FSU sees enrollment jump in Hagerstown

March 05, 1997


Staff Writer

Hagerstown resident Darrieck Mount said he's found Frostburg State University's Hagerstown Center a godsend in his effort to juggle a full-time course load with his full-time job.

"It's great, since they're working with HJC, it keeps the tuition down," said Mount, 25, who plans to graduate this year with a bachelor's degree in sociology. "And it avoids an hour trip each way to go to another four-year college."

The center's convenient location on the Public Square and economical in-state tuition have made it an attractive option for nontraditional students like Mount, said James W. Shaw, director of the center.


Shaw credits the two factors - part of an overall effort to make attending as easy as possible - with helping the campus reach an all-time high in spring enrollment this year.

"Most of our students are working. Many have families. For many of our students, this is a third life," he said.

Enrollment at Frostburg State University's Hagerstown Center is up to 420 students - 49 more students than were registered for the fall 1996 term, according to Shaw.

It topped last spring's enrollment by almost 8 percent, he said, and is only seven students short of the center's all-time high of 427 students in fall 1995.

The 13 percent increase from this fall was unusual, Shaw said, since college enrollments tend to drop from fall to spring semester.

However, it could be explained by the cyclical nature of the center's undergraduate programs and the fact that the campus graduated a lot of students last May, he said.

The campus offers bachelor's degree programs in business administration, accounting, sociology and justice studies and master's degree programs in business administration and education, Shaw said.

Most of the students entering the campus' four undergraduate programs - open to juniors and seniors only - are graduates of Hagerstown Junior College and Frederick Community College, he said.

The center has gained 48 new undergraduate students since last spring, bringing the total number of undergraduates up to 178, Shaw said.

"For us, that's big news because they're keepers for us, they're going to be with us for at least a couple of years," he said.

Undergraduate enrollment has been growing steadily since the Hagerstown Center opened in 1988 with a core of MBA students and only a handful of undergraduates, Shaw said.

Williamsport resident Michelle Bloyer, 30, said she's found the center a convenient place to work toward the sociology degree she needs to progress in her career.

"It's better than traveling an hour to go somewhere else, because work's only 10 minutes away from here," Bloyer said.

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