The local draw to CCU: graduate studies

The local draw to CCU: graduate studies
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Stepping onto the Coastal Carolina University campus, you see growth and new buildings, which leaves many people wondering if the campus will grow beyond its Conway campus location.

The total student body sits just under 10,000. The goal is to push beyond that number. An area of focus is graduate studies.

Assistant Provost James Luken says CCU has lagged behind a bit in that regard. Simply put, he says increasing enrollment in grad studies is difficult, so CCU is bringing in new programs.

With three programs currently in the works, more space will be needed to fit the students.

The university is in preliminary stages to expand to a graduate campus. Right now, it's just a conversation, but the university would like to make it a reality.

The goal is to cater to the people who live and work here. CCU leaders have talked about building between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle, or possibly using land they own on International Drive, but nothing is concrete.

Right now, it's about tossing around ideas, to figure out what would be the best fit for you, CCU and the area as a whole. Luken says the university would look at online classes, weekend and night classes, to further the graduate program and to serve working professionals locally.

β€œAt the same time we will also continue to offer new programs that bring people in from out of state,” he said.

It's about finding programs that draw students in, and keep them here.

Take the Education program, for example. Nearly 70 percent of regional teachers have a degree from CCU.

In the works are masters programs in "sports management," and  "security and analytic,” which will train to fight online fraud.

New programs take about two years to develop, but the university is working with departments to keep them coming, to grab your attention and grow our local workforce.

"We'll continue to offer niche programs that other universities don't and we can attract students from both out of state, in state and also serve working professionals just in this area,” said Luken.

Expansion of this campus to other parts of the county could be years in the making but it's an ongoing conversation with CCU leaders.

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