New school, new technology, low tuition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 27, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-Offering an education for half the average price of an Alabama

college or university tuition, Alabama Southern has opened its door for its first full academic year.

“We’re excited,” Dr. John Johnson, president, said. “It’s a new fall with a new slate of classes.”

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Approximately 30 students participated in Tuesday’s four-hour orientation.

Students new to Alabama Southern were introduced to faculty members, including advisors, were given student Ids, and briefed on student development, SSS, organizations, the library, WebCT, and ASCC online.

Prizes were given out for winners of ice breaker games and refreshments were served at the close of the program.

“We provide a full complement of undergraduate coursework,” Johnson said. “It’s the first two years of most four-year universities.”

Enrollment has increased from about 130 students last fall to 200 at the start of this semester.

“We should continue to grow for the first three or four years,” Johnson said.

Johnson said students attend Alabama Southern because it’s about half the cost, they get more personal attention, the faculty is full-time, and the classes are smaller.

“Alabama Southern is the only Alabama college to give learning styles assessments to entering students,” he said.

He also said Southern was on the “cutting edge of transforming the face of higher education.”

A dry-erase board that uses a projection screen and programmed markers to create written images is in every classroom. Some rooms also feature a monitor similar to the ones sportscasters use to illustrate plays during a football game.

All teachers put their class notes online for easy access if a student is absent from class and ports are in classrooms so students may use their laptops to take notes or access online notes during class.

“Our goal is to empower our faculty and students with technology,” the 15-year president said.

Orientation sessions for new students will occur until the beginning of classes on August 18.