CCU board of trustees approves news undergraduate program, tuition incentives

The Coastal Carolina University board of trustees met on Feb. 16 in the Pastides Alumni Center...
The Coastal Carolina University board of trustees met on Feb. 16 in the Pastides Alumni Center at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, in coordination with attending a legislative meeting in the city on Feb. 15.(Coastal Carolina University)
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 4:01 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - During a meeting outside of the Coastal Carolina University campus the CCU board of trustees has approved new tuition rates to increase accessibility to the university’s program and a new degree program.

The board met in Columbia at the Pastides Alumni Center at the University of South Carolina campus today after attending legislative meetings earlier this week. The trustees approved “promotional tuition rates” to amplify multiple enrollment initiatives. In addition, they also approved a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BSN).

“Visiting Columbia was a great opportunity for our trustees to attend legislative meetings and the Grand Strand Legislative Reception,” said Delan Stevens, CCU’s board chairman. “It’s important for our trustees to meet and spend time with our local delegation and vice versa. Our time together provided an excellent opportunity for the University to show its appreciation for our annual state-appropriated funding, which supports all aspects of our campus operations.”

Coastal Carolina University board of trustees officers, from left, Patrick Sparks ’95, Natasha...
Coastal Carolina University board of trustees officers, from left, Patrick Sparks ’95, Natasha Hanna ’94, and Delan Stevens ’79, with President Michael T. Benson(Coastal Carolina University)

CCU Provost Dan Ennis said there will be four promotional tuition rates designed “to increase the accessibility of the University’s programs and support student recruitment.”

The first promotional rate is for students who left CCU with at least 15 hours earned, in good academic standing, but short of an undergraduate degree. They will now be eligible to take certain courses offered through CCU’s online completion program for a flat $100 special tuition rate.

The flat $100 special tuition rate is also available for South Carolina residents who hold college credits from institutions other than CCU and are seeking degree completion. These residents will be able to take some courses offered through CCU’s online completion program.

Additionally, undergraduate students serving on active duty, as a member of the National Guard, or as a reservist will be offered a rate of $250 per credit hour as part-time students and $3,750 per semester if they enroll full-time.

The fourth promotional rate is in partnership with South Carolina Technical College System. SCTC personnel will have the opportunity to register for graduate-level courses taught through CCU at 60% of the in-state graduate tuition. Currently, Horry County Schools personnel are offered the same program rate if they are pursuing graduate degrees at the CCU.

CCU President Michael T. Benson said the meeting in Columbia was an opportunity to visit the University’s largest supporter: the South Carolina General Assembly.

“Outside of tuition and fees from our students, the largest source of revenue is from the taxpayers of the state through our elected officials. It’s vital for us to demonstrate that we are good stewards of the investments made in our institution,” Benson said.

Also approved, the new BSN program will prepare students for many roles within healthcare. The program will be housed at the Conway Medical Center College of Health and Human Performance and will work to close the gap in the local and regional nursing shortage.

The curriculum includes principles of person-centered care including “compassionate, individualized, coordinated, holistic, and evidence-based practice.”

90% of graduates are anticipated to secure an RN position within nine months of graduation.

The new degree program will still need approval by the South Carolina Higher Education Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools before being officially added to the University curriculum.

The trustees’ also approved increasing the PGM Program Academic Learning Lab project budget from $8 million due to rising construction costs. The costs are not to exceed $10.8 million

They also changed the funding source for the previously-approved campus Wi-Fi network upgrade from state-appropriated funds to Penny Sales Tax funds.

The enhancement to the BBB parking lot, located behind the Coastal Science Center, will now include paving, curbing, lighting, stormwater drainage, landscaping, and other necessary infrastructure improvements.