Date of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. Douglas Woodward

First Reader

Dr. Joseph Von Nessen

Second Reader

Dr. Joseph Von Nessen


This thesis assesses the economic impact of the South Carolina Technical College System by applying a counterfactual analysis method to the study of human capital development and labor force growth from 2010-2019. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) are used to estimate the average years of schooling attained by a South Carolinian during the period and the counterfactual average were the Technical College System to not exist. This result is then combined with probit regression models of labor force participation and employment to estimate the Technical College System’s contribution to the labor force participation rate and the employment rate. We find the South Carolina Technical College System makes a modest contribution to average years of schooling of between 0.0771 and 0.1153 years. Despite finding years of schooling has a positive and statistically significant relationship with labor force participation and employment, the Technical College System has little effect on the labor force participation rate or employment rate through that mechanism. However, the System could have a potential impact on those measures through other avenues, and there is abundant room for further research on the subject.

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