CLINTON COLLEGE - “No Longer a Junior”
Clinton Junior College is now operating under its new name “Clinton College". The former junior college now has four-year degree programs in business and religious studies.

“We are not confusing anymore,” Clinton President Elaine Johnson Copeland said. The junior college name was a relic of the past, she said, and some people “thought we were something less than a college.” With the name change, the addition of faculty and, ideally, more students, she said, those negatives should go away. “This is good for the school and good for the community and good for the AME Zion Church,” Copeland said.

The church is one of the major supporters of the college. The religious studies degree should help develop pastors, she said. Copeland said she hopes becoming a four-year college will open other avenues for fundraising. To help with that and other campus awareness, the Clinton Alumni Association, which has been dormant for more than 13 years, has been revitalized.

Copeland said she expects enrollment to be between 165 and 170 students this fall, up from last year’s enrollment of 143. The school has set an enrollment goal of 200 students. More students means some classes will be bigger, with one teacher per 20 or 25 students. Copeland said she prefers classes with a 1-to-15 ratio. What won’t change, Copeland said, is how she interacts with the students. She still knows everyone by name and will stop them on campus to give them a hug.

Copeland and the staff will continue to give the students “unconditional positive regard,” she said, which means love, mentoring and building esteem and confidence in the students.

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