CSU, higher ed making major impact on economy
Charleston Southern University president Jairy C. Hunter spoke to Lowcountry business leaders during Thursday’s Charleston Regional Development Alliance breakfast at the Daniel Island Club. The event was held to introduce the release of a new study detailing the economic impact of higher education in the Lowcountry. Hunter was part of the panel including college presidents from the College of Charleston, Trident Technical College, the Medical University of South Carolina and The Citadel.
Hunter opened with stating that Charleston Southern University is a Christian university that integrates faith in learning, leading and serving. He emphasized the impact Charleston Southern University has on preparing the next generation of leaders in the community by naming several alumni, such as: Senator Tim Scott, Mayor Keith Summey, Warren Peper, Shawn Jenkins, Eric Bowman, O.L. Thompson, Joe Pye, Jerry Montjoy, Archie Franchini and Julian Smith.
CSU has invested $41 million into its educational services. The university is also a leader in providing educational opportunities is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in response to the growing demand in the tech industry. CSU technology degree programs include a dual engineering degree (in partnership with The Citadel, the University of South Carolina and Clemson), Bachelor of Technology, Computer and Information Sciences, Biology and Chemistry.
The report, produced for the community by the CRDA, revealed that CSU and its sister higher education institutions has combined to produce a $4.4 billion impact and an estimated 41,000 jobs (resulting in $2.1 in labor income) in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties (fiscal year 2010-11).
Charleston Southern University, the only private, Christian college based in the Lowcountry, has an enrollment of 3,300 students and an estimated economic impact of $141.7 million, providing more than 1,500 jobs and a labor income estimated at $53.5 million.
Hunter stated CSU’s unique role in the community is providing a platform for “collaboration” between businesses and higher education in the Tri-County area. The University’s vision of integrating faith in learning, leading and serving is paying dividends. Charleston Southern University is collaborating with local businesses to provide education, internship programs, service learning opportunities, pastoral and Christian leadership support and advisory opportunities including:
- Business: Executive in Residence program
- Technology and Higher Education Advisory Council
- Criminal Justice Advisory Council
- School of Education Advisory Council
- Center for Christian Leadership Council
- Community Service: Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse)
- Board of Visitors Scholarship Program
- Academic Internships – mentor and develop students for the workforce
“The CRDA study confirms what we’ve been saying all along: Higher education is making a major economic impact on our community,” said the CSU president. “We are excited to continue our efforts to prepare leaders, the next generation, through higher education. This is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with our public higher education institutions in an effort to create jobs and support of local business needs.”
For more information or to download a copy of the new study, visit http://www.crda.org. For additional resources and media materials from Thursday’s CRDA meeting visiting the following:
- Post and Courier: Local colleges make big impact
- Charleston Regional Business Journal: Charleston brand should include higher education, economist says
- Charleston Regional Development Alliance: Economic Impact Study
- Charleston Regional Development Alliance: Executive Summary
- Op-Ed: Charleston: A College Town?
Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, four-year liberal arts college. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The University’s vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.