Pre-registration exceeds expectations

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 4, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – Without Alabama Southern College’s Demopolis campus, Pat Davis said she wouldn’t be attending college.

“I’m probably old enough to be your grandmother,” she said to Augusta Waters, an ASC staffer helping her enroll in inaugural fall classes for the Demopolis-based Higher Education Center.

Alabama Southern hosted pre-registration Tuesday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Fort Harold Johnson National Guard Armory on Alabama Highway 43 S.

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“I’ve been out of school at least 50 years. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go if the campus was not established here,” she said.

“It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread,” she added with a chuckle.

Davis will be taking a mathematics class and an ethics class at the college this fall.

She was just one of 42 Demopolis-area residents who took advantage of the school’s pre-registration program that included placement testing, financial aid counseling, academic advising and class registration.

Dr. Arthur Ogden, Demopolis campus director, ranked the day a success.

“We were hoping to have 30 pre-registered today,” he said. “In addition to the 42 in pre-registration today, 56 more have applied or applied for financial aid and couldn’t make it in today.”

Ogden said the college expects 100 students by the time classes begin.

Anita Haskins, another Demopolis resident taking advantage of the community college, said her motivation for enrolling was to hone skills she uses on her job at Gulf States.

“I work with computers at Gulf States and I wanted to broaden my skills,” she said.

State Rep. Thomas Jackson paid a visit to registration and said the location of the college in Demopolis was a boon for the area.

“Everybody talks about how hot it is outside and how heavy the air is, but this is a breath of fresh air for Demopolis and I’m proud and happy that Alabama Southern is here,” he said. “People in our area are longing and thirsting for education and we’ve seen people come in with that longing and thirst today. People want education here.”

The college will offer additional pre-registration and registration opportunities between now the time classes begin.

On Thursday, pre-registration will be conducted from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Focused Industry Training Center on South Cedar Avenue in Demopolis, and again on Aug. 10, 12, and 19 at the FAT Center. Registration for the Demopolis campus can also be completed at Alabama Southern’s Thomasville campus on Aug. 18.

“We’re very pleased with the turnout,” Ogden said. “People who have pre-enrolled are excited as well.”

Evening classes begin at Demopolis High School on Aug. 20, and day classes will begin in the nearly completed Higher Education Center on Oct. 11.