YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. –The Young Harris College academic year kicked off on Aug. 18 when the College welcomed more than 1,200 students to campus, including more than 400 first-year students.
"We’re pleased to welcome an outstanding class of first-year students to YHC,” said YHC President Cathy Cox. “We also welcome back a group of thriving upperclassmen. I look forward to seeing the tremendous things our student body will accomplish this year.”
The College also noted a student retention increase—the number of freshmen returning for their sophomore year—of more than 14% since 2013.
“This kind of growth is unprecedented and indicates our students' first-year experience is a positive and transformative period that prepares them for their next three years of exemplary education at YHC,” said President Cox.
“I’m pleased that enrollment has topped 1,200 for the second straight year,” said Vice President for Enrollment and External Relations Clint Hobbs, ’88. “Our first-to-second-year retention rate is a sure sign that we have become the four-year destination College we planned to become just a few short years ago when we transitioned from two- to four-year.”
New students moved into residence halls on Aug. 15 with many faculty and staff volunteers on site to help unload cars and transport items into students' rooms.
“Our students often discuss how being here feels like a family,” said Vice President for Student Development Angi Smith. “‘Move-In-Day’ is symbolic of that family atmosphere. When students, staff and faculty are there to assist incoming freshmen and their families move into their rooms, point them in the right direction, and share a laugh and a smile, we are providing them with a snapshot of the next four years. We're here to support each other, guide each other, and share some good times along the way!”
The College’s annual Welcome Week provides new students with several opportunities to become fully immersed in the YHC community including the Student Organization and Local Business Fair, Resident Assistant Lip Sync, and day of service sponsored by S.E.R.V.E. (Service, Empowerment, Responsibility, Voice and Engagement).
Since earning its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in 2008 to grant bachelor’s degrees, YHC has been adding academic programs at a rapid pace. This year, the College added two minors to its list of innovative programs: cinematic arts and physics.
"In their first year and beyond, students at YHC have an opportunity to explore many of their interests and discover their passions," said President Cox. "We are thrilled to add these two new minors to the mix and look forward to seeing our students grow and flourish as they learn more about these areas of study."