From WMBF News partner MyHorryNews.com:
Coastal Carolina University Board of Trustees recently approved five new courses of studies for its students.
Students will now have the option to earn bachelor's degrees with a certificate in special education – multi-categorical, civil and coastal engineering, digital content development and integrated humanities and a master's degree in sports management.
CCU provost Ralph Byington said the university looks at what programs students are interested in and what skills industries need when it creates new degrees.
"A lot of our programs are driven by industry needs, but some are interests that we have developed as minors that turn into a major course offering," he said.
In the past few months, CCU officials have talked a lot about adding new programs to the offerings at the university.
"As you allow faculty to be creative with what they perceive as needs of the community, students and industry, new programs will naturally develop," Byington said. "My job as provost is to encourage that development and make sure the new programs are financially viable for the university before implementing them."
The new bachelor's degree with "certification in special education – multi-categorical" will be offered in the fall of 2014.
The program will replace the current program with a certification in learning disabilities.
Byington said the need for teachers with a multi-categorical certification in special education is high in Horry County.
"The program will prepare teachers to work with students with mild to moderate disabilities and will fill the needs of Horry County Schools," he said.
The civil and coastal engineering program will start in the fall of 2014 and will be part of a partnership with Horry Georgetown Technical College.
Students will learn the impact of coastal hazards such as beach erosion, floods and hurricanes and how they can impact the region.
Students will create practical engineering solutions to sustain and improve civil infrastructures in light of these threats.
Byington said the civil and coastal engineering degree is perfect for Coastal Carolina University.
"This degree is really in line with what our community finds important and what our responsibilities are as a university that is close to the beach," he said. "
The bachelor's degree in digital content development will start in the fall of 2015.
It will offer students a cross-disciplinary approach to the production, distribution, management and analysis of digital culture. Students will be familiar with digital editing,
interactive project development, cultural impact of social media and digital visual culture.
Byington said the digital content degree fits modern times.
"This degree has gotten a lot of support from the state because it meets so many needs in the humanities area," he said. "Anything digital is on the top of mind and having a degree in that, in this day and age, will really help a student with future employment."
The bachelor's degree in integrated humanities will be offered starting in the fall of 2015.
The program will allow students to combine disciplines such as communication/journalism, intelligence and national security studies, political science and graphic design. This will allow students to create their own degrees to meet their individual interests and career goals.
The master's degree in sports management will start in the fall of 2015.
Byington said because sports tourism is at the top of a lot of local people's minds, the master in sports management will be a perfect fit for the university.
"We have a lot going on with sport tourism with new facilities and the new program coming online at Horry Georgetown Technical College," he said. "This program will offer students that next step in education for this fast-growing industry."
Byington said students have been leaving the area to get this master's degree.
"Not having this degree has put us at a disadvantage," he said. "We want our students to stay here and work here."
CCU President David DeCenzo said he is proud of the university's growth.
"I am equally proud of all the programs we are offering. Each of these is critically linked to our strategic plan in that our goal is to meet stakeholders' [the students'] educational needs," he said. "As our economy and our world changes, we need to be adapting to the needs of the 'work community.'"
CCU already has 70 undergraduate programs, seven master's degree programs and one doctorate program.