09/29/10 — Enrollment still on rise at Wayne Community College

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Enrollment still on rise at Wayne Community College

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 29, 2010 1:46 PM

Student numbers at Wayne Community College continue to climb, Dr. Kay Albertson, college president, told the board of trustees Tuesday night.

The fall enrollment has surpassed last year's, she said, and continuing education is also reflecting the trend.

Currently, fall numbers are at 3,862 students.

"At the end of last fall, it was 3,723," Mrs. Albertson said. "And we still have one more enrollment period left for this semester. We're estimating at least another 100 students.

"We're probably looking at a 6.5 percent increase this fall for curriculum students."

On the continuing education side, which is measured from term to term, Mrs. Albertson said there were 5,579 enrollments over the summer, up 1,000 from the previous year.

The figures represent a growing number of students taking occupational programs or participating in such offerings as the business and industry center, she said.

"We were down a little bit last year in continuing ed," she said. "We put out the challenge. We need to find some innovative, creative things and attach ourselves to business and industry for some quick turnaround training."

At the same time, however, the college is serving fewer Wayne County students than it did the previous year, Mrs. Albertson said.

In 2010, 69 percent of the student population was local, as compared with the year before, when it was at 79 percent.

"I really believe it's because of online courses," Mrs. Albertson said.

Meanwhile, the number of in-state and out-of-state students has climbed, she said. In 2009, 16 percent of the demographics were from North Carolina and is now up to 22 percent, while the out-of-state enrollments rose from 5 to 9 percent.

Both areas can likely be attributed to distance learning courses being offered where students can take online classes and curtail travel to the campus.

Some programs lend themselves to online programs, making them the ideal for colleges like Wayne Community, Mrs. Albertson said.

"It really is the way until we can build some buildings, that we can sustain enrollment," she said. "It's essential for us .... and gives access for students."