ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany State University is focusing heavily on recruiting students in southwest Georgia as the university works to battle declining enrollment numbers following the school's recent consolidation with Darton State University.
Just ahead of the merger, the two schools saw the biggest drops in enrollment for the 2016 fall semester, compared to other schools in the University System of Georgia, according to USG enrollment reports.
The ASU Office of Admissions and Recruitment is traveling to high schools in the 26-county region as part of its recruitment plan. On Tuesday, the university visited Monroe High School to provide students with information about the university's academic offerings and opportunities.
President Dr. Art Dunning said the tour is important to show students the value of higher education and what's available to them in their own backyard.
He said while enrollment numbers are a concern, recruitment efforts go beyond boosting numbers.
"This is a serious endeavor for us is to educate and elevate our citizens. So this is not just about recruiting students, this is about changing the lives of our region, that's how significant this is," Dr. Dunning said.
Administrators said they're seeing promising results.
"Right now, our admissions applications, the actual students being admitted are slightly up, and we believe that those success indicators are showing us that we're turning this ship around," said Dr. B. Donta Truss, ASU Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Retention.
Officials added that enrollment declines are not unusual for consolidating schools and those numbers tend to eventually rise again.
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