In This Section

Student Achievement Projects 2017-2018

Campus Life and Student Engagement

CCU Dialogue Fellows Program
American colleges and universities face a particular challenge in a hyper-polarized and combative political and social culture: how to have reasonable, civil conversations regarding inclusion, access, equity and campus climate. In alignment with Coastal Carolina University’s Strategic Plan, CCU has committed to ensuring the advancement of academic, student life and faculty and staff programming; providing services that engage the campus and community in dialogue about the broader context of identity development, access, equity, social justice and inclusion; and providing opportunities for meaningful action.

To that end, the CCU Dialogue Fellows Program will train and support a team of faculty, staff, and students to conduct and facilitate advanced dialogic practices on campus, with the goal of improving student success and engagement as related to University-wide Strategic Plan Goal 2.1 and 2.4.1, as well as the aforementioned 4.2.2. Structured dialogue is a particular form of dialogic practice that places an emphasis on personal narrative and the sharing of life experiences and perspectives as a way to build trust and understanding among participants. This approach encourages identification with an alternative human experience to overcome identification of those with a different perspective as the “other”; the resulting skills will enable students, faculty, and staff to support effective, informative, inclusive, and engaging discussion on difficult topics so as to enhance understanding, increase productive team problem-solving, and advance action that supports social justice and improves the sustainability of our community of learners.

Dialogue Fellows will commit to a three-year term, for which they will receive a stipend of $1,500. Students commit to a minimum of three semesters with a stipend of $500 per semester. Fellows are expected to participate in dialogue practice via a range of outlets. Fellows will actively participate in the development of a campus-wide plan for expansion of the dialogue process to all parts of campus communication.


Lighthouse Project
The “Lighthouse Project” is a semester-long collaboration between CCU’s Department of Theatre students and participants with Project Lighthouse, a drop in center for homeless youth. Project Lighthouse’s center provides educational, informational, and prevention support for runaway, homeless, street youth. The program constitutes the first line of defense for street youth, identifying issues unique to this population and providing needed services. The collaboration will culminate in a theatrically devised event engaging audience members in civic dialogue and re-imagining. The project works to challenge the status quo through various theatrically devised vignettes that question our perception of homelessness. What if our opinions of homelessness are misguided, misinformed, and misunderstood? Are we really so separate, so different, so far removed? Through workshops involving the students from the Department of Theatre and participants with Project Lighthouse, stories and experiences will light the way into a re-envisioning of our societal structures that perpetuate homelessness in order to transform our community through civic engagement.  

Career Services

Career Trek
The Career Services Center, in conjunction with faculty partners, will offer two career road trips for students with an interest in either Technology or Communication. We will target majors in the College of Science and majors in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Students will have opportunities for personal and professional competency growth through workshops and seminars designed to prepare them for visits to employer sites for tours, networking, and interactive programs to engage with company representatives.


Coastal Writes
The Coastal Writes Initiative highlights student achievement by emphasizing the centrality of writing to intellectual development and professionalization. This initiative is built upon a mentorship program that engages student writing at every level in the university. At its core, Coastal Writes consists of graduate students active in the Master of Arts in writing program mentoring undergraduate students English majors; these undergraduates will, in turn, mentor incoming students as they take composition courses (English 101 and 102) as well as courses in introductory creative writing (English 201).

Mathematics and Statistics
  • Math Outreach
  • MLC Tutor Shadowing
Counseling Services

TAO Self-Help Modules
According to the creators of TAO, "TAO – Therapy Assistance Online is a suite of online tools for client education, interaction, accountability, and progress assessment to facilitate effective mental health treatment." TOA is used in well-being and resilience training, mindfulness training, communications and relationship training, problem solving, anger management, evaluating alcohol and other drug use, stress management, anxiety treatment and depression treatment. It is offered through multi-session on-line interactive modules that focus on skill-building. 

Due to the high demand for services, Counseling Services has begun using a Stepped Care model of service delivery. Stepped Care is a model of service delivery utilized by many university counseling centers (Cornish, 2017). The idea of the model is to offer interventions with the least stakeholder investment and the most client autonomy first and most frequently. Interventions that require substantial resources and allow for the least client autonomy are offered only after other options have been exhausted. Group counseling and workshops are good examples of services we offer which meet the needs of many students with a lower amount of staff time required. TAO Self-Help Modules offer an additional option for interventions that serve more students with less staff time.  This will help Counseling Services serve more students and reduce the waitlist on which students are placed when there are insufficient counseling slots to serve all students requesting services.

University College

Women in STEM Fellowship
The Women in STEM Fellowship equips female students in male-dominated STEM majors with the tools to deal successfully with challenges, intimidation, and stereotype threat and to make them feel like they belong in their areas of interest. The fellowship offers a mentoring program, financial support for conference travel, research, workshops, and other professionalization opportunities, and brings prominent female speakers in STEM fields to CCU to serve as role models for our fellows.

