College of Charleston Ranked Top Public School For Study Abroad

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You don’t have to travel far to find a school that excels in international education.

The College of Charleston is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. among public master’s-level institutions for the total percentage of undergraduate students who study abroad, according to the latest Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education (IIE). (Among both public and private?master’s-level institutions, CofC ranked No. 27 behind 26 other private colleges and universities for undergraduate student participation in study-abroad programs.) More than 900 undergraduate Cougars studied abroad during the 2016-2017 school year. This is the third year in a row that the College has led public institutions in that category.

“The College of Charleston is a recognized national leader in providing transformational study-abroad experiences for our students,” says College Provost Brian McGee. “Our outstanding academic programs traverse the globe and have the benefit of significant scholarship support. We are proud of our significant and lasting commitment to giving students these life-changing opportunities. Our success with study abroad is the direct result of the hard work of our faculty and staff and the willingness of our students to be bold and adventurous as they seek out new ways to grow and learn.”

The College’s?Center for International Education?offers over 70 programs that students can enroll in, giving them educational opportunities across five different continents. The College offers study abroad opportunities for fall, spring, and summer terms, as well as semester-break programs, with courses taught by its own professors, as well as exchange and affiliate programs.

According to the New York-based Institute for International Education, the number of U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit increased last year by 2.3 percent to nearly 334,000.

“Studying abroad offers some major advantages,” says Andrew Sobiesuo, the College’s associate provost for international education. “A student who participates in a study-abroad program gains knowledge and skills that cannot be imparted in a classroom and ends up better equipped and empowered to address major challenges as a citizen of the world.”

Source:? College of Charleston Today

Why is Life Good in Charleston, South Carolina

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By Mark A. Leon

Life is good in the little Southern town of Charleston, SC.? The sun is shining, the beach is filled with warm water and sand in late September, the sunrises and sunsets are as picturesque as a classic painting, the restaurants are filled with culinary magicians looking to fill your tummies with foodie delight, boating is a lifestyle, the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern and The Citadel remind us of the promise of tomorrow, MUSC and Roper watch our health closely, beer and bikini’s fill our background, the craft beer scene is exploding, yoga stretches our limits and things are just a little bit slower and we like it.

Life is good in Charleston

Here are a few more reasons why….

  • Festival season never ends. Locally, we segment by season our festivals – Summer – Outdoor Festival Season; Autumn – Fund Raising Festival Season, Winter/Spring – Food Festival Season.? Put that all together and you have a year of festivities.? All year round, you can count on a great festival to bring the community together.
  • Beach life – What more can we say. Sullivan’s Island, Edisto Beach, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms and all within 5 to 45 minutes away and if you really want to get away, head to Pawley’s Island, Garden City, Hunting Island State Park or Myrtle Beach.? The Carolina Coastline is always waiting for you.? What is even better, if it is not a county or state park, the beach access is free.

GALLERY:? Life at the Charleston Area Beaches

  • Dining – That speaks for itself. The James Beard Recipients, fine dining, casual dining, inventive culinary artists and food trucks are just the tip of the iceberg.? Here in Charleston, we over over 110+ brunch options.? That alone speaks volumes.

Charleston Brunch Guide

  • College Life – You want a city, not only brimming with shopping, dining, outdoor activities and tours, but a thriving college life, welcome to Charleston. Within the city proper, The Citadel and the College of Charleston will give you your fill of academic culture.? Students aside, the athletic and cultural offerings to the public are thriving.
  • History – First shots of the Civil War right here in Charleston. George Washington stayed in Charleston.? Pirates were hung from our trees.? Ghosts roam the Old City Jail and residential homes.? We can’t say enough about our history and thus we celebrate it with the Mace Brown Natural History Museum, Karpeles Manuscript Museum, Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, Historic Carriage Rides, Historic Walking Tours, Ghost Tours, Boat Tours and more.
  • South Carolina Aquarium – If you love sea and ocean life, but aren’t ready to get on a boat, the South Carolina Aquarium is a structurally beautiful, educational and fun way to spend the day on land and still feel the power and beauty of the ocean. Plus, it is located right on the harbor and offers majestic views.
  • Daytrips – What if I want to get away, but don’t want to spend the whole day in the car. We have a few options:? Augusta National – Augusta, GA; Beaufort, SC; Savannah, GA; Jekyll Island, GA; Myrtle Beach/Pawley’s Island, SC; Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, SC; Charlotte, NC; Asheville, NC; Appalachian Mountains.? I think we made a great point.

