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Located in the heart of downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the College of Charleston strives to meet the educational needs of the community, particularly of the Lowcountry.Tracing its beginning to 1770, the College of Charleston is the oldest institution of higher learning in South Carolina and the 13th oldest in the United States.Chartered in 1785, it was founded as a Liberal Arts college by three signers of the Declaration of Independence and three fathers of the United States Constitution to encourage its youth in the study of several branches of liberal education.In 1836, it was declared as the nation's first municipal college. The historic buildings around the campus give an idea about the history of the college.The Bishop Robert Smith House, built in 1770, and Randolph Hall, built in 1828, record the eras of the college's existence.Incorporated into the South Carolina State College System in 1970, the college expanded its curriculum to include new and emerging fields of study. The demand for graduate education, was fulfilled by the establishment of the University of Charleston, in 1992.The college is organized into five schools - the School of the Arts, School of Business and Economics, School of Science and Mathematics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and School of Education.It offers a broad range of baccalaureate degree programs, masters degree programs, and credit and non-credit continuing education programs. In addition to the above, it provides opportunities for Research, Honors Programs, International Education, Interdisciplinary Minors, and Language Programs.The Center for Disability Services, Center for Student Learning, Language Resource Center (Lab), and Bookstore are some of the the facilities provided on the campus. Also, it offers career services and adult student services.Cultural activities and athletic events are promoted. The athletic teams of the college are known as the Cougars and the college's best-known athletic program is men's basketball.Through publications, the college provides an opportunity to improve the writing skill. The George Street Observer is the college’s award-winning newspaper.The library at the campus encompasses various departments. It houses materials relating to the historical and cultural heritage of South Carolina Low Country African Americans, rare books, photographs, maps, prints, artifacts, and manuscript collections.The John Rivers Communications Museum, located on the College of Charleston campus, exhibits antiques, radios, televisions, phonographs, telephones, magic lanterns, motion picture projectors, and other items related to the history and entertainment of the communications and broadcasting fields.The Grice Marine Laboratory houses academic programs in Marine Biology. The Halsey Gallery and Marine Resources Library are additional facilities.