Message From The President
May 16, 2017
Dearly Beloved of God.
Atlantic Union College affectionately known as "that small New England School", is open, operating as a Christian higher education institution. The College is owned by the Atlantic Union, composed of six local conferences of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North American Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. AUC is also under the authorization of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, with a five-year conditional approval, beginning in June 2013, to offer two baccalaureate degrees.
This academic year-end review looks at the business model for the institution. For the purposes of this institution of higher education the business model is referred to as a feasibility study, which is a five-year projection of the intended outcomes. AUC restart and emergence, offering academics has been for two years.
As a Church institution the Mission, embedded in Matthew 28: 19-20, has continued undaunted by worldly attempts at distractions; still a light bearer. (Matthew 5: 14, 16). The College incorporates the teachings of the prophet/ess, Ellen G. White.
Restarting the academic programs was based on a feasibility study conducted in 2014. One year later academic courses started. Foundational to the academic program is the B.A. in Theology/Religion and the B.S. in Health Science/Biology. Industry endosedcertificate programs are also offered. A new feasibility study will be conducted.
Atlantic Union College is more than one-hundred-thirty-years-old. It is the general consensus of all bodies of the Administration and oversight organizations that AUC needs to solidify the movement from a twentieth century institution into a twenty-first century institution of higher education preparing students for careers in the future. This movement will maintain the Seventh-day Adventist foundational studies. Possibilities for models of delivering instruction may expand from the solely traditional classroom to: distance education, offering classes at locations within the Conference territories served by AUC, collaborations with other institutions of higher education, or…
This early in the restart of the College is an ideal time to restructure. During 2011 until the restart of the academic programs fall 2015 the subsidy was used to pay down the debt, a debt which was insurmountable to overcome the withdrawal of accreditation. Subsidy was applied to debt at the cost of deferred maintenance of the buildings. At the decision of the Board of Trustee’s to restart the academic programs, building upgrades and repairs were pereormed enabling buildings used for the operation of the College to receive Occupancy Permits.
Progress has been made in regaining accreditation, increasing enrollment and building the academic programs. This progress is on-going and it is requiring a Nehemiah- from the Old Testament of the BIBLE, type effort.
Students and constituency are at the core of the mission of Atlantic Union College. Tuition is discounted as compensation for the absence of eligibility for federal financial aid. Students are advised on how to attend AUC and graduate will little to no debt. Simultaneous to working on regaining accreditation articulation agreements are an important asset. Academics at Atlantic Union College has always met or exceeded the standard for the academic arena of higher education. The articulation agreements will allow students to transfer credits to other institutions; to complete their college degree. This is an attractive option for students who want a major not yet offered at AUC, are willing to pay the discounted tuition to begin a program of study here; in effect, paying less for their College degree. Students in the four-year degree programs at AUC, are considered the first graduating cohort by the NEASC Accrediting agency, (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). The graduation is necessary for the College to be considered for accreditation. Praise to God for the pioneer students committed to attending Atlantic Union College. It was a God-inspired pioneer spirit that grew the Seventh-day Adventist movement and the founding of Atlantic Union College. The presence of a pioneering spirit is supported by a climate at AUC surrounded by a culture of graciousness, dignity, respect and Christian love.
Accreditation, enrollment and finances are interdependent. As the College of the Atlantic Union Conference its success is dependent on the constituencies of the local conferences which comprise the Atlantic Union: Southern New England, Northern New England, New York, Greater New York, Northeastern, and Bermuda. The College exists because of this Union. With the church-planting efforts in the Union, the projected growth potential is exponential, supported by the local conferences and the constituencies they represent. Support for AUC is requested in the form of prayers, subsidy, and the referral of students to the Atlantic Union College.
Given the history of Atlantic Union College, admittedly, there is more to be done towards reconciliation and unity. The effort is on-going. God’s love will prevail.
Thank you. Be well in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ.
In Christian Service,
Dr. Avis Hendrickson