Coastal Carolina University has been awarded a two-year $122,855 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Business and International Education Program to help internationalize the business curriculum within the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration. Coastal has matched the grant, bringing the total amount of the award to $245,710.
The grant will be used to develop joint dual degree programs in international tourism management and international business with internationally recognized European institutions; improve applied foreign language development materials for business students; develop short-term exchanges, summer study, and internship programs that provide opportunities for cultural enrichment for Coastal business students as well as for students from participating international institutions; and provide outreach activities to assist local businesses in attracting and serving international visitors.
"In today's global marketplace, it is imperative that business students gain a thorough understanding of the business and cultural environment of other countries," said Darla Domke-Damonte, assistant professor of management at Coastal and co-recipient of the grant along with Taylor Damonte, assistant professor of management and director of Coastal's Resort Tourism Management program.
According to Domke-Damonte, the project emphasizes the development of a focused drive toward communicative competence in the business-related vocabulary of a foreign language, and the completion of an intensive, on-site eight-month focused study program which includes an internship or focused research project at the respective cooperative international partner institution. Specific programs have already begun with the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (Germany), and the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz (Germany).
Coastal has approximately 70 students in the two-year-old resort tourism management major and four students in the new international tourism management major that began in fall 2001, according to Damonte.
Domke-Damonte says that collaboration with area business associations and organizations, including the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association, the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association, and the Burroughs and Chapin Company, Inc., will help identify critical training needs to provide the highest level of service responsiveness to international clientele in one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. By providing supervised internships for international students, local businesses and organizations will gain a better understanding of issues related to the international marketplace. Part of the grant will also be used to sponsor a seminar for fall 2002 designed to further develop the international tourism market along the Grand Strand.
Domke-Damonte, who joined the Coastal faculty in fall 1998, earned a bachelor's degree from The American University, a master's degree in international business from the University of South Carolina, and a Ph.D. from Florida State University. Damonte, who joined the Coastal faculty in fall 1998, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of New Orleans, a master's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.