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Student Achievement Funding at CCU

What is Student Achievement Funding?

Introduced by the Office of the Provost in 2017, the Student Achievement Funding Request Initiative provides faculty and departments the unique opportunity to request funds for proposals that introduce high-impact practices into the classroom and across our campus that promote:

  • Student Achievement 
  • Student Success
  • Student Engagement

In addition, Student Achievement Funding is a mechanism for faculty and departments to submit proposals that provide our students with the highest quality educational experience both in and out of the classroom.

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SAF Guidelines

Competitive proposals will include the following information:

  • Project title
  • Project description
  • Partnering department (if any)
  • Budget request amount
  • Identification of the Strategic Plan goals that the project will support
  • Identification of Departmental Assessment goals that the project will support
  • Benchmarks that describe goals representing successful implementation of the project
  • Project Assessment that describes the efficacy of the project
  • Planned date of completion

The deadline for submitting proposals for the upcoming academic year is March 16. All proposals must be submitted via Campus Labs. If you need assistance with using campus labs, please contact either Holly Legg or Vivian Ford in the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analysis.

If you have any questions or need assistance developing possible proposals, please contact Jim Solazzo at 843-349-2717 or by email at

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Currently Funded Projects 

Campus Recreation — Sports Club Travel

Currently, the CCU Club Sports program has 22 clubs, impacting 600 students. This is approximately 6 percent of the CCU student undergraduate population. Club Sports has expenses that the students take on with dues, fundraisers and the above budgeted amount being dispersed according to type of team, number of participants, travel and so forth.

University Recreation is seeking additional funding to focus solely on transportation costs for our Club teams. With our teams being helped out with transportation costs, we believe it takes the pressure off them to travel, compete and therefore staying involved in the sport. We believe that this additional funding will engage more students to participate in Club Sports therefore increasing the number of students impacted and retained.

Edwards College Academic Connections

The importance of students connecting with their faculty has been practically undisputed in retention research. As faculty seek to engage students through office hours, research projects, etc., it does not seem that the issue is a lack of willingness on the faculty’s behalf. A recent study identified the following factors as reasons why students do not utilize office hours: unclear understanding of how office hours work, the use of email to have questions answered, and a lack of approachability on behalf of the faculty member (Smith, et al. 2017). Anecdotal evidence from first-year students shows that they are intimidated by the idea of visiting a faculty office and many have the mindset that “going to the office” is a negative experience based on high school experience.

The Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts has developed a program to address this lack of connection between students and faculty. Academic Connections (originally called “Academic Coaching”) began as an event hosted by professional advisors in one of the more popular dining halls on campus. At its conception, the event drew approximately 33 students nightly to meet with faculty. Four years later, an average of 100 students per night are volunteering to meet with faculty through this casual event.

Edwards College Peer Leaders

Peers play a critical role in college student development and retention. Peer leaders have the ability to model the positive student behavior, connect students to resources and the institution, and guide new students through the transition to the college environment. Because of this, peer leadership programs that connect continuing students with new students are well-established at many higher education institutions.

The Edwards College Peer Leaders program seeks to bring this program to incoming first-year students by connecting them with an experience sophomore or junior in their major department. Peer leaders will serve as role models, coaches, mentors, and resources as first-year students transition to CCU. The inaugural year will include 17 paid peer leaders assigned by UNIV 110 course.

eLead at Coastal

“eLead at Coastal” is designed to assist students in developing their leadership competency, allow them to grow in their level of CCU community involvement, foster an expectation of academic excellence, and prepare for their future career goals and ambitions.

The program is comprised of three progressive tiers of individual leadership development with the goal of preparing students to lead once they graduate. These tiers, which are titled “Emerging Leader, Engaged Leader, and Exceptional Leader” are comprised of various activities, ways to be engaged on campus, self-reported experiences, etc. After successful completion of each tier, students will be prepared and ready to start working toward completing the next tier.

While marketed to first-year students, any student can enter the program, and will have the entirety of their academic career at Coastal Carolina University to complete the program. It is not expected that students will achieve each of these levels on the corresponding year at the institution. Instead, this program is designed to allow students the freedom to proceed at their own pace of learning and development.

Students that complete all tiers in the program will have their graduation regalia (bachelor's cap and tassel, gown and year date charm) purchased for them during their last semester at Coastal Carolina University.

Student Accessibility and Affordability Initiative in OL and Hybrid Course Programs

During the 2018-2019 year, COOL will launch the first year of a new initiative focused on improving student access to a college education through the implementation of an Open Education Resources (OER) initiative. This two-year OER initiative focuses on two critical aspects that begin with education of our campus faculty and promotion of this initiative to our faculty colleagues and colleges.

By definition, OERs are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation, and much more. The broadest definition of learning objects seems to be, "any digital resource that can be reused to support learning." The goal of this OER project is to empower faculty to successfully review, curate, and select the highest quality materials at the lowest cost: our goal is to lower total cost towards degree for students by addressing one of the common pain points of students, textbooks and course materials.

Outcomes include:

  • Improving student ACCESS to higher education and our courses at Coastal specifically by lowering the cost of course materials 
  • Improving student PERSISTENCE in classes at Coastal through both Year 1 & Year 2 work on impacting online and hybrid online courses with significantly reduced and/or no-cost course materials
  • Improving student SATISFACTION and perception of COST-EFFECTIVENESS of their monetary investment at Coastal Carolina University
  • Improving STUDENTS ACADEMIC OUTCOMES in courses by providing low- and no cost course materials, which allow for access by all students to all course materials throughout the entire course term of a class
  • Improving student RETENTION by providing a solution to one of our students' primary concerns with completing degrees-cost

Faculty will be provided with support, education, assistance with adoption, and promotion of the OER tools within their individually selected courses. With the many concerns regarding student access to a higher education and the affordability of college concerns that are nationwide as well as here locally with us in South Carolina and Horry County, this initiative has both immediate as well as potentially far-reaching outcomes for Coastal.

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2017-18 Funded Projects »