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Criminal justice education partnership formed

May 21, 2002

A unique partnership between Charleston Southern University, Coastal Carolina University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College is making a bachelor's degree in criminal justice available for the first time in the Grand Strand area.

Beginning in August, CSU will offer courses in the Criminal Justice Center on the Grand Strand campus of Horry-Georgetown Technical College leading to a bachelor of science or bachelor of technology in criminal justice. CSU will provide 33 hours in criminal justice studies plus three hours in religion; Coastal Carolina will provide 18 to 20 hours of coursework transferable to CSU to satisfy the requirement for a minor in business administration with other minors under consideration; and students can earn up to 68 lower division hours at HGTC that are also transferable to CSU. The three institutions signed a memorandum of understanding in a brief ceremony at HGTC's Criminal Justice Center today.

Police departments are increasingly looking for employees who have bachelor's degrees, school officials said. A four-year degree is required to go into administrative offices and into the federal law enforcement arena. Policing has become more complex, and society as a whole is better educated.

"We are looking forward to offering this resource to the Horry and Georgetown law enforcement communities, and are pleased to be working with schools of such excellent quality," said CSU President Jairy C. Hunter Jr. "One of our strategic goals is to provide more educational opportunities for working adults. This partnership is an excellent fit."

CSU has provided the two bachelor's degrees in criminal justice at its Charleston campus for more than 20 years, and it has the third largest number of graduates among major fields of study there. The University also offers a master's degree in criminal justice.

Graduates of the Myrtle Beach-area program will meet the same curriculum requirements as those who graduate from CSU's main campus in Charleston. Courses begin Aug. 11, and the first class is projected to draw about 40 students.

Since the program is designed for the working law enforcement practitioner, classes will be held in the evenings. Students who have already completed the associate's degree at HGTC can complete the bachelor's degree in 30 months, using regular semesters, Maymesters and summer terms.

Demand from students in HGTC's associate degree program fueled this unique partnership, which may be the first in the state between a private university, a public four-year university and a public technical college.

"The Criminal Justice associate degree program here at Horry-Georgetown Technical College has long been one of the College's most successful, sought-after curriculums, reflecting the need that exists in our area for quality criminal justice education," said HGTC President H. Neyle Wilson. "This agreement between our institutions will build upon that success by expanding the educational options available to our criminal justice students and graduates, as well as filling a growing need for a bachelor's degree in the curriculum to support the Horry and Georgetown county law enforcement community."

According to Coastal Carolina University President Ronald R. Ingle, "This partnership between a public and a private university and a technical college creates a novel and innovative synergy that serves the particular needs of a specialized student market."

CSU is currently interviewing for a director for the Myrtle Beach program and will hire additional faculty as needed to meet the course load for the degree.

CSU, which seeks to promote academic excellence in a Christian environment, is the second-largest private, accredited university in South Carolina. CSU offers more than 30 graduate and undergraduate degrees and enrolls 2,682 students at its Charleston campus.

Coastal Carolina is a public university offering 33 programs leading to the baccalaureate degree, five master's degree programs education; six cooperative programs with other South Carolina universities, and 10 international exchange programs. Coastal Carolina has nearly 5,000 students from 47 states and 49 foreign countries.

HGTC is a comprehensive community/technical college and a member of the 16-institution South Carolina Technical College System. With campuses in Conway, Georgetown and Myrtle Beach, the College offers degrees, diplomas and certificates in nearly 70 fields of study, annually enrolling more than 4,200 curriculum students. In addition, the College's Division of Economic and Industrial Development and Corporate Outreach each year provides personal interest, continuing education and corporate training classes and courses for more than 17,000 learners.