Check out 7 Great Charleston Area Escapes – Daytrips

  • Shopping – Louis Vuitton, West Elm, William Sonoma, Forever 21, Alex and Ani, Godiva, M. Dumas & Sons, Beckett Boutique, Le Creuset Boutique, MOSA Boutique, House of Sage, Forever 21, The Charleston City Market, Antique shops (High and Low End) and so much more.

We can certainly go on with Art Galleries, Coffee Houses, Biking, Churches of the Holy City, Dog Parks, Playgrounds, A Cat Café, Comedy, Theater and Film Festivals, but we hope this sheds a little light on why life is truly good in Charleston.

Ashley Hall Class Of 2018 Garners Record $4.5 Million in Merit Scholarship Awards

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Ashley Hall, South Carolina’s only independent girls’ school, held its 108th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 27 in a ceremony steeped in tradition and anticipating its graduates’ promising futures. The event celebrated the academic achievements of the Class of 2018 which received a record sum of more than $4.5 million in merit scholarships to colleges and universities in the United States and abroad, bringing the total merit awards of Ashley Hall graduates over five years to more than $9 million.

“I am thrilled for the Class of 2018,” said Head of School Jill Muti. “Our graduates are being honored at a time when colleges are recognizing the strength of an interdisciplinary curriculum that connects humanities and the sciences and when leadership for women and a global mindset mean more than ever.”

A premier independent school in the Southeast for girls, Ashley Hall is dedicated to deep learning, healthy development, high achievement, and community impact. The 54 members of the Class of 2018 were accepted at 111 higher education institutions and will attend 42 colleges and universities in 20 states and the District of Columbia, in addition to Wales in the United Kingdom.

When asked what makes college counseling at Ashley Hall distinctive, Director of College Counseling Amanda Murrell said, “We want to focus on the match, both academic and financial, between the student and the college or university. When the girls are able to look outside their obvious choices and see opportunities and advantages at schools they’ve never considered, Ashley Hall has succeeded.”

About Ashley Hall:

Founded in 1909 in Charleston, South Carolina, Ashley Hall’s mission to produce educated women who are independent, ethically responsible, and prepared to meet the challenges of society with confidence, is met through a challenging and rewarding academic program. With a diverse student body of approximately 690, Ashley Hall offers an individualized curriculum tailored to the learning styles of girls that provide its students with an outstanding education and competitive advantage in today’s world. For more information about the school, including enrollment, visit

The Ashley Hall 2018 College Acceptance List:

