College expanding its recruiting tactics

From the The Brunswick News

Since its transition from a two-year college to a four-year institution, College of Coastal Georgia has sought to bring in more students to its Brunswick and Camden campuses.

But with dwindling enrollment numbers across the state, it hasn't been easy. Private colleges and the 31 public universities and colleges in the University System of Georgia have reported some slippage in student count in recent years.

Although the Brunswick college has not been hit as hard as some of the others in the university system, it is expanding its tactics and looking for more ways to attract traditional and nontraditional students.

The college is reaching out to a diverse crowd of students, both inside and outside the region. A wide variety of students will benefit all, says Clayton Daniels, assistant vice president for enrollment management.

"We've been identified by the University System (of Georgia) as a college of choice," Daniels said.

That helps recruiters in areas like Atlanta, Macon and North Georgia.

The college is working on two fronts in its five-county region. Daniels says he, college president Gregory Aloia and others have been meeting with school system superintendents and heads of departments to see how they can create a partnership.

"We want to look at how we can partner with them to provide access to students who are ready to go to college and would like to gain credit in their last year or two of high school through the Excel program," Daniels said of the college's dual-enrollment opportunity for students.

"We want to see how we can remove barriers and make it easier and more affordable."

Students can earn college credit through the university and at greatly discounted price, Daniels said. That will hopefully encourage them to seek a post-secondary education and attend College of Coastal Georgia.

Coastal also is taking aim at students who are not necessarily leaning toward post-secondary education and those who might be but who will have to struggle through remediation or learning support after high school to even make it to college.

The trick is to catch problems early and make the path to and through college less stressful.

"We're working on some data about how students perform with us and then giving the data back to schools, having our faculty members look at where deficiencies are to work better with high school curriculum to bring in the needed effort in their senior year so they don't have to get that extra learning support after high school," Daniels explained. "Some students waste a year of learning and funds on that support that doesn't even count for college credit."

On the non-traditional front, Daniels says the college is looking into how it can make the campus more accessible to adult learners. Improving online course offerings, part-time classes and providing an opportunity for adults with previous experience in fields to turn that into college credit are just a few of the strategies on Coastal's list.

"Most of the struggle is finding a way to see how fast a student can get through school," he said. "Most adult learners are part-time and life can get in the way. Some might have to stay for eight years to complete a degree. We want to see how we can speed that process up for them."

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Release Date: 10/18/2013
Source: The Brunswick News

By SARAH LUNDGREN