Scholarship Opportunities for Non-Traditional Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Feb 8, 2017 7:00:00 PM


Financial need is a common concern for those pursuing a four-year degree, and is a frequent factor in student attrition.  Many prospective non-traditional students cite financial instability as a barrier to completing their education, and report that financial aid availability was key in deciding to pursue a degree-completion program.

Unfortunately, as many non-traditional students discover while researching financial aid possibilities, many scholarship and grant opportunities are limited to traditionally-aged students - or students who will be entering college as first-timefreshmen.  While this can be discouraging, prospective (and current) students will find that academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, corporations, and service organizations are increasingly recognizing the trend toward an older student population.  Although many scholarships and grants are still bound to a traditional demographic, scholarships are now being offered that specifically target non-traditional students - as well as single parents and degree-completion candidates.

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Topics: Student, News

CCPE Offers Holiday Pricing on Non-Credit Online Courses

Posted by Allison Leach on Nov 29, 2016 5:00:00 PM


The holiday season is upon us, and with it, a desire to select interesting and appropriate gifts for friends and family. This year, the College of Charleston Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) is encouraging SPS blog readers to give the gift of continuing education, offering special holiday pricing on several non-credit courses. 

The CCPE cotinually offers a selection of over 250 individual non-credit courses, including those which target highly sought-after professional skills, as well as courses designed for personal enrichment. The instructor-led courses are all held exclusively online, and allow students to move at their own pace - ideal for students with limited leisure time.

While all of the offered courses are economically priced, the CCPE is currently offering a holiday discount on five popular courses, extending their Black Friday Sale through December 15th.  
Below we have highlighted some of the features and benefits of the non-credit online offerings:

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Topics: News, Courses

School of Professional Studies Offers Reduced Tuition for Degree Completion Candidates

Posted by Allison Leach on Oct 20, 2016 2:24:06 PM

This past Spring, the CofC Board of Trustees a  tuition reduction of approximately 20%,  exclusively for students in the SPS’ Bachelor of Professional Studies program.  This reduction was proposed in recognition of the unique circumstances presented by non-traditional students, and was instituted in Fall 2016. 

Today, we are re-posting the information we shared about the tutition reduction earlier this year.  Specific details about tuition rates and application deadlines for the upcoming Spring I and Spring II (2017) semesters may be found on our website.

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Topics: News

SPS Offering Mid-Semester Start Dates

Posted by Allison Leach on Jul 13, 2016 7:00:00 PM

Prospective students who are interested in enrolling in the Bachelor of Professional Studies program, but missed the July 1 application deadline, may be interested to learn of the new “Express Start” dates offered by the School of Professional Studies (SPS).

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Topics: News

CCPE Offers Discount on Non-Credit Online Courses

Posted by Allison Leach on Jun 17, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Summer has arrived, and along with it, a time when many choose to take a break from their academic or professional lives. Yet opportunities exist to further one’s career, while still maintaining the relaxed pace of the summer months. 

The College of Charleston Center for Continuing and Professional (CCPE) offers over 250 individual non-credit courses, many of which target highly sought-after skills, applicable across a wide range of industries. The instructor-led courses are all held exclusively online,
and allow students to move at their own pace - an ideal scenario for summertime learning!

While all of the courses are economically priced, the CCPE is offering a discount on select courses for the months of June*, July and August.

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Topics: News, Courses

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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Topics: News, Courses

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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Topics: News, Courses

School of Professional Studies Announces Tuition Reduction

Posted by Allison Leach on May 5, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Students in the College of Charleston’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) may get a welcome surprise when they receive their Fall 2016 tuition bills: they will be paying approximately 20% less than the Spring 2016 tuition.  The CofC Board of Trustees has recently approved a tuition reduction - exclusively for students in the SPS’ Bachelor of Professional Studies program - in recognition of the unique circumstances of post-traditional students who are completing their degrees. 

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Topics: News

Charleston Tech Companies Experiencing Talent Gap

Posted by Allison Leach on Apr 12, 2016 4:02:35 PM

With graduation rapidly approaching, many College of Charleston students are looking to begin - or advance in - their careers.  Fortunately, recent population growth and new business development has led to increased employment opportunities in various employment sectors.  In fact, one particular industry has experienced such significant growth, that is struggling to find enough talent within the local pool to meet current demand.

“The technology community in Charleston ... has grown at a rate well above the national average,” says Ernest Andrade, executive director of the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation - in an interview with The Post and Courier.  “When you’re growing above the national average, not all of your systems are going to be in sync.  Some are going to have to catch up, and education and workforce development are two big things we’re working very aggressively to get caught up on.”

Although some of the qualifications being sought require specialized training, such as a computer science degree, many prominent Charleston tech companies are seeking to fill positions at all levels.  Some of these companies are addressing this talent shortage by offering training programs for under-qualified new hires.  These programs present unique opportunities for recent graduates who are looking to get a foothold in the tech industry, as does the Digital Marketing and Social Media Certificate, offered through the CofC’s JobBridge program. The JobBridge certificate program was designed to help students and small business owners to gain an understanding of the digital marketing field, and help them to plan their own brand identity and marketing strategies.  However, the course also provides students with a basic foundation in many sought-after skills  - including Search Engine Optimization and Google Analytics - along with the opportunity to network with local tech industry experts.  Several of the course instructors have built careers in the industry despite a lack of formal education in technology, and may be able to provide students with insights as to how they might “break-in” to this burgeoning field.

To learn more about hiring trends in the Charleston tech industry, please see the article recently published by The Post and Courier.

For more information about the Digital Marketing and Social Media certificate program offered at the CofC, please see the JobBridge website.

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Topics: News

Secrets to a Successful Skype Interview

Posted by Allison Leach on Apr 5, 2016 6:58:33 PM



Increasingly, employers are turning to Skype as an alternative to conducting initial in-person or telephone interviews - particularly when the applicant is at a geographical distance. Unfortunately, many job seekers are not aware of how to conduct a polished interview in the digital space, resulting in a poor first impression.

Few differences exist between how one should present oneself in a digital interview versus a traditional interview: applicants should always aim for a professional and engaging presentation.  However, digital interviews do require some additional preparation and staging in order to successfully demonstrate that professionalism and connection. SPS professor Dr. Alice Hamilton, who teaches digital interview skills as a component of PRST 230 - Professional Presentations, notes that while students may feel intimidated by the notion of presenting themselves on camera, the digital interview setting can be advantageous. “With a Skype interview, you can control your environment to a greater degree; you just need the proper techniques,” offers Hamilton.

Below we have compiled some of those techniques, to help our students make a polished and professional digital impression:

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Topics: Insider, News

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