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Bearings: News and Perspectives for Academic Affairs

Bearings: News & Perspectives for Academic Affairs

The Typical Armstrong Student?

Apr 21, 2013, 11:19 pm - Carey Adams

Defining the “typical” college student is harder than it used to be.  For example, at Armstrong more than one in five undergraduate students are between the ages of 25 and 35, and more than 25% of undergraduates attend part-time.  Nowhere has the diversity of our student body been more evident to me than at last week’s Awards Convocation.

Awards Convocation provides a wonderful cross-section of our students and their accomplishments.  (This was also true of last week’s TechFest 2013, as it will be of the Student Scholarship Symposium this week and numerous fine arts performances and exhibits.)  Every college and department is represented, and top university awards are widely distributed among scientists, artists, teachers, and health professionals.  For me, however, this disciplinary diversity was overshadowed by the incredible diversity of the students themselves.

The students who graced the stage last week included veterans, single mothers and returning students seeking second and third careers, as well as traditional 19 year old freshmen.  We cheered for students whose parents and grandparents had attended Armstrong as well as for some who were the first in their families to attend any college.  We honored African-American, Hispanic, Latino, Caucasian, and Asian students.

We see this incredible diversity despite the fact that nearly 90% of our students come from within the state of Georgia and more than two-thirds of those from the Coastal region.  It would appear that the only thing our “typical” students share in common is a peach on their drivers’ licenses.  That, and their need and desire for the benefits of an Armstrong education.

Our Fall 2013 enrollment target is 7,451.  This is 12 more students than were enrolled in Fall 2012 for those of you keeping score at home.  We will meet this target because of our ability to serve an increasingly diverse population of students who are depending on us.  Our students are active military and retired veterans, recent high school graduates and dual enrollment students, residential and commuter, full-time and part-time, international and local, traditional age and returning adults, on campus and online. 

We serve a great and noble mission in providing superior and accessible education to our region, the state, and beyond.  Occasions like Awards Convocation and our upcoming commencement exercises serve to remind us just how great the rewards are.

Sails up, Armstrong.

Carey