Project Management Concentration to be Added to Bachelor of Professional Studies Program

Posted by Allison Leach on May 18, 2016 1:00:00 PM

 Many of the products and services we utilize on a daily basis are the result of a carefully coordinated team of professionals. From the development of software applications to oil pipelines, a manager is needed to oversee the process, direct team members, and ensure compliance with budgets and deadlines. These responsibilities are typically fulfilled by project managers: professionals who see a project through from concept to completion.

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School of Professional Studies Adds Healthcare Management Minor

Posted by Allison Leach on May 10, 2016 12:00:00 PM

For every five dollars spent in the United States, approximately one dollar is spent on some form of health-related services: accounting for 18% of our gross domestic product and over 12 million jobs.

The healthcare and medical services sector also makes up a significant segment of the Charleston labor market, employing approximately 10% of tri-country residents.  Fueled by rapid population growth, an increasing proportion of residents aged 65 and older, and the recent expansion of healthcare coverage, this segment of the workforce has grown significantly over the past two decades - 47% since the year 2000 - and demand for qualified workers is projected to continue to exceed the national average.

The School of Professional Studies (SPS) took these statistics into account when developing concentration tracks for the Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) degree completion program. Noting that courses in healthcare and medical services management would provide students with a directly applicable, and highly sought-after skill set, the SPS added this concentration to the program in the Fall of 2015- bringing with it several courses not previously offered at the College of Charleston.

In the ensuing academic year, many students from outside of the BPS program expressed interest in these unique and advantageous programs, with half of the students enrolled in the first Healthcare and Medical Services Management course coming from outside of the SPS.  This trend, along with consultations with various departments and programs at the College, led School of Professional Studies Dean Godfrey Gibbison to propose that the SPS offer a Healthcare and Medical Services Management minor.

The Healthcare and Medical Services Management (HMSM) minor, which will be offered to CofC students beginning in Fall 2016, offers a pathway for those students outside of the SPS who would like to gain an understanding of the overall functioning of the US healthcare system.  While students could previously take HMSM courses as electives, the minor offers students a beneficial credential to add to their transcripts, and has also allowed the SPS to expand their offerings in this subject area.  The minor, which encompasses courses such as Healthcare Law and Regulation, and Healthcare Operations Management, complements several existing majors at the College - including Business Administration, Public Health, and Exercise Science - and also provides important background knowledge for students who intend to continue on to graduate study in the healthcare field.  “Healthcare is much more than medicine,” says Gibbison. “There is a complex system of laws, regulations, finance and economics, that influence the practice and delivery of care.  Every professional who enters the healthcare industry needs to understand these complexities and connect them back to patient-centered outcomes. We introduce students to these complexities so that they will enter this industry with a patient-centric attitude.”

As the demand for medical services increases, so too will the need for qualified employees with a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare system, and its related administrative practices: the Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that this burgeoning area of the healthcare field could grow by as much as 22% over the next decade.  While some executive and middle-management positions - such as hospital administrators - do require an MBA or other graduate-level training, the range desirable skills and available positions means that there should be ample opportunity for entry into this field.  “The complexity and shear economic power of the healthcare industry provides many opportunities for non-clinicians to find a pathway to a career,” says Gibbison.  “This minor will help students explore these many pathways and broaden their career horizon.”

The Healthcare and Medical Services Management minor is open to any student pursuing an undergraduate degree at the College of Charleston, however, students in the Bachelor of Professional Studies program may only add this minor if they are not currently enrolled in the HMSM concentration.  Interested students will find a complete listing of the course requirements on the School of Professional Studies Minors webpage, and may contact the SPS for additional information.

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Teaching Marketing Techniques for the Digital Space

Posted by Allison Leach on Apr 19, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Digital marketing is a rapidly expanding segment of the marketing field; so much so that that the term “digital” has become somewhat superfluous.  To successfully market any product or service in our ‘plugged-in’ society, one typically needs to employ internet and social-media driven campaigns.

