Viewpoint: Darton continues to grow and improve

In 1966, several hundred young people attended their first college classes in a handful of buildings at the brand new Albany Junior College on Gillionville Road.

In the 46 intervening years, that small school has become an education force. The campus has exploded with new state of the art buildings, new classrooms, labs, a performing arts center, and tremendous athletic facilities.

The name of the school changed as well. AJC became Darton College, and has just been designated Darton State College.

Darton State now offers a four-year degree, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 84 associate degrees, and 49 certificate programs. Nearly 15,000 students have earned associate degrees from Darton, 1,260 students have earned certificates.

Darton's nursing program is a major point of pride for the school. Its graduates consistently have among the highest first-time pass rates on the state licensing exam. Darton has provided more than 3,500 nurses to healthcare profession.

Gone are the days when Darton was just a commuter college. Now nearly 500 students occupy Darton's on-campus dormitories.

Darton has been designated a Military Friendly School by G. I. Jobs magazine, and has been in the Top 10 Digital Community Colleges for many years. As an education at a major research university becomes prohibitively expensive for more and more students, Darton remains a great education bargain.

We congratulate President Dr. Peter Sireno and his faculty and staff on a great job of leadership at Darton. And we hope for hope for the continued success for Albany's two year institution of higher learning, as it approaches half a century of service to the community.