Report Card 2014-2015 - Coastal Carolina University
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President's Report Card 2014-2015

Our Guiding Strategies

Coastal Carolina University’s (Coastal) current Strategic Plan, which was initiated in 2008, identifies key strategies based on a commitment to the vision, mission, and values of the Institution. Through the implementation of these strategies, the University will deliver on its vision to become the comprehensive university of choice in South Carolina. Consistent with the architectural style of the campus, the placement of these relationships symbolizes the importance of tradition as the University enacts its strategic plan. Key strategies include:

•  Meeting the Educational Needs of Students and Community
•  Ensuring Student Success
•  Ensuring Faculty and Staff Success
•  Ensuring Financial Viability and Managed Growth
•  Improved Communication
•  Stronger Assessment and Accountability
•  Increased Technological Support

In Fall 2015, a committee consisting of a broad range of University stakeholders will be convened to develop the next University Strategic Plan.

Strategy 1: Meeting the Educational Needs of Students and the Community

Academic Expansion

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Change
since 2010
 Increase Full-time Faculty Headcount 367 376 405 436 437 0.2% 19.1%
 Increase Need-based Aid to Students
(grant aid/scholarships)
2,266 2,928 3,089 3,155 3205 1.6% 41.4%
 Distance Learning Classes  53  107  113  136 176  29.4%  232.1%
 Note: Data based on fall semesters              

Commencement: 2013-2014
A total of 1,899 students were awarded degrees for the academic year 2014-2015. Semester totals were as follows: Summer II 2014: 305; Fall 2014: 538; and Spring 2015: 1,056. The total degrees awarded represent a 6.5 percent increase over the 2013-2014 academic year and the largest graduating class in the history of Coastal Carolina University.

America's 100 Best College Buys
For the sixth consecutive year, Coastal Carolina University has been named one of "America's 100 Best College Buys" by the independent consulting firm, Institutional Research & Evaluation Inc. More than 1,459 colleges and universities were surveyed for the designation, which was announced in September 2014.

U.S. News & World Report
Coastal Carolina University once again moved up in the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings. The report ranks the University as follows:

  • Best Value (South) ranked ninth (2013: fifth)
  • Top Public Schools (South) tied at 23rd (2013: 26th)
  • Best Regional Universities (South) tied at 57th (2013: 62nd)

Forbes Ranking
Coastal Carolina University was ranked among Forbes' America's Top Colleges in August 2014.

Most Affordable Colleges Online named Coastal Carolina University one of the most affordable online colleges in South Carolina. The University was fourth on the list of fully accredited institutions that offer at least one fully online degree program.

Veteran Friendly University
For the sixth consecutive year, Coastal Carolina University has been designated a “Military-Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs magazine. This honor places the University in the top 20 percent of all schools nationwide as a university committed to educating military veterans. A total of 253 students receiving veteran educational benefits were enrolled in Fall 2014.

Addition of New Undergraduate Degree Programs
In an effort to meet the needs of students, Coastal Carolina University continues to expand undergraduate programs and specialized degree concentrations. The University offers 67 areas of study toward the baccalaureate degree with two programs, a B.A. in Digital Culture and Design and a B.S. in Engineering Science, currently pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The recently approved undergraduate certificate program in Sustainability will begin in Fall 2015.

Addition of New Graduate Degree Programs
Coastal Carolina University has continuously added new graduate degree programs and specializations with nine master's degrees currently being offered. Beginning Fall 2015, the University will offer a Master of Science in Sport Management and a graduate certificate program in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Approval is currently pending for master's degrees in Information Systems Technology and Special Education.

Ed.S. in Educational Leadership
Beginning Fall 2015, the Spadoni College of Education will begin offering its second Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree, the Ed.S. in Instructional Technology. This 100 percent online program is designed for teachers and other professionals who have already earned a master's degree.

Ph.D. Program
The SACSCOC conducted a very successful accreditation review of the Ph.D. in Marine Science: Coastal and Marine Systems Science that concluded with no recommendations for the University. This resulted in a level change for the University from Level III (Master’s Degrees) to Level V (Doctoral Degrees).

60th Anniversary
Founders Day on September 22, 2014, marked the beginning of the commemoration of Coastal Carolina University’s 60th anniversary. A commemorative bookmark was designed and given to attendees at Founders Day. Other activities during the year included the President's 60th Celebration for faculty and staff and a special lecture delivered by retiring executive vice president and professor of politics, Edgar L. Dyer.

