08/23/09 — WCC breaks enrollment record

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WCC breaks enrollment record

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 23, 2009 2:00 AM

Enrollment at Wayne Community College is expected to break previous records, officials say, and much of that increase can be attributed to the economy.

"Typically when the economy is poor, people come to school," Dr. Kay Albertson, WCC president, said earlier this week. "That's nothing new."

By the extended registration period's end Thursday, the preliminary count showed 3,628 students had signed up for fall classes. That exceeded the 3,403 registered at the same time last year, and the final fall 2008 count of 3,522.

Fall classes began Thursday morning.

More students will be added to the rolls, pending registration for online classes due to start in early September and the semester's second eight-week session beginning in October.

"We're really looking toward a banner year," Dr. Albertson said. "This is our highest curriculum enrollment in our history."

In addition to the economy, she attributed the jump in numbers to short-term programs being offered to expedite training to ready employees for local jobs in six months or less.

"We have geared them to skill areas that we know employers in Wayne County would hire if they had them," she said. Class offerings include nurse aide, EMT, automation, hydraulics, welding and weatherization.

"These are areas that did not slow down and there's constant demand for. We know that we're going to see students and the increase in those particular programs of study, so our head count will be even greater."

The hope is that once students "get a taste" they will be interested in returning for additional classes, the president said.

"We definitely think that this is going to be an enrollment boost," she said.