ABAC adds five new bachelors programs

Updated: Aug. 14, 2017 at 5:43 PM EDT
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Kaycee Aultman, sophomore (Source: WALB)
Kaycee Aultman, sophomore (Source: WALB)
David Bridges, ABAC President (Source: WALB)
David Bridges, ABAC President (Source: WALB)

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - When Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College students go back to class Wednesday, some students may be surprised to learn they have more choices to major in.

David Bridges, ABAC President, said the program concentrations act like a trial run.

"What that allows us to do is get everything in place and make sure it's working and it's not quite such a risk," said Bridges.

Bridges said they are adding more majors to cater to student demand.

He estimates 500 students will fall into one of the five new majors. The school has more than 3,470 students, so about one-seventh of student population will be effected.

"Our traditionally more liberal arts oriented students etc., social science oriented students, history oriented students etc., have long wanted a degree program with a major name that appeals directly to them as a student," explained Bridges.

ABAC's Board of Regents voted last week to allow five concentrations to become majors including: Agribusiness, Agricultural Communication, History and Government, Rural Community Development and Writing and Communication.

Kaycee Aultman, ABAC sophomore, declared as a rural studies major with a concentration in writing and communication last fall, but now she'll be able to solely pursue writing and communication.

"Finding out it's going to be a stand alone degree is super exciting," Aultman exclaimed.

Aultman didn't expect the majors to be approved before she graduates.

But Bridges said he and ABAC staff have been working on adding the programs since last year.

"Finally you have the chance to do something that really is going to encompass everything I see myself doing in a career," said Aultman.

Bridges said these bachelors programs attract more students to stay all four years at the college rather than completing general education requirements in two years and moving onto a different institution to specialize.

Bridges also said since 2008 the college has seen an increase in enrollment of bachelors programs.

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