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HCC has a record enrollment for spring

January 22, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

While some Maryland community colleges are reporting reduced enrollment, the number of students at Hagerstown Community College has been rising, HCC President Guy Altieri said Wednesday.

For the current spring semester the college had its highest spring enrollment ever, with 3,145 students, he said.

That is a 12 percent increase over last spring's enrollment of 2,808, Altieri said.

The college projects that enrollment will continue to climb, with an additional 1,700 students expected to take classes by 2010. Of those, 500 will be "traditional age" college students and 1,200 will be older students, he said.

All this is happening while enrollment has dropped at community colleges in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, Altieri said.

But it is happening at a campus originally built for a total enrollment of 1,500 students, he said.

At 3,207, the enrollment last fall was slightly higher than the preliminary enrollment figures for this semester, he said.

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The enrollment figure for spring probably will increase as some classes that take less than the full semester get started, he said.

Altieri said he expects the enrollment will end up being about 15 percent higher than last year, he said.

The college had its highest enrollment ever - 3,383 - in 1991. Altieri said he expects HCC enrollment to break that record.

The college is doing some research and analysis to determine the reasons for the enrollment increases, he said.

He said one reason might be that HCC is offering more programs through which students can get short-term certificates and letters of certificate.

Another factor is the popularity of ESSENCE - Early Support for Students to Enter College Education - a half-priced tuition program offered through HCC to Washington County Public Schools students.

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