Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 2824 | Summer 2016 CCU Economic Growth Growing in the Right Direction: How Coastal Carolina University Uses Technology to Stay Ahead You’d be hard-pressed to find a recent mention of Coastal Carolina University without the word “growth” stated or implied somewhere nearby. The two have become synonymous, as the school has experienced exponential growth in a short amount of time and shows no plans of slowing down soon. In a span of less than a single generation, CCU has blossomed from a local junior college counterpart of the University of South Carolina to one of the fastest-growing universities in the nation. Since 1993, when the school became an independent, state-supported university, CCU has more than doubled in size — seeing 130% enrollment growth. Obviously, evolution of that magnitude impacts more than just campus, it affects the entire community. CCU has a $500 million annual economic impact on this state — $420 million of that right here in Horry County. “This school acts as a true economic engine for South Carolina,” says CCU President David DeCenzo, “and that certainly makes us very proud.” As enrollment numbers steadily increase, the administration is determined to uphold the school’s excellence in academics. “We are making a diligent effort to raise the quality of incoming students,” says DeCenzo. “It’s an enjoyable situation. With approximately 20,000 applicants coming in each year, we now have the luxury of being a bit more selective.” DeCenzo adds that the school is committed to accepting all qualified in- state students and that CCU would never turn away an eligible in-state student simply because out-of-state students bring in higher tuition fees. That said, the school is rigorously implementing a strategic plan for well- managed growth of a projected 12,500 overall student population. “As we develop, it’s part of our strategy to grow our faculty,” DeCenzo says. “We currently have an average student-to-instructor ratio of 18-1. Small classes are one of our greatest assets, and we want to maintain that.” Another area in which growth must be maintained as enrollment figures rise is technological capabilities, as DeCenzo states that a university “simply cannot operate today without technology.” Indeed, the worlds of education and technology have overlapped, and there is no turning back. “The old method of standing in front of a group and just talking for an hour — those days are gone,” DeCenzo says. “Our world has advanced, and so must our teaching methods.” According to DeCenzo, technology helps maintain that all-important quality factor by engaging and reaching students in new, competitive ways. 18:1