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CCU recognizes first class of Trustee Award recipients

June 15, 2017
Taylor Barrett

Twenty Coastal Carolina University graduates received the $5,000 bonus Board of Trustees Award for earning their bachelor’s degree in three years instead of the traditional four. This is the first class to complete the program.

CCU’s board of trustees established the award to encourage students to accelerate their academic experience, completing what would normally be a four-year degree in three years. The award is available to all first-time freshmen entering Coastal Carolina University. All degrees at CCU require 120 credits to complete regardless of the time it takes to complete them.

“Through investments such as this $5,000 award, the board strives to continue our mission of developing our students and preparing them for success on the global stage,” said William Biggs, chairman of the board.

Gregory Thompson, deputy controller for the University, believes the award, which was established in the fall of 2014, is unique among colleges and universities.

“The Trustee Award is a win-win for the CCU community,” said Thompson. “The University benefits through increased retention and graduation rates, an acceleration of cash flow and the promotion of its summer programs. The student receives an unrestricted cash bonus and saves a year’s worth of living expenses.”

Award recipient Taylor Barrett, who graduated in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, already has a job teaching third grade math and science at Academy of Hope Charter School in Conway. She plans to use the money to buy supplies for her classroom and pay off her college loans.

“I have always been the type of person who loves to be efficient and wanted to finish as soon as possible,” says Barrett. “It was a lot more work to finish in three years, but worth it in the end because I am only 22 and have my college degree with a job to follow. The college experience is great at Coastal, but finishing in three years is the best way to go!”

Ralph Byington, provost and executive vice president at CCU, said the Trustee Award was designed to recognize students who have the determination to complete their studies in a three-year period.

“Quite often, these students have postundergraduate ambitions, and this encourages them to expedite their studies at the graduate level,” he said. “Others appreciate the value of entering their careers more quickly. This award exemplifies the trustees’ commitment to academics excellence at Coastal.”

CCU offers accelerated degree programs to help students earn a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in a shorter amount of time than they would if they were enrolled in traditional college programs. The Degree in Three program is an accelerated undergraduate program where students can receive their bachelor’s degree in three years by completing an accelerated program that includes summer classes. The Get More in Four program is a combined four-year bachelor's and master’s program in which students will complete the bachelor's Degree in Three and a one-year master’s program.

Students who earned the Trustee Award are: Olivia Barnhardt , Taylor Barrett, Blenkle Robert, Ashley Canter, Jalyn Carlson, Christopher Durand, Taylor Farrow, Austin Finley, Benjamin Flo, Allison Franklin, Marissa Green, Natalie Hoffman, Mariah Jardine, Clark Jesse, Alison Lane, Morgan Loucks, Emily Peal, Samantha Proulx, Matthew Rentz and Rachel Warner.