EDC-501 Introduction to Student Affairs & College Counseling
Current Events Summary #3
An October 20, 2012 article in the Athens News reports that Hockings College in Athens, Georgia is experiencing layoffs, administrative and academic restructuring due to a 4.3 million dollar shortfall. This lack of funding is attributed to decreased fall enrollment. Since 2010 the enrollment has dropped almost 25% from 6599 to 4581. This decline has spiked particularly in fall 2012 losing 1327 new students since fall of 2011. Student affairs was a department affected by this revenue decrease. The office of Academic & Student Affairs has been split into 3 departments, Academic Support, Academic Operations and Student Affairs. This approach may seem counterproductive since staff numbers have decreased, but the school feels specializing the responsibilities will allow limited staff to focus on specific areas and hopes that this change will provide better services for students. Student affairs itself, will also be split into two departments, academic operations and student services. The changes described in the article should be implemented by November 2012.
This article stands out because it presents a unique solution to deal with the funding decrease Hickings College is experiencing. A big hurdle that student affairs faces is lack of staff. Simply put, lack of counselors means less attention can be given to individual students. However, Hickings College has decided to expand the structure of the department, not in employee number, but by identifying the strength of remaining employees and subdividing department responsibilities. This new organization strengthen student affairs because forces each team member to look at what they do and allows them to maximize return for their effort. Furthermore, this restructuring helps students understand exactly what student affairs is. It can also potentially help students because they...