Dalton State Roadrunners Welcome Start Of New Academic Year

Thursday, August 15, 2013

According to Dalton State officials, things are looking up, maybe as high up as the new science building under construction that soars even higher than the college belltower.


After two years of declining enrollment, Dalton State numbers are holding steady, a positive sign for the school that prides itself on its access mission. “A number of factors converged that caused our enrollment to dip, but we start this year with our most academically qualified class of students yet,” said President Dr. John O. Schwenn. “Our goal is for these students to succeed here and to graduate in a timely manner.”


Not only is this year’s incoming class the most academically qualified, it’s also the most geographically diverse. So many students have come to campus from outside the immediate area that for the first time Dalton State’s residential housing has a wait list.  “We started offering housing to students in 2009; at that time we had 250 beds in our Wood Valley apartment complex,” said Dr. Johnson. “This year, we converted several ‘doubles’ to ‘quads’ and increased our capacity to 289. We’re full and have a waiting list of 20 students.”


Student athletes account for much, but certainly not all of the increased demand for college housing. Athletic Director Derek Waugh reports that the return to intercollegiate athletics has attracted 110 student athletes to Dalton State. They come from 10 states and 12 different countries, Waugh said. About half the student athletes receive at least partial scholarships from the Mashburn Charitable Trust, which has pledged $3 million over 10 years for athletic scholarships for Dalton State.


“Because Dalton State is so affordable, scholarship dollars go a long way here,” said Dr. Schwenn, who pointed out that the U.S. Department of Education has ranked Dalton State among the top 10 percent of four year colleges in the nation for low tuition and fees and lowest net price, the out of pocket cost for college after scholarships and other financial aid are taken out.


“Affordability is key to our access mission of making a college education within the economic grasp of most families,” said Dr. Schwenn. “We know our low cost attracts many of our students here, but it is the high value education and experience we offer that keeps students here.”


“Many of the freshmen who start today will be members of the graduating class of 2017, our fiftieth anniversary year,” said Dr. Schwenn. While the core of the campus remains much as it was when Dalton Junior College first opened its doors, little else remains the same.


The campus has been extended north and south, and the four original campus buildings are flanked today by classroom buildings, the library, a quad, and residential housing. The new science building should be completed by year’s end, and work is underway to identify an architectural firm to renovate the former technical education building to house the College’s School of Health Professions.


The first students to attend Dalton Junior College could choose from 10 transfer programs; today’s students can select from 17 bachelor’s degree and 21 associate degree programs, with two more degree programs in the pipeline. Several students have registered for the College’s first online bachelor’s degree program, and the Board of Regents just this week approved Dalton State’s proposal to offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology.


“Much has changed since our charter was written 50 years ago, but one thing that has not changed is the transformative power of a Dalton State education,” Dr. Schwenn said. “We hear it from our students, and we see the many ways in which Dalton State graduates are transforming the world with their accomplishments. ” 


East Hamilton Cadets Graduate From Recruit Training

Three cadets from the Hurricane Division out of East Hamilton Middle/High School graduated from Recruit Training (boot camp) at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL on July 26.   These cadets endured 14 days of strict military instruction in the areas of classroom training, marching, physical training twice a day, weapon instruction, uniform and barracks' inspections, and military ... (click for more)

Dalton State Protects, Breeds Endangered Turtles

Dalton State couple has a new  couple, a male and female spiny turtle – known as the Heosemys spinosa in scientific communities - which is an endangered species. They live in the Dalton State College Turtle Assurance Colony. The colony is part of the international Turtle Survival Alliance, which is a conservation group formed in response to the disappearance of turtles ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $7 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Our’ American Minute

William J. Federer is one of the leading historians in the United States and every morning I am among thousands of people who get an entertaining email from him called the “American Minute.” I adore it because Bill takes a significant event in American history that happened long ago – but he remembers on the very anniversary of when it occurred. A great example is that last Thursday ... (click for more)