08/04/08 — Enrollment at college up for fall, WCC says

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Enrollment at college up for fall, WCC says

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 4, 2008 1:43 PM

Student numbers for the fall semester at Wayne Community College are on the rise and officials are attributing that in part to "flexible alternatives" that are helping students manage the cost of an education.

Catering to a student population of working adults and commuters, the college has worked hard to keep pace in recent years, customizing its education by offering online courses and distance learning, said Dr. Linda Nelms, vice president of student services.

"Wayne has been very conscious of the economy and gas prices," she said. "Our instructors have gone out of their way to look at online courses -- we have increased them -- as well as looking at our traditional face-to-face courses."

The "hybrid course" offerings are being structured to allow students minimized driving time to attend classes on campus. Instead of Monday, Wednesday, Friday courses, for example, a portion might be put online to alleviate at least one day of commuting, Dr. Nelms said.

"It varies. They have looked at the content of the course objectives and where flexible, they have tried to put what they can online to reduce travel," she said. "We have reduced others significantly for the fall and will continue that trend as we move to put our spring schedule together."

Meanwhile, with new registration held earlier this week, enrollment appears to be up, she said.

"We don't have the final numbers but we're looking really good as far as students registering," she said. "It's up over last year at this time."

While classes resume on Aug. 18, Dr. Nelms said students are "strongly encouraged" to register in advance of scheduled registration dates, which are Aug. 14 and 15. Much of it, as well as the financial aid process, can be done online, she said, which will be a time-saver when students arrive on campus to finalize information.

The college is also offering extended hours to complete the process this year.

"We've done it as a step process," Dr. Nelms explained. "Counseling and admissions offices will be open until 7 p.m. on August 11. If they haven't started their application, they need to do that."

Then, she added, the financial aid office will be open late on Aug. 12, until 7 p.m., with the counseling office, likely the "final step" for many students, open until 7 p.m. on Aug. 13.

For the actual registration days, offices will also have extended hours. Thursday, Aug. 14, the hours will be 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Friday, Aug. 15, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.