Aberystwyth University (Wales, UK)
The University of Alabama
Allegheny College
The American University of Paris
Anglia Ruskin University
Appalachian State University
The University of Arizona
Auburn University
Bard College
Baylor University
Belmont University
Beloit College
Berry College
Boston College
Brandeis University
Brevard College
Bryn Mawr College
University of California, Davis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
Carleton College
College of Charleston
College of Charleston, Honors
The Citadel
Clemson University, Honors
Coastal Carolina University
Colby College
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Denver
Dickinson College
Duke University
Elon University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Emmanuel College
Emory University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fashion Institute of Technology
Flagler College
University of Florida
Fordham University
Franklin & Marshall College
Furman University
The George Washington University
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Georgia
University of Georgia, Honors
University of Hawaii at Manoa
High Point University
Hollins University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Indiana University at Bloomington
James Madison University
Kenyon College
Lawrence University
Lewis & Clark College
Louisiana State University
Loyola University Chicago
Marymount Manhattan College
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Meredith College
Miami University
University of Miami
Michigan State University
University of Mississippi
New York University
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
North Carolina State University
University of Notre Dame
Pace University, New York City
Pennsylvania State University
Pitzer College
University of Portland
Purdue University
Rhodes College
Richmond, The American International University in London
Roanoke College
Rollins College
Salve Regina University
University of San Diego
University of San Francisco
San Jose City College
Sarah Lawrence College
Savannah College of Art and Design
Sewanee: The University of the South
Smith College
University of South Carolina
Southern Methodist University
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
The University of Tampa
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Texas A&M University
Texas Christian University
The New School
Tufts University
Tulane University
University of Aberdeen
Vanderbilt University
University of Vermont
Villanova University
Virginia Tech
University of Virginia
Wagner College
Wake Forest University
Washington and Lee University
Washington University in St. Louis
University of Washington
West Valley College
Westminster College
Winthrop University
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Wofford College
Xavier University

Photo Credit:?

Graduation is in the Air at the College of Charleston – Letter to our Future Leaders

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By Mark A. Leon

Reflections of Graduation 2018:? All the buzz is in the air this brisk morning as the soon to be graduates of the College of Charleston prepare for the honorary ceremony that will beckon their call to the trials and tribulations of life’s journey: professional achievement or personal failure. Gowned in white dresses and tuxedos, these bright eyed and bushy tailed students are ready for the next stop.

Some biking to the ceremony, others, walking alone and in groups and some crawling recovering from an evening of celebration. One student may have truly summed up the package in one permanent visionary memory. A long white gown with a dozen red roses and Red Bull in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Promise, gluttony, and addiction all wrapped up in one.

Today is a day of family and a day where we leave social status and prejudice behind and reflect on academic achievement. This is the moment when our youth steps out of the Utopian society of college and into the melting pot of life.

Happy Hour is replaced by staff meetings, fraternity parties by the Tonight Show and all-nighters, well they never go away.

With career planning books shelved at the bookstore and cases of champagne waiting to be uncorked it is a blend of pure emotion ranging from exuberance to fear. What is going through the minds of students at this defining stage? Post graduate studies, travel abroad, career, unemployment, following in their parents footsteps, continuing the same lifestyle, athletics or living for the next sunrise. So many questions without answers, so many decisions with lifetime repercussions.

This is a time of discovery; a time of judgement.

Last week, the United States Unemployment rate hit a low of 3.9%.?? This can send shivers down the spines, but that is when you dig deep into your heart, into the trenches of life’s greatest challenges and find the passion to change lives, to change the world and to leave a legacy burning along the way.? This is your time.

There are hundreds of thousands of articles written about you, the Millennials.? Some call you the creative renaissance; others the lazy generation where every moment is defined by a SnapChat or a 140 character observation,? Some say you are focused; while many claim you lack direction.? At the end of the day, you are not a defined as a group.? You are not a collective new generation, but the individual person you see on the other side of the mirror.? You define you.

When you look back fondly on those walks down Calhoun Street, late nights at Addlestone Library, dreaming on Cistern Yard or lazy days tanning at Marion Square, know you did something great in life.

To you, the college graduate, your time is now.
This is your chance to take your education and make a difference.
We salute you, wish you luck and thank you in advance for the impact you will make in the future.

Top 35 Best Big Data Degree Colleges of 2017 List Revealed: College of Charleston #5

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Best Computer Science Schools Digital released its rankings of the top 35 Best Schools for Big Data Degrees for 2017.? The list was topped by Case Western Reserve University.? Just below Case Western, the remainder of the top five was rounded out by Ohio State University, Elon University and Denison University and the College of Charleston.

The publication said of the #5 ranked College of Charleston:


Founded in 1770, the College of Charleston is a public liberal arts and science university serving approximately 10,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students. The school features comprehensive academic programs, a vibrant student community, and a faculty of more than 500 dedicated and distinguished teacher-scholars. The campus, located in historic downtown Charleston (and named the most beautiful college campus in America by Travel + Leisure magazine), is home to a world-renowned Data Science degree program.

