We’re wrapping up another year — our first full year released from COVID conditions. Like everyone else, we’ve been determining our new normal while forging ahead to foster an unparalleled educational experience for all our students. We’re doing this by continuing to offer students a unique combination of educational tools, technology, instruction, support and experiences they won’t find anywhere else.
Tools and Technology
When it comes to tools, last year we made the decision to offer every student a free Adobe Creative Cloud account —a value of more than $1,300 to them over four years. Students can create digital content using industry-grade tools on their personal devices wherever they are and whenever they want. We also invest in new equipment each year such as cameras, audio recording equipment and lighting kits so that students will be job ready when they graduate.
Last summer we introduced our new low-cost study abroad option that allows any major to earn six credit hours while studying for a month in Barcelona. The credits count toward their graduation requirements, and there is NO program fee. We’ve done this by reinvesting tuition to cover all instructional and residential costs.
Alumni Association Membership
This year, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous alumni donor, we provided a free one-year membership for all graduating seniors. We sincerely believe they will be more successful connected to the Gamecock network than otherwise.
We continue to add new personnel who bring value to our experienced veteran faculty. In fact, over 50 percent of our faculty is new within the last six years. As for seasoned faculty members, Laura Smith is making us look good by recently earning a national teaching award offered through the BEA. In March, we sent six faculty and staff members to SXSW to see the latest trends to bring back to the classroom.
Faculty members are building new classes in relevant areas such as blockchain, social media analytics, cybersecurity, business basics, data visualization and so much more. They are also embedding industry certifications such as Google Analytics into their classes so that students get additional value beyond standard instruction.
Pair all this with the passion instructors bring to the classroom and the strong support our students receive from their advisors, technology providers and career services team, and I know you’ll agree it is an unparalleled combination.
You will see evidence of the commitment we are making to students in the pages that follow — and so much more. I know you’ll be both impressed and pleased. The best comment a dean can hear from alumni is, “I wish that was available when I was here.”
As always, thank you for your support. We couldn’t achieve these goals without your advice, your endorsement and your wide-ranging support.
Forever to thee!