Strategy 2: Ensuring Student Success

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Target Change
First-year Retention 65% 60% 63% 67% 65% 72% 4% 2%
Graduation Rates 43% 46% 47% 46% 45% 56% –1% 2%
Number New Full-time Minority Freshmen  543  594  627  638 678      
Minority Freshmen Returned Second Year  67%  64%  64%  67% N/A      
Note: Data based on fall semesters                

Internship Opportunities
Internship PlacementsAs a result of the University’s effort in supporting its Experiential Learning initiative, there has been a 15 percent growth in student internship participation for the 2014-2015 academic year. Students have been able to find internships related to their majors and career interests in the local area and have also worked with employers providing internships in major cities across the United States. Because of the growth and accessibility of the University’s international programs, the number of students participating in internships outside the U.S. has doubled in the last year. As employers continue to seek students with international experience, the hope is that many more will take advantage of these career development opportunities. During 2014-2015, there were 1,724 students who enrolled in academically supported internship courses.

Experienced@Coastal, the University's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) developed to bring experiential learning to the center of Coastal's educational culture, began in Fall 2012. To date, 108 courses have been approved as experiential learning courses. 854 sections of these courses have been taught with a total enrollment of 13,005 students.

ELS Center
The ELS Language Center opened on campus on April 27, 2015. The Center offers an Academic English program for international students who want to study at the University and other colleges and universities but who lack the level of English needed to be successful.

Lib Jackson Student Union
The newly expanded and renovated $12 million student center annex opened in January 2015. The building includes a movie theater/auditorium, game room, conference rooms, convenience store, lounge space, administrative offices, and areas for student organizations to assemble.

Student Housing Complex
The first two buildings of the $85 million residence facility that will house 1,270 freshman students is opening for the Fall 2015 semester. The four-building facility marks a new direction in student living with residence halls arranged in “communities” of four suites grouped around a common social space.

Retention Initiatives
To create an educational and co-curricular environment conducive to student achievement which promotes retention and graduation, the following initiatives have been introduced:

  • Launch of the Coastal Excellence and Leadership (CEaL) program in Summer 2014. Fifty-seven students participated in the inaugural four-week summer residential program, which targeted students who had good grades at the high school level (above a 3.0 GPA) but whose ACT and SAT scores were not high enough for college admission. Of the 57 students in the program, 50 (87.7 percent) are now enrolled for Fall 2015 classes.
  • Additional resources targeted to increase the student-faculty interaction in experiential learning courses, undergraduate research, and the Honors Program.
  • Introduction of Graduate Academic Coaches (GAC) to work with undergraduate students in the top high risk courses (i.e., courses that pose an obstacle to graduation for a high percentage of students). These coaches are graduate students trained by facilitators familiar with academic coaching techniques.
  • Teaching workshops conducted by faculty recognized for their teaching effectiveness.

Chanticleers in Elite Company
Coastal Carolina University was one of only five NCAA Division I universities to have its football, men's soccer, men's basketball and baseball teams qualify for NCAA postseason play during 2014-2015.

Alumni Engagement
During the 2014-15 fiscal year, the Office of Alumni Relations hosted 52 events with 5,414 in attendance. Social media continues to be the most optimum way to interact with alumni as evidenced by the following statistics:

  • Facebook likes – 6,613
  • LinkedIn members - 2,766
  • Twitter followers – 1,677
  • Instagram followers – 498

Atheneum Hall Alumni Center
Atheneum Hall was reconfigured to become the home of Alumni Relations and provide dining and meeting facilities for alumni events. Several areas of the building have been named, such as the Alford Dining Room, to recognize former chairman of the Board of Trustees and alumnus Billy Alford, the Pi Kappa Phi Patio, the Dan Sine Lobby and Veterans Hall. The newly renovated building was dedicated and reopened on April 30, 2015.