Program Features

The Data Science program at the College of Charleston was the very first undergraduate degree of its kind to be offered in the United States. Students can pursue one of 14 specializations, including biomechanics, e-commerce, supply chain management, geoinformatics, molecular biology, and sociology. Coursework offered through the Data Science degree includes the following core curriculum:

  • Dataset Organization and Management
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Principles of Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science Capstone


Students in the Data Science program at College of Charleston have participated in paid internships with IBM, Bibliolife, the Medical University of South Carolina, and other top organizations. The school partners with the University of San Francisco for the Data Science Pathway Program, which provides College of Charleston Data Science graduates with priority admission to the University of San Francisco Master of Science in Analytics program.”

Rounding out the Top 35:

  • #6 Auburn University
  • #7 Miami University – Oxford
  • #8 Luther College
  • #9 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • #10 Arizona State University
  • #11 Smith College
  • #12 George Mason
  • #13 Penn State University
  • #14 Arkansas Technical University
  • #15 New York University
  • #16 Brigham Young University
  • #17 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • #18 University of California – Irvine
  • #19 Florida Polytechnic University
  • #20 University of Rochester
  • #21 Becker College
  • #22 Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • #23 University of Evanville
  • #24 Northern Kentucky University
  • #25 Valparaiso University
  • #26 Winona State University
  • #27 University of Iowa
  • #28 St. Mary’s University
  • #29 University of Minnesota – Duluth
  • #30 Westminster College
  • #31 University of Wisconsin – River Falls
  • #32 University of San Francisco
  • #33 University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • #34 Thomas Edison State University
  • #35 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Complete List and Details

Congratulations to the College of Charleston.? Go Cougars.

College of Charleston Student Bucket List – 50 Things to Do Before Graduation

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It is that time of year: The weather is showing slight signs of cooling, the city streets are filled with students back from the summer break or just starting the next phase of their lives. This is an exciting time to be in Charleston. We wanted to provide our students with a little stimulus to help motivate them during their time at the College of Charleston. Whether you are a freshman or senior, there are things on this list you may not yet have accomplished.

We have attached a PDF to download and print so you always have it with you.

We would love to hear from you if you complete the list or have a great story to share.

Good luck and let the Student Bucket List Games Begin!!!!

□ Attend a play at the Dock Street Theatre
□ Jog to, and around, Colonial Lake
□ Watch the Citadel’s Friday afternoon parade
□ Volunteer at a soup kitchen
□ Pledge a sorority/fraternity
□ Visit the turtle hospital at the aquarium
□ Go to a Charleston Battery game
□ Watch the sunrise on Folly Beach
□ Be a reading partner/big brother or sister
□ Play an intramural sport
□ Go kayaking on Shem Creek
□ Take a sunset Harbor Tour
□ Take sailing lessons
□ Attend church at the Music Farm
□ Participate in the Citadel Bulldog Challenge
□ Spend a day at a plantation
□ Take a picture w/the Clyde the Cougar statue
□ Eat at a 5 star restaurant
□ Paint the Folly boat
□ Picnic in Marion Square
□ See a show at the Windjammer
□ Take a class in something you know absolutely nothing about
□ Play Capture the Flag at White Point Gardens
□ Attend Open House at the Observatory on campus
□ Attend a RiverDogs opener game
□ Meet Bill Murray
□ Watch a meteor shower at Waterfront Park
□ Live on King Street
□ Eat at Gilroy’s at 3am
□ Eat oysters five ways
□ Participate in glow yoga on the beach
□ Join a school club
□ Park at the Battery and walk to class
□ Explore the streets south of Broad
□ Spend a sunny afternoon studying…or napping…in the Cistern
□ Finish an evening with a significant other on the swings at Waterfront Park
□ Be a part of Cistern Radio
□ Go on a haunted jail tour
□ Attend a Quidditch match at CofC
□ Go salsa dancing at The Hall in N. Charleston
□ Go to Record Store Day at Monster Music
□ Learn how to throw a cast net
□ Run the Ravenel Bridge
□ Try your luck at the CAB Casino Night
□ Learn how to surf
□ Work on your tan in Marion Square
□ Participate in at least 1 homecoming activity
□ Learn how to swing dance
□ Participate in the Polar Bear Plunge
□ Skip class to hang out on the beach

