtle conservation effort is a major feature of that program.