Strategy 3: Ensuring Faculty & Staff Success

Faculty & Staff Highlights

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Change
Full-time Faculty Headcount 367 376 405 436 437 0.2% 19.1%
Part-time Faculty Headcount 267 268 267 265 288 8.7% 7.9%
Full-time Faculty with Terminal Degree 285 291 314 332 347 4.5% 21.8%
Full-time Staff Headcount 652 672 667 692 722 4.3% 10.7%
Part-time Staff Headcount 191 141 162 239 229 -4.2% 19.9%
Note: Data based on fall semesters              

Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning (CeTEAL) Programs
In 2014-2015, CeTEAL offered a total of 491 professional development sessions for faculty and staff with over 1,855 attendees across all sessions. An additional 200 one-to-one consultations were held with faculty members during this period. CeTEAL also offered a two-day New Faculty Orientation with 30 new faculty members in attendance for the Fall 2014 session. 

Princeton Review's Green Colleges
For the third consecutive year, Coastal Carolina University has been named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada. The University was named in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition.”

Recent Fulbright Recipients
Three University faculty were awarded Fulbright Scholar grants for the 2015-2016 academic year. Recipients include:

  • Douglas Van Hoewyk, associate [rofessor of biology
  • Christopher Moore, associate professor of physics
  • Rachel Hellmann-Whitaker, assistant professor of biochemistry

General Compensation Increase
In January 2015, the President announced the approval of an additional 0.5 percent general pay increase for slotted and time-limited employees. The increase was the result of the University reaching the established goal of 65 percent freshmen retention. The first pay date for employees eligible for this general compensation increase was January 31, 2015.

Faculty and Staff Compression
Year two of the faculty and staff compression salary increases was funded in October 2014. The total dollar amounts disbursed was $504,097 to faculty and $207,465 to staff. As a result of this action, eligible staff will have received 66 percent of the total amount anticipated. 

Grant Awards
Coastal Carolina University faculty have received numerous grants from various sources. Recent grant awards (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015) include:

  Department Total Award
Award *
  Marine Science/B&C Center for Marine and Wetland Studies  $    9,647,485 $   2,134,963
  Early Childhood, Elementary, Physical and Special Education  $       320,802 $      137,433
  College of Science (general)  $         84,983 $        84,983
  Foundation, Literacy and Technology  $         82,500 $        77,500
  Center for Teaching, Learning and Community  $         48,000 $        48,000
  Kimbel Library  $         46,700 $        40,000
  History  $         26,000 $        26,000
  Politics and Geography  $         24,553 $        24,553
  Biology  $       189,898 $        18,337
  Computer Science  $       148,300 $        17,800
  Wall College of Business (general)  $         16,000 $        16,000
  Accounting, Economics and Finance  $         15,000 $        15,000
  Student Affairs  $         14,250 $          6,750
  Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts (general)  $           1,500 $          1,500
  Facilities Planning and Management  $           1,250 $          1,250
  Chemistry and Physics  $       269,960 $             300
  TOTAL  $   10,937,181 $   2,650,369
 * Amount awarded fiscal year 2014-2015    

Strategy 4: Ensuring Financial Stability and Managed Growth

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Change
 Total Headcount Enrollment 8,706 9,084 9,335 9,478 9,976 5.3% 14.6%
 Graduate Headcount Enrollment 503 567 589 611 612 0.2% 21.7%
 Undergraduate Headcount Enrollment 8,203 8,517 8,746 8,867 9,364 5.6% 14.2%
 Undergraduate Full-time Enrollment 7,539  7,849 7,916 8,032 8,502 5.9% 12.8%
 Size of Entering Freshmen Class 2,006 2,137 2,206 2,095 2,375 13.4% 18.4%
 Entering Transfer Students 840 779 801 779 834 7.1% -0.7%
 Undergraduate Student Enrollment Over Age 25 592 643 774 816 807 -1.1% 36.3%
 Note: Data based on Fall Semesters              
 FUNDRAISING HIGHLIGHTS  2010-11 2011-12  2012-13  2013-14 2014-15
 Total Funds Received $4,817,369 $3,429,082 $5,651,292 $4,301,066 $5,487,720
 Alumni Participation in Giving 1,226 1,027 1,167 1,414 2,511

Independent Audit Findings
For the seventh consecutive year, the University received an unqualified opinion from external auditors Cline Brandt Kochenower & Co., P.A. for the annual financial statements from the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. According to the audit findings, there were no significant deficiencies, material weaknesses or instances of non-compliance material to the financial statement.

