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CCU board of trustees approves two new degree programs, new clubhouse at the Hackler Course

December 14, 2021

During its fall meeting today, the Coastal Carolina University board of trustees approved two new degree programs: the Bachelor of Science in marine and coastal environmental science (MCES) and the Bachelor of Arts in higher education and community relations (HECR). The board also approved plans to replace the clubhouse at the University’s General James Hackler Golf Course with an approximately 18,000-square-foot PGA Golf Management facility.

The two new degree programs must be approved by the South Carolina Higher Education Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools before being officially added to the University curriculum.

“These two new programs show Coastal’s responsiveness to changing conditions in higher education,” said Dan Ennis, Ph.D., CCU’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “One will allow our students to be better able to enter the growing higher and adult education sectors. The other will prepare graduates to tackle the environmental challenges facing our coastal region.”

MCES is an interdisciplinary degree combining natural science foundations (biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics) with focus on one marine science subdiscipline (biology, geology, chemistry, or physical oceanography). Students will integrate and apply fundamental concepts to conservation, management, economic, and policy topics related to modern marine and coastal environments. The degree will provide training for entry-level positions and/or graduate study in marine, coastal, and environmental research; management; education; planning; law; and/or policy at government agencies, universities, and private industry firms. CCU’s Department of Marine Science services nearly 800 marine science majors with 18 full-time faculty members.

The HECR degree will provide students with the critical skills and abilities to work successfully in higher education, adult education, and/or community educational settings. The interdisciplinary degree is unique from others in South Carolina in that it focuses on the historical and current concepts of education while preparing students to work in nontraditional environments. Foundational coursework will include classes in education, sociology, communication, and assessment. Upon graduation, students will be able to design, assess, and evaluate community education programs and student education programs within higher education.

At the conclusion of the Academic Affairs and Retention Committee report on Dec. 13, 21 student-athletes from the Chanticleer football team who are graduating in Fall 2021 were recognized. The team will compete in the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl scheduled for Friday, Dec. 17, in Orlando.

The new facility at the Hackler Course is being funded by the Horry County Higher Education Commission, subject to Horry County Council approval, and the University.

“Coastal Carolina University is extremely grateful for the continued support of the Horry County Higher Education Commission,” said CCU President Michael T. Benson. “The commission’s generosity and commitment to this new clubhouse and classroom facility will certainly have a major impact on our University, our PGM program, and our students, as well as the many patrons who will use this wonderful facility.”

The Hackler Course is a public, 18-hole golf facility located adjacent to the campus. The course’s original clubhouse, built in 1969, will be demolished with the exception of a cart storage shed. The new PGM facility will include classrooms, offices, an instructional lab, a student lounge, a pro shop, restrooms, and a food service area. Coastal’s PGA Golf Management Program is one of 18 programs in the U.S. accredited by the PGA of America and is housed in CCU’s E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration. The program prepares students for successful careers in the golf industry by combining academic studies and hands-on professional golf training experiences at the Hackler Course.

In other action, the board approved upgrading the practice field near Brooks Stadium with added drainage and new turf, and the renewal of a one-year lease for University Housing warehouse space at the Atlantic Center, beginning March 1, 2022.

The board’s next scheduled meetings are Feb. 17-18, 2022.