CofC Bucket List – Printable Version

cd2 2017 Top Party Schools in South Carolina – College of Charleston Ranked Pretty High

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The 2017 Top Party Schools ranking is based on student reviews and nightlife statistics. Top party colleges have a vibrant and diverse party scene – they offer fun options both on and off campus and students rate their peers as being fun, friendly, and into partying.

The College of Charleston was ranked as the #2 party school in South Carolina and #39 in the nation in the latest study on Best Party Schools.? Here is the top 15 in the state.

  1. University of South Carolina
  2. College of Charleston
  3. Clemson University
  4. Coastal Carolina University
  5. Wofford University
  6. Benedict College
  7. Presbyterian College
  8. Morris College
  9. Francis Marion University
  10. Lander University
  11. Winthrop University
  12. South Carolina State University
  13. Furman University
  14. Newberry College
  15. University of South Carolina Update

Complete National List

Complete South Carolina State List

Ranking Criteria and Methodology

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Student Surveys on Party Scene Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the quality of the party scene at each school. Self-reported by Niche users 70.0%
Access to Bars A measure of both the proximity (per square mile) and the availability (per capita) of bars and similar establishments. U.S. Census 15.0%
Athletics Grade Niche Athletics grade, which incorporates factors such as number of national championships won, athletic department revenue, as well as student surveys regarding athletics on campus. Niche 7.5%
Greek Life Grade Niche Greek Life grade, which incorporates statistics and student surveys regarding Greek life on campus. Niche 7.5%


US News Top Colleges/Universities Named: #1 Public School South Regional – The Citadel / #4 College of Charleston

Congratulations to The Citadel and The College of Charleston both being named in the Top 5 of the Best Regional (Southern) Public Schools.

Here are some specific links and quick facts around our two local academic institutions.? We are proud of all the students, faculty and staff that continue to make us proud each and every year.

Welcome to the new Class of 2020.


Public Schools in The South Rankings

Regional Universities South Rankings

Top National Universities


The Citadel – Overview

#1 – Public Schools – South Region

#3 – Overall Regional Schools – South Region

#3 – Best Colleges for Veterans

Overall Ranking: 90/100

Quick Stats:

In-state tuition and fees: $11,364

Out of state tuition and fees: $31,780

Total Enrollment: 3,506

Founded:? 1842


College of Charleston Overview

#4 – Public Schools – South Region

#10 – Overall Regional Schools – South Region

#218 – Business Programs – National

Overall Ranking: 75/100

Quick Stats:

In-state tuition and fees:? $11,360

Out of state tuition and fees:? $28,904

Total Enrollment:? 11,531

Founded: 1770

Charleston Southern Football welcomes Evan Cruz to their family

By Mark A. Leon - Photography by Craig Bailey / Florida Today
By Mark A. Leon – Photography by Craig Bailey / Florida Today

On November 14, 2015, Evan Cruz, a sought after recruit for Charleston Southern University Football, was invited to attend the Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon game against Liberty and visit the campus. On the way to the game from Viera, Florida his father, cousin and Evan made a brief stop outside of Savannah, GA. On the way back to the highway, they were T-boned and sent spinning off the road.

Evan’s father was rushed to the local hospital for a possible rib injury while Evan and his cousin were examined for precautionary measures and spent the majority of that Saturday in the ER. Evan and his family did not complete that trip, but something happened that remained with Evan and his family long after that day. After contacting the coaching staff regarding his accident, they showed genuine concern for Evan and his family by checking in on them even well after the Liberty game. The idea of family and values that embodies the Charleston Southern Football team never left Evan.