Languages and Intercultural Studies

Assessment of Language Proficiency in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
This project will enable students in the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies to identify where they rank on the ACTFL proficiency scale in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish. Students are given individual proficiency ratings in all four skill areas. These include explanations of how the rankings correspond to the ability to complete specific tasks and utilize the language in specific contexts (e.g. home, school, work). Students will be tested upon completion of the intermediate language sequence, which will allow them to formulate a personal plan of improvement that responds to the areas of strength and weakness identified by the STAMP exam. Students will take the exam again immediately prior to graduation, which will allow the LIS Department to assess the effectiveness of curricular and co-curricular programming in facilitating the improvement in students’ language proficiency. The test results can also be submitted by graduates to prospective employers and/or graduate schools as evidence of their ability to communicate with speakers of languages other than English

High School Language Day
In October, 2018 the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies will host the first Language Day for students and teachers from high schools in the Grand Strand region and adjacent counties. High school students will participate in activities hosted by each of the seven languages offered at CCU, will complete a number of learning tasks, gain information about Coastal programs, and interact with faculty and students in the LIS Department. Specifically, LIS majors will assist faculty in creating and implementing appropriate language-learning activities. In doing so, they will acquire organizational skills and experience in working with adolescents in a pedagogical endeavor related to their field of study. LIS students will work closely with faculty, which will help facilitate faculty-student interactions that promote retention. Students will also learn about approaches to advocacy for the study of language and culture and have the opportunity to network with area teachers.

Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Edwards College Pre-Professional Seminar
The Edwards College Pre-Professional Seminar is designed to prepare and empower students for post-graduation endeavors via a one-week immersive experience. The program will encourage students to think creatively about how to use their liberal arts skills to pursue careers that match their goals, giving them an edge over their peers in the job market via a series of workshops and practical experiences. Students will learn how to establish and manage their digital footprint, create a professional portfolio, build strong teams, network and prepare for interviews, and prepare for and apply to graduate school. Faculty, staff, alumni and community members will conduct the workshops and provide students with mentorship and support along the way.

Kimbel Library

Institutional Repository
An institutional repository is a system that stores and provides access to the intellectual property of an institution. Materials often found in institutional repositories include research and scholarship from faculty and students, electronic theses and dissertations, digitized objects from archival collections, and other materials unique to the institution. Student scholarship will be a focus of the institutional repository program. The repository can host student publications, student-run events, and materials from conferences such as the Undergraduate Research Competition, emphasizing the importance of student engagement to the university. Student publications such as The Chanticleer student newspaper can be hosted as digital collections, documenting student life on campus. Electronic theses and dissertations provide another showcase of the scholarly output of undergraduate and graduate students, an excellent example of student achievement and success.

Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning

Signature Pedagogies – High Impact Teaching and Learning
When faculty improve their teaching practice student learning is improved (Condun, Iverson, Manduca, Rutz and Willett, 2016). Every discipline has unique practices – methods for teaching, ways of thinking and professional practices, which define how a discipline prepares students – called signature pedagogies. This program proposes a faculty learning community structure to examine signature pedagogies at Coastal Carolina University. The program will support faculty members’ efforts to deeply examine current teaching and learning practices in their discipline with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement. This program establishes a internal grant fund and a call-for-proposals for faculty to explore signature pedagogies within their field. Faculty apply to the Signature Pedagogies program, participate in a learning community to explore their own teaching, and design and measure high-impact practices to improve student learning.


The Poverty Project
The Poverty Project was designed to engage students in activist research with impoverished populations in Horry County. Professors Sara Brallier and Stephanie Southworth, along with students in their Sociology of Poverty, Social Inequality, Sociological Analysis, an Methods for the Social Sciences courses, will engage in collaborative research with several agencies serving the impoverished in Horry County – Churches Assisting People (CAP) Food Panty in Conway, New Directions Homeless Shelters, and the East Coast Homelessness Organization (ECHO). The research projects are designed to guide students through the processes of (1) assessing the needs of low income individuals and the ability of local agencies to meet their needs, (2) educating community service organizations and the general public about the needs; and (3) creating fundraising and educational opportunities to help agencies and the general public to better serve the impoverished.

Wall College of Business Administration

Wall Program for Academic Support and Success
The purpose of the Wall PASS (Program for Academic Support and Success) is to give business students who are struggling academically the guidance and tools to pass their courses and succeed academically. The objective of the program is to increase the spring to spring retention rate of business students on probation above 55 percent by spring 2020. Students in the program attend a course on learning and life skills, work with the business tutors, and develop a plan for academic success with their advisors.

