Last fall, the Coker College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the institution’s name to Coker University effective July 1, 2019.
Coker University is an accurate reflection of our degree offerings. As of today, Coker has five master’s degree programs, grants bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 subject areas, and offers four bachelor’s degrees that can be earned entirely online. By becoming Coker University, the value of our degrees will be more clearly indicated to both international and domestic audiences, and the breadth of opportunities available to Coker students will be implied in our institutional name, rather than requiring further explanation.
Under the new structure of Coker University, there will be the College of Humanities and Sciences with Dr. Andrea Coldwell as Dean, the School of Business with Dr. Andy Burkemper as Dean, the School of Visual and Performing Arts with Professor Angela Gallo as Dean, and the already existing Wiggins School of Education with Dr. Karen Carpenter continuing as Dean.
The crux of a Coker education will still center around personalized, discussion-based learning and the values of our student covenant: integrity, respect, scholarship, sustainability, service, and contribution. When you ask Coker students how they've changed during their time here, they almost always respond with something relating to a purpose, a passion, or a plan. "I’ve become a more outspoken person, more driven and motivated," said Destany Gause, ‘19, winner of the 2019 Algernon Sydney Sullivan student award. "I’ve picked the right path and it could lead me in a lot of different ways," said Micah Hancock, an honors program student, first-generation student, and a Algernon Sydney Sullivan Scholarship recipient. Florisol Ortuno, ‘18, a working mother and graduate from our evening program, shared, "I am a living proof that it's never too late and there are no limitations when you really want to achieve a goal...Through all my years at Coker, I felt accepted and supported, just like in a family."
“Change of any kind always takes some getting used to, particularly for an institution that’s been around for more than a century, but change has become increasingly more necessary in the field of higher education,” said Robert Wyatt, president of Coker. “The name Coker University is going to showcase the breadth of our academic offerings, from undergraduate degrees to graduate degrees to online degrees, as well as the growing number of students we’re seeing from around the country and the world. It’s an exciting time for Coker and for our community.”
Coker University will remain true to the Coker experience. A new title does not rewrite our story. This name change is just that—a change in name. The heart of Coker remains the same. We are, as always, a family.
For more information, please visit www.coker.edu.
So what’s changing? Will Coker’s mission be different now?
Coker’s mission and values remain the same. We are still committed to providing a student-centered learning environment, celebrating lifelong learning and helping students to become their personal best. We care, first and foremost, about the wellbeing of our students and our greater Coker community. A new name could never change that.
What is the difference between a college and a university?
While there are no official guidelines that define university or college status, it is worth noting that the term “college” tends to hold a different meaning outside of the United States. In much of the world, “college” indicates high school, community college, vocational school, or trade school, while “university” is a place where students earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Will tuition go up because of the name change?
No. Our new university status does not impact the pricing of a Coker education. As always, tuition costs are subject to small, incremental increases from year to year—but that is part of normal institutional operations and is unrelated to our change in name.
Will current students graduate from Coker College or Coker University?
The graduating class of December 2019 will be the first official graduates of Coker University. Students graduating before the official name change takes place on July 1, 2019 will receive diplomas from Coker College.
Can alumni get new diplomas that say Coker University?
Alumni, including May 2019 graduates, may order a new Coker University diploma if they wish. Please note that these diplomas will be signed by current university leadership, so they will not be a replica of your original document. More information about alumni diploma orders will be available after July 1, 2019.
When I request a transcript, will it say Coker College or Coker University?
Because a transcript is an official academic record, it must show the current name of the institution. However, the transcript key will also note that prior to July 1, 2019, Coker University was known as Coker College.
Will Coker’s logo change? What about the navy and gold school colors?
The essential elements of our logo will remain the same. The only change will be, of course, the switch from “College” to “University.” The word “University” will also appear in a slightly heavier font for best legibility. The school colors remain the same navy and gold.
Will campus signage and other printed materials change? Yes. Over the next few months, and into the summer, we will be working to replace existing Coker College signage with the appropriate Coker University graphics. Designs and templates for printed materials, stationary, business cards, etc., will also be shifted during this time. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we make this transition.
What should students, alumni, and employees use on their resumé, CV, LinkedIn, etc.?
You may use whichever name you’d like. Both are credible representations of our institution. However, for alumni, faculty, or staff who were here while we operated as Coker College, it would be common practice to write “Coker University (formerly Coker College)” after July 1, 2019.