Troy University is closing its Covington Support Center sometime before September 30, 2017. That is when its lease for the building it has been using in downtown Covington runs out.
The decision to close the Covington site was made in early October. Clif Lusk, University Relations Coordinator for Troy University, said that the decision is a “reflection of the market demand for online rather than in-person classes, especially among adult learners who are pursuing graduate degrees, the predominant type of student served in Covington.” Online learning does not require physical classroom buildings, such as the one Troy has been leasing in Covington.
Staci Hutto, Area Coordinator for the Atlanta Support Center, said that adult students, who are balancing work, family, and otherwise busy lives while going to college, like the time and place flexibility of online learning. “Troy does a lot of assessment of student needs and preferences. Students are migrating to online learning.”
Hutto indicated that the closure of the Covington Support Center will have little impact on Troy University’s current online students. They will continue to take the same online classes they would normally take. The main change is that students will use Troy University’s web-based services, go to the Atlanta Support Center located in Sandy Springs, Georgia, or make special arrangements for proctored tests or one-on-one academic advising.
Those few students who prefer might face-to-face classes at the Covington Support Center will suffer the largest impact. According to Lusk, there are only five students currently enrolled in face-to-face classes offered in Covington. In the future, Troy occasionally may offer a face-to-face class in the Atlanta-metro region, but that will depend on student demand for such classes. Hutto and Lusk expect all students to eventually move to online courses.
There are two full-time employees working at the Covington Support Center. According to Lusk, the lone full-time faculty member here has a “course load that is predominantly online course instruction and will not be impacted by the change.” He said the one full-time staff member will have “the option of transferring to a new assignment.”
When asked if Troy University will continue to serve the Newton County area, Lusk said, “Troy recruits students in all Georgia counties and will continue to do so. Our recruiters are very active in high schools, corporate settings, the public sector, and for online students. Recruiters are stationed where there is sufficient population interested in higher education and in Troy particularly. Newton County continues to be very important to the University and we are committed to supporting students and alumni now and into the future. Currently, there are 65 students enrolled from Newton County, across all Troy platforms (traditional, non-traditional, and online students).”