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CCU board of trustees approves promotional tuition rates and a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree

February 16, 2023
Coastal Carolina University board of trustees officers, from left, Patrick Sparks ’95, Natasha Hanna ’94, and Delan Stevens ’79, with President Michael T. Benson

The Coastal Carolina University board of trustees took the rare opportunity to hold one of its meetings away from its campus in Conway. The board met on Feb. 16 in the Pastides Alumni Center at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, in coordination with attending a legislative meeting in the city on Feb. 15. During its board meeting, the trustees approved promotional tuition rates to enhance several enrollment initiatives and a new four-year degree program: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

“Visiting Columbia was a great opportunity for our trustees to attend legislative meetings and the Grand Strand Legislative Reception,” said Delan Stevens, CCU’s board chairman. “It’s important for our trustees to meet and spend time with our local delegation and vice versa. Our time together provided an excellent opportunity for the University to show its appreciation for our annual state-appropriated funding, which supports all aspects of our campus operations.”

CCU President Michael T. Benson called the meeting in Columbia the chance to visit the University’s largest supporter: the South Carolina General Assembly. He said, “Outside of tuition and fees from our students, the largest source of revenue is from the taxpayers of the state through our elected officials. It’s vital for us to demonstrate that we are good stewards of the investments made in our institution.”

According to CCU Provost Dan Ennis, the four promotional tuition rates are designed to increase accessibility of the University’s programs and support student recruitment. The program has four components:

• Students who left CCU with at least 15 hours earned, in good academic standing, but short of an undergraduate degree are now eligible to take some courses offered through CCU’s online completion program for a flat $100 special tuition rate.

• Undergraduate students serving on active duty, as a member of the National Guard, or as a reservist will now pay $250 per credit hour (part-time students) and $3,750 per semester (full-time students).

• South Carolina residents who hold college credits from institutions other than CCU and are seeking degree completion are eligible to take some courses offered through CCU’s online completion program for a flat $100 special tuition rate.

• A new CCU/South Carolina Technical College (SCTC) System partnership offers SCTC personnel the opportunity to register for graduate level coursework taught through CCU at a special rate of 60% of the in-state graduate tuition. This program mirrors the discounts offered to Horry County Schools personnel who are pursuing graduate degrees at the University.

The BSN degree is designed to prepare students for a variety of roles in healthcare organizations. The program, which will be housed in the Conway Medical Center College of Health and Human Performance, will address the local and regional nursing shortage. The traditional BSN program will equip students with a variety of nursing skills, knowledge, and ethical values to pass the national licensure examination for registered nurses. The curriculum will incorporate principles of person-centered care including compassionate, individualized, coordinated, holistic, and evidence-based practice. Courses in the major include didactic, lab, and clinical practice. It is anticipated that 90% of graduates would secure an RN position within nine months of graduation.

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

In other action, the board approved:

• Increasing the PGM Program Academic Learning Lab project budget from $8 million not to exceed $10.8 million, due to rising construction costs.

• Modifying the funding source for the previously approved (October 2022) campus WiFi network upgrade from state-appropriated funds to Penny Sales Tax funds.

• Enhancing BBB parking lot (behind the Coastal Science Center) to include paving, curbing, lighting, stormwater drainage, landscaping, and other necessary infrastructure improvements.

The board’s next scheduled meetings are May 3-4, 2023.