“We want to do everything we can to remove obstacles that keep adults from coming back to college, so we’ve created a ‘one-stop shop’ to expedite the enrollment process,” said Andy Meyer, PhD, Dalton State’s assistant vice president of academic affairs.
“On our Quick Admit Day, we will have Dalton State representatives from enrollment services and financial aid to help adult students complete their college applications and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms,” Meyer said. “We have scheduled morning and afternoon Compass Test times for placement testing. We may even be able to advise students and register them for classes on the same day.
“We know how hard it can be to start back after being out of school for awhile,” he said. “Some stop to work, or start a family, or serve our country. Dalton State wants to make it easy to come back to college to finish a degree that may have been started years ago or to start for someone who has never taken the first college class.”
Donna Weaver of Ellijay, Ga., attended a Quick Admit Day last semester and said the process made it easy to enroll in college – which for her was 17 years after graduating high school.
Weaver, 35, is a wife and mother of three active children, ages nine-18.
“I’ve always worked in restaurants and fast food, and I just decided it was time to go to nursing school and be an adult. I thought about going back for years and once even enrolled in technical college, but I had to drop the program,” she said. “It was scary to go back; it’s still scary. I’m writing my first research paper ever now. The last paper I wrote was when I was in the eighth-grade.”
However, the support she’s received from faculty and Dalton State staff has made the transition back to school easier, Weaver said. She is currently taking a class in English and one in math, down from the four in which she initially enrolled. She finds the current load just right for her very busy lifestyle.
“I love my teachers, Mr. Davis and Ms. Cochran,” she says. “They will break down what they’re teaching to the most basic level. That’s very helpful.”
Those planning to attend should bring their official high school transcript, official college transcript(s), an application fee of $30, a driver’s license issued after Jan. 1, 2008 (those holding licenses issued before then must provide certified birth certificate as well); and COMPASS scores, if available. Those who do not already have COMPASS scores can take the COMPASS test on Quick Admit Day. Official transcripts can either be mailed from their respective schools to the Office of Enrollment Services at Dalton State or hand-delivered on Quick Admit Day in sealed envelopes from their respective schools.
Dalton State is one of nine University System of Georgia colleges and universities participating in an Adult Learning Consortium to re-engage adult learners. The program, called GOAL (Georgia Opportunities for Adult Learners), is designed to make it easier for adult students to begin or complete academic programs by providing classes online in addition to on campus and to award credit for learning that may have occurred through job training or work experience.
“We are offering alternative ways to gain credit,” Meyer said. “In addition to earning credit by College Level Examination Program (CLEP), GOAL students can also earn course credit by examination, and even by completing a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for learning acquired through training or on the job.”
Students interested in the PLA option would receive instruction on how to create a portfolio that would demonstrate proficiency in a particular subject area. Meyer explained that some technology fields, such as computer networking, can be well-suited to the PLA option.
“The first step to completing a college degree is to enroll,” he said. “With our Quick Admit day, we want to make that process as easy as possible for any adult who is interested in starting or finishing a college program.”
Those wanting more information or wishing to register for a Quick Admit appointment can call 706-272-4436 or 800-829-4436 or visit www.daltonstate.edu/adultlearner/quickadmit/.