CSU and KION North America form tuition discount partnership

May 20, 2024

KION North America and Charleston Southern University held a signing ceremony at KION NA’s stateside headquarters in Summerville celebrating a new tuition discount program. The memorandum of understanding offers KION NA employees a 25 percent discount for a degree program at Charleston Southern.

“This opportunity extended to KION NA employees is a symbol of Charleston Southern’s dedication to meeting the needs of our workforce,” Keith Faulkner, president of CSU, said. “By partnering with KION NA, we are able to provide pathways in career advancement. This is an investment in students and our community and furthers our goal to serve international businesses right here in the Charleston metro region.”

All permanent, full-time employees of KION NA who are accepted by Charleston Southern University can enjoy a 25% reduction of tuition for all traditional on-campus undergraduate programs as well as CSU’s online undergraduate degrees including hospitality and tourism (BS), management (BS), professional studies (BS), project management (BS), and student ministry (BA).

In addition to undergraduate degrees, employees can also choose from 17 online and on-campus graduate programs, including biology, business, business analytics, computer science, leadership, nursing, and supply chain management. For the full list of offerings, go to charlestonsouthern.edu/corporate-partnerships.

“At KION North America, we have a heavy focus on continuous improvement. Whether it’s related to our product, processes, or our people we encourage development. This agreement with Charleston Southern serve as both a reminder and resource for our people to prioritize their growth alongside that of our business,” states Jonathan Dawley, president and CEO of KION NA. “I hope that many of our team members take advantage of this unique program paired with our generous Tuition Assistance benefit. I am very excited to see what we accomplish having invested in ourselves.”

In March, Charleston Southern launched Global Charleston, a center that serves international businesses and residents. It serves the community by supporting international residents who come to the Charleston area to establish internal companies through a variety of ways, including information about complex relocation processes, an online directory, learning opportunities, and more. KION NA began its relationship with CSU as a major sponsor of Global Charleston.

At the grand opening, Stephanie LeVan, president of Global Charleston, said, “This center serves as a declaration to our global partners that the Charleston Metro area walks in the ancient, proven, well-worn paths of friendship, respect, trade, and diplomacy,” LeVan said to a crowd of global leaders and supporters on Friday. “These pillars have built good will among nations for centuries, and we rely on these same pillars today as they have created the strong, vibrant, gloriously global community that we call home. Our mission at Charleston Southern and at Global Charleston is to strengthen these ties that bind us in our region and ensure that the global community is served well not only with the information they need to live, but with information they need to thrive.”

Daniel Schlegel, vice president of operations and customer service for KION NA, said that Global Charleston is important to the community and to Charleston Southern. He shared a personal story of being an immigrant from Germany—first on a work visa and, ultimately, successfully working toward American citizenship. During his acclimation to life in the United States, he had a few roadblocks due to lack of guidance.

“If you come here for business, and you have other things to worry about, it is great having a resource that can help you take care of things—and having a place where you can talk to people who have experience and can guide you along,” he said.

To learn more about degree programs and tuition assistance opportunities at CSU, go to charlestonsouthern.edu/corporate-partnerships. KION NA employees may reach out to Student Accounts with proof of current employment to apply the tuition discount.


About Charleston Southern University

Founded in 1964 in the heart of the Charleston metro area, Charleston Southern University is a private, Christian liberal arts university. With an enrollment of approximately 3,400 students, CSU offers more than 80 academically rigorous and faith-integrated undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Charleston Southern has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report nationally for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. Students can learn online or in a traditional classroom setting, all while discovering their pathway to purpose. 

About KION North America

Headquartered in Summerville, S.C., KION North America Corporation is a member of the KION Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial trucks. Their brand companies, Linde and Baoli, serve the specific industrial truck requirements of the US, Canadian and Mexican markets with a broad and complementary product portfolio. KION North America produces material handling equipment known for its innovative technologies, reduced energy consumption, and low operating costs. KION North America also works closely with its sister company, Dematic, a global leader in automated material handling that provides a broad range of intelligent supply chain and automation solutions.