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Parking, Parenting, and Perks

You’ve made a great decision by choosing the College of Charleston! There are lots of resources here to help you make a smooth transition.

And remember, you’re not alone. You’ll be arriving in August with approximately 100 other new faculty and 2,000 new students, all in the same boat as you. Half the fun is figuring it out together.

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!

(Illustrations by Timothy Banks)

How will I get around?

You won’t need a car to get around campus, and Charleston is a very walkable city. As a CofC employee, you’ll also have free transportation options when you use your College of Charleston ID. 

Ride for free:

• CARTA buses. DASH (Downtown Area Shuttle) runs three routes around downtown Charleston: to the Aquarium, parts of the Historic District around Waterfront Park, Brittlebank Park and Riley Stadium (home of the Charleston RiverDogs). The CARTA Express Bus is a great option for our commuters.

• Cougar Shuttle. Get a safe ride back to campus from anywhere on the downtown peninsula from 11:00p.m. to 3:00a.m.

• Bike share program. A safe, sustainable and fun way to get around campus and Charleston.

Pay to Park: 

• Employee Parking. CofC Parking Services offers parking based on availability and seniority, including options for carpool parking permits, Disabled Accessible Parking, and Evening Parking (popular option for adjuncts and those teaching evening courses).

You may also check out Alternative ParkingDowntown Residential Parking, and Other Transportation Options.  We are also pleased to partner with other area organizations to help alleviate traffic congestion. The Reboot the Commute project encourages us to implement changes to encouraging alternative commuting strategies like telecommuting, staggered start times, ridesharing and connecting employees to local transit resources like CARTA and LowcountryGO.

How will I find my classes?

You’ll find navigating the campus pretty easy. Check out our Self-Guided Walking Tour and Campus Maps. You can download the New Student - College of Charleston Guide from the app store on your iPhone or Android device. In addition to lots of helpful student information, you’ll always have a campus map right at your fingertips. 

Where do I park/ride for orientation?

  • For those of you who wish to ride a CARTA bus to campus, you may present your CofC ID Card to the driver to receive complimentary bus rides during orientation or anytime throughout the year. The Express Buses are a very popular choice for CofC and MUSC employees. These buses pick up at several park-and-ride locations in the Charleston area. Please visit https://www.ridecarta.com for route information. The nearest Express Bus drop-off spot on campus at the intersection of Calhoun and St. Philip Street. 
  • For those of you who wish to drive to campus, the Office of the Provost will distribute at orientation parking passes valid only on the day(s) of orientation to the following on-campus parking garages: St. Philip Street Garage (PG), Wentworth Street Garage (WG), and the Coming Street Garage (adjacent to CVS). Please see the campus map for directions. The WG garage at 81 Wentworth Street is the closest to your orientation sessions in Alumni Center. Parking passes will not be provided for any additional days. If you plan to purchase a parking pass for the academic year, it will be valid starting the beginning of the academic year. If you wish to park in the WG and PG garages (only) between before the activation date of your parking pass, you may use your CofC ID to receive the daily discounted faculty rate of $10.00 per day. To take advantage of this benefit, the Cougar Cash account is the required form of payment upon exit from the garage. Simply pull a ticket when entering the garage, and then present the cashier with your ticket and your Cougar Card upon exit. The parking fee will be withdrawn from your Cougar Cash account on your card. You must add at least $10 to your card prior to exiting the garages. To add money to your card, please visit Cougar Card Services or add it to your account on MyCharleston’s My Account tab. Please note that the garages do not have in-and-out privileges with the daily rate.

I'm moving to Charleston. Where can I get moving information?

What perks do I get with my CofC ID?

Connect to campus life at the College of Charleston by using your Cougar Card to access events, facilities, and services. The Cougar Card is free of charge to all College of Charleston employees. Discounts to certain services and free tickets to select events may be available. Check out the Faculty/Staff Dining Plan and Discounts and these other CofC employee discounts.

Where can I eat on campus?

