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Centers of Excellence

Improving our campus and community through service, innovation and scholarship.

The College of Charleston is proud to be a catalyst for innovation, economic development and cultural understanding in the region. Much of our work is accomplished through interdisciplinary institutes and research centers. Some examples include:

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

The 4,000 artifacts, books and source materials at the Avery Research Center tell the remarkable history of blacks in the South Carolina Lowcountry, from slavery to the rise of Gullah culture and on through the civil rights movement. Part museum, part research facility, the center plays a central role in Charleston’s black community through research opportunities and outreach programs.  

Carter Real Estate Center

Established by a generous donation from Atlanta real estate developer Ben Carter, the Carter Real Estate Center supports the College’s real estate program in the Department of Economics and Finance. The center is home to three full-time real estate faculty as well as the new Student Real Estate Club and the Real Estate Executive Speaker Series.  

Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) 

This multidisciplinary, multicultural academic program studies the city of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry as part of a larger Atlantic World (Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean) tied together historically by the transatlantic slave trade. 

Center for Creative Retirement 

Every week during the academic year, a diverse group of Charleston seniors gets together for two mind-expanding lectures from College of Charleston faculty. The members of the Center for Creative Retirement pay $25 per semester, which entitles them to off-site trips to historical locations, use of the College of Charleston library and monthly lunches at local restaurants.  

Center for Partnerships to Improve Education 

A unit of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, the Center for Partnerships to Improve Education creates effective collaborations to improve the lives of the students. With a focus on community, higher education, and PreK-12 linkages, the Center enhances the areas of teaching and learning and health and wellness. 

Dixie Plantation

Dixie Plantation is a majestic 881-acre property along the Stono River and the Intercoastal Waterway. The myriad ecosystems include long-leaf pine forests, wetlands, savannahs, tidal marshes, as well as brackish, saltwater and fresh-water ponds. College of Charleston students and faculty of multiple disciplines – from marine biology to forest management and historic preservation - utilize this vibrant living laboratory. Dixie Plantation enables the College of Charleston to educate its students in an unparalleled natural setting; inspire collaboration across campus, industry and governmental agencies; and prepare students and faculty to be leaders in today’s environmentally volatile, global society. 

Grice Marine Laboratory

Established in 1955, the laboratory is a core facility in support of the undergraduate and the graduate degree programs in marine and environmental sciences at the College of Charleston.  The lab supports research in marine sciences conducted by faculty members and students.

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Part of the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is the public face of artistic life at the College. In addition to exhibiting some of the finest contemporary art in the Southeast, HICA sponsors lectures, film series and publications, and serves as an inspiring living laboratory for undergraduate art students. 

Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math 

A collaboration between the College of Charleston's School of Sciences and Mathematics and School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, the goal of the Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math is to advance the study of math, science and technology through outreach to Lowcountry schools and through training of future math and science teachers.

N.E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center

A partner of the School of Education, Health and Human Performance, the ECDC offers a creative, student-centered education for children two to five years old. This fully accredited institution is also a demonstration program for the innovative approaches to early childhood education taught in the College’s undergraduate and graduate teaching programs. 

Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities

Home to the undergraduate program in urban studies and the graduate program in public administration, the institute is a regional focal point for the study of urban environments and their associated problems and potential. Named in 2001 after Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., the institute is both an academic and community resource for issues concerning urban planning, low-income housing, crime reduction and economic development. 

South Carolina Space Grant Consortium

Through NASA-sponsored fellowships and scholarships, undergraduate and graduate students at the College of Charleston (and 13 other colleges and universities) can work alongside NASA mentors on real aerospace research projects. Faculty from these schools can also apply for generous grants to support student-focused, hands-on research into projects like high-altitude balloons.