In May 2006, the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) launched the South Carolina Virtual School Program (SCVSP) pilot to explore the feasibility of virtual schooling for the state. The pilot was designed to give the SCDE the opportunity to test its online learning course management system (Blackboard), registration system, and quality assurance measure. The pilot gave the SCDE an opportunity to gauge the need for and response to the program around the state, as well as the SCDE’s strength in supporting other initiatives—such as high school redesign and adult education—and in meeting legislative mandates to give all students access to high-quality instruction.
The SCVSP pilot continued through July 2007, with collaboration from local school districts, adult education, career and technology education, and higher education to pool resources and offer a broad array of courses for South Carolina students. Assisting in the process was a program advisory committee, composed of SCDE personnel and district- and school-level educators from the pilot sites, charged with reviewing research on online learning, information from other state virtual programs, and feedback from the pilot sites to refine policies and procedures for the SCVSP.
In May 2007, legislation created the SCVSP at the SCDE and charged the State Board of Education (SBE) with developing guidelines and promulgating regulations for the operation of the program. In December 2007 the SBE approved the SCVSP Guidelines, which governed the implementation of the program.
In June 2013, the "Expanded Virtual Learning Act" was passed and removed the caps on the units of credit a student may earn in one year or count towards a high school diploma. A student can earn unlimited units of credit through the SCVSP. Additionally, the legislation allowed for a program name change to set the program apart as a statewide supplemental online learning program.
In August 2014, the South Carolina Virtual School Program was officially rebranded and renamed VirtualSC.
Since the program first began, VirualSC has provided South Carolina students access to distance, online, or virtual learning courses offered for an initial unit of high school credit. In addition, it has provided access to content recovery programs for students who have been identified by a school district as not having received credit for a course previously taken or for students who have been identified as not likely to receive credit for a course in which the student is currently enrolled.