Lon Morris To Offer Fall Classes
By KELLY GOOCH
JACKSONVILLE -- A little more than a week after filing for bankruptcy, Lon Morris College announced it will begin fall classes in August and a "revitalized academic program that positions the school on a path towards its future," according to a statement released Wednesday.
The school will offer a complete core curriculum this fall semester with on-campus and online classes, Dave Hubbard, dean of students, said. That includes biology, math, English, accounting, sociology, psychology and economics.
Hubbard said other programs outside the core curriculum, such as Hospitality Administration, could be added as deemed necessary. The second online summer session is still in progress, and fall classes begin Aug. 29.
It's the latest news surrounding Lon Morris, which is undergoing reorganization amid financial problems that led to delayed paychecks and the furlough of more than 100 employees as well as the resignation of President Dr. Miles McCall.
With the most recent efforts, the college is not limiting
to a certain number. However, it must have enough students to have a positive cash flow, Hubbard said.
To help accomplish that, a team of Lon Morris educators is working with admissions and financial aid staff to assist students and help with recruiting efforts, according to the school's prepared statement.
"We have a strong group of leaders who are committed to the students, and potential students, as well as to the success of Lon Morris," Hubbard said in a news release. "They know the community and most importantly, they have relationships with our students and their families, and can provide the insight and assistance families need to help them in the decision making process."
He added, "We've gotten numerous students already excited about coming back."
Lon Morris also has reduced tuition 33 percent, Hubbard said, and still will offer financial aid and funded scholarships. Tuition for 12 to 18 hours will be $9,000 per year. That does not include student fees, room, developmental class fees, lab fees and books.
"Our state and federal funding is still there, so we've come down with direct cost but still have state grants and federal grants," Hubbard said.
The college is not offering cafeteria service but will have on-campus housing available. Besides classes, Lon Morris will have student activities, including student government.
"We want it to be a full well-rounded college experience. We want student activities," Hubbard said, adding that the college is looking to keep the Students
Free Enterprise organization and will have its mentoring and religious life programs.
"We're excited about the fall.
...We're going to have a strong fall. We're looking at student programs and student activities to have a well-rounded (experience for students). ... We will have a much smaller population but will have the opportunity to make a difference."
Student Body President Roxanne Deal said she too is optimistic about the fall, but noted that it will entail changes.
She said there also is a level of concern getting students to come back.
"College is not something you want to be hasty about and going back to a place that's struggled will be different," she said.
Still, Ms. Deal, a sophomore, described going to Lon Morris as a "once in a lifetime opportunity."
She said there are not too many places like Lon Morris where teachers act as a support group for students and help them find out who they are.
Generally, students are "all hopeful (about the future)," she said. "Nobody wants to let it (Lon Morris) go. Nobody wants to see it let go. They want (potential students) to have the same opportunity we did and have the same growing points."
Wednesday's announcement comes about a week after Lon Morris filed bankruptcy. The school has bled millions of dollars since at least the 2007-08 school
It now is seeking an alliance with another educational institution and eliminated its athletic programs as part of efforts to reorganize, remain viable and emerge from financial difficulties.
The institution filed a voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy petition July 2 -- a day before a scheduled foreclosure proceeding on dormitories, according to a statement from Lon Morris.
Its primary funding now is a $750,000 debt loan, which it will use for interim funding of operations and capital needs, including current payroll, the school's chief restructuring officer, Dawn Ragan, said last week.
She said she wants students to know that the school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate degree, and maintains university-level academic standards. She also noted that the college is approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
For more information about fall registration, contact the Lon Morris College Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org