Strategy for Student Success
Coastal Carolina University is on the rise. The energy is palpable. Intense work in every area of campus is underway with a strong emphasis on one overarching theme—ensuring that students experience a learning environment at CCU that prepares them for global citizenship.
Coastal’s learning environment encompasses the myriad experiences our students gain inside and outside classroom walls. Students engage by helping a small-business owner in the community; they get their hands dirty transplanting endangered plants; they spend time working with the homeless population; they reach far beyond what they imagined their university experience could be.
In order to create the best possible experience for our students, CCU’s strategic plan has been updated, concentrating on six key areas: academic and instructional quality; student excellence; an engaged staff and faculty; accessibility inclusion and diversity; the CCU story (communication); and financial stability and infrastructure.
An 18-member steering committee was formed nearly two years ago, and the planning process involved 69 task force members, 284 alumni, 389 students, 22 focus groups of faculty and staff, and 15 administrators. The Student Government Association, the Staff Advisory Committee and the Faculty Senate approved the plan prior to the Board of Trustees’ final authorization in August 2016.
Each strategic area identifies measurable goals and actions with timelines. In the area of staff and faculty engagement, we are well on our way. We encourage faculty and staff to share their knowledge with appropriate community groups. This helps others gain a better understanding of the broad expertise our people bring to the area and, ultimately, it enhances the community that has been so good to us.
Diversity and inclusion are major focal points as we move forward, including adding the position of a chief diversity and inclusion officer. This campus leader will work with students of all different backgrounds and perspectives to help ensure that CCU has a learning environment that is characterized by understanding and respect.
This strategic plan also addresses communication—telling the CCU story. We have great stories to relate about the achievements of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. I believe that positive and effective communication creates an atmosphere in which people feel free to speak their minds.
CCU’s 2016-2021 strategic plan is a living, breathing document and does not sit on a shelf. It guides every plan we make, every policy we create and every motion we take to our Board of Trustees. We will study the benchmarks we do not reach, and we will celebrate the accomplishments we achieve.
I am confident that this strategic plan will promote Coastal Carolina’s core institutional values: tradition, integrity and excellence.
David A. DeCenzo, President