Consultant LeeAnne Berlinsky was aware of this cultural shift when she was looking to promote her experiential leadership retreats.  As a modern entrepreneur, she was accustomed to promoting her professional endeavors online, but was unsure of the best avenue for each aspect of her business.  Realizing that she needed to learn more about different social media channels, she enrolled in the Digital Marketing and Social Media certificate program offered through the College of Charleston JobBridge initiative. 

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Rivers Pearce: From Rock 'N Roll to BoomTown

Posted by Allison Leach on Mar 31, 2016 3:21:36 PM

 When School of Professional Studies instructor Rivers Pearce first moved to Charleston, it was in the hopes of making a living as a guitarist: a goal he realized soon after graduating from the College of Charleston Honor’s College.  However, after a move to Atlanta and several years of non-stop touring, Pearce decided to abandon his dreams of fame and fortune, and pursue an alternate career path. It was this decision that led him to the then-emerging field of search engine marketing. 

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JobBridge: Helping Students Bridge the Skills Gap

Posted by Allison Leach on Mar 29, 2016 3:38:04 PM

The term “skills gap” has been frequently referenced in popular media, typically when describing the disparity between employer needs, and the available number of skilled workers.  While this skills gap often refers to the need for increased training in STEM fields or advanced manufacturing, there is a different kind of skills gap that many job seekers face.
College graduates typically emerge from their respective programs with a wealth of knowledge and “soft” skills (teamwork, creative thinking, and the like), but may lack the practical or “hard” skills that are often required for entry level jobs. Though many students acquire these skills through internships, students who did not participate in such programs may find themselves struggling in the post-graduation job search.

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Forging a Path in Sustainable Agriculture

Posted by Allison Leach on Feb 16, 2016 2:26:09 PM

Growing up surrounded by gardeners, Laura Mewbourn enjoyed the fruits of her family’s agricultural labors, and tended to her own tiny plot.  While Mewbourn longed for an outdoor lifestyle, she chose to stray from her gardening roots,  pursuing a career in higher education.

Despite her lack of active involvement in farming, Mewbourn was committed to supporting local producers, a passion fueled by an awareness of international farming practices.  While contemplating what more she could do to give back to her community, Mewbourn fortuitously learned of the Growing New Farmers program, and realized that she had found a path back to her beloved outdoors.

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Avoiding the 4 Skill-Gaps Common to First Time Managers

Posted by Allison Leach on Feb 12, 2016 1:54:58 PM


According to research compiled by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), fifty-percent of managers are regarded as “ineffective” in their roles: a failure that may be attributed to a lack of support early in their leadership careers.

In considering how to better develop emerging leaders, the CCL has identified four competencies where first-time managers often demonstrate deficits: communication; influence; leading team achievement; and coaching and developing others.

With these competencies in mind, we have gathered tips as to how first time managers can improve their performance and avoid common skill-gaps.

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Dr. Pam Mayer: Maximizing Leadership Potential

Posted by Allison Leach on Feb 2, 2016 4:03:07 PM

Within every human being lies a well of untapped capabilities, waiting for the right circumstances to bring them to the fore. 

This theory has long inspired Dr. Pam Mayer, an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston, who from her earliest academic pursuits, sought to guide individuals in realizing their full potential.  A psychologist by training, Dr. Mayer  focused her career primarily on leadership development, helping executives to increase their overall effectiveness, and devising curricula and instruments for industry-wide use.

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Charleston Population Growth Brings Career Opportunities

Posted by Allison Leach on Jan 19, 2016 11:18:56 AM

According to recent U.S. Census Bureau reports, South Carolina ranks among the Top 10 states for total population growth, with four-fifths of this growth being attributed to net migration (the difference between residents moving in and out the state). The Charleston metro area accounted for a large percentage of this boom, with an influx of approximately 1,300 people per month in 2014.

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A Passion for International Trade

Posted by Allison Leach on Dec 18, 2015 7:01:31 AM

Twelve years ago, while engaging in missionary work in Malaysia, Kelli Thompson encountered a woman who was working with former prostitutes in Thailand, helping the women to become self-sufficient. The Thai women were creating beautiful handmade wares, and their mentor asked if Thompson might be willing to help sell the products in the United States. Thompson eagerly began researching import regulations, and soon found herself immersed in the world of international trade law.

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