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Fall enrollment down, organizations feel impact

by Hillary Straba


A report released by VSU says that this year’s fall enrollment is set at 11,820 students. This represents a 4.9 percent decrease from last year.

The decrease is seen in both undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as in majors across the board.

However, this decline in student enrollment has not negatively impacted the organizational leadership major in the College of Arts and Sciences. In fact, the enrollment in this major has increased by 130.6 percent, going from 49 students in 2012 to 113 students in 2013. This makes organizational leadership the only major to experience such a tremendous growth this year.

At first glance organizational leadership may look like a beefed-up business degree, but it is more than that.

“The major is designed for adult students who have gone as far as they can go in their career without having a college degree,” said Mark A. Smith, Adult Degree Completion and Military Programs Office (AMP) admissions recruiter. “This program allows them to show their bosses that they have a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and they know how to manage and work within an organization. The courses are designed to help prepare them for advancement.”

The organizational leadership degree program prides itself on its ability to be flexible to the needs and wants of students. Not only does it provide students with a variety of concentrations within the major, it also allows offers the option to complete the degree in both classroom and online settings.

For most students, the online option works best because of their jobs or other restrictions. This flexibility has been a major factor in the success of this major.

“This is something completely new,” Smith said. “If you were to view it from the closest program—interdisciplinary degree—the difference is we have particular concentrations that we try to guide our students into. The flexibility is that they can choose their own concentration, they just have to take the upper level courses within that particular program.”

The concentrations offered within the program include office administration and technology, health care administration, legal office administration, public service administration/leadership and Spanish for professionals.

In order to help streamline the degree completion process, VSU has implemented a program called New Pathways. This program allows students who have obtained A.A.S. degrees from technical colleges to transfer all of their credits into the organizational leadership program, allowing them to complete their B.S. degree in as little as two years. According to Smith, this accounts for much of the major’s growth.

“The university has been offering the degree for three years,” Smith said. “Word is getting out, and we have really seen a tremendous amount of growth in the last year.”

Spring registration opens Oct. 28, so contact the AMP office for more information or to schedule advising.

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