University Recreation

Coastal Cycles Program
Coastal Cycles bike program has reached a tipping point for the program. We currently have major space issues concerning the storage of bicycles. Demand continues to outpace supply and this semester we are running right at a 100 percent rental rate. With this demand, we feel that we could possibly increase the total offering to 1,000 bikes, but also seek funding for maintaining the fleet we currently have. 

Our request is for this funding is to supplement this program and help finance the growth. The money will be used to help purchase additional bikes, and gain additional bike parts for maintenance. Monies will also be used to hire additional Bike Technicians to help keep the bikes in service. We would gradually grow this program by 100 additional bikes yearly until the demand slows down.

Counseling Services

IACS Accreditation
During the summer of 2017, Counseling Services conducted a benchmark study to compare our practices to those of our peer and aspirant institutions. In conducting this study it was discovered that all 11 peer and aspirant institutions have counseling services that are accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services Inc. (IACS), which is the organization that accredits university counseling centers. Counseling Services will pursue accreditation in 2018.

IACS accreditation is expected to improve the quality of services offered to CCU students and therefore, support their achievement in their education. As a result of becoming accredited, it is expected that we will know what additional resources and services we need based on standards in our field and we will acquire those resources and initiate new services. It is also expected that accreditation will lead to positive attitudes toward the professionalism of Counseling Services among faculty, staff and students.

Marine Science

Increasing achievement in MSCI
This Department of Marine Science program seeks to increase student performance in MSCI 111 and MSCI 112 lecture courses and 2) upper level student achievement in marine science core courses by 2 percent relative to AY 2016-17 performance by spring of 2020. Program participants enrolled in 100 level MSCI courses attend MSCI tutoring sessions, experiential learning experience(s), and evening educational media event(s) during each semester. Upper level MSCI students staff program tutoring sessions, experiential learning experiences, and events and benefit from concept reinforcement while mentoring younger students.

Office of the Provost

Coastal Student Success Center
The Coastal Student Success Center will be comprised of several academic support areas to include the Academic Coaching Experience Department (ACED). ACED will have certified academic coaching specialists to provide academic coaching for special populations traditionally identified as at-risk: 1) First-time, full time students on academic probation that are participating in the Coastal Academic Recovery Program (CARP), 2) Coastal Excellence and Leadership (CEaL) program students, 3) Bridge program students, 4) First-time, full-time students identified through an early alert system and 5) Students who self-refer or who are referred for academic coaching by professors, staff and administrators.

Expanding Summer Study
The proposal for the expansion of Summer Study marketing is intended to achieve two primary objectives: to increase the four-year graduation rate and to increase the retention rate among all students. Numerous previous studies have shown that students who participate in summer coursework tend to persist and complete at higher rates. Initial data indicates that summer study is populated by two distinct student populations. One population uses summer study opportunities to complete more credit hours in an academic year than is normally possible through major term enrollment. These are the early completers, using summer study as additional class time to augment their progression through their program. The second population uses summer study to maintain or enhance their existing university experience. This often entails repeating classes they did not complete on the first attempt or engaging in experiential offerings such as study abroad. The summer semesters allow these students the time to focus on these activities without the distractions of a major semester proceeding.

Accessibility and Disability Services

Accessibility and Disability Services Staff
Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS) offers support and assistance to current and incoming Coastal Carolina University (CCU) students with disabilities and medical conditions by coordinating and implementing appropriate accommodations and providing resources and services as they relate to academics, university housing, dining and campus activities. ADS also functions as a source of information, educational outreach and advice, as well as a communication link among individuals with disabilities, faculty and staff, and the university community at large.

Recent benchmarking of peer and aspirant institutions highlights the need to grow and improve ADS at CCU which is currently underserving students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. Demographic information from the National Center for Education Statistics reports that 11 percent of undergraduate students identify as having a disability. ADS at CCU currently serves approximately 4 percent of the student population. ADS is staffed by a director, one learning specialist, and one testing center coordinator/front desk administrator; three total staff members. Accessibility and Disability Services will expand staffing to include one additional full-time learning specialist, along with part-time front desk assistance.

Human Resources and Equal Opportunity

Funding of Final Phase of Salary Study
Supporting the mission of the University is the primary goal of all University employees. Retaining those employees to provide continuity and support to the University community is critical to student retention. The Human Resource and Equal Opportunity (HREO) office plays a crucial, but often overlooked, role in student success by recruiting, hiring and retaining qualified University employees.

In 2012, Human Resources and Equal Opportunity initiated a pay study and recommendations were made to decrease the amount of salary compression. The recommendations of the study were adopted and it was determined that salary increases would be spread over a number of years. One phase of this program was still unfunded as 2017 was drawing to a close.

In support of the Strategic Plan, Objective 3.3.5, a request was made for Student Achievement Funding to close out the final phase of this project. This request was approved and the final salary adjustments have been made. It is hoped that the funding of the final phase of this project will help decrease employee turnover, therefore ensuring continuity in supporting the mission of the University.