The week before signing day Evan remained in Florida and had still not made it to Charleston Southern University. He had yet to commit to where he would play the following year though Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Florida Institute of Technology were actively pursuing him. A visit Photograhy by Ernie Cruzfrom Charleston Southern Buccaneer Quarterback Coach and Florida Recruiter, Mark Tucker to Viera High School, made the decision easier for the future physical therapist. Coach Tucker along with the rest of the staff knew that Evan was the right “fit” for the university. With a strong faith system, solid academic focus (carrying a 3.8 GPA), a balance of mental and physical health and a future career plan in place, Evan symbolized the player the coaching staff knew would be an integral part of the winning team he wants to build.

After a few days of deep family discussions, Evan committed to the Charleston Southern team. Coach Tucker cautioned Evan about making his decision without even seeing the campus however weighing all the factors and remembering the incredible outreach after his accident, Evan knew this was the right move.

Just two days after seeing the campus for the first time and three weeks after committing to Charleston Southern, Charleston Daily sat down with Evan, and his parent’s, Ernie and April, at Carmella’s on East Bay Street on a sunny Friday afternoon to discuss the past, present and future of one of the newest Buccaneers.

Evan’s Childhood

Evan’s football career began when he was 5 years old, in a town known more for soccer than football. With his father Ernie Cruz coaching his little league youth football team, Evan and five of his closest friends developed leadership skills, strength, discipline and a lifelong commitment to the game.

At age five, Evan didn’t know that someday, he would step onto the field as a member of two remaining teams playing in the state championship. That became a reality for him and 27 other graduating seniors on December 11, 2015, the last football game Evan played before making a life changing move to Charleston this fall.

Photography by Ernie CruzEntering the Viera High School football program as high-school freshmen, Evan’s class, led by Coach Kevin Mays, carried on its back a team that was 12 – 30 the previous four years and when the final whistle blew at the end of the 2012 season, the Hawks managed only one victory. How does one recover from such losses and rebuild? Possibly by remembering their youth football coach’s words that he instilled – follow your heart, believe in yourself and never stop fighting.

That year, 2013, Evan’s high school team went from a one win season to 8 – 2. The 2014 and 2015 seasons, they were also victorious with 9-1 and 10-5 records, respectively.

The dramatic turnaround for the team led by Coach Mays and staff brought hope and rejuvenation to the town of Viera. Fan support began to stretch outside of Viera to neighboring counties and even from Allen, TX ( Viera played an out of state match-up against national ranked Allen Eagles earlier in the season)following this string of wins with rally cries all the way to the state championship.

Viera Hawks Football stands behind the mission: Unity defines our willingness to work as a team to put forth the effort to win the battle. These are strong words that will only lead to success with unwavering leadership, confidence and fight. What Ernie Cruz embedded in his little league youth football team ten years earlier was equally enforced during their time representing Viera Hawks Football.

Today, Evan enters into a program that has lived a similar storyline. From 2007 through 2012, Charleston Southern went 26 – 41; since then they have been 28 – 10 with big match-ups against Florida and Florida State slated for the next two seasons. With so many similarities in the programs and a coaching staff that feels like family, Evan’s decision to join Charleston Southern continues to be reinforced internally.

Evan has now visited his future campus, and is due to attend classes and start practice in the summer semester. He is settling in with his teammates and knows they are growing into one big family that truly cares about one another. Ernie and April Cruz feel comfortable with the Christian fellowship available at Charleston Southern as well as the comfortable hospitality offered by the city of Charleston. A warm genuineness permeated our interview with April, Ernie and Evan. They were very generous with their stories and enthusiastic about the future. An adage emerged several times during our conversation; everything happens for a reason. Faith and goodwill brought together Evan Cruz and Charleston Southern University. The partnership of a young student athlete and a growing football program will lead to a bright future for both.

Photography by Cathy Heinz / Viera Vision