  • Dining Locations: Faculty have access to a variety of menus from Liberty Street Fresh Foods to the Stern food court, featuring restaurants such as Chick-Fil-A, The Greenhouse, Quiznos and Jole Mole to Marty's Place with Kosher, Vegan, Vegetarian cuisine. Go to https://charleston.campusdish.com/LocationsAndMenus for menus. 
  • Faculty/Staff Meal Plan gives faculty and staff members 25 meals to use for the entire semester at our All-You-Care to eat at Liberty Fresh Food Co., City Bistro, Marty's Place or on select Sandwich/Salad Combos at Market 159. You can sign up for a meal plan online or anytime throughout the semester by visiting the Cougar Card Office in Berry Hall. When you run out of your 25 meals, you can add another 25 block of meals at any time. Meals do not expire during your employment (aka they carry over year to year). 
  • Faculty/Staff "Soup, Salad, Drink, Dessert" discounted meal (no plan required) is offered for $6 in Liberty Fresh Food Co. 
  • Faculty/Staff Private Dining Room is in the back of Liberty Fresh Food Co. 

Where can I get books and library resources?

  • Addlestone Library: Available to all employees
  • The College Bookstore: Offers a 10 percent discount to employees (textbooks excluded) and 20 percent off on Cougar Spirit Days (currently the first Friday of the month).

I'm a parent or planning to become one. What does the College offer for parents?

The following information is for informational purposes only. Please contact the responsible units for additional information. The Office of Human Resources is the definitive source of information about employee policies and procedures.

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Eligible employees can use FMLA leave during pregnancy or after the birth of a child. Under the regulations, a mother can use 12 weeks of FMLA leave for the birth of a child, for prenatal care and incapacity related to pregnancy, and for her own serious health condition following the birth of a child. A father can use FMLA leave for the birth of a child and to care for his spouse who is incapacitated (due to pregnancy or child birth). Leave with and without pay may be used. The paid and unpaid leave will run concurrently. Employees must provide medical certification following specific guidelines. Refer to Human Resources Policies (FMLA Policy and FMLA FAQs) for additional information concerning the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • Reduced Teaching for New Faculty Parents: We are committed to fostering an educational community with a flexible and supportive work environment where faculty can thrive in both their professional and personal lives. Eligible faculty may be interested in requesting a modification of their teaching duties before/after the birth or adoption of a child. Refer to the Modification of Duties Procedure (.PDF) and Modified Duties Application Form (.DOC), and contact the Office of the Provost or your Department Chair for additional information.
  • Unpaid, job-protected leave to “eligible” employees: Refer to Human Resources Policies (FMLA Policy and FMLA FAQs) for additional information concerning the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • N.E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC): On-campus childcare opportunity serving children two years old through kindergarten. Dependent children have the opportunity to attend on a space-available basis.
  • Other Childcare Options (site not affiliated with the College)
  • CofC Yammer Childcare Groups: Please visit the College of Charleston's Yammer page and search for current groups that are discussing childcare and babysitting options for CofC employees. 
  • SC Insurance Benefits GuideInsurance information is provided in the guide. Also, please see the "Coming Attractions – maternity management" program section. This program offers pregnant women and new moms educational materials and counseling sessions conducted by nurses. Sign up for the program to learn how to receive an electric or manual breast pump from a participating health care provider – at no cost to you. Please read the sections about preauthorization and possible penalties for not preauthorizing. 
  • AFLAC Short-Term Disability Plans: Mothers may choose to purchse a personal Short-Term Disability plan prior to pregnancy. Contact the College of Charleston's AFLAC representative Pat Osti via email (patricia_osti@us.aflac.com) or phone (843.509.3135) if you would like to sign up or receive additional information. 
  • Advanced Sick LeaveMothers(-to-be) may be eligible to request up to 15 days of advance sick leave. The request form is online at http://hr.cofc.edu/forms/assets/leave/advanced-sick-leave-request.pdf. Contact HR for additional information.
  • Future Scholar 529 plan: 529 plans are tax-advantaged education savings vehicles held by an account owner for a designated beneficiary. Options are available to help you save today for your child's future college education. Additional information is also available at http://treasurer.sc.gov/citizens/saving-for-college/
  • Lactation Policy: We are a family-friendly work and study environment and acknowledges the significant health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and their infants. The purpose of this policy is to provide nursing mothers who are College employees with a private place and reasonable break time to express breast milk for her nursing child. Nursing employees should provide reasonable notice to their supervisor of the intent to take lactation breaks. Supervisors are encouraged to provide as much schedule flexibility and break time as reasonably possible to accommodate the employee’s needs. Any employee who is breastfeeding her child will be provided reasonable break times to express milk for her newborn up to one year after the child’s birth.
  • Lactation/Nursing Rooms: The nursing mothers' rooms are available for mothers who need to breastfeed or pump milk in privacy. Each is accessed via a coded keypad. Those who need the room numbers and corresponding codes should contact Human Resources. Certain rooms have online reservation calendars including: http://libcal.library.cofc.edu/booking/mother
  • Breastpump CoverageMothers may qualify for a free breastpump. Contact HR for additional information.
  • Adjusting Insurance PlansAfter the birth of a child or other qualifying life events, parent(s) may need to update their insurance plans. Information is online at http://peba.sc.gov/iforms.html
  • Adjusting W-4 Witholdings: After the birth of a child, parent(s) may choose to update their W-4 forms. Forms are located at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

