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      Stephens College kicks off new school year

      Students at Columbiaâ??s Stephens College experienced their first day of classes today.

      The new school year brings a fast track to graduation and a facelift to the campus.

      As you drive by the Stephens College campus, youâ??ll notice school administrators have invested a lot of money on construction projects. Students are seeing new science labs and new course offerings. Freshman Kathryn Teoli was very excited to attend her first college class. Once she found Stephens, it was love at first sight.

      Teoli said, â??I used to think that I wouldnâ??t like an all girls school, but I did the common application on line. I just checked it just in case. They started sending me stuff in the mail. I thought maybe that I should check it out. I came here and I fell in love. It blew me out of the water. I thought I was definitely coming here.â??

      Instructor Tiffany Goalder teaches the First Year Experience lab that introduces freshmen to the college and academics. The lab class is a new experience for Goalder and her students.

      Goalder said, â??I was sitting in their very seat exactly 10 years ago as a freshman coming into Stephens. Iâ??m very excited to share this experience with them. I think it will be a ride for both of us.â??

      Stephens College students have the opportunity to graduate in just 3 years. That helps them graduate with as little debt as possible. Undergraduate enrollments are up with a student population of about 850. The campus is undergoing a facelift with new pedestrian bridges, landscaping and building renovations.

      Stephens College President Dr. Dianne Lynch said, â??We were the only private college in Mid-Missouri to be included in the Princeton Review this year. Itâ??s 15% of colleges and universities in the country recognized in the country as the best of the best. Stephens is one of them.â??

      The schoolâ??s theatre program is ranked 16th in the country. Stephens College has been around for 185 years and school administrators said thatâ??s just the beginning.

      Stephens College attracts women from nearly every state, with nearly half coming from out of state.