Construction Projects
The University continues to expand to meet the needs of the students and campus community as evidenced by the number of construction projects under way on campus. More than $188 million in major construction projects are in various phases of construction. Completed building projects in the last year include:

  • Atheneum Hall - $3 million renovation
  • Lib Jackson Student Union - $12 million addition
  • Baseball and softball facilities - $15.3 million renovation
  • Football Stadium - $1.2 million turf replacement
  • Catering kitchen and food service - $3 million new facility

Property Refinancing
In the early part of calendar year 2015, the University issued bonds in the amount $87 million to purchase University Place, a living community located half a mile from the University campus that houses 64 percent of all students in university housing. As a result, housing charges to students will not be increased in the foreseeable future.

Campus Master Plan
As part of the President’s pledge to guide the University in realizing its vision of becoming the public comprehensive university of choice in South Carolina, progress toward completion of the Campus Master Plan has continued and only one building on the plan has yet to be approved for design and construction. The remaining items on the Plan include changes to walking/driving patterns and infrastructure. A campus mobility study has been commissioned to address this issue. A campus-wide mobility task force has been convened and is addressing issues such as parking location by various campus groups, charges for parking, bike lanes, and safety concerns. An update to the Campus Master Plan has been requested from Sasaki Associates and its development is currently under way.

Supporting Strategy 1: Improving Communications

Feel the Teal Service Excellence Initiative
During the 2014-2015 academic year, under the direction of the President, the University continued its service excellence initiative, Feel the Teal. The primary objective of this service-driven initiative is to make certain that all individuals who interact with the University in any way – be that person a student, a member of the general public or Coastal employee – are treated with care, courtesy and respect. Under the President’s leadership, the following key elements were established as the foundation for the Feel the Teal Service Excellence Initiative:

  • Leadership - lead this initiative from the top down and create a culture of universal ownership.
  • Training and Professional Development - implement a university-wide service excellence training program.
  • Departmental Collaboration and Support - explore discussion opportunities contributing to more empowered, motivated and supported employees.
  • Communications - implement effective communications regarding Coastal Carolina University’s customer service initiative, progress, changes and updates.
  • Evaluation and Measurement - measure University and customer service processes, friendliness and accessibility as they apply to customer service satisfaction levels.

CHANT411 provides a central point of contact for students, families, faculty, staff and visitors who want a question answered or need guidance navigating the University system. The goal of CHANT411 is to enhance the Coastal experience in the University community by providing first-class service and connecting individuals with the right resources. During 2014-2015, CHANT411 responded to over 21,000 inquiries from students, families, faculty, staff and community members. This represents a four-fold increase over the first year of the program’s operation.

Supporting Strategy 2: Stronger Assessment and Accountability

  • The University compiles and submits an annual accountability report on the University’s performance for review by the Governor and General Assembly. The accountability report provides a discussion of prior year expenditures and associates expenditures with prospective goals, strategies and objectives to move the agency forward in future years.
  • The University has participated in the Voluntary System of Accountability program (VSA) for the past six years. The VSA is designed to provide greater accountability for public colleges and universities. Through the College Portrait website, various characteristics of participating institutions are compared using a common, user-friendly format.
  • A direct link connects the President's main web page to the Accountability web page. The Accountability web page links directly to information relative to financial transparency, SACSCOC Accreditation, NCAA Recertification, and Title IX.
  • The University conducts in-depth accreditation self-studies for many academic programs to meet the accreditation needs of various organizations. Accreditations include:
    • SACSCOC - Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • AACSB International - Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
    • PGA - Professional Golfers' Association of America
    • NCATE - National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
    • NASAD - National Association of Schools of Art and Design
    • NASM - National Association of Schools of Music
    • NAST - National Association of Schools of Theatre
    • AAHE - American Association for Health Education (joint program approval)
    • ABET - Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
    • ACEN - Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • SOPHE - Society for Public Health Education

Supporting Strategy 3: Increased Technological Support

As technology is ever-changing, the University must continually update existing technologies to allow for optimal success of students, faculty and staff. The following are highlights of recent expenditures intended to keep the University at the forefront of the technology curve:

  • Invested close to $600,000 in technology resources for the various academic colleges and departments
  • Invested over $320,000 to initiate the eForm/work flow technology initiative
  • Invested $100,000 to enhance Wi-Fi
  • Initial Investment of $75,000-$100,000 to enable lecture capture and streaming capabilities
  • Invested over $55,000 in smart classroom upgrades

Key Initiatives graphic


Prepared July 31, 2015