Ogden: Enrollment steadily increasing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2006

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Dr. Arthur Ogden says he is happy with the progress of Alabama Southern&8217;s Demopolis Campus.

Ogden, the campus director, said enrollment broke the 150-student mark and filled 35 instructional sections.

When the campus opened three years ago, Alabama Southern guaranteed that &8220;every class would be delivered regardless of enrollment,&8221; Ogden said.

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At the start of the third year, expectations were exceeded.

The lowest enrollment of any section was 12 students, which is actually three less than what the college likes to see. But Ogden said they made the decision to leave it open.

Going forward, the former football coach said he will not rest until enrollment is double its current level.

Part of the plan to recruit more students is to diversify the activities and offerings of the school, which is a joint project between Alabama Southern, the University of West Alabama, the University of Alabama and Auburn University.

The first is a series of special events that will tie in with Christmas on the River.

A &8220;Demopolis Writers Hall&8221; will be set up to feature famous literary artists who have come from the area.

In addition, a Smithsonian Institute traveling exhibit will open on Dec. 1 at the college. The exhibit, entitled &8220;Between Fences,&8221; looks at the role of fences in American culture throughout history.

Long-term plans also include offering degrees from Auburn through the Demopolis Campus.

Ogden said students would take their first two years of course-work from Alabama Southern and then transfer to an Auburn curriculum track.

However, the classes would either be taught via video-conference or the Internet, or by Auburn professors who visited the campus as part of independent study-like courses.

Ogden says today&8217;s technology has made it easier for colleges to reach more people, offering some the chance to get a college degree who might not have otherwise had the opportunity.