Spotlight on Montgomery County: Higher Education

Eight institutions of higher learning provide certificate and degree options for area residents

The computer lab at Auburn University at Montgomery.

Auburn University at Montgomery

Founded in 1967, Auburn University at Montgomery is the largest four-year college in the city with 5,112 students. AUM offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 90 program areas.

AUM recently earned recognition from U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional comprehensive universities in the South, with kudos for innovation, undergraduate teaching and overall quality plus a nod for its diversity.

AUM also has established itself as a first choice for first-generation students, with more than 50% of its Fall 2022 students identifying themselves as being the first members of their families to attend college.

In an effort to help make education more accessible, AUM awarded an all-time high of $12.3 million in scholarships in 2022. AUM has nearly doubled its scholarship allocation since 2016, when it awarded $6.4 million.

AUM’s efforts to anticipate and meet evolving workforce needs include the 2022 launch of the state’s first Artificial Intelligence Research Laboratory, which leverages supercomputer technology to help undergraduate and graduate students develop expertise in machine learning, automation, big data analysis, natural language processing, robotic processes and facial recognition systems. The lab also offers resources for businesses and institutions seeking AI solutions.

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In 2021, AUM acquired a former Alabama Department of Public Health facility and is transforming the 45,000-square-foot facility into a science lab complex to support bioscience and allied health care disciplines. The $35 million project is expected to be complete in 2024.

Alabama State University

ASU, founded in 1867, is one of America’s oldest historically Black colleges or universities. It offers more than 62 degrees in its seven campus colleges, including both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Division 1 members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, ASU has 18 intercollegiate athletic teams plus sororities, fraternities, student government, performing arts and more.

ASU President Dr. Quinton Ross Jr. has led the university in enhancing online and hybrid academic classes, and during the pandemic, acquired state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure to combat COVID-19. The Alabama Department of Public Health selected ASU as one of its official COVID-19 testing and vaccine centers for the campus and the public. ASU recently has expanded its fight against COVID-19 to the rural areas of Alabama.

Faulkner University campus.

Faulkner University

Faulkner University is a Christian liberal arts university, which seeks to promote character and service along with education. It offers students more than 100 degrees across six colleges, with campuses in Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile and Birmingham and a growing eCampus.

Faulkner’s Montgomery campus has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 3,300 in colleges of arts and science, business, biblical studies, education, law and health sciences.

This fall, the school’s College of Health Sciences welcomed its first class of occupational therapists. The school has opened an autism clinic, serving River Region patients at no cost.

Faulkner has received two grants this year, totaling $4.25 million, to strengthen services for Black students.

This year, Faulkner launched its inaugural esports team and unveiled the new Registar USA High Res Arena.

Huntingdon College.

Huntingdon College

Huntingdon College continues a legacy of faith, wisdom and service through a liberal arts academic tradition grounded in the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United Methodist Church. Now in its 168th year, Huntingdon was founded in 1854.

Through the Huntingdon Plan, each full-time day student is provided a laptop computer, a senior-year travel-study experience, and books and information resources as part of regular tuition and fees. Degree programs place special emphasis on preparation for professional life after graduation.

Huntingdon’s newest majors, which began in 2022, include specialized preparation for further study in health care, athletic training, occupational and physical therapy.

Huntingdon has an agreement with UAB for admission to its nursing program and with Duke Divinity School for seminary admission. The biochemistry program and music program both have earned specialized accreditation.

Classes are small, with no classes taught by graduate assistants. There are 21 NCAA-III intercollegiate athletic teams, a cheer squad, a new coed esports program beginning in fall 2023, and more than 50 clubs and organizations.

Both U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review have ranked Huntingdon high.

Huntingdon is a residential campus. More than 60% of students live in college-owned housing.

Troy University Montgomery Campus

Troy University Montgomery has been serving the River Region since the mid-1960s — first at Maxwell Air Force Base and then later in downtown Montgomery.

Troy University Montgomery is committed to meeting the needs of working adults seeking to advance their careers or chart a new career path.

This fall, Troy University expanded its associated degree program in nursing on the Montgomery campus to include nighttime classes.

Its downtown campus is unique and historic. The campus’ main administrative building, Whitley Hall, was once the Whitley Hotel, which hosted visiting dignitaries and politicians. The former Paramount Theater is the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The campus also is home to the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, located on the spot of Mrs. Parks’ historic 1955 arrest that sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The museum annually draws visitors to Montgomery from around the world.

The Montgomery campus also is home to the University’s Center for Public Service, providing expert assistance to governments and nonprofits.

Trenholm State Community College

Trenholm State Community College, with a campus at Maxwell Air Force Base and the Patterson site on Troy Highway in Montgomery, offers more than 25 programs of study, including new electrician’s assistant program and manufacturing programs.

Other areas of study include computer information systems, electrical, industrial systems and automation, automotive manufacturing, diesel mechanics, precision machining, welding, architecture and engineering design, graphic design, air-conditioning and refrigeration.

Air University

Maxwell Air Force Base hosts the headquarters of Air University — the largest partner unit on the base with some 4,000 military and civilian personnel.

Air University is responsible for Air Force enlisted and officer professional military education, professional continuing education and graduate education, as well as officer commissioning through Officer Training School and ROTC. Air University graduates more than 32,000 resident and 73,000 non-resident officers enlisted and civilian personnel each year.

Most AU programs reside at Maxwell AFB, with some across town at Maxwell’s Gunter Annex, and one located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Air University operates more than 650 academic, professional military and continuing education programs.

Amridge University

Amridge University is a private Christian university, offering online education since 1993. It was chosen by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the first 15 participants in the nation to pilot distance education on a broad level.

It offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees 100% online to accommodate the schedule of working adults, with programs in business, general studies, human services, theology and continuing education.

This article appears in the January 2023 issue of Business Alabama.

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