USC Aiken Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan was the guest speaker at the April 16 meeting of the Senior Menís Club of Aiken.
Dr. Jordan, an educator for 30 years in Mississippi, Kentucky and South Carolina, is the fourth chancellor in USCA history. She summarized the beginnings of USCA from its original home at Banksia from 1961 to 1972 (now the Aiken County Historical Museum) to the present campus of 400 acres.
Dr. Jordan said that in past years, college was most often paid for by the parents of students, with most students graduating in four years with their bachelorís degree. Today, however, most students work to help pay their own expenses. Because of that, it is more common for students to graduate in five years. If it takes six or more years, the drop-out rate increases.
Todayís student body is more diversified than in years past, she said. Now, more women are on campus, with 60 percent of the student population being female and 40 percent male. USCA has a student population of 3,400, with about 1,000 living on campus. The faculty numbers 300, and there are 500 employees overall. The student to faculty ratio is 15 to one, and no classes are taught by graduate students. Class size averages 18 students.
Dr. Jordan cited the annual report issued by U.S. News and World Report ranking colleges and universities. Of the 15 years the report has been published, USCA has been ranked first, second or third each year, with nine of those years being ranked first in its category.
USCA is the lowest net cost college in South Carolina.
USCA has an alumni population of 14,500, with 1,085 in nursing, 2,467 in education and 954 in engineering.