ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Technical college have enrolled more students this fall than ever before. And the lagging economy may be the reason.
There are just under three-thousand students this quarter, with 171 more than this time last year.
Some of those new faces are not your traditional students. The school is seeing more older adults working to improve their skill set.
There is barely enough room to accommodate all of the students working in the culinary arts lab at Albany Tech, and this is the trend throughout the college. Eighty percent of programs has shown some growth since last fall.
With this growth also comes a change in the student body. "We have more high school students than we had last year at this time, but our biggest growth is from younger adults 22-years-old and older," said Dr. Anthony Parker, school president.
"I have noticed more mature students going back to school to secure more training in case the inevitable happens," said student Wanda Edwards.
The economic slowdown has encouraged more adults to go back to school while they work to stay abreast of the competition.
"It may be that they need to understand new software and drafting, computer technology, etc., and we see them coming back to be current in those fields."
"What can I do today in another area to make money, perhaps if my cash cow or my job of experience goes away. And that is what happened to me," said Edwards.
Wanda Edwards is a software consultant who is now enrolled in surgical technologies. "The information technology field is very limited in the Albany area. Where as the medical field is wide open in this area."
Edwards, as well as the other adults at Albany Tech, hope these improvements will make them recession proof as they continue to work to make it through these tough times.
There are also 27% more students taking online courses compared to last summer. More than 70% of Albany Tech students take at least one online class.