The Morrill Act (1862) provided for the establishment in each state of at least one college where "the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific or classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts.” These became known as land-grant colleges and universities.
The Second Morrill Act (1890) gave additional federal funding to the original land-grant colleges and universities and also created seventeen more land-grants with predominantly black colleges in the southern states. These schools often are referred to as the 1890 land-grant colleges and universities. South Carolina State University is South Carolina’s 1890 Land-Grant University.
All Cooperative Extension Service activities were integrated under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The staff at South Carolina State College moved to Clemson University to form one statewide program effective December 31, 1965. In 1972, a USDA Appropriations Act provided special funds under the Smith-Lever Act to be re-directed to 1890 Institutions such as South Carolina State University. The Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 provided for the first time complete fiscal and program responsibility and accountability to the 1890 Extension programs, which emphasize reaching diverse audiences, particularly those with limited resources.