CCU earns IIE Seal of Excellence from Institute of International Education
The IIE Generation Study Abroad program aims to double and diversify the number of U.S. students studying abroad by 2020. The program has representation from more than 800 U.S. and international colleges, educational organizations and country partners. Each partner in the initiative has individual goals to help the IIE succeed in doubling the number of students pursuing global education opportunities. The Center for Global Engagement at CCU set its goals for the study abroad program in 2014 when it joined the Generation Study Abroad Initiative.
“Our goals at the time were to double our study abroad program,” said Darla Domke-Damonte, associate provost for global initiatives. “Initially, we also set a goal, which we actually may also meet this summer, to quintuple the number of students in international internships.”
CCU has succeeded in doubling the number of students studying abroad in 2014. In the 2012-2013 academic year, Coastal had 161 students study abroad, while in the 2017-2018 year, 359 students participated in study abroad programs. The number of students who completed international internships also went from seven students in 2013 to 32 students in 2018.
The Center for Global Engagement has made various concerted and strategic efforts to increase the number of students in education abroad programs. “We put some very intentional effort into developing and supporting programs,” said Domke-Damonte. “We worked with the departments to get more curricular embeddedness into the University catalog for several majors. This had a very immediate impact on the eligibility of students to use federal financial aid.”
CCU has made education abroad much more accessible to students since joining the IIE Generation Study Abroad Initiative. Research by the Office of Global Initiatives at CCU shows that well over 50 percent of students say they would need some sort of financial aid in order to consider studying abroad. Making students eligible to use financial aid for study abroad programs has helped the number of students leave the U.S. to pursue global education.
CCU has also increased efforts in the education abroad program by increasing the number of scholarships available to students. In 2009, there were zero dollars available to students; this past year, there were $63,000 in scholarships awarded to students who study abroad.
“I had an amazing experience completing the business studies program in Europe,” said Jacob Schatzel ‘19. “I was concerned about how much it was going to cost, but Coastal gave me a scholarship which made the trip possible.”
CCU offers four types of education abroad programs. These programs are faculty-led programs, exchange partner programs, third party provider programs and international internships. Typically, the faculty-led programs are offered as short-term programs over spring break or as a Maymester. This past year, the Wall College of Business led a business culture in Spain program over spring break. The exchange partner and non-CCU third-party provider programs offer semester and yearlong programs in Europe, Africa, Australia, South America and Asia. CCU has also partnered with several organizations to offer international internships for many of the majors offered at CCU.
Since 2014, the IIE Generation Study Abroad Initiative has made a significant difference in the push to get more students to earn credit hours outside of their home institution. Thirty-one universities, including Coastal Carolina University, out of more than 450 U.S. member institutions, were awarded the Seal of Excellence this past spring. In the 2016-2017 academic year, the number of students across the country who are studying abroad increased by 2.3 percent, as one in 10 U.S. students study abroad at some point in their degree program.
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