03/25/09 — Wayne Community College sees enrollment increase

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Wayne Community College sees enrollment increase

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 25, 2009 1:46 PM

The economy has not slowed down enrollment at Wayne Community College, its president, Dr. Kay Albertson, said Tuesday night.

In fact, spring enrollment for the spring semester is higher than the two previous years, she told the board of trustees.

"We usually see some ups and downs, ebb and flow, but the bottom line is our spring semester, we are at 3,408 enrollment," she said. "That's quite a change for us. We almost met our enrollment for the fall semester, which is usually significantly larger than the spring."

Preliminary numbers for the fall had been 3,331, slightly up from the previous year, when they were at 3,301.

Historically, Dr. Albertson said, the numbers drop off in the spring. In 2008, spring semester enrollment was 3,184.

"Obviously, this is a reflection of our economic situation, and the fact that we have a lot of high school students enrolled," she said. "We know that those numbers are going to continue. We also know that we are going to provide them the kind of training that they will need once the economic situation turns around to go out and get jobs."

In many program areas, enrollment is higher. The dental program currently has 69 students, up from 64 in 2008. Nursing is also up, 100 from 91 the previous year, while public safety enrollment is at 119 compared to 99 in 2008.

One of the more marked comparisons is the high school program, which includes Wayne Early/Middle College and Learn & Earn online. It has a total of 444 students, compared to 288 the previous year.

It's likely to continue, Dr. Albertson predicts.

"The numbers offered at Wayne Community College are ever-increasing," she said. "The three-year trend is increasing in all areas."

Changes to the upcoming graduation ceremonies this spring were also announced.

Traditionally, the school holds two ceremonies, one for curriculum students, another for the high school program.

In case of inclement weather, however, alternate arrangements have been made to accommodate the number of curriculum graduates at a larger facility off site.

Dr. Albertson said this year, all ceremonies will be held at the college.

"We will still hold the graduation here but will do it in two parts," she explained. The Friday night curriculum ceremony, scheduled for May 15, will be split up -- the first from 6-7 p.m., the other from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

"It will make it easier because we will not be transported" to another location, she said. "Otherwise, we're hoping for fair weather."

Saturday morning, May 16, ceremonies will simply be moved indoors if it rains, she said.