What does CofC have to promote Work-Life balance?

What benefits do CofC employees receive? What are the healthcare options?

The College of Charleston is committed to supporting our faculty and staff by offering CofC benefits that are comprehensive and that represent the best that we can offer in coverage and cost.

Health and retirement options are only a few of the benefits provided to employees of the College. We also have generous annual and sick leave plans, as well as other features that significantly impact all of our lives.

The CofC benefits site is designed to summarize the plans that are available to you and to reference actual sites with specific information. Although we have made every attempt to accurately represent the plans, please refer to the actual plan sites for detailed information.

Please note: The College offers healthcare insurance to benefits-eligible employees in FTE positions and their dependent children up to age 26.  Under the ACA, full-time employees are those who consistently work 30 or more hours per week and those variable-hour employees who average 30 hours or more per week over a determined measurement period. Please go to http://hr.cofc.edu/benefits/affordable-care-act.php for more information about the Affordable Care Act, and contact HR directly with questions about your eligibility. 

How will the College calculate hours worked for Adjunct Faculty in determining eligibility for healthcare coverage?

The College will credit adjuncts with 3.0 hours of work for every 1 hour of course credit taught and every 1 hour of lab contact taught.  Accordingly, full-time adjunct faculty may become eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance under the ACA if they teach at least 10 or more credit hours per semester (30 work hours/week) or combination of credit hours and lab contact hours.  In some exceptional cases, departments may need to increase an adjunct faculty member's hours of work credited to take into account non-credit labs, advising, outreach, or other departmental assignments beyond the normal expectation for adjunct faculty.  The Provost’s Office will be responsible for making all determinations related to adjunct eligibility for health coverage and for notifying Human Resources accordingly.

Ongoing adjuncts who have been employed since October 4, 2013 will be offered coverage for the initial stability period (defined above) based on their calculated average weekly hours worked during the initial measurement period of October 4, 2013 through October 3, 2014.

When calculating the average work hours for adjunct faculty, the summer break term (May 16-Aug 15) will not be included in the averaging if the adjunct does not work during that time.  Summer teaching for a given session will be included in the averaging only if it meets a specified threshold set for that session based on the length of the session.  Those thresholds will take into account the 30-work-hour benchmark and the faster pace of each summer session.

When a non-seasonal new adjunct is hired, the adjunct will be immediately eligible for coverage if they are being credited with 30 or more adjunct work hours/week, as outlined above, during their first semester.  The coverage will only continue during the first year if the new adjunct continues to earn 30 or more adjunct work hours/weekly in the following semester.  For all new adjuncts (even those offered coverage immediately), the initial measurement period will begin on the 1st of the month following their start date and will continue for 12 months.  The weekly work hours credited to the adjunct will be averaged over this initial measurement period to determine eligibility for coverage during a subsequent initial stability period. 

Once an adjunct has completed a full measurement period and is deemed eligible for health insurance coverage and the offer is extended for enrollment, if the adjunct then remains employed with the College, the adjunct will remain eligible for coverage for the full 12-month stability period going forward regardless of the number of hours worked during that stability period.  Subsequently, the adjunct will transition to the College’s standard measurement and stability periods. Please go to http://hr.cofc.edu/benefits/affordable-care-act.php for more information about the Affordable Care Act, and contact HR directly with questions about your eligibility. If you would like the College to take a second look at your healthcare eligibility, please read the Healthcare Eligibility Review Process and submit the Request for Review of Healthcare Coverage Form.