ASU on the road to more growth - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ASU on the road to more growth

July 17, 2006

Albany-- Albany State University is known as a little "Jewel of the South" and more students are discovering that jewel each year. The incoming freshman class might be Albany State's biggest ever. That means a greater economic impact for Southwest Georgia and more future graduates that could fill jobs in our area.

Right now at Albany State, the campus is as calm as the blowing trees but things will definitely change come August. "We are preparing and we are putting strategic things in place," says New Student Orientation Program Director Dr. Stephanie Harris-Jolley.

That's because school leaders recently wrapped up their first of two big Fall orientations. "We had over 365 students here," says Harris-Jolley. Dr. Stephanie Harris-Jolley oversees the orientation program each year.

"That was the largest number we've ever had in our June orientation and we are anticipating the same in August," says Harris-Jolley. The school normally averages between 265 and 280 students for orientation but they've never crossed the 300 mark before. 

Jolley credits recruiting efforts of both the school and students.

"They are recruiting for us and we also have a great recruiting program," says Harris-Jolley. It's working.  But this isn't just good news for Albany State. "It's growth for all of us. When Albany State grows, the Albany community grows," says Harris-Jolley.

ASU is prepared for the growth. The school has ongoing construction of dorms. They'll help to house 1,700 students.

"Laws of probability said eventually it would happen and I think we're at that benchmark," says Harris-Jolley. The school hopes to help students cross the education mark into careers. "We have a lot of students coming in interested in our Criminal Justice program, especially our forensic science," says Harris-Jolley.

Those not interested in justice are finding interest in medicine at ASU, meaning more lawyers and doctors right here in South Georgia.

"A lot of our students relocate to the Albany area and stay here and we like to see that also," says Harris-Jolley. So pretty soon, Albany State could transition from the little jewel to the big jewel of the South.

"Growth is good!," says Harris-Jolley.

Dr. Harris-Jolley says along with an increase in students comes an increase in faculty and staff. The school also credits its growth to alumni sending their children to their alma mater.

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