Next step? Dorms and athletics

Published 9:49 pm Friday, August 27, 2010

A candidate for the job of leading Bainbridge College told a small gathering of community members Thursday that the college might consider athletics and dorms if it wants to “take it to the next level.”

Neil Aspinwall, the second candidate of six scheduled to visit Bainbridge College as part of the application process for the presidency, listed several ideas.

“I think you are at a critical point in history, and I think my vision is that you’re ready to move to the next level. And I say, what is that?” Aspinwall said.

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Bainbridge College needs to have at least one four-year program of its own, Aspinwall said. Not become a four-year college yet, but Aspinwall said BC has cooperative four-year programs with Albany State and Georgia Southwestern, and it just needs to develop one of its own.

Another idea he proposed was collegiate athletics.

In 2008, Aspinwall was charged with creating and implementing the first collegiate athletics program at Waycross College, where he presently is the vice president of enrollment and student services. In 2009, the inaugural season of the Waycross College “Swampfoxes” men’s basketball began and is being followed this year by women’s fast-pitch softball.

“It has done wonders for our campus. It has done wonders for our community,” Aspinwall said.

Another idea he mention was to put an entire associate’s degree on-line.

“You have run out of space here,” he said. As the college is struggling with space to accommodate its growing population, Aspinwall said the on-line degree program would reach a border range of students.

Finally, he said if Bainbridge College wants to go to the next level, it needs on-campus housing.

Waycross College is comtemplating on-campus housing because students wanting to go there because of its athletic programs can’t because it doesn’t have any dorms.

“I would be honored to take it to the next level,” Aspinwall said.