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CCU in China: 12 students complete 1+2+1 double degree program

June 13, 2018
CCU President David A. DeCenzo presents diploma to Zonghui Li along with the Director of International Education from Henan University. CCU President David DeCenzo with graduates of the 1 + 2 + 1 Sino-American Cooperation on Higher Education and Professional Development program.CCU President David DeCenzo on the panel at the Presidents’ Forum in Xi’an, China on June 13.

At a ceremony that filled the concert hall of Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, China, on June 13, Coastal Carolina University President David A. DeCenzo recognized 12 students who participated in the 1+2+1 Sino-American Cooperation on Higher Education and Professional Development (CHEPD) double degree program at CCU in cooperation with Chinese universities.

In the 1+2+1 program, Chinese students spend the first year at their Chinese university, transfer to a U.S. institution and complete all requirements of that institution’s degree, and then return to China for the fourth year to complete their Chinese university’s remaining requirements. An integrated graduation program is held for students at the conclusion of the program, and 165 graduates were recognized at the June 13 ceremony.

Included among this year’s graduates were the following students who are graduating from CCU (also noting their Chinese partnering university and city of their partnering university):

• Mengyu Xia and Siyao Li (Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, Beijing)

• Zonghui Li (Henan University, Kaifeng)

• Lilin Pan, Xuanyi Qiu, Shiyue Zhang, Xueling Lin, Xixi Zhou, Pengyu Yu and Jiayi Wang (Huaqiao University, Xiamen)

• Yiwen Zhang (Ningbo University of Technology, Ningbo)

• Xinna Li (Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Xi’an)

Zonghui Li is the first student to earn a double master’s degree at CCU through the CHEPD program.

DeCenzo also signed a new agreement to expand cooperation by adding a new experimental class in business and accounting with Xi’an University of Posts and Telecommunications. The experimental class concept supports enhanced recruitment of Chinese students by sending CCU professors each year to teach in China.

President DeCenzo gave a presentation during the China-U.S. Presidents’ Forum at the annual meeting and graduation event about innovation in higher education cooperation.

“Coastal Carolina University has brought more than 50 students to the University through this program in cooperation with partner institutions in China along with the China Center for International Educational Exchange and the AASCU,” he said. “These students have distinguished themselves in our classrooms, laboratories and student organizations, and nine of the 12 graduating this year were recognized at the graduation as Excellent Graduates, meaning that they received overall GPAs of 3.5 or higher in their program of study.”

DeCenzo has spoken at the ceremony multiple times in the past, most recently in 2017, when he addressed sustainability and best practices in people-to-people exchange programs.

Darla Domke-Damonte, associate provost for global initiatives at CCU, and Yoav Wachsman, assistant dean for special and international projects in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, also participated in the meetings.

“Our cooperation in this program brings CCU and the community these wonderful students who are inspiring to watch as they confront very different cultures and navigate the academic demands and cultural and social differences with great success,” Domke-Damonte said. She supervises the Center for Global Engagement at CCU, which manages the CHEPD program. “This program has opened up opportunities for more 20 of our professors to teach for short terms in China, for us to conduct study abroad programs to China, and for us to advance deeper understanding between our institutions and cultures.”

More than 100 Chinese universities and 30 U.S. public universities who are members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) are a part of the CHEPD program.

For more information, contact Domke-Damonte at or 834-349-2129. Visit

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