Institute of Government

The Institute of Government for County Officials

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Overview

The Institute of Government for County Officials (the Institute) is a training program designed to equip county officials with the tools needed to enhance their skills and abilities to function more effectively in their positions. SCAC provides the Institute in cooperation with the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston. Clemson University’s Master of Public Administration Program is a sponsor of the Institute.

First offered in 1989, the Institute curriculum has been enhanced over the years to reflect current information that county officials need to know in order to be effective leaders. 

When is the Institute Offered?

Each year, a minimum of 16 courses are offered: courses are offered prior to SCAC's Mid-Year Conference, Annual Conference and Fall Meeting of the County Council Coalition.

Future Meeting Dates:

Embassy Suites, Columbia
Oct. 23, 2019 (Wed.) - in conjunction with the County Council Coalition

Embassy Suites, Columbia
Feb. 20, 2020 (Thurs.)
- in conjunction with the Mid-Year Conference

Marriott, Hilton Head
Aug. 1-2, 202 (Sat.-Sun.)
- in conjunction with the 53rd Annual Conference

What are the Requirements for Earning a Certificate?

  • Level I County officials must attend 27 contact hours of instruction composed of six required courses (18 contact hours) and any three elective courses (9 contact hours) to graduate from Level I.
  • Level II County officials must attend 18 hours of instruction composed of any six courses (18 contact hours) to graduate from Level II. Graduates of Level I and participants who are within nine hours (three courses) of graduating from Level I are eligible to earn credit for Level II courses.
  • SCAC offers a full day of orientation training for newly-elected county council members in even-numbered years. By attending orientation, new council members are enrolled in the Institute and earn six hours of credit toward their Level I certificate.
  • In order to receive credit for Institute courses, participants must be present for the entire course and return a form to certify that they have attended and completed the course.
  • Credits for courses in Levels I and II are valid for four years, after which time they are removed from the county official's record.
  • Officials are awarded a certificate upon graduation from Level I and Level II. Certificates are presented at SCAC's Annual Conference.
  • SCAC's staff maintains the Institute's records. If you have questions about your record or need additional information, please call (803) 252-7255 (in-state: 1-800-922-6081) or send an e-mail to scac@scac.sc.

Which Courses Offer Continuing Education Credit for Planning/Zoning Officials and Employees?

Four Institute of Government courses are approved by the S.C. Education Planning Advisory Committee for continuing education credit for local government planning/zoning officials and employees. These courses include:

  • Level I Planning and Land Use; Ethical Leadership and Public Service; and Managing and Conducting Meetings
  • Level II Economic Development

Learn more about planning/zoning continuing education

Advanced Courses for Level II Graduates

Advanced courses offer a means for graduates of Levels I and II to continue their training and increase their knowledge of timely issues. Typically, two courses are offered each year prior to the Association's Annual Conference, and the topics change each year. SCAC does not maintain records of credit or issue certificates for Advanced courses.

Questions? Call Ryan Tooley at 1-800-922-6081, ext. 335, or send e-mail