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Alumni Weekend 2018
April 20 - 22More Information
At the February 2018 committee meetings, both the Atlantic Union Conference Executive Committee and the Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees voted to suspend the baccalaureate program at Atlantic Union College at the end of the current academic semester and phase out the certificate programs in a teach-out manner no later than December 2018, due to financial exigency.
The votes were taken following receipt of an interim report from the Independent Task Force which was commissioned in 2017 by the Atlantic Union Conference Executive Committee to conduct a feasibility study of the college. The results of the feasibility study led to the conclusion that Atlantic Union College should suspend the baccalaureate program at the end of the current academic semester and phase out the certificate programs in a teach-out manner no later than December 2018.
The board of trustees, in cooperation with the Atlantic Union Conference administration, will form a plan to guide the students, faculty, and staff through this transition period. This plan will provide academic options and information to the students, faculty, staff, and larger Atlantic Union College family.
The Atlantic Union Conference will continue to work with the Independent Task Force to conduct a study and further research how Adventist higher education can effectively be delivered to the young people of the Atlantic Union Conference constituency. We solicit your prayers for wisdom as we move forward during this time.
Click here to read the January 2018 Gleaner article about our two new programs!
The art of nativity: ‘Reason for the Season’ on display at Bartlett Gallery
Worcester Business Journal Online
Summary - (For the full document please click here)
While some people wonder why Atlantic Union College (AUC) restarted its academic programs, its Board of Trustees saw an opportunity to address some of the challenges the higher education industry is facing.
Atlantic Union College is the college of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) in the northeast of the United States. It serves a constituency that is more diverse than any other union’s in the North American Division. In the Southern New England Conference alone, 47% of membership and 51% of churches are non-English (All Nations, Cape Verdean, Chinese, Ghanaian, Haitian, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish). This percentage could be higher if we looked at the union wide data. AUC offers a limited number of scholarships whose purpose is to encourage this diversity.
These members are not wealthy but are loyal to the SDA beliefs, have vibrant Adventurer and Pathfinder programs, and are faithful tithe payers. Christian education is the dream they have for their children. Many families today, especially minorities, prefer to have their children attend a college near their home for a year or two.
In the last thirty-five years, the availability of student loans has contributed to a sharp increase of college tuition and fees, reduction of students working to pay for school fees, and the reduction of family financial support to college students.
The number of low income, first-generation students going to colleges/universities in North America has recently been increasing. When these students attend private colleges, most of them graduate with a debt of around $100,000.00. This affects their ability to have strong families that support the church. Dennis O. Tongoi said that debt is to finance what fever is to the body. For this reason, Atlantic Union College reduced the tuition to $11,500.00 a year for non-dorm students. This is less than half what students pay on average at other private colleges in North America. Students who understand this message can graduate “debt free” if they are willing to work, qualify for scholarships, and get family financial support.
The College also offers short-term certificate programs (maximum one year) that lead to well-paying jobs after the graduate has passed certification exams.
AUC has been working on regaining accreditation. This takes time. Meanwhile the administration has reached out to sister institutions for articulation agreements. This allows students to transfer after one or two years and graduate from an accredited institution. Twenty years ago several SDA overseas institutions were in the same situation. They were struggling with low enrollment due to the lack of government recognition. To assist these overseas institutions, Andrews University and Southern Adventist University offered extension programs on those campuses. This support allowed them to get government recognition and build enrollment to the point where they now stand on their own. Today many of their students are children of influential people including government officials. Articulation agreements with three or four higher education institutions will give AUC time to grow while working on regaining its own accreditation.
It is well known that any new business starts small and expects to operate in the red for two to three years. Time is needed for the College to increase enrollment, change the culture of borrowing, and restore the value of working to pay for college.
Southern New England Conference has been a strong supporter of AUC’s students’ three-way scholarships and subsidy. There is no doubt that the conference and the college are all working for the best interest of our students but for some reason, we have different strategies to achieve this goal. There is a disconnect somewhere. An honest and sincere dialogue to identify the differences is yet to happen. We hope to have one soon.Meanwhile our appeal to the conference is to continue the financial support of our efforts to provide quality and affordable Christian education in the northeast.
If there is a time Atlantic Union College is needed it is NOW.
Issumael NzamutumaVice President for Academic AffairsAtlantic Union College