Every organization has a culture. Our goal at Coastal Carolina University is to create a student culture in which students know that they are EXPECTED to make "smart choices" and that they will be HELD ACCOUNTABLE for the choices that they make. With the "smart choice" program, we are establishing expectations and accountability.
A college education is about much more than what is learned in a classroom. Over the course of the college experience, a student establishes patterns of behavior that will remain with the student throughout their lifetime. Our goal with "Smart Choice" is to help students establish the patterns of behavior that will ensure their success not only in a collegiate atmosphere, but success in life beyond the college campus.
"Smart Choice" encourages students to focus on the choices that they make in the following areas, which represent the seven (7) tenets of the "Smart Choice" initiative:
- Protect the Rooster: Students have a responsibility to make choices that reflect positively on the reputation of Coastal Carolina University. They are part of something "bigger than themselves" and must safeguard the reputation of the institution from which they are working to earn their college degree. (Obviously, the "rooster" is a reference to our school's mascot-- the Chanticleer.)
- Take ownership: Students are expected to take responsibility for the choices that they make and avoid having a victim's mentality. This tenet is all about accountability.
- It's about you: Self discovery is an important element of the college experience. It is a time during which students need to find their passions and determine the direction that they want to take in their lives. Parents, mentors, and others are good advisors; however, ultimately, the student needs to pursue their education to achieve their own personal goals and dreams.
- It's about others: Ultimately, a student must determine during their college experience how they are going serve others. In order to contribute to society and earn a living, students must choose how they can best bring "something to the table" of value to others.
- Prioritize activities: Each and every day, we make choices about how we spend our time. The Pareto Principle hypothesizes that approximately 80% of the value in our lives comes from approximately 20% of our activities. Consequently, we expect our students to prioritize the MOST important activities-- the activities that will truly make a difference in their lives over the long run.
- Eat the frog: Brian Tracy coined this phrase, which we utilize to encourage our students not to procrastinate. Psychologists have found that procrastination, particularly of a challenging task, drains a person's energy. Consequently, once activities have been prioritized, we expect our students to "eat the frog" and to start with the most daunting and important priority on the list. This choice will drive student productivity.
- Persevere: We realize that everyone, at least on occasion, makes poor choices; however, students can recover. Students are expected to learn from their mistakes and persevere. Tomorrow is a new day and students can choose at any time to start making better choices immediately in order to move their lives back into a positive direction.