Troy to shut doors in Cov­ing­ton

Mon­ti­cello Street sup­port cen­ter to close to ac­com­mo­date more on­line classes

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DUANE M. FORD news@cov­news.com

Troy Univer­sity is clos­ing its Cov­ing­ton Sup­port Cen­ter some­time be­fore Sept. 30, 2017. That is when its lease for the build­ing it has been us­ing in down­town Cov­ing­ton runs out.

The de­ci­sion to close the Cov­ing­ton site was made in early Octo- ber. Clif Lusk, Univer­sity Re­la­tions Co­or­di­na­tor for Troy Univer­sity, said that the de­ci­sion is a “re­flec­tion of the mar­ket de­mand for on­line rather than in-per­son classes, es­pe­cially among adult learn­ers who are pur­su­ing grad­u­ate de­grees, the pre­dom­i­nant type of stu­dent served in Cov­ing­ton.” On­line learn­ing does not re­quire phys­i­cal class­room build­ings, such as the one Troy has been leas­ing in Cov­ing­ton.

Staci Hutto, Area Co­or­di­na­tor for the At­lanta Sup­port Cen­ter, said that adult stu­dents, who are balanc­ing work, fam­ily, and oth­er­wise busy lives while go­ing to col­lege, like the time and place flex­i­bil­ity of on­line learn­ing. “Troy does a lot of as­sess­ment of stu­dent needs and pref­er­ences. Stu­dents are mi­grat­ing to on­line learn­ing.”

Hutto in­di­cated that the clo­sure of the Cov­ing­ton Sup­port Cen­ter will have lit­tle im­pact on Troy Univer­sity’s cur­rent on­line stu­dents. They will con­tinue to take the same on­line classes they would nor­mally take. The main change is that stu­dents will use Troy Univer­sity’s web-based ser­vices, go to the At­lanta Sup­port Cen­ter lo­cated in Sandy Springs, Georgia, or make spe­cial ar­range­ments for proc­tored tests or one-on-one aca­demic ad­vis­ing.

Those few stu­dents who pre­fer might face-to-face classes at the Cov­ing­ton Sup­port Cen­ter will suf­fer the largest im­pact. Ac­cord­ing to Lusk, there are only five stu­dents cur­rently en­rolled in face-to­face classes of­fered in Cov­ing­ton. In the fu­ture, Troy oc­ca­sion­ally

may of­fer a face-to-face class in the At­lanta-metro re­gion, but that will de­pend on stu­dent de­mand for such classes. Hutto and Lusk ex­pect all stu­dents to even­tu­ally move to on­line cour­ses.

There are two full-time em­ploy­ees work­ing at the Cov­ing­ton Sup­port Cen­ter. Ac­cord­ing to Lusk, the lone full-time fac­ulty mem­ber here has a “course load that is pre­dom­i­nantly on­line course in­struc­tion and will not be im­pacted by the change.” He said the one full-time staff mem­ber will have “the op­tion of trans­fer­ring to a new as­sign­ment.”

When asked if Troy Univer­sity will con­tinue to serve the New­ton County area, Lusk said, “Troy re­cruits stu­dents in all Georgia coun­ties and will con­tinue to do so. Our re­cruiters are very ac­tive in high schools, cor­po­rate set­tings, the pub­lic sec­tor, and for on­line stu­dents. Re­cruiters are sta­tioned where there is suf­fi­cient pop­u­la­tion in­ter­ested in higher ed­u­ca­tion and in Troy par­tic­u­larly. New­ton County con­tin­ues to be very im­por­tant to the Univer­sity and we are com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing stu­dents and alumni now and into the fu­ture. Cur­rently, there are 65 stu­dents en­rolled from New­ton County, across all Troy plat­forms (tra­di­tional, non-tra­di­tional, and on­line stu­dents).”

Duane M. Ford | The Cov­ing­ton News

Troy Univer­sity will close its Cov­ing­ton Sup­port Cen­ter some­time be­fore Septem­